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.



23 comments on “Ummm… Another “S”!

  1. skyeent says:

    Seems like the cold has come early both sides of the atlantic. We haven’t had S proper, but it was definitely sleetly showers here yesterday. Lovely cacti! I have read that the flowers will fall off the christmas cactus if you move them once the buds have formed. They are sensitive to light direction (as well as day length). Mine has opened a couple of flowers (lurid pink!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Nancy! This morning is bright and sunny but still only 14°F. I won’t be moving the Christmas Cactus and I will keep it properly hydrate this time around. I had one in Mississippi that was pink but I gave it away when I moved. One of the local greenhouses had several colors to choose from last year so I brought home a peach. I have enough pink in my life. 🙂 I was disappointed the Stapelia gigantea buds fell off. Keep warm and thanks for the comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. debbie lansdown says:

    Lovely silver arrow flowers! Can’t believe you have snow ! I’m jealous

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Masha says:

    That’s way too cold for me. I love living in a year round warm climate although we do get cold days like today, it was 37 degrees when I went out this morning, and I’m happy I can wear a sweater. I’m grateful that these very cold days do not last. Your cacti plants look great, love the pink flowers. I really like all of them, you take such good care of them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Masha! It’s too cold for me, too. A warm climate year round would be great! Many people actually like it, though. All of the plants are doing well and as long as they can see the snow through the window they don’t complain about being inside. Take care and thanks for the comment!


  4. And I thought it was cold here. Keep warm

    Liked by 1 person

  5. We also had several inches of snow and I shoveled the driveway for the first time this season. I have a feeling it’s going to be a long, cold winter.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. […] is another fairly wooly cactus companion. It seems a little strange posting this photo since I posted a later photo of it with flowers already. Right now it has 11 buds and flowers. OK, I will go take a photo right now and show […]


  7. tonytomeo says:

    That calla really does seem to be Zantedeschia aethiopica. It is naturalized in a few spots here (although it is rather docile). It used to be grown as a cut flower crop on the coast of San Mateo County. It does not like to be too sheltered. Even out in the garden, it will flop onto the ground if too shaded.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Tony! I think it is C. aethiopica, too. I had the “other” Calla on the back porch all summer in full sun and it did great. I put this one on the front porch because it remained “iffy” on the back porch. Not long afterward it perked up. It still hasn’t gone dormant like the other one. Thanks for the comment!

      Liked by 1 person

      • tonytomeo says:

        Even though I grew up with them, I really don’t know what their dormancy cycle is. I know that I cut them to ground sometimes, but their leaves are still green long after the blooms have shriveled. Before the old leaves die back, new ones are already starting.


        • I did a little research and found that Z. aethiopica grows in both the summer rainfall (winter dormant) and winter rainfall (summer dormant) areas in Africa. They can be either summer dormant, winter dormant, or evergreen. SO, as long as I keep it watered it is likely to keep growing. If so, it should flower in the spring. The Z. elliottiana appears to be a hybrid. Once it stops flowering and the leaves die it is dormant, of course, which happens to depend on when it flowers. Since it flowered in the summer it will be winter dormant. Apparently, its dormancy period can be reversed if grown as a potted plant indoors…

          Liked by 1 person

          • tonytomeo says:

            That sort of describes it. It does tend to bloom in phases, but they are sort of random. Those that are naturalized are probably more in tune with the seasons, and therefore bloom mostly in the spring. There are always quite a bit in time for Easter. Those that get watered bloom in summer too. Large colonies almost always have a few flowers scattered about while the rest are out of bloom, but they don’t look so great in the winter. It is still my favorite calla, and one of my favorite flowers. White happens to be my favorite color. Those that grow wild sporadically on the coast of San Mateo County are descendants of old cut flower crops that can be seen in old Diego Rivera paintings. I always appreciated how Diego Rivera murals documented that cut flowers were an important horticultural and agricultural commodity in the region at the time.

            Liked by 1 person

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