CACTUS AND SUCCULENT UPDATE PART 3

Plants in the Cactus and Succulent Update Part 4. Back row left to right: x Graptosedum ‘California Sunset’, x Gasteraloe ‘Flow’. Middle row left to right: Gymnocalycium saglionis, Haworthiopsis limifolia, Gasteria sp. ?, Espostoa melanostele. Front row left to right Gasteria ‘Little Warty’, Ferocactus wislizeni, and Euphorbia mammillaris. Not pictured in the group photo is the Huernia schneideriana.

Hello everyone! I hope this finds you all well. It is a little strange I am still working on the October 11 update and it is November 14. I still have the 11 Mammillaria and eight other cactus and succulents to post updates about.

The weirdest thing is the Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles’. I always cover it up with a big pot when we are expecting an “F” and keep it covered all winter when cold temps persist. I covered it when we had the “F” on October 11, but forgot about it when we had the “S” and cold temps on the 29th. I noticed a few days ago it was the only plant not affected by the “F’s” and cold.

The daytime temps the past few days have been pretty nice, although a little breezy. I was able to take the plants in this post to the front porch for a photo shoot. All except the Huernia schneideriana because it is on the plant shelf in the bedroom all situated for winter. It is the last plant featured in this post and you will understand why I didn’t move it when you see it.

Without too much to say about anything else at the moment, let’s dive right into the post…

 

Espostoa melanostele subsp. nana (Peruvian Old Lady) at 7 1/4” tall x 2 3/8” wide on 10-11-19, #639-26.

In the above photo, the Espostoa melanostele subsp. nana (Peruvian Old Lady) is proudly showing off her hairdo. Not that it is new, but there is an inch more of it. She grew to 7 1/4″ tall x 2 3/8″ wide since last October which is 1 ” taller and 1/4″ wider. She was only 2 3/4” tall x 1 3/4” wide when I brought her home from Wal-Mart in February 2016. I am glad to see the subspecies is also an accepted name.

To view the page especially for this cactus, click HERE!

 

Euphorbia mammillaris (Indian Corn Cob) at 5 3/4″ tall on 10-11-19, #639-27.

The Euphorbia mammillaris (Indian Corn Cob) has done very well and the main stem has now grown to 5 3/4″ tall. The upper parts of the stem and side branches are covered with small ephemeral leaves and the few spines still persist at the lower level. There were remains of flowers on the top of the cutting when I brought it home in March (2019), so hopefully, it will flower soon. The hexagonal tubercles swell when it has ample moisture and shrink during dry periods. There isn’t much online about this plant but most information says they grow 13-15″ tall. Ummm… Llifle says up to 35 cm but it also says they are “moderately fast” growers and “will become large landscape masterpieces in 3-5 years” and “young plants are happy growing indoors where they can easily reach the ceiling.” Hmmm… I don’t about your ceiling, but mine is slightly higher than 35 cm.

Click HERE to view this plant’s own page with more photos.

 

Ferocactus wislizeni at 2 1/4″ tall x 2 1/2″ wide on 10-11-19, #639-31.

The Ferocactus wislizeni (Arizona Barrel, Candy Barrel, Southwestern Barrel, Fishhook Barrel, Biznaga de Aqua…) is a very interesting plant to watch grow. Not that you would want to sit and watch it. 🙂 Earlier in the summer it started doing something weird as it was growing new spines. It almost looked like it was growing three apexes. Actually, it was growing new tubercles on three ribs at the same time. Of course, all cactus do this but this one caught my eye because the spines were red and prominent. I also like the odd shape of the ribs and the purplish color on top. It has grown to 2 1/4″ tall x 2 1/2″ wide now. It was 1 5/8″ tall x 2 1/8″ wide when I brought it home from Lowe’s on March 29. So, that is pretty amazing. It will be even more amazing when it flowers but that may take some time… This is a long-lived species, from 50-130 years, so I may have to give it to someone in my will. Hopefully, it will show me it’s bright orange flowers in my lifetime. Llifle says specimens up to 9′ have been recorded. Interestingly, in the wild, these plants lean toward the equator which can cause them to fall over after a lot of rain as the soil becomes loose.

 

Ferocactus wislizeni from the top on 10-11-19, #639-32.

The spines grew quickly, to say the least… I am so glad the hot glue stuck to the top of this plant is gone and it caused no permanent damage. I can’t say the same for some.

To view this plant’s own page click HERE

 

x Gasteraloe ‘Flow’ at 5 1/2″ tall x 10 1/2″wide on 10-11-19, #639-33.

The x Gasteraloe ‘Flow’ has done quite well this past summer and has grown. She produced her first flower this past summer as well. This plant is now 5 1/2″ tall x 10 1/2″ wide. I removed the offsets in this pot in 2018 and they and been somewhat “iffy”. One of the things we do we later think maybe we shouldn’t have done. Umm, notice I said “you” because I certainly wouldn’t want to blame myself.

I bought this plant unlabeled and posted its photo on Succulent Infatuation for ID. A member suggested it was x Gasteraloe ‘Flow’ and several others agreed. So, that’s what I have been calling it. A while back a blog reader asked what the difference was between x Gaseraloe ‘Flow’ and Aloe beguinii. Well, I had no clue so I looked up that species online. Oddly enough (laughing), some of the online images look like this plant and some do not. Then, when I posted update #1, a reader commented that the Aristaloe aristata was a Lizard Tail and not Aristaloe aristata. “What in the heck is a Lizard Tail?” So, I did a search for “Lizard Tail Aloe” and all I found were images and information of some weed. Well, maybe not a weed, but you know what I mean… When I was updating the page for this plant for this post, out of curiosity I looked up Aloe beguinii again… Low and behold, the common name is Lizard Tail!!!

