Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you well. Last week was definitely a hot one starting out at 97° F for a couple of days then just 91-93 for the remainder of the week. A few degrees doesn’t make much difference but it is very hard to want to go outside until after 6 PM. The heat and humidity seem so draining and not very motivational. A few times I walked to the shed and then went back to the house. The crabgrass has taken over the yard but who wants to mow? I didn’t get refrigerant added to the AC again because I get along OK with the ceiling fans. Sometimes it is cooler outside than it is in the house, though.
I have been working on this post since I finished the last one and there is still one more about the plants on the front porch. I was going to put the rest on this post but that might take another week to finish. I haven’t been working on the post as much this week because I seem to have gotten stuck re-watching Warehouse 13 as I am eating dinner. One episode led to another even though I watched them before. Now, it seems what I am watching I didn’t see before. Hmmm…
Anyway, as before, most of the photos on this post were taken on August 17. The Huernia schneideriana photos were taken on the 18th because I ran out of time on the 17th. The last photo was taken on the 28th after I whacked the taller Kalanchoe marmorata in half. As before, the plant’s names are clickable and will take you to their own page.
The x Gasteria ‘Flow’ has done very well over the summer even though we had a slight round of mealybugs late last winter. The mealybugs didn’t really affect this plant, they were just on it. It was sprayed a few times, given a bath, then monitored. It, along with a few other plants, was on an isolation table the last half of the winter. The weird thing was that this plant turned orange but its color came back after I moved the plants back outside for the summer. THANK GOODNESS!
The x Gasteraloe ‘Flow’ is a great plant and one of my favorites. I really like its dark color and very rough leaves. I have had no problems with it for the most part and it would make a great plant for a beginner. I brought it home on October 17 in 2017 and it now measures 5″ tall x 9 3/4″ wide.
AHHH, YES! The Gasteria ‘Little Warty’ continues to do well and has really fascinated me. I brought this plant home from Wildwood Greenhouse on May 8 in 2019 when it was only2″ tall x 2 13/16 wide. It has grown to 6″ tall x 53/4″ wide. Gasteria ‘Little Warty’ is a cross between Gasteria batesiana x Gasteria ‘Old Man Silver’ from Australian hybridizer David Cumming. Its leaves feel like VERY worn-out coarse sandpaper and are a combination of dark and light green. It is AWESOME! If you like Gasteria, you would love this plant.
The Gasteria sp./hybrid ? is continuing to do very well. The largest plant was 6″ tall when I measured it on August 17. It is still 6 3/4″ wide and there were 9 offsets in the pot. This is a GREAT plant that wasn’t bothered by mealybugs at all over the winter. Its leaves are far too hard.
I brought this plant home from Wal-Mart, unlabeled, in March 2018, when it was just 2 3/4″ tall. It still hasn’t flowered so I am no closer to finding out whether it is a species or hybrid. It is likely a hybrid involving Gasteria obliqua (syn. G. bicolor) or its cultivars. Possibly with a little G. pillansii thrown in… An expert (one of the world’s foremost hybridizers) told me, “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 suppose it really doesn’t matter what it is, parentage-wise, but it would be nice to know. It seems such a great plant deserves a better name than ‘?’. All I really know is that it is a neat plant with very hard, smooth leaves whose edges feel like a closed zipper.
