Whoops! NOT Leucocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’

I haven’t really spoken to her that much because I am a little shy toward plants that confuse me. Something seemed very, very mysterious about her right from the beginning. I could sense she had a dirty little secret. Just her flirtatious glances and smiles, pointing to the upper part of her leaf and the apex… Oh, I look, because she is hard to ignore… She is trying to tell me something but she wants me to find out on my own. When she starts to grow a new leaf, she will say, “I wonder what this one will look like.” I just give her a speechless look and walk away. Even when I mow by her, she is always giving that mysterious look and sultry smile. When I walk out the door or walk by her, she always knows I will look at her. No matter how hard I try to resist, I can’t help myself. A while back, temptation really got the best of me. I ran my hand along one of her leaves to feel the seam along the edge because I noticed something else different about her. Hmmm…

Hello folks! I hope this post finds all of you doing very well. Remember in the spring when I posted about buying the Colocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’ bulb from a seller on Ebay? I was somewhat hesitant but I bought one anyway. I admit, I kind of manipulated the guy into sending me the largest bulb (tuber) be had. I told him I was a blogger, and sent a link, and said I would mention him whether this bulb turned out to be an actual Colocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’ or not. I questioned him because he was selling this cultivar as a bulb and not as a plant like everyone else. The other thing he said that got me to wondering was that he said he was getting them from a ‘supplier” and he said they were from the Wellspring strain… Ummm… I knew he was taking about Wellspring Gardens from Florida because I had bought A LOT of plants from him in 2009 and 2012. In fact, my first Colocasia gigantea and Colocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant came from him. Not to mention the ancestors of my Alocasia. This guy sells inexpensive starter plant from tissue culture, not bulbs… Anyway, the seller on Ebay said he sent the largest bulb and even lost money because it cost more to ship. Hmmmm….

Well, the plant came up about the same time the Colocasia esculenta did. As they all grew, I figured it would at least keep up with the Colocasia esculenta. It was from a bulb, after all, so I actually thought it would outgrow its neighbor. But, that didn’t happen. Colocasia, I mean Leucocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’ is the biggest… Ummm… Well, it was the biggest Colocasia, but since the name changed back to Leucocasia, I can’t say that now. Anyway, whatever you call it, it is supposed to be big.

Then its first variegated leaf emerged. That was very odd since I had never seen any variegated Leucocasia gigantea with variegated leaves. I searched the images on the internet and there was none. There are variegated cultivars of Colocasia, but not of the C. gigantea… When this happened, I tried post the photo to the Aroid group on Facebook. Well, the post wouldn’t post… After the second variegated leaf emerged I needed to try it again. Not only that, but the top part of the leaves looked different than the plant from last year. 

I had taken another photo of its leaves a few days ago, so Sunday afternoon I tried posting a couple more photos to the group. This time it worked… The first comment said, “It is a Xanthosoma.” The second said…  “Agree. X. sagittifolium. Not Leucocasia or Colocasia or Thai Giant. Cool that it has some variegation, though. I hope it does not outgrow it. Perhaps it will show up with more variegation in a stable form in some of the hundreds of pups with which it will fill your garden.” More would be great, but so far, no offsets…

Knowing this plant’s actual identity is great and now we can stop looking at each other weird. The correct common name is Arrowleaf Elephant Ear. It is also great to add another plant to my list. Oh, crap! Now I have to completely change the Leucocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’ page and add one for Xanthosoma sagittifolium (zan-tho-SO-muh  sag-it-ee-FOH-lee-um).

Until next time, stay well and be positive! As always, GET DIRTY!

 

 

I Just Went To Take Plants…

Hello folks! I hope this finds you all doing well. Yesterday, Friday the 14th, I went to Wagler’s Greenhouse to take a few plants. I took all but three of the Billbergia nutans (Queen’s Tears) and two of the four Alocasia ‘Portora’ I had separated and divided. Last time I went there I resisted temptation and didn’t bring any plants home. That wasn’t the case this time… I brought home eight plants. Well, I couldn’t help myself and I wasn’t in the resisting mood. After all, when I take plants and give them to her she gives me plants. This time she also slipped me a $20. 🙂 I still have two Alocasia ‘Portora’ to take because I couldn’t get them in the car. Mrs. Wagler was excited about the Queen’s Tears, especially when I showed her photos of their flowers. A few other people have brought her several other Bromeliads so it will be interesting to see how they work out. They do look AWESOME! Fortunately, she only has one of each.