Sometimes plant ID can be very tricky especially with cultivars and hybrids. What is worse is when we buy plants that are unlabeled. Noticed I said “we” again… “WE” have to rely on others for help and do online searches to figure out the name. Not all information online is 100% accurate and only part of the images are the plant in question. Some are just photos of plants posted on websites that have nothing to do with plants. Being “slightly” familiar with who the suppliers are for the local greenhouses, Lowe’s, and Wal-Mart make it a little easier. Once I get an ID suggestion, I check out the company’s websites to see what similar plants are currently available. Sometimes that is a dead-end… Knowing what is on the market during the time period “you” buy unlabeled plants is important. However, plants with certain cultivar names now could be the same plants with different cultivar names several years ago offered by other growers. Unpatented names are renamed and so on… So, it is a gamble that what we call plants is actually what they are. Just think how many species have so many different common names, and even several scientific names… Then there are times when I have brought home unlabeled plants from local greenhouses. Plants that have been given to the owner by others that were given to them and so on… Passalong plants are great!

I have said it many times but I will say it again. I am not a plant expert. I just like growing plants and writing about them hoping to spark interest and maybe help someone along the way. I always try to share links on the plant pages to websites that have been written by those more knowledgeable than me.

 

Gasteria sp./Hybrid at 3 7/8″ tall x 6 1/2″ wide on 10-11-19, #639-35.

I really enjoy this Gasteria sp. (Ox Tongue, Cow Tongue, Lawyers Tongue…). It is only fairly attractive but it is weird. Its leaves are very stiff, almost plastic-like. I still haven’t figured out the species and is quite possibly a hybrid. It is just strange how it showed up at Wal-Mart. The two times I posted for an ID on Succulent Infatuation all I received were “likes” or someone telling me it was a Gasteria. I already knew that! I may be able to get a suggestion from a particular hybridizer… Hmmm… Maybe I should meditate with it in my hands. Whatever its name may be, it has grown. Currently, the two plants together are 3 7/8″ tall by 6 1/2″ wide. They were 2 3/4″ tall x 3 3/4″ wide when I brought them home on March 19, 2018. Wow! That’s 2 3/4″ wider!

I sent a message to Kelly Griffin a few days ago, one of the foremost Aloe hybridizers who just happens to work for Altman Plants. He said, “I don’t see it as a species but it does look a little bicolorish. (I assume by saying “bicolorish” he meant Gasteria bicolor, which is a synonym of G. obliqua). We found pillansii in the wild with this milky leaf color. I would suggest it is a hybrid but certainly, without a flower, it is difficult to determine provenance or even narrow it down. Many growers sell both species and hybrids. It very could well be from our nursery as we supply plants for Wal mart and HD and Lowe’s.”

I also just received approval to become a member of Succulent Dreamers. It is a Facebook group with over 100,000 members. I posted photos of this plant so we’ll see if they have any suggestions. Over 200 people have joined in the past month. If you do join this group or Succulent Infatuation, be prepared to drool…

UPDATE: After several days of posting photos of the above Gasteria, only two “likes” and no comments! Weird with over 100,000 members. Some days there are a lot of new posts and maybe mine was posted on an inactive day. Then it was overrun by new posts. I will repost…

Click HERE to view this plant’s own page…

 

Gasteria ‘Little Warty” at 3 1/2″ tall x 3 1/2″ wide on 10-11-19, #639-34.

The Gasteria ‘Little Warty’ and its kids are doing GREAT. Their leaves are definitely not smooth. The main plant has grown quite a bit since I brought it home from Wildwood Greenhouse in May. It is now 3 1/2″ tall x 3 1/2″ wide. It was only 2″ tall x 2 3/16″ wide! The offsets fell away from the main plant when I repotted it so I put them in their own pot. Together, they have also grown to 1 1/2″ tall x 2 7/8″ wide. I repotted it mainly because the plug wrapping was sticking out above the soil and I wanted to remove the netting. I don’t like it. 🙂 Most commercial growers use plugs to grow their young plants in then greenhouses that buy plugs put them into pots. If I owned a greenhouse I would remove the plug wrapping… From what I have noticed, it is an ordeal for the roots to grow properly. I always remove the wrapping once I know it is there. The roots of some plants grow through the small holes in the wrap with no problem, but others have some difficulty and the roots become very cramped up.

Click HERE to view the Gasteria ‘Little Warty’ page. Gasteria ‘Little Warty’ is a cross between Gasteria batesiana x Gasteria ‘Old Man Silver’ from Australian hybridizer David Cumming.

 

x Graptosedum ‘California Sunset on 10-11-19, #639-38.

The x Graptosedum ‘California Sunset’ is doing very well. Much better since I have found a proper name for it. My plant collecting friend from Mississippi, Walley, sent me a rooted stem in July 2018. It was pretty tall and the top part broke off. The leaves were green at the time he sent them, but with more light their colors came out. Eventually, I took leaf cuttings and left them on the back porch in full sun. They grew nicely and they have turned into a great looking pot of plants. One they looked like this I was able to find a positive ID. Well, I posted the photo on a Facebook group and several agreed x Graptosedum ‘California Sunset’ was the name. I checked Google Images and it looks good to me. That may not have been its original name, but that is what it is now. 🙂 You can look at photos of many x Graptosedum cultivars and they basically look the same. I don’t have a page for this plant yet…

Walley is an avid plant collector and travels to plant shows and many nurseries buying plants every year. His yard is incredible! Walley is an older gentleman whose wife passed away a while back. Then he started dating… I believe he may have found the right one because they have been spending a lot of time together and traveling for several months. So, I don’t know what his yard looks like now since he had other interests. I haven’t talked to him for a while, but I see his posts on Facebook. He is having a good time and that is very important. 🙂

 

Gymnocalycium saglionis (Giant Chin Cactus) at 2 3/4″ tall x 2 7/8″ wide on 10-11-19, #639-39.

I really like the Gymnocalycium saglionis (Giant Chin Cactus). How can you not like a plant that looks like this?  It is possibly the subspecies Gymnocalycium saglionis subsp. tilcarense described on Llifle. Plants of the World Online, however, says the subspecies is now a synonym of the species. I still don’t get it. I think maybe the botanists (and many others) that are trying to straighten out the multiple scientific name issue haven’t gotten around to approving many of the infraspecific names. I am sure there is a logical explanation. They were already approved at one point. I turned around and started telling Jade (the cat laying on my bed) my opinion. She looked at me like I was going to say something brilliant then laid her head back down and ave a big sigh. Hmmm… Not even the cat cares what I think about it. 🙂

ANYWAY! This AWESOME cactus now measures 2 3/4″ tall x 2 7/8″ wide. Of course, you can see that in the caption. Hmmm… I guess I need to say those were its measurements on October 11 since it is already November 13. How many more days will go by before I get this post finished?