Well, what can I say? The x Graptosedum ‘California Sunset’ is certainly doing well. A good friend and fellow plant collector from Mississippi, Walley Morse, send me several cuttings in 2019, including this x Graptosedum cultivar. Well, he didn’t say what it was but I put photos on a Facebook group and x Graptosedum ‘California Sunset’ was the suggestion. I checked out photos online and decided that’s what I would assume it was. There are several x Graptosedum cultivars… It needs to be in more sun than it is getting on the front porch for its color to stand out. Maybe in more sun it wouldn’t get so “leggy” either. I am always somewhat reluctant to do that for some reason. My intention “was” to take cuttings and put a pot with a few in it on the back porch. Well, I can still do that…
I don’t have a page for this plant…
The Haworthiopsis attenuata ‘Super White’ (Zebra Plant) is still alive and well. It is one of three plants from Succulent Market that were hiding in my bedroom over the winter. The other two plants from them bit the dust as a result of the little critters. This Haworthiopsis is one of 19 species of Haworthia that were transferred to the newly formed Haworthiopsis genus in 2013. The species is often confused with Haworthiopsis fasciata, but that species lacks tubercles on the upper surface of its leaves. Cultivars of H. attenuata are more readily available. Several online sources have this species listed as H. fasciata instead of H. attenuata because their sources have them incorrectly labeled… Oh, well. What can I say. I am just a little blogger and I kind of like it that way. 🙂
I had not grown any Haworthia species since 2009 (which I easily killed being a newbie at the time). When Nico Britsch of Succulent Market offered me a few plants if I mentioned his online store, I selected ‘Super White’ to give it a shot. This cultivar was developed by his grandfather to be more “white” and is said to tolerate lower light levels. Since last August when it arrived with five other plants, it has done very well and hasn’t had a single issue. It has grown to 3 3/4″ tall, which is an increase of 1/4″, and is still 5 1/2″ wide. The white tubercles are definitely a great feature of the species. They look like thick paint globbed on the green leaves. It has been difficult for me to get really good close-ups…
I’m not sure how many times I have used the word AWESOME, but this Haworthiopsis limifolia (Fairy Washboard) is AWESOME! It is also known as the File-Leaved Haworthia and Fairies Washboard. It measured 2 3/8″ tall x 3″ wide when I brought it home from Wildwood Greenhouse in 2019 and the clump has now grown to 4 1/4″ tall x 5 3/4″ wide. You can’t measure just a single plant when a species is a clumper. 🙂
I really like this plant’s hard-as-a-rock glossy dark green leaves and raised tubercles. The tubercles are also green and the shininess of the plant makes them appear somewhat a lighter shade.
I think it is best to keep the offsets with the parent plant when repotting smaller “Aloe-types”. They just do much better in my opinion. I have had small offsets of some of them fall off so I put them in their own pots and they grow VERY, VERY slowly and don’t do well. It is best to be careful and leave the offsets in the pot (at least until they get fairly large) They are “clumpers” so I guess they like a close-knit family.
The Huernia schneideriana (Red Dragon) continues to do well and has been blooming all summer. It is carefree and happy and just keeps growing and blooming…
I re-potted it in 2018 and it still seems OK. It might need a bigger pot next year and new potting soil is always appreciated. It isn’t easy to re-pot…
This Tanzanian native has some of the smallest and least colorful flowers of the species in the genus. I am absolutely not complaining because that’s how I made the proper ID once it flowered. I think they are great plants and if I had the funds I would buy more species… I would also buy species of the other genera of Carrion Plants which is what Huernia are. Although their flowers have an odor only appreciated by certain pollinating bugs, I have never noticed any smell at all. I have even taken a good whiff and smelled nothing… The Stapelia gigantea, on the other hand, might be a different story…
One might be tempted to mistake this plant for a hernia, but it is pronounced hew-ERN-ee-uh… Well, I am sure most people wouldn’t pronounce it wrong, but I have a tendency to call it her-NEE-uh…
The Kalanchoe beharensis ‘Fang’ (Stalactite Plant) has grown 3/4″ since I took its last photo on July 21. Now it measures 6″ tall. ‘Fang” grows differently than the “other” Kalanchoe beharensis and isn’t so stiff. It is very interesting with its tubercles on the undersides of its leaves.
The Kalanchoe beharensis (Velvet Elephant Ear, Maltese Cross) is such a neat plant. It was 4″ tall on July 21 now it is 5 1/2″… It grew 1 1/2″! I really like this native of Madagascar… My thanks to Sandy Fitzgerald for sending it!