All the plants I brought home were unnamed, but I already knew what six of them were. Two I didn’t know so I put their photos on the Facebook group called Succulent Infatuation. Within minutes, a member sent the ID of one of them. The other, however, remains unnamed for the time being. It is MUCH easier than looking at hundreds of photos. 🙂

In alphabetical order…

 

This cactus is an Acanthocereus tetragonus also known as the Fairytale Cactus. I think I had one of these several years ago that didn’t make it. I didn’t have an ID for it, but a member of Succulent Infatuation gave me the name not long after I posted the photo. I wasn’t going to bring one of these home, but this little guy kept giving me a sad look. I told him to stop looking at me like that and Mrs. Wagler said he was saying, “Take me home with you.” So, I gave in…

 

I really like Begonias and I spotted this miniature beauty that I had to bring home. It is a VERY small plant so I figured I could easily slip it in somewhere.

 

Its largest leaf is only 3″ long by 2″ wide. I like the way its leave spiral…

 

This one is a Crassula tetragona, also known as Miniature Pine Tree. I recognized this plant because I had taken a cutting from one at Lowe’s in 2012. Well, it was a very small cutting and it didn’t take root. This plant is currently 9 1/2″ tall. There were quite a few pots in the greenhouse with Kalanchoe diagremontiana growing in them as well and there is one in this pot. She has the same problem with them falling off in all the nearby pots like I do. She has the biggest plant I have ever seen anywhere!

 

She had several Peperomia obtusifolia so I brought one of them home, too. I had one of these before but gave it up in 2014. They make nice companions but have strange flowers…

 

I finally picked up another Schlumbergera truncata. Normal people know these as Christmas Cactus, Holiday Cactus, etc. She had pink, scarlet. and peach flowering choices so I decided on the peach. She said the scarlet was more of a bright reddish pink and the peach was more of an orangy color. I have enough pink flowering plants so the choice was clear. I am not a “pink” person except for maybe a couple of things in particular.  We are not going to discuss those on a plant and gardening blog, though. I haven’t had a Schlumbergera as a companion since I gave them up when I moved back here in February 2013, so I was happy to bring this peachy girl home…

 

She had several different Wandering Jew and I had been thinking about trying a few but never brought any home before. So, I decided I would bring this Tradescantia fluminensis variegata home with me. It could be the cultivar known as “Quicksilver’ but who knows… No telling how many years this plant been passed around or who she even got her start from and where they got theirs.

 

From photos online, ‘Quicksilver’ seems a little paler. The species Tradescantia fluminensis has green leaves but this is the variegated form. There are other cultivars available with different variegation, some half-and-half and one with a pinkish cast. This Tradescantia species is also known as the white-flowered Wandering Jew. It will be interesting to have a white-flowered member of the family although she said hers has never flowered…

 

At one time or another, this species has been a separate species. One of several names was Tradescantia albiflora

 

I cut one of the stems in half and the other twice and stuck the cuttings evenly around the pot.

 

While I was at it, I decided to pick up a Tradescantia zebrina… This species is quite common but I have never had one so what could I do?

 

The undersides of the leaves are solid purple…

 

Who could resist a smile like that? 🙂

 

I still haven’t figured out what this little fellow is and I don’t even want to guess. Hopefully, someone on the Facebook will have an idea. If not, then I will post a photo on the CactusGuide Forum. There are so many possibilities and just guessing would always leave me wondering.

Later on, I re-potted the xGasteraloe ‘Flow’ and removed its four offsets. I also re-potted the Huernia schneideriana into a larger pot. I was going to re-pot the Aristaloe aristata (Lace Aloe) but became dark… Getting used to the decreasing day length now is cutting down on how long I can stay outside in the evening. Oh well, it happens like that every year. Sad to say, it will likely “F” next month. Some of you didn’t follow my blog before, so you don’t know what my “F” and “S” mean. Frost or freeze and snow… Once I get the Aristaloe aristata repotted I will post about all three.

I am STILL working on the wildflower post. Yesterday afternoon I went out to take some better photos of a couple of plants. Wouldn’t you know it, I found another plant to photograph and ID. It has very, very interesting TINY flowers that I couldn’t get good photos of. Sometimes I have to take the magnifying glass to get good photos but I didn’t have it with me… It is weird how many weeds we take for granted have such neat flowers if we just take a closer look. You have to be careful, though, because while some wildflowers are herbal remedies, some are VERY poisonous… This plant didn’t look like something I would want to sample.

Well, I better close this post for now. I have a lot to do today but just wanted to get this post finished while I am drinking my morning coffee. Now I am finished with my coffee so off I go…

I hope you have a great weekend! Stay positive, safe, and be well. Smile at the world and it will smile back. Well, usually. 🙂 Don’t forget to GET DIRTY if you have time!