This plant DOES have its own page which you can view by clicking HERE… There are more photos.

 

Haworthiopsis limifolia at 3 1/2″ tall x 3 1/8″ wide on 10-11-19, #639-42.

The Haworthiopsis limifolia (Fairy Washboard, File Leafed Haworthia) is looking very interesting as always. It measured 3 1/2″ tall x 3 1/8″ wide on October 11 and measured 2 3/8” tall x 3” when I brought it home from Wildwood Greenhouse in May. It is a really neat looking plant with the raised ridges on its leaves. Llifle lists several varieties of this plant but there are none listed on POWO. I have not repotted this plant since I brought it home because it was in a large enough pot already. I think it was probably bought as a plug then repotted at Wildwood… SOOOO, I should have checked to see if its roots are bound up inside a net. Hmmm… I didn’t think about it until I updated ‘Little Warty’s’ page…

You can view the Haworthiopsis limifolia page by clicking HERE.

 

Huernia schneideriana (Dragon Flower, Carrion Plant) on 10-11-19, #639-43.

Hmmm… To say the Huernia schneideriana (Dragon flower, Carrion Plant) has been growing would be an understatement. I kept it on an old milk crate along the wall on the front porch because it doesn’t like to much sun and it must like it because…

 

Huernia schneideriana (Dragon Flower, Carrion Plant) on 10-11-19, #639-44.

It is LOADED with flowers!

 

Huernia schneideriana (Dragon Flower, Carrion Plant) on 10-11-19, #639-45.

The flowers usually grow from the lower parts of the stem but…

 

Huernia schneideriana (Dragon Flower, Carrion Plant) on 10-11-19, #639-46.

These appear to be growing on the outside of the pot. That is because they are growing from a branch… The flowers are supposed to smell really bad which is where one of the common names comes from. They are so small who could tell.

I have had this particular plant since 2015 To view its own page click HERE. The page may not be updated with current photos.

Hopefully, someday the Stapelia gigantea will flower as much as the Huernia. Their flowers are HUGE so they might stick up the house.

That’s it for the third update! I still have two more which will be a little weird… I repotted a few cactus and succulents so it kind of screwed up the October updates. Hmmm… This is November. 🙂 I suppose I can continue with the updates and pretend I didn’t do the repotting yet. LOL!

Until next time, be safe and stay positive. Keep warm or cool depending on where you are.

 

 

Ummm… Another “S”!

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you all well! I woke up this morning and “you know what” was going on outside! Second time so far this “winter”. When I was a kid we would get “S” before January 1, but then for many years it rarely ever did that and sometimes not until March. I prefer it to do this while I am in bed and be gone by the time I get up. I am not a fan of cold temperatures and would do very well in a tropical or subtropical climate. Growing a garden 12 months a year and not having to bring plants inside for the winter would be great. I know there would be other weather challenges but it wouldn’t involve snow and ice. Just thinking about all the Aroids I can grow gives me goosebumps. Well, maybe the goosebumps are from just coming in from outside.

The above photo was taken at 1:19 in the afternoon and it was snowing every time I looked outside until 3:20. It had stopped.

 

The only time this thermometer is close to correct is during the winter. It was 21° F when this photo was taken and at 3:30 in the afternoon the internet says it is STILL the same temperature. Every time I look at the weather forecast it gets worse. Now the National Weather Service says it “may” get down to 9° F during the night. I checked other websites to check if there is a more agreeable forecast and they all say about the same thing…

I did cover the Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles” before I went to bed last night…

 

A few of the cats like the box on the back porch, but the rest don’t seem to like crowded conditions and usually go to the barn. There are probably three cats in this box and it is weird the darker yellow and white fuzzy cat is here. Normally he stays in the barn when it is cold. He has been tamer the last few months for some reason but I still can’t pet him. His brother, the one you can’t see, is just the opposite. If you touch him he won’t leave you alone. The one mom and dad called The Barn Cat and Susie are no doubt in the barn. The two kittens are snuggled under a table on a bag of potting soil. I would let them in but they find too many things to play with. The younger one doesn’t use the litter box either. Simba wants in but I think that would be unfair to let him in when the others are outside. Of course, Jade is sleeping on my bed. Hmmm…

 

The plants in my bedroom seem to be adapting to being inside so far. The Alocasia gageana would prefer the front porch but she is not objecting since she can see the “S”. There are five pots of Alocasia gageana but only one has made it to the basement (where they overwinter). The other three are on the dining room table. When I brought the plants inside for the winter I was excited to see the Stapelia gigantea had buds. Unfortunately, it appears they all fell off! They appear to be growing new buds but I’m not 100% sure what it is doing but the flowers will be HUGE. I purchased the cuttings in October 2018 and they grew like crazy all summer. It is the pot on the left side by the window. I noticed a few mealybugs on it a few days ago which I quickly removed. I haven’t had bugs on my plants for MANY years…

 

The Tradescantia ‘Pale Puma’ looks amazing! Most of the other Tradescantia are in the other front bedroom with the Begonias and Oxalis. I am not sure if the ‘Pale Puma’ will continue to look good or if it will stretch. Time will tell.

 

I didn’t get a good photo of the plants in the kitchen windowsill because of the light from outside. The Schlumbergera truncata (Holiday Cactus, False Christmas Cactus, etc.) has a few buds again. It tried last year but the buds fell off because I didn’t give it enough water. This year it is in the kitchen windowsill so I can keep an eye on it. I tried getting a photo of its buds but it would cooperate. The only good photo didn’t seem appropriate… OH, what the heck…

 

ANYWAY………….. The flowers will be a peach color. Common names include False Christmas Cactus, Thanksgiving Cactus, Crab Cactus, Zygocactus, Lobster Cactus, Claw Cactus, Holiday Cactus, Linkleaf, Yoke Cactus, Crab’s Claw Cactus, Easter Cactus… After that photo, I can think of a few others.

Interestingly, it is a true cactus species and is in the Cactaceae family to prove it. A native of Brazil and Rio de Janeiro (Serra do Mar and Serra dos Orgãos).