I have said it before but I will say it again… A well-grown Kalanchoe x laetivirens (Mother of Thousands) is an AWESOME plant. I brought my first plant home from Wagler’s in 2014 and it did great. Then, after giving most of my plants up in 2014, I brought home the second one in 2015. It did great until it started growing weird. By 2017, it was a disaster… The main stem died but a few of the plantlets took off like mad. One of them grew much better than the others and grew into an impressive plant. Once it grew taller, I cut the stem (maybe half) and re-rooted it. It was like, “Ahhhh… That’s the way you do it.” 🙂 I had done that before with other plants but not the Kalanchoe. After I cut the stem and stuck it in the pot, it continued growing like nothing had happened. Then the plant bloomed and produced these two offsets. Being monocarpic, the main plant died.
You can start plants from the plantlets, but the offsets grow much better and faster. “Normally” they don’t produce offsets until after they flower which may take YEARS. It can take A LONG TIME to get them to look good from the plantlets and you may just want to throw them out the door. Once a good plant grows “so” tall, cutting the stems in half (more or less) is something you might have to do. Once they get taller and the lower leaves have fallen off, the plants look weird, they may start growing weirder, and the pot becomes top-heavy. The only thing holding it up now is the bricks around the pot. The plantlets can definitely be a pain in the neck and will fall off and attempt to grow in any nearby pot. I normally remove the plantlets on occasion to eliminate that problem. They just grow more…
One day “soon” I will put all four plants in their own pots and at least the taller one should be cut in half. Likely, there will be a post about it.
The Kalanchoe luciae (Paddle Plant) continues to do quite well on the front porch. When I wrote a previous post in July, there were 5 pots with a total of 16 plants (including offsets). To say they have grown over the summer would be an understatement. I have no idea what they will look like when I pick their pots up to bring them inside for the winter. They really like to sprawl to give the offsets an opportunity to grow. 🙂
You know, sometimes we try plants that just have issues. Photos of Kalanchoe marmorata (Penwiper Plant) look great so when I saw a member on a Facebook group selling them in 2018 I had to have one. After all, it is a Kalanchoe and they do pretty well. It looked great when it arrived in April but went downhill fairly quickly. Come to think of it, I also bought a Sedum spathulifolium subsp. pruinosum ‘Cape Blanco’ from the same member and it did the same thing and eventually bit the dust. It was in April so they may have gotten too cold during shipping. GEEZ! ANYWAY, this Kalanchoe didn’t die, and hasn’t yet, but it has been a difficult species for me and used to drive me batty. It gew and offset then I had two of them to deal with. They grow a few leaves and the lower ones fall off and then they look weird. I cut their stems in half as needed and regrow them. They look like they might be doing better for a while then they look weird again. I am not a man who likes drama, so I told it as long as it lived I would keep trying to figure it out. It has been three years and I still haven’t figured it out…
Normally the taller plant, which is the original plant (I think) looks the best while the offset struggles. This summer, it was the reverse. The smaller one looks better while the taller one looked plain weird. It grew to 10″ tall and just had a few smaller leaves on the top… 7″ of stem between the soil and lower leaves! SO, on the 28th I cut the stem in half. Once the stem scabs over I will stick it in a pot up to its lower leaves. The smaller one is now 5 1/2″ tall…
OH… The Kalanchoe orgyalis (Copper Spoons) grew so tall I finally took cuttings. I didn’t throw away the stem which is still alive and has sprouted a new branch. Out of four cuttings, two survived and have taken root. At least they seem firm in their pots. One of those cuttings had no difficulty, but the stem of the other one rotted at first. I had to cut it off again and it finally rooted. They have been on the back porch in FULL sun over the summer which was also an experiment… They will be on a future post since they are on the back porch.
I will close this post and move on to part 3 of the plants on the front porch.
Until next time, be safe, stay positive, be thankful, and get dirty if you can.
I love all of your plants! I have a good place for one succulent in my house. It is a hanging plant with variegated leaves and frilly red blossoms.
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Hello Annmarie! Glad to meet you. Well, to grow succulents, especially up north, you have to have an adequate place for them 12 months a year. Some aren’t that particular about the colder months when dormant inside, but some get just plain weird. The secret is of course not to overwater. What is the name of your plant? Take care and thanks for the comment!