 

 

Welcome Kleinia stapeliiformis

Hello folks! I hope this post finds you all doing well. I know I am enjoying a break from the heat since it rained. I like being able to sleep with the window open at night and hear the frogs and crickets. Last week I was browsing the Facebook Group called Succulent Marketplace USA and found a member offering Senecio stapeliiformis. It looked pretty interesting, so I just couldn’t resist. I checked the species out online and it seemed it may be a fairly uncomplicated plant to have as a companion. I made a comment asking about the plant and the seller promptly responded. I received the package today and was surprised to find six individual rooted stems. I was only expecting one! My thanks to Lanie Ruiz for a smooth transaction and successful shipping. Thanks, too, for introducing me to this plant.

 

Of course, I had to do a proper name search to make sure the name was still Senecio stapeliiformis. According to Plants of the World Online by Kew, the accepted name has changed to Kleinia stapeliiformis. Well, the name of several species of Senecio has changed back and forth among the two genera for a while. In fact, it was given the name Kleinia stapeliiformis by Otto Stapf when he described it in the Botanical Magazine in 1924. It was first named and described by Edwin Percy Phillips in Flowering Plants of South Africa in 1921.

It was strange that the scientific name is written Kleinia stapeliiformis Stapf instead of Kleinia stapeliiformis (E.Phillips) Stapf. Shouldn’t it be that latter using Senecio stapeliiformis E.Phillips as the basionym since it was the first name? Weird. It was also strange that, even though Version 1.1 of The Plant List says Kleinia stapeliiformis is now the correct and accepted name, Tropicos doesn’t have this name in its database. As I have mentioned before, The Plant List was a cooperative effort by the Missouri Botanical Garden (of which Tropicos is a division of) and the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew. The Plant List has not been maintained since 2013.

Llifle (Encyclopedia of Living Forms) still lists this species as Senecio stapeliiformis and also lists (without photos) a Senecio stapeliiformis subsp. minor. Dave’s Garden has a page for both Kleinia stapeliiformis and Kleinia stapeliiformis subsp. minor.

This plant is a member of the Asteraceae Family of flowering plants along with 1,867 other genera. According to Plants of the World Online, the Kleinia genus contains 72 (hmmm. It was 67 the night before) accepted species. WAIT A MINUTE!!! They list TWO accepted Kleinia genus. Kleinia Mill. and Kleinia Jacq.! Something is whacky with that. I think I will email Raphael Goverts, the senior editor of Kew, to find out what’s up with that… POWO lists no accepted species in the genus Kleinia Mill. while Kleinia Jacq. has 72 accepted species…  Llifle says the accepted species are in the genus Kleinia Mill. Some databases say that all the Senecio species are now in the Kleinia genus, but Plants of the World Online maintain a whopping 1,441 accepted species of Senecio… Plants of the World Online is still uploading data and MANY of the other databases aren’t up-to-date. It is very difficult to keep track of name changes when they don’t all agree. Maybe they feel the names will eventually change back… Besides that, anyone can use whatever names they choose based on a “legit” description by the person who named the plant. So, even though some databases say one name is correct, others can correctly use a synonym as the correct name. That’s what confuses me…

 

I like reading all the information on the Lifle (Encyclopedia of Living Forms) website but sometimes it can be a bit confusing. The editor writes VERY LONG sentences and leaves out a few punctuation marks where needed. I think MOST of the information is contributed by Cactus Art and both websites may, in fact, be from the same person. I have sent emails to both and get no response. Well, Llifle says readers can contribute photos but I have not been able to do that.

Anyway, the Senecio stapeliiformis, I mean Kleinia stapeliiformis, is a perennial succulent with erect to reclining stems branched from the base. It spreads by rhizomes and can apparently be grown as a groundcover in frost-free climates. Llifle says it is “probably” a winter grower which needs water beginning in October. Hmmm… It produces leaves on the growing tips which apparently turn yellow and fall off in April. I guess it in its native habitat in Africa it goes dormant during the summer months when it is hot. So, in nature, this plant doesn’t receive water during the summer months (which is why it goes dormant). However, according to Llifle, “others say” it is an opportunistic plant which will grow year round if given water. They also say it should be grown “hard” in the nursery so it will keep a compact growth habit… Apparently, if given water, it is a fast grower and will even cascade and make a good plant for hanging baskets. It sounds like my Huernia schneideriana (the Carrion Plant).

The page for this plant on Llifle shows several nice photos which include its flowers. It says they produce “large orange hawkweed-like flowers.”