 

I didn’t notice buds on the Mammillaria karwinskiana (Silver Arrows) when I brought the plants inside for the winter because of all the wool. A few days ago I noticed buds peeking through and now they are beginning to open. This is pretty exciting because these are its first flowers.

 

The Mammillaria hahniana (Old Lady Cactus) is loaded with buds and a few flowers. This is nothing new for her as she started flowering in October 2017. Ummm… She also flowered this past July.

 

I need to do some further research about the Zantedeschia species because this one is weird… The other Calla I have is possibly Zantedeschia elliottiana (Golden Calla Lily) (which I have been incorrectly calling Z. aethiopica) because it has spotted leaves and Yellow flowers. It comes up in the spring and is already dormant. It’s label just says “Calla”. This one was given to me by the owner of Wildwood Greenhouse. I mentioned it in several previous posts but I will recap again in case you didn’t see it.  One of several times I was at Wildwood, there were several pots of really terrible looking plants on the floor next to the counter. The owner, I forget his first name, said he had bought seeds of these Calla Lilies and planted them “outside” (the year before if I am not mistaken) and they came up. He put them in pots and they just kind of always looked terrible. Kind of limp and lifeless. He gave me a pot on Jue 13 to see if I would have any luck with it. I didn’t do anything with it for a week or so and it continued looking weird. Just kind of limp and non-energetic although it continued to live. So, I decided to take it out of the pot, shake off all the old soil and put it fresh Miracle Grow Potting Soil. It still did nothing. I moved it to the front porch and then one day in August when I was watering I saw its leaves were standing up! It was like it was a completely different plant. When I brought the plants inside on October 11, it was just amazing so I put it in my bedroom in front of the window. Apparently, it didn’t like it and the older leaves began to die. SO, I took it to the kitchen and trimmed off the dead leaves… Now, what in the heck is going on with this plant? Why didn’t it go dormant like the other Calla? This particular species is likely Zantedeschia aethiopica, but again, I am not 100% sure. The owner of Wildwood didn’t know either. I do know I will need to dig it up at some point and make sure the bulbs, if it has any, are sticking out of the soil. Anyway, when you plant dormant Calla bulbs, you need to make sure they are sticking out of the soil… Well, some websites say to plant six inches deep BUT don’t do that! The other one didn’t flower until I left the bulbs, or rhizomes, or whatever you call them sticking out of the soil about halfway. Hmmm… But these plants aren’t dormant… Am I supposed to force them to go dormant? I don’t know yet. For now, I will just let them grow and see what happens…

What else? Oh yeah, I almost forgot…

 

The Callisia repens (Bolivian Jew) is doing great although there are a lot of dead leaves. It was like that when I brought it inside. At some point, I have to work it over, give it a hair cut, remove the dead leaves, or something. This plant is incorrectly labeled Callisia nutans with a photo of Callisia repens. So, if you happen to have one of these labeled Callisia nutans, you know that is the wrong name. The Bolivian Jew is Callisia repens… 🙂

The succulents and a few more cactus in the back bedroom are doing great but I couldn’t get a good photo.

That’s it for this post. I should have finished it earlier because it will be the 12th and the day after the first “S” before you know it. HOPEFULLY, the cactus and succulent update #3 will be ready soon! It is almost finished… It was almost finished three days ago.

Currently, at 10:35 PM, it is 18° F and falling…

Until next time, be safe and stay positive.

 

 

Walking through fire — talltalesfromchiconia

Hello everyone! I wanted to share this post from Kate about the fires burning in Australia. I know in the US we don’t always know what is going on in other parts of the world. I don’t even watch the news. Keep the residents of Australia in your thoughts and prayers.

“The difference between a good life and a bad life is how well you walk through the fire.” Carl Jung Sometimes, it is only in the fire that a person’s qualities become apparent. We’re seeing a lot of that right now. The east coast of Australia is largely ablaze. Communities are being razed to smoking […]

via Walking through fire — talltalesfromchiconia

Eight On Saturday-OOPS!

Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles’ (Jerusalem Sage) on 11-9-19, #647-11.

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you all well. This afternoon was very nice and the temp was in the 50’s. Seeing a few Six on Saturday posts this morning inspired me so I went outside to take a few photos. Well, I am a newbie because I don’t think I have ever made a Six on Saturday post. How do you do only six?

#1 is the Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles’. I bought this plant from a seller on Ebay in 2013 for its interesting flowers. It is very borderline hardy here I think so every fall when we have an “F” in the forecast I cover it up with a big flower pot. I did that again when we had the first “F”. Then I oddly forgot about it after that. From 2013 until now I protected this plant to the point of insanity. When it would get cold, I covered it at night until I finally had to keep it covered. We have had several “F’s” and temps have been in the low 20’s. A few days ago I was coming out of the barn and looked toward the corner bed. I thought, “HOLY S—T! I FORGOT ABOUT THE PHLOMIS!” Here it is alive and well while most everything around it is dead.

This is the third location for this plant. It first in the middle of the south bed then I moved it to the southwest corner bed. Then, I planted the Baptisia there and it took up so much room it shaded the Phlomis. My first idea was to move the Baptisia to the southeast corner but it wouldn’t budge. So, I told the Phlomis I was sorry but I had to him again. I suppose it is a “he” since its name is Edward. I dug him up and he wasn’t too thrilled about the whole ordeal… Normally, he gets fairly tall and his leaves get very impressive. This summer, he didn’t grow as well and the leaves didn’t get as large. He did adapt and get over the move and now he is showing off! I now have a sticky note stuck to the computer that says “REMEMBER THE PHLOMIS.”

 

Allium ampeloprasum var. ampeloprasum (Elephant Garlic) on 11-9-19, #647-1.

#2-The Allium ampeloprasum var. ampeloprasum (Elephant Garlic) are all alive and growing well. They are pictured above in the southeast corner bed but they are scattered all through the south bed ad well. I usually dig a few of their bulbs to use in cooking. They produce a lot of bulbils which make single bulbs the following year then bigger bulbs with cloves the next year. They have amazing flower heads which I think are a good substitute for the more expensive Allium species an cultivars. At some point, I guess I should lose the “var. ampeloprasum” part of the name because it isn’t legit now. I never understood how a variety could be the same name as the species anyway…

 

Buddleja ‘White Profusion’ on 11-9-19, #647-2.