I am not positive, but it looks like an ‘Aptenia cordifolia’. It hangs over our kitchen sink in the winter and in the garden in the summer time. I have very limited space in the house for plants – especially spaces with proper lighting for any plant to survive on.
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Those are great plants. Mine is on the back porch so it will be in the fourth update 🙂
Sounds good! I will have to watch for it. 🙂
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It is somewhat embarrassing that all of my few succulents live outside throughout the year, and need only minimal attention, but are not as visually appealing as yours, which need special accommodation. I suppose I should appreciate and tend to them more. Of course, some are too big to put too much effort into. I could take better care of my weird unidentified Aloe though. Succulents are ‘suggested’ for our downtown planter boxes because they are presumed to be drought tolerant. They all get the same amount of water as everything else out there anyway, and if they do not, they can look shabby by the end of summer. I do not mind complying though, just to make the impression that I at least try to participate with the fad. My planter box does not get much water, but it seems to get enough.
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Hello Tony! You just have to do what you have to do and have time for. The plants in pots on the front and back porch are much easier to manage in pots than they would be in the ground. Even if I could grow them in the ground, I would have grasshoppers, crickets, moles, and weeds to deal with. My flower beds look terrible, trust me, and have been like that for the past two years. Something is weird but I am not sure what… One thing is that I used to amend the soil with composted cow manure because we had cows. No cows, no cow manure. Of course, that led to A LOT of continual weeding. The soil around the house, except for the north side, is full of crappy fill dirt that has to be continually amended or it becomes VERY HARD. I have tried removing it and replacing it with good soil, but that doesn’t work for long. It just somehow disappears. So, for me, plants in pots are MUCH better and cactus and succulents are very tolerant of neglect. Believe it or not, even the Alocasia on the back porch thrive in the full sun even without much water. That isn’t supposed to happen. Be happy with what you can manage but do try and figure out what the unidentified Aloe is. Aloe are weird and like attention and to be recognized. 🙂 Talk about weird… The Epiphyllum you sent, especially the big white one, are definitely weird… They do the weirdest things! Take care and thanks for the comment!
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Lots of work with maintaining all these plants! I don’t know how you do it!! I like the x Graptosedum – nice shapes & the Haworthia family who like to stay close in their clump!!. a customer has given me a plant which I have yet to identify properly. I’m guessing it’s a kalanchoe & I call it hot lips as the big leaves go red in the sun! Sounds like your weather has been challenging- we have had a cool wet summer which has benefited different plants from last years scorching heat- Hydrangeas have loved it. Unless something changes the Autumn is going to come in early this year though.
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Hello Debbie! Great to hear from you! The plant your customer gave you may be a Kalanchoe luciae (previous post) whose leaves do turn a reddish color in more light. Mine were all on the front porch this summer so none of their leaves have been red. I am glad to hear you have had a nice, cool summer with plenty of moisture. Much better than being very hot and dry. I hope you are doing well. Take care and thanks for the comment!
Yes, the do, the Epiphyllums that is. I do not remember if I sent you both of the white sorts. One is a cultivar, and the other is a species. The species puts out those weirdly long and lean stems that lean onto something, and they those stems put out the flat ones. Well, they may be doing weirder things that I can not predict. The flowers make it worth it though.
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I believe the bigger white Epiphyllum is a cultivar. They will be in the next post.
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I could not survive Virginia summers without AC. In fact I had a new system installed in March of this year. We had the hottest/driest/most humid summer that I can remember. Finally a bit of relief as September arrived.
Your plant collection is impressive. Do you have a greenhouse where you store them for the winter? I cannot remember where you reside.
I have a couple of succulents, but they reside outdoors year round.
Take care. Diane
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Hello Diane! This spring and summer have been interesting. September has brought cooler temps for us as well. I don’t have a greenhouse although one would be GREAT. I keep the plants in the house for the winter on shelves and tables in front of windows in 3 bedrooms, the sliding door in the dining room, and the kitchen windowsill. The Bilbergera and Alocasia go to the basement. I didn’t take the Alocasia to the basement last winter and it didn’t work out that well, so most of them will go back to the basement this winter. Take care and thanks for the comment!