So, this plant should be interesting… 🙂

 

While putting the new plants in their new pot I noticed there was a tiny stowaway. I wasn’t sure whether to call the immigration department or maybe child services. I messaged Lanie and told her about the stowaway and she said he looks like he needs a new home. She said she thought it was part of the Peanut Cactus she had next to it. If that is what it is, I now have an Echinopsis chamaecereus, too. It is very tiny and is now happily resting in its own little pot. 🙂

If you want to know more about my new companion, you can click HERE which will take you to the page about the species on Llifle.

I am just about finished identifying all the wildflowers I took photos of last Thursday and Saturday but I have to go look at a couple of plants again. The flowers of another plants photos were kind of blurry so I may retake those, too.

So, until next time, stay well, be positive and take a deep breath of fresh air. Get out in nature and just embrace the fact that we are all part of an amazing planet. Don’t forget to GET DIRTY whenever you have a chance!

Repotting Alocasia ‘Portora’ & Billbergia nutans

Alocasia ‘Portora’ waiting to be separated…

Hello everyone! I hope you had a great weekend. We have had several days of rain and seeing the sun was a welcome site. Even though we needed the rain and I am grateful for it, I didn’t get much done outside. Thursday and Saturday I went for a walk and took quite a few wildflower photos. I am still working on identifying a few so that post will be ready on… Well, I better not say when because it might not happen that day either. 🙂

After church, I decided it was a good day to separate the Alocasia ‘Portora’. I couldn’t think of anything else to keep me from it (as I hoped), so I put the pot on the potting table. Then I went to get the wheelbarrow to mix soil in. Since the new bag of potting soil was in the garage, I thought it would be a good time to air up the tire then use it to move the bag to the back porch. After the tire was aired up, I thought maybe I should go ahead and air up the front tire on the tractor. Well, I went ahead to the back porch.

 

Then I remembered I needed to water the chickens. It was such a nice day and the chickens had not been out for a long time. Since I was going to be on the back porch I decided it would be a good time to let them out for a while. Talk about happy chickens! They were so glad to get outside!

 

Once the big chickens went around the chicken house I let out the Old English Game Bantams. They were also very happy to get out. One of the hens wasted no time stretching out in the sun.

OK… What else can I do before I start on the Alocasia?

 

I couldn’t think of anything else so I went to the back porch. There were five pretty large plants that needed to be separated plus a couple of very small plants. The old bulb in the center finally went all the way dormant and part of it has rotted. Well, it is several years old… It “was” the Alocasia ‘Portora’ I chose to bring with me when I moved back here in 2013. It was removed from its mother’s pot in 2012, I think. Its mother was the original Alocasia ‘Portora’ I bought from Wellspring Gardens (in Florida) in 2009. She was so HUGE when I left Mississippi in February 2013 I decided to leave her with a friend. Little did I know then, I could have just cut the leaves off and brought it with me…

Then I had to get the pots Mrs. Wagler gave me a couple of weeks ago for the plants. She also gave me some “previously used” potting soil to mix with the new potting soil. Since they foliar feed, and since four of these plants will be going to Wagler’s, there wasn’t any point in putting 100% new potting soil with timed-release fertilizer in those pots.

 

When I started separating the pots I found a good-sized nest of ants in the bottom pot. I found one a few days earlier in a smaller pot, too. GEEZ! Every fall when I bring plants inside for the winter there is always one that has a nest of ants in it.

 

After I mixed the potting soil, I took the pot of Alocasia ‘Portora’ to the wheelbarrow and removed the plants from the pot.

 

There were a lot more roots, but you always lose a few when you separate the plants. They will grow more roots and be just fine. It is much easier to remove the plants when they are smaller, but I almost think they do better when they are larger. I have been doing this for almost 10 years and I have great success either way. Smaller plants have a tendency to go dormant in the winter and sometimes they don’t recover.

 

Most of the dormant bulb had rotted but the top part and part of the bottom are still solid.

 

Susie Q jumped on the table to see if she could help. She didn’t stay long, though and was content watching from the railing. You can see the yellow tom cat is curled up in a box sleeping in the bottom left corner of the photo. He likes getting inside of anything snug to sleep, even empty flower pots that are barely big enough for him to curl up in.

 

Alocasia doesn’t have a really extensive root system but they do need a large enough pot to hold them up. You can put them in larger pots right from the start, but I have found I like to “pot-up” as they grow larger. Once I get the plant in the position I want them, I will up the pot with soil then put three stakes in the pot and tie the plants to them. The stakes keep the plant in the center and standing upright until their new roots can hold them up.

 

I had filled several pots with the potting soil I mixed and when I went to get the second one there was a tree frog on one of the rims. We have LOTS of tree frogs and you are liable to see them in the strangest places during the day. One day there was one sleeping on top of the handle to the screen door. One even liked the doorknob on the garage door. Come to think of it, I have several photos of them on doorknobs and the door handle to the shed and chicken house.

 

I removed the top part of the tuber and put in its own pot as well as the smaller plants.

 

Well, the seven Alocasia ‘Portora’ and the top part of the tuber (bulb…) all have their own pots now. I will take the four bigger black pots to Wagler’s and keep the others. I also have a couple of other Alocasia ‘Portora’ besides these. Of course, there are still several pots of Alocasia gageana, ‘Calidora’, and ‘Mayan Mask’…

I could have stopped there and called it a day but SOMEONE is giving me the eye and tapping its foot…  Someone is actually not a single being, but many now, who have been patiently waiting for… Ummm… How long? I can hear them whispering among themselves. I heard one of them say, “Why did he put us on the back porch last month? Wasn’t it to remind him we needed new pots of our own?” I also hear, “No, maybe not. I think it was because of the Japanese Beetles. But he did say he was going to give us our own pots.”

 

Let me see now… How many times I have upgraded the Billbergia nutans (Queen’s Tears/Angel Tears) pot? I have only had a few bromeliads as companions and this one is by far the most AWESOME! I am grateful to Walley Morse, a good friend and fellow plant collector from Mississippi (who I have mentioned MANY times), for giving me the start of this plant. No doubt the original cluster is in the middle of this pot somewhere. It will NOT die. Billbergia nutans may be one the most indestructible Bromeliad in the history of mankind. (I have to butter it up because it has been waiting for so long).

I took it out of the pot a few years ago and put it back in… It was packed then and it just keeps on keeping on. What would it be like if I lived in a climate where it wouldn’t have to be in a pot. Well, just check online and you will find out. These plants are actually grown as a ground cover… To top that off, check out their page on the right by clicking on its name (above) and you will see their AWESOME flowers.

 

The reason I keep putting off doing anything with this plant is because I had no clue what to do. How do you separate such a mass of plants and roots? I mean, they are packed in this pot much tighter than sardines in a can! What if I kill it?

OK, so that is just an excuse, right? After all, I am The Belmont Rooster… 🙂 Walley called me his “gardening guru” on the answering machine so I guess I better live up to it, huh? What would he think if the plant he gave me is cramped in this pot? Oh, no! He may even read this post!

 

I heard something jump on the table and looked down to see the tree frog had made its way to the table. He found a pot to scoot under.

 

So, I removed the, ummm, plant from the pot. With all the rain we have been having, the roots were completely soaked. The last time I did this, maybe in 2015 or 2016, it was dry and the roots were white. It appeared the bottom half of this mass was mostly rotten. Hmmm… I wonder if the good roots are feeding off of the old rotting roots. I would like to say I never had a plant get this root bound before, but that wouldn’t be true. I will never forget the Parlor Palms… If you have a Parlor Palm and it has been in the same pot for a couple of years, it’s time for a larger pot… Trust me. 🙂

Anyway…..

Sometimes when you are unsure of what to do, just do it anyway. Making mistakes and learning is just part of life…

 

So, I went ahead and took a big butcher knife and removed the lower half of the roots. The last time I did that was with the Parlor Palms in Mississippi. I only removed a few inches from their roots, though, and they did NOT approve.

But the Billbergia nutans is a completely different type of plant than Parlor Palms. The butcher knife, even though dull, easily sliced through the mass of roots. Then I started slicing what was left in half. Now that was a different story… I did get it cut in half, then quarters, and so on. It appears this plant is all connected… but separate. 🙂 After all, they do spread by rhizomes…

 

Ummm……….. I think they expanded after I took them out of the pot! How did they all fit in the pot? The clay pot on the left is the original pot Walley gave me my start in back in 2012… The pot on the right is the one they just came from… It could have asily filled one twice that size by now.

 

I put the largest cluster in the pot I just took them from and the rest I will give away. They can easily be divided even more… They are much happier now and have some soil to sink their roots in. I will wait a while before I pass these on because I want to make sure they will be OK. (If you know what I mean. I have to whisper because I don’t want them to think I have any doubts).

After I finished repotting, I took a few photos around the house… It is 1:03 AM, so I think I will post them tomorrow… Oh, crap! I have to finish the wildflower walk first…

So, until then, be safe, stay positive and well, take care, be AWESOME and GET DIRTY!

 

Bed & Plant Update Part 5: Cactus & Succulents Part 2

Cotyledon orbiculata ‘Silver Storm’ on 8-28-18, #499-17.

Hello AGAIN! I hope all is well with everyone. This is part 2 of the cactus and succulent update. I did go to Wagler’s Greenhouse last week and I took them several small Alocasia ‘Mayan Mask’, most of the smaller Amorphophallus, and a good sized Alocasia ‘Calidora’. Although there were a few plants I wouldn’t have minded to bring home, I resisted this time. One of their greenhouses had a lot of really nice HUGE hanging baskets, Begonias, and a few Coleus. I took her a few Talinum paniculatum (Jewels of Opar) a few years ago, and I saw a hanging basket in their greenhouse with a few of these in it. LOADED with flowers! I never thought they would make a good hanging basket plant and it was indeed unusual. You just never know what creative minds will come up with.

When I was getting ready to leave, she was talking about some of her plants in the flower beds and mentioned her Mexican Petunia. Well, I had brought Mexican Petunia with me from Mississippi that didn’t come back up in 2015. She asked me if I wanted some so I asked her if they were pink or blue (mine were pink). She said hers were blue so how could I refuse. She went inside and brought out a shovel. Well, she is Amish so she was bare-footed… She stuck the tip of the blade of the shovel in the ground and, with her bare foot, pushed it into the ground. The offsets were pretty deep but she managed to get 4-5. They don’t have many roots yet but maybe they will make it. It always amazed me how the Amish kids and women run around bare-footed. I have seen them running on gravel roads bare-footed. GEEZ!!!

She also gave me enough larger pots so I can now separate the Alocasia ‘Portora’.

The above photo is of the Cotyledon orbiculata ‘Silver Storm’ cuttings I had taken. In part one of the cactus and succulent update, I had taken the cuttings and was waiting for them to scab over. I put them in individual pots on August 11 and gave them a good spraying of GardenSafe 3 in 1 to see if it will help with the scale. We shall see…

By the time the above photo was taken on August 26, the offsets have started rooting and the old plant is growing new leaves. Something tromped on the offset in the right rear pot and broke a few of its leaves off. Darn cats…

It has taken a long time to get this post ready because of other things to do or other distractions. In the evening when I normally work on the blog, I have been stuck watching episodes of Person of Interest on Netflix. It seems some programs leave you wondering what will happen next so you have to find out…

While many cactus and succulents just sit there, other plants are growing and changing constantly. Photos I took a few weeks ago are out of date so I have to take new ones. Then the post gets outdated and I have to update it before I can finish. 🙂 I started this post on August 16 and I have taken well over 100 photos since.

 

Gasteria sp. on…

The Gasteria sp. (Ox Tongue, Cow Tongue, Lawyers Tongue) is happy living on the front porch. At least it seems to be happy because since it is still alive and firm in the pot. I still haven’t figured out the species name, though.

 

Huernia schneideriana

The Huernia schneideriana (Dragon Flower, Carrion Plant) is just as wild looking as ever. I think I need to put it in a new pot because it seems to be getting a little crowded. It has several flowers but you have to look for them. There are several genera of Carrion Plant that look so much alike. I wondered why they aren’t in the same genus… Of all of them, I think the Huernia schneideriana has the smallest flowers. Sometimes one of the stems jump out of the pot and I have to stick it back in. Maybe it is trying to tell me it needs a bigger pot, huh?

 

Kalanchoe daigremontiana, the big one…

Words cannot express how I feel about the Kalanchoe daigremontiana (Mother of Thousands). If you have one or have had one, you know exactly how I feel. You only have one once, and after that you have MANY. I will admit they are nice plants and easy to grow. In fact, a nice looking Kalanchoe daigremontiana can be a very dramatic plant. But, like a lot of other succulents, once they start getting taller and lose their bigger lower leaves they don’t look so good. Just cut it off several inches below where it looks good, remove a few of the leaves that don’t look good, let the stem scab over for about a week then stick it in potting soil. Your plant will look good once again. If you go to this plants page, you will see a lot of photos of a terrible looking plant… I take photos and post about the plants whether they look good or not because we all have similar experiences. Sometimes they look good and sometimes they don’t. Usually, as in this case, they don’t look good because of our neglect. But when we take care of our plants, they respond.

 

Kalanchoe daigremontiana plantlets…

Unfortunately, this Kalanchoe responds a little too well, leaving us with a lot of grandchildren… I think the weirdest thing about this Kalanchoe is that botanists or scientists have decided the leaves of this plant aren’t leaves at all… Ummm… Which is why they grow plantlets along the edge of their leaves, I mean…

What appears to be leaves on several species of Kalanchoe are actually phylloclades which are flattened branches modified for photosynthesis. Ummm… Flattened stems are called cladodes. Interesting that phylloclades still have a petiole that attaches to the stem. I wonder if a plant with a cladode that produces a phylloclade is attached to a petiole?

 

Four Kalanchoe daigremontiana teenagers…

When my sister and her husband and I were out plant shopping, she came back home with one of these plants. I asked her why she bought one of those because I had plenty. I guess I should have paid more attention. Not only did I miss the chance to adopt one out, she will have a lot of them, too.

A few months ago when I updated this plants page, Plants of the World Online said the name had changed “back” to Bryophyllum daigremontiana. It was named Kalanchoe daigremontiana in 1914 then the name changed to Bryophyllum daigremontiana in 1930. Somewhere along the line, the name changed back because it was a Kalanchoe when I started blogging (according to The Plant List and every other plant database). Well, actually, for a long time, both names were used. Then, POWO said it changed again. Now, when I checked, the name is back to Kalanchoe daigremontiana AGAIN! So, I had to change the name and all the captions AGAIN! That makes the third time! 🙂

Maybe the reason they made a completely different genus in the first place was for the species that have phylloclades instead of leaves and produce the offsets in a weird place. (?)

 

Kalanchoe marmorata

The Kalanchoe marmorata (Penwiper Plant, ETC.) is doing very good now. I bought this plant from a member of a Facebook group and it arrived on April 13. It was AWESOME and in very, very good condition and its leaves were very thick and rubbery. This was the first time I had bought any plants from anyone from the Facebook group. Normally I just drool… I also bought a Sedum spathufolium ‘Cape Blanco’ from the same lady. Both plants arrived bare root, well wrapped, and in great condition. Within a month, only the top four leaves remained. But, interestingly, it produced an offset. The main plant now has 3 sets of leaves (12 leaves in all) and is doing remarkably well. I will possibly need to cut the stem off a few inches below the leaves so it will re-root and look much better. Maybe I will wait until next spring and also remove the offset. As long as it is happy, maybe I should leave it alone for now.

 

Kalanchoe orgyalis (Copper Spoons)…

The Kalanchoe orgyalis (Copper Spoons) is continuing to do well and is currently 9 1/2″ tall and has 13 leaves. I really like this plant! I like the velvety leaves and the way they change color.

 

Mammillaria elongata…

Ummm… The Mammillaria elongata (Ladyfinger Cactus, etc.)… Every time I look at her she seems to be giving me the birdie. We did get off to a bad start in March when I brought her but we have moved past that. I accidentally knocked her pot off the table and onto the floor. Most of the offsets fell off so I just kind of put them back around her in the overly stuffed pot although it was a tight fit. I told her I would give her a bigger pot later. She seemed patient, though, and never complained. I gave her and her family a larger pot on May 25 and all is well.

 

Mammillaria elongata on 8-18-18, #498-3.

Now, she is having more kids all the way around her! Since I took the first photo on July 29, she has decided to start leaning over. So, I took the above photo on August 18. Well, that’s what this species does. You can put them in hanging baskets and allow them to trail over the sides but that may take some time…

The LLIFLE (Encyclopedia of Living Forms) website says, “Mammillaria elongata is a succulent ground cover, forming with time tight clumps of erect, ascending, prostrate or recumbent stems. This may be the most common Mammillaria to be found and occurs in more variations than any other Mammillaria species. It commonly comes in many color and spine variations.” Information also says they need the highest light level possible (without burning) to encourage heavy spine formation… Well, it is definitely getting plenty of sun on the back porch. 🙂

 

Mammillaria decipiens

The Mammillaria decipiens (Bird’s Nest Pincushion) is still blooming and doing well. It enjoys being on the back porch is says it is glad there are no more leaves from the elm tree getting stuck on its spines. I am glad of that, too. I am also glad its flowers aren’t pink… 🙂 Information online says this species tolerates lower light levels than most species but it has certainly done well in full sun. It is not a complainer, either… It definitely has my five gold star rating. 🙂 Well, I suppose all my cactus have a five gold star rating.

 

Mammillaria hahniana…

The Mammillaria hahniana (Old Lady Cactus, Old Lady Pincushion) is just as fuzzy as ever. It looks like she has been rolling around in cotton. She will start to flower in a few months and of course, its flowers are pink…

 

Mammillaria pringlei

The Mammillaria pringlei (Lemon Ball Cactus) is also still flowering. This cactus is either budding or flowering most of the time it seems. It has grown quite a bit since I brought it home in April of 2017 and it also likes to lean. I straightened it up before then it wound up leaning again. I like things straight and level so this cactus and I have had a few words. Now, it is pointing at Mammillaria elongata and smiling… 🙂

Plants of the World Online by Kew and Tropicos is standing firm that Mammillaria pringlei is the correct and accepted name for this cactus. There are other databases that have changed the name to Mammillaria rhodantha subsp. pringlei. Maybe they aren’t updated. Maybe they didn’t get the memo. 🙂

There are many similarities between the species, but if that were any reason to change the name… Well, out of 162 current accepted species of Mammillaria listed on Plants of the World Online, how many look nearly identical? Version 1.1 (in 2013) of The Plant List named 185 accepted species of Mammillaria plus another 93 infraspecific names, a total of 519 synonyms, and another 448 names that were still unresolved… Most species of cacti are quite variable and that’s one reason getting their true names sorted out is very difficult. Until POWO and Tropicos say different, I am sticking with Mammillaria pringlei.

 

Mammillaria rhodantha

The Mammillaria rhodantha (Rainbow Pincushion) is always ablaze. It is doing very well on the back porch and I noticed it has a few buds forming. It wasn’t much of a bloomer last year but maybe it will have more this time. It takes a very long time from the time the buds appear until the flowers open…

 

Mammillaria rhodantha on 8-26-18, #499-27.

In an updated photo taken on August 26, you can see a couple of the buds on the Mammillaria rhodantha are getting larger…

 

Mammillaria vetula subsp. gracilis now on the back porch on August 26.

I bought this Mammillaria vetula subsp. gracilis ‘Arizona Snowcap (Thimble Cactus) from Lowe’s on July 8 when I went to Lowe’s to buy potting soil. The label said it was a Mammillaria gracilis fragilis monstrose. Hmmm… Mammillaria gracilis is a synonym of Mammillaria vetula now. Before when I had one of these, the name was Mammillaria gracilis subsp. fragilis (or var. fragilis). Anyway, when I was at Lowe’s they had one like I had before and this one. This one was different with a multitude of very small white spines where the other had fewer and longer spines. When I checked on the LLIFLE website, it gave a description (with photos) of Mammillaria vetula subsp. gracilis ‘Arizona Snowcap’. Looks like a match to me! 🙂 The individual plants are also a little larger than the one I had before. I had a long debate about whether to buy both of the plants and now I wish I had. 😦  Llilfle also says they do their best and look their best in full sun but are rarely grown that way in cultivation. Since it is now on the back porch maybe it will become more white. We shall see…

You can read about my previous Mammillaria vetula subsp. gracilis by clicking on the name…

 

Oscularia deltoides…

The Oscularia deltoides (Deltoid Leaved Dew Plant) has done very well, but lately, its leaves seem to have shrunk somewhat. Maybe it is in a dormacy period… Anyway, I decided to move it to the front porch for a while because information online does say they need light to part shade during the heat of the summer.

 

Parodia lenninghausii (Golden Ball Cactus)…

The pair of Parodia lenninghausii (Golden Ball Cactus) are still all aglow with their golden hair. I have named them “Greater” and “Lesser” because one is a little taller than the other. They sometimes try to confuse me and tell me one had a growth spurt and one shrunk… So, when I call them by name they point to each other. Then their neighbors all start laughing so I know what is going on. Parodia lenninghausii can be pranksters because they were brought up not really knowing the correct spelling of their name or even which HAAGE actually named them. They seem to like making others laugh, even with their strange hairdo. Not only that, they will eventually have yellow flowers but tell me I have to wait for several years… I remind them at their rate of growth they will still be short. I asked them how old they were already, and they told me it was a secret. GEEZ!!! Then, of course, the other cactus kid them about me accidentally buying two of them. Well, this isn’t the only pair I accidentally bought two of…

 

Sedum adolphii

The Sedum adolphii (Golden Sedum) has been very happy since I put him in a new pot. I decided to name him Adolf… And Adolph is really glowing…

 

Sedum adolphii ‘Firestorm’…

The Sedum adolphii ‘Firestorm’™ is doing very well in its larger pot on the front porch. I have heard of this plant for several years and found this one at Lowe’s on July 10 this year. Its leaves are a nice greenish-gold color like the species with much more prominent bronze-orange edges (depends a lot on the light, too) than the species. Its leaves appear a little more slender and more pointed that the species as well. The color comes out much better in both the species and ‘Firestorm’ in brighter light.  There is very little online about this plant specifically except for online merchants, and even on their sites, there is very little about it. Usually, when Dave’s Garden has a listing about a plant there is some growing information, but not with this one. Nothing was filled in but there are a couple of photos. So, I added my photos and filled in the information. The information I added is visible, but it will take a while for the photos to show up.

Sedum adolphii ‘Firestorm’ is a 2014 introduction from the Huntington Botanic Garden. To see their introductions, click on Gardens, then click on Botanical Resources, then click on International Succulent Introductions. I spent a few hours clicking on each year from 2018 down to 2002. NICE! 🙂