#3 is the Buddleja ‘White Profusion’. The Butterfly Bush thrived on neglect this past summer. Basically, the entire south bed went wild which is why I haven’t taken many photos of it. 🙂 I have no idea what that is growing to the left and only noticed it after I looked at the photo. GEEZ! I normally keep this bush deadheaded so it will look tidy and keep it flowering well but I think I only did it once this past summer. It will continue to have green leaves until it gets REALLY cold. One year it stayed green all winter and grew HUGE the following summer. When I bought this plant in 2013 it was only supposed to grow around 4′ tall. Labeling has changed since then because this bush gets MUCH taller than 4’… Hmmm… I bought it and put it here because it was supposed to be a smaller cultivar. Even so, I really like this cultivar and it attracts an abundance of butterflies, hummingbirds, and hummingbird moths.

 

Celosia argentea ver spicata ‘Cramer’s Amazon’ on 11-9-19, #647-4.

#4Celosia argentea var. spicata ‘Cramer’s Amazon’. Well, what can I say? They came up, they grew, they flowered, and now they are dead. Don’t let that fool you because each inflorescence is FILLED with seed than has fallen out, or will fall out, that will come up next spring. DOUBLE GEEZ! Still, they remain my favorite Celosia because of their maroon and green bi-colored leaves and they grow so tall. They make great plants to cover up the wall and are a good background for the plants in the front of the bed. That is until they branch out and try to cover them up, too. We manage, though…

 

Nandina domestica (Heavenly Bamboo) on 11-9-19, #647-10.

#5Nandina domestica (Heavenly Bamboo). Every time I post about the Nandina I mention it is my favorite shrub and that I brought it with me from Mississippi. While it doesn’t grow as well here as in Mississippi, it is hanging in there which I am very thankful for. Some bird species like the berries, especially the Titmouse, as they migrate through here. I only see a few Titmouse here but they came by the hundreds in Mississippi. I always liked using the leaves of the Heavenly Bamboo in flower arrangements instead of fern and palm leaves. The Nandina is a great all-around shrub in my opinion. I know in some areas they can be a bit invasive, which is why there were so many at the mansion. A few more here would be a good thing…

 

Cannas on 11-9-19, #647-3.

#6The Cannas… All I can say is they had a pretty good summer. Despite the Japanese Beetles shredding their leaves they still put on an impressive show and grew to their normal 8-12′. Now I have to cut them down and mulch the bed with leaves. Works very good since they aren’t supposed to be cold hardy here. I can’t imagine digging all the rhizomes, storing them for the winter in the basement and planting them again in the spring…

 

Cylindropuntia imbricata (Tree Cholla) on 11-9-19, #647-5.

#7Cylindropuntia imbricata (Tree Cholla). When I took this photo it asked me where I had been? I had no good answer and I really didn’t want to make excuses. This planter, which came from an old coal furnace, is where the Tree Cholla, Sempervivum ‘Killer” and Sedum kamtschaticum var. variegata are all growing. The Semp did poorly this year after it went banananananas last year. It flowered then mostly died (which it is supposed to do). The offsets are doing only so so, which may or may not be normal. The Sedum kamtschaticum var. variegata looked better than ever this spring and flowered like never before then it just went to crap. I had to pull a little grass to take this photo and noticed the Sedum spurium ‘John Creech’ has infiltrated the planter. I think that is why the Tree Cholla was wondering where I had been because it knows that is not allowed. Oddly, I did manage to remove the grass without getting stuck. I think that was a first. As always, though, the Cylindropuntia imbricata is doing well and has grown a lot more this past summer. It agrees with me and is ready for spring already.

I took a walk to the back of the farm with one thing on my mind…

 

Diospyros virginiana (Persimmon) on 11-9-19, #647-6.

#8Diospyros virginiana (Persimmon). In my opinion, the most important thing about Fall here is the Persimmons. I visit this tree as often as I can this time of the year because of the delicious fruit. Deer, turkeys, raccoons, and opossum also eat the fruit so it is usually not easy finding them on the ground.

 

This tree was LOADED with fruit but most have fallen off. Even the lower limbs are too high to reach so I have to throw a stick to see if I can get some of the fruit to fall off.

 

OOOPS! The stick got stuck…

 

I only managed to knock three down, but that is OK. Tomorrow is another day. Even if I don’t come back for more, eating only a few is worth the wait. While it is true a “F” does seem to speed up the ripening process, if we have a late “F” the fruit ripens anyway.

On the way back to the house I was wondering if I had taken enough photos for a Six on Saturday Post. As it turned out, I took photos of eight “plants” so I kind of screwed up. I suppose I could have left out a couple, but the plants behind me in the bedroom couldn’t decide which two to leave out… They reminded me there are six of them for next Saturday… It sounds like a plot to me. 🙂

Well, that’s all I have to say except I am still working on the Cactus and Succulent Update #3.

Until next time, stay well, be safe, stay positive, and always be thankful. Thanks for reading and thanks for your comments in advance.

How to Make Elderberry Syrup for Immune Health — Good Witches Homestead

I read the post and watched the video. I use Elderberry capsules all winter and have always wondered about making my own remedies. This blog is GREAT! So, I reblogged to share it with you.

Each year as winter approaches, I reliably find my patients asking me about the best herbal remedies to use during the cold weather months. One of the most common questions I encounter is, “What nutritional preparations can I use to help keep my family strong and healthy throughout the sniffle season?”. There’s a wide array […]

via How to Make Elderberry Syrup for Immune Health — Good Witches Homestead

Cactus & Succulent Update Part 2

Plants mentioned in Cactus and Succulent Update Part 2 on 10-26-19, #645-1. On the railing, from left to right, Cereus forbesii f. monstrose ‘Ming Thing’, Cereus repandus f. monstruosus ‘Rojo’, and Cereus hildmannianus subsp. uruguayanus. The large pot in the center is Echinopsis huascha (var. grandiflora ?). Plants to the left of the big pot are Cotyledon orbiculata ‘Silver Storm'(rear) and Echinopsis ‘Rainbow Bursts’. To the right of the big pot are Crassula tetragona (rear) and Crassula ovata ‘Gollum’. In front are the twin Echinocactus grusonii (var. albispinus ?), Echinopsis mirabilis (small pot), and Echinopsis huascha (var. grandiflora ?) on the right.

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you well. This is part 2 of the cactus and succulent update. After the light “F” we had during the night on October 11, it warmed up again. The plants were giving me crazy looks and probably talking behind my back. I know this because they would get very quiet when I walked in the room and start looking at each other. They had that guilty look… Then sometimes they would be staring out the window with a bit of drool funning down their chin, or a tear in their eyes. ENOUGH WAS ENOUGH, so I put them back outside for a few days. This time, the temps were chilly, it was cloudy and the wind blew every day. I was going to make sure they were ready to come inside and knew “W” was on the way. Even though another “F” wasn’t isn’t in the forecast for a few days, the temperature was going to get below 40 on Thursday night (by morning), so I brought them back inside. This time, they were ready and thankful.

I am continually updating, so if you click on their pages they may or may not be updated with these current photos.

Here we go…

 

Cereus forbesii f. monstrose ‘Ming Thing’ at 2 1/4″ tall x 3 1/2″wide on 10-11-19, #639-13.

The last Cereus forbesii f. monstrose ‘Ming Thing‘ I bought from Wal-Mart in February 2016 is definitely taking its time growing. I suppose that is petty normal when it started out so small in the first place. It has only grown 1/4″ taller since I brought it home and is now at 2 1/4″. The width is the same at 3 1/2″. It is scarred for life from the crickets in 2016… It has no good side… Maybe the crickets stunted its growth. My complete history with Cereus forbesii f. monstrose ‘Ming Thing’ from 2009 to present can be seen by clicking HERE.

 

Cereus hildmannianus subsp. uruguayanus (Fairy Castles) at 6 1/2″ tall x 4 1/2″ wide on 6-11-19, #639-14.

The Cereus hildmannianus subsp. uruguayanus (Fairy Castles) is one of very few cactus companions I have whose name has not changed or isn’t controversial. I write that while laughing because there are 27 synonyms associated with this species. At least it hasn’t changed since I brought it home from Wal-Mart in January 2016. This subspecies is also an accepted name because it pretty much only grows in Uruguay (Syn. Cereus uruguayanus). Growing this plant has definitely been an interesting experience from the start. It looked pretty good when I brought it home but it was sopping wet. Then it was nibbled on by crickets in 2016. It turned pale instead of remaining nice and green and I thought it would die. Well, it didn’t die and many of the offsets are almost as tall as the original main stem. Any new offsets don’t seem to be coming from around the plant but within it. Damaged stems produce new growth that sometimes falls off. Since it seemed to sunburn even in light shade, I tried growing it in more shade to see if the color would get better. Well, that didn’t help. So, this year I kept it in full sun on the back porch. Nothing changed one way or the other. It still looks rather odd to me and it is definitely not a showstopper (unless you are a cricket). On the back porch, which is actually a deck 4′ above the ground, there are no cricket issues… I always measure the cactus from soil level to the top of the plant. This one shrunk because the top of the oldest and tallest trunk was damaged and the new growth fell off. Last October it was 7 1/4″ tall and now it is 6 1/2″ tall. It is still the same width as last year at 4 1/2″.

You can view this plant’s own page by clicking HERE

 

Cereus repandus f. monstruosus ‘Rojo’ at 8″ tall x 3 3/4″ wide on 10-11-19, #639-15.

The Cereus repandus f. monstruosus ‘Rojo’ hasn’t been fooling around! It was 5 1/2″ tall x 3 3/8″ wide when I brought it home from Wal-Mart in March 2018. It had grown to 6 7/8″ tall x 3 3/4″ wide by the time I brought the plants inside in October. Now it measures 8″ tall but it is still 3 3/4″ wide. I bought my first Cereus repandus f. monstruosus ‘Ming Thing’ in 2010 when I lived in Mississippi and it didn’t look anything like this one. As with all monstrose forms in any species, no two are alike. 

 

Cereus repandus f. monstruosus ‘Rojo’ from the top on 10-11-19, #639-16.

I really like this plant’s growth habit and reddish-brown spines. It is interesting anywhere you look at it.

If you have or encounter a cactus that says Cereus peruvianus f. monstrose ‘Rojo’, it is the same. Cereus peruvianus has been a synonym of Cereus repandus for quite a while but the industry is still using the same old name. The infraspecific name is not an accepted scientific name. Monstruosus forms appear in nature as well as cultivation.

To view this plant’s own page, click HERE

 

Cotyledon orbiculata ‘Silver Storm’ on 10-26-19, #645-2.

“I saw her before with her silvery glow, tempting me to bring her home. Not just for the evening, but for much longer, maybe a lifetime. Maybe not mine. For I knew parasites may soon come and take her away… So, I hesitated, then went home without her. She haunted me from far away until I returned and gave in. Now she is here with me, her flesh now loaded with brown scale.”

Ummm… While most of the plants are doing well, the Cotyledon orbiculata ‘Silver Storm’ (Pig’s Ear, etc.) is not. For those of you who may have a Cotyledon orbiculata ‘Silver Storm’ that is healthy and growing well, I congratulate you! When I first saw several of these at Wagler’s Greenhouse in 2017, they were AWESOME. Every year they have a few and they have big, beautiful, silver leaves are so amazing. However, although I haven’t asked, I think they purchase them every year. Commercial growers sell to retailers that are unaware of what lurks yet to be seen. The problem is, local greenhouses have a clientele that come often and soon learn to avoid certain plants.  After a few years, they can’t sell certain plants unless they sell them to new customers. This plant, in particular, can lead to frustration because of what happens next. Being very prone to brown scale, and likely invisible when buying, they soon develop these brown spots and the plant starts ailing.

 

Cotyledon orbiculata ‘Silver Storm’ with a big problem…

I have had only a few plants that have had issues with brown scale. One was the HUGE Crassula ovata (Jade Plant) that always has a few brown scale that I could easily remove with my fingernail. They never became an issue. Then there was the Crassula arborescens ssp. undulatifolia (Ripple Jade Plant) that I brought home from Pleasant Acres Nursery while living in Leland, Mississippi. It looked great when I brought it home, but soon the brown scale started appearing in greater numbers I could remove with my fingernail. I treated the plant with Garden Safe Fungicide 3 (fungicide, insecticide, miticide) which is OMRI listed. I went to the nursery and the plants she had were completely infested as well and MUCH WORSE than mine. The spray helped a lot but the plant was never the same. I brought the plant with me when I moved back here and after a while I ran out of spray. I went to the local hardware store and found a similar product but it wasn’t OMRI listed and smelled of alcohol. It killed the plant within a few days.

To me, I don’t even think the Cotyledon has brown scale. It is something else. I posted the photos on the group Succulent Infatuation on Facebook to see if I can get some answers. I hate to discard this plant because it wants to survive. Last fall I was tempted to leave it outside, but my conscious wouldn’t allow it. Last August I have it a good trim and took several cuttings. Once it regrew the same issues came back as well. I was busy over the summer and somehow I don’t remember what happened with the cuttings.

I hadn’t taken photos of this plant for A LONG TIME because I was wither embarrassed or ashamed. Not sure which… So much for my “green thumb” status. LOL!

To view the Cotyledon orbiculata ‘Silver Storm’ page click HERE. You can see what it looked like when I first brought it home.

 

Crassula ovata ‘Gollum’ at 7 1/2″ tall x 9 1/4″ wide on 10-11-19, #639-20.

I brought this Crassula ovata ‘Gollum’ (Jade Plant ‘Gollum’) home from the Kuntry Bulk Grocery (one of the local Amish stores) last May. It was unlabeled and I originally thought it was a Crassula ovata ‘Ladyfingers’ like the one I had previously. The more it grew the more “Gollamy” it appeared. I like rolled-up leaves and tree-like growth habit. Somehow I didn’t measure this plant when I brought it home, but it is currently 7 1/2″ tall x 9 1/4″ wide.

Click HERE to view the page for the Crassula ovata ‘Ladyfingers’. Hmmm… I put the photos of the current plant on this page because I thought it was ‘Ladyfingers’ at first. I suppose I either need to change the name of the title or add a separate page for this plant.

 

Crassula tetragona (Miniature Pine Tree) at 16 1/2″ tall on 10-28-19, #645-4..

Hmmm… I forgot to take photos of this plant on October 11 and didn’t realize it until I went to write about it. There were no photos! The Crassula tetragona, Miniature Pine Tree, has changed quite a lot since I brought it home from Wagler’s Greenhouse last September. For one, it has grown from 11 1/4″ tall to 16 1/2″ tall. It lost A LOT of leaves while it was inside last winter making me wonder if it needs a little more water than other Crassula species over the winter. In their native South African habitat, this species grows in both areas with summer rainfall and areas with winter rainfall. I put the Crassula tetragona on the back porch for the summer with the cactus and it did very well. It was first on the north side of the porch, but as the cats jumped from the raining to the table they kept knocking off the tops of the stems. So, I moved it to the potting table on the south side of the porch.

 

Crassula tetragona (Miniature Pine Tree) on 10-26-19, #645-5.

Even though the leaves are now concentrated to the top of the plant, I think it looks pretty neat.

 

Crassula tetragona (Miniature Pine Tree) on 10-26-19, #645-5.

Every time I found a broken stem I put them in the pot. Soon there will be a forest in the pot.

According to information online, the Crassula tetragona is reliably cold hardy down to 28° F or even colder for short periods. They are also popular as bonsai candidates.

Click HERE to view the page for the Crassula tetragona page.

 

Echinocactus grusonii (var. albispinus ?) on 10-11-19, #639-21.

The twin Echinocactus grusonii (var. albispinus ?), commonly known as the Golden Barrel Cactus, are both doing quite well. As always, they are the comedians of my cactus companions. I had named them Greater and Lesser because one is a little taller and narrower than the other. Greater is taller and narrower while Lessor is a little shorter but wider. They always try to confuse me when I am measuring them. Occasionally, Lessor will stand on its toes and Greater will puff out its stomach. Their long thorns don’t make it any easier. Since last October, Greater has grown from 2 7/8″ tall x 2 1/2″ wide to 3″ tall x 2 3/4″ wide. It was 2 1/2″ tall x 2″ wide when I brought it home from Wal-Mart in February 2016. Lessor has grown from 2 1/2″ tall x 2 3/4″ wide last October to 2 7/8″ tall x 3″ wide. It was 2 1/8″ tall x 2 1/4″ wide when I brought it home the same day as Greater. Those measurements are without the spines…

To view Greater and Lesser’s own page click HERE.

 

Echinopsis ‘Rainbow Bursts’ at 3 3/8″ tall x 6″ wide on 10-11-19, #639-22.

The Echinopsis ‘Rainbow Bursts’ (Syn. x Echinobivia ‘Rainbow Bursts’) has grown A LOT this past summer and so have its kids! The parent is now 3 3/8 ” tall and the whole cluster is 6″ wide. That is 3/8″ taller and 1″ wider than last October. The real change has been the size size of the offsets which you don’t notice by measuring the whole cluster. It was only 2 1/4” T x 3 1/2” W when I brought it home from Wal-Mart in February 2016.

Echinopsis ‘Rainbow Bursts’ was an intergeneric hybrid between Echinopsis and Lobivia species (or cultivars). That was until Lobivia became a synonym of Echinopsis. Actually, species of Lobivia were moved to several different genera. They are known for their AWESOME flowers and I am STILL waiting…

Click HERE to view the Echinopsis ‘Rainbow Bursts’ page.

 

Echinopsis huascha (var. grandiflora) at 3 1/2” tall x 2 1/2” wide on 10-11-19, #639-23.

ALL of the Echinopsis huascha (var. grandiflora) are doing very well. Common names include Red Torch Cactus and Desert’s Blooming Jewel. Hard to imagine, but this plant, according to Plants of the World Online, has 42 synonyms and has been in 8 different genera!

 

Echinopsis huascha (var. grandiflora) on 10-11-19, #639-24.

Ummm… How did I wind up with this many Echinopsis huascha (var. grandiflora)? Well, I wrote about this before, but I will do it again. I was at Lowe’s looking at cactus on September 12 last year and noticed several cactus on a rack I didn’t have. One of those plants was the one pictured above the above photo. When I was walking around the garden center, I spotted a bigger pot with a very large dead cactus in the middle surrounded by 6 offsets. The pot was on clearance for $5.00 and I figured I could repot them. SO, I put the pot in the cart. When I got home I started taking photos, writing the names down and measuring the new companions. Hmmm… I brought home several plants that day… Anyway, I kind of slipped (AGAIN) and wound up with two pots labeled Trichocereus grandiflorus Hybrids. As it turns out, Trichocereus grandiflorus is a synonym of Echinopsis huascha which looks more like photos of the variety Echinopsis huascha var. grandiflora. Well, the later infraspecific is neither approved or listed as a synonym… Anyway, that’s how I came up with seven of these plants. 🙂 I am waiting for their AWESOME flowers!

When I brought home these plants, the one in the pot by itself measured 3″ tall x 2″ wide. It now measures 3 1/2″ tall x 2 1/2″ wide. The largest plant in the center of the pot of six now measures 4 3/4” tall x 3 1/8” wide. It was 3″ tall x 2 3/4″ wide when I brought them home.

Click HERE to view the Echinopsis huascha var. grandiflora page.

 

LAST ON THE POST

BUT CERTAINLY NOT THE LEAST!

Echinopsis mirabilis (Flower of Prayer) at 3 1/2″ tall on 10-11-19, #639-25.

I have and have had some of the neatest plant companions and will certainly have more to come. I have identified more wildflowers this past summer and some have been really neat. I may never see another pink-flowered Achillea millefolium in nature like I did this past summer. Even so, I would have to say the highlight of this past summer was when the Echinopsis mirabilis started flowering.

Watching and waiting for the bud to open when the flowers only last one night is is quite an ordeal. Especially when I missed the first one. I saw the second and then missed the third. Then the fourth was the day after the third which I did photograph as well. The flowers are AWESOME and worth the anticipation. Like my cousins Cereus, they are night bloomers…

Even though it looks like the plant hasn’t grown to me, it has. When I brought it home, it measured 2 5/8″ tall x 1 1/8″ wide. It now measures 3 1/2″ tall. It needs a new pot…

To view this plant’s own page with the flowers, click HERE!

Now I am finished with part 2. Part 3 and 4, maybe 5 or 6, are coming up. 🙂

I hope you enjoyed this update as much as I enjoy sharing it. Until next time, be safe and stay positive. Make a comment or click like if you can because I really enjoy hearing from you.

Weird WordPress Mystery Solved…

My site showing not logged in… No black bar across the top and the follow button at the bottom right-hand corner.

Hello everyone! Yesterday I went through every blog I follow and clicked “visit site” on each of them to see what would happen. I had gone to system preferences and removed all website data then restarted the computer. Before i did that, I had somehow managed to log in to my blog’s site instead of just on my dashboard. I hope this makes sense because I am almost confusing myself trying to explain. 🙂 Anyway, after I did that and signed back in I could not log back into my site. You know, when you go to your site, the back bar across the top says

Out of 144 blogs, 64 said “following, 64 said “follow” and 10 didn’t give an option. I tried signing in a multitude of times and nothing changed.

What was really weird is that the blog was still behaving normally on the old iMac. The black bar appeared across the top as always. I could get on the reader and when I went to the website of followed blogs that say “follow”, I could click on follow and it then changed to “follow”. That is still a bit odd that blogs I am following already would say “follow”. Once I clicked “follow” it said that their posts would appear in my reader. Hmmm… They are already appearing in my reader otherwise I would have clicked on the site in the first place. Anyway, at least it worked.

Hmmm… Maybe I lost you somewhere. The old iMac is a 2007 model that I bought in 2013. The hard drive needed to be replaced about every year so last year I decided to get a newer model. The new one is a 2013 model with many updated features, bigger screen, and so on. I had reached the point where the old one couldn’t be updated any further. The newer one actually cost me less than the old one did six years ago.

I had compared the setting from one computer to another to make sure they were the same.

Today I contacted WordPress customer support about the ongoing issue because the last guy had no clue. This time I got results…

The rep asked if I was using Safari and I told him I was. He said sometimes different versions of Safari work differently. He suggested I go to Systems Preference and click on “privacy”. He asked if the “prevent cross-site tracking” was checked. I told him yes. He said to uncheck then quit Safari and let him know if it worked.

Hmmm… I thought “prevent cross-site tracking” was a good thing but I did as he suggested then quit Safari…

 

When I got back on, it worked fine… The back bar appeared across the top like magic. But, just as an experiment, I got back on Sytems Preference and checked the box again. I quit Safari and then reopened it. I got on my blog and it said the same thing as before… So, I unchecked the box again, quit Safari and got back on… It worked AGAIN!

Now, who would think having the “prevent cross-tracking” would be a good thing on one version of Safari and not the other?

Now, when I go to the reader and click “visit site”, the blogs I am following that says “follow” change to “following” when I click to follow just like with the old computer. Huh? So, if you get a notification that says I just followed your blog when I have already been following, you will know why. It’s just weird to me that a blog I am following says “follow” when I am already following. No, I don’t have OCD nor do I want to know what that even means. A friend in Mississippi would always tell me I had OCD when I straightened pictures on the wall. Well, the mansion would shake when someone hit the chug hole on the street and the pictures would get crooked as a result. It had nothing to with always looking at the crooked window at the new house across the street when I went out the door. I just notice things that are a little off.

For the past several weeks, I have been getting a notification to upgrade from macOS Mojave to Catalina… I have been hesitant but I am wondering. I hate making changes sometimes when what I am using works fine.

Well, I feel much better now and I can go happily about working on the blog as before. If you have an issue with WordPress that bugs you, don’t hesitate to contact support. I am certainly not a computer expert and sometimes I need some help. I must say, though, I have had very few issues since I started using an iMac in 2013.

Now back to working on the cactus and succulent updates… Until next time, be safe and stay positive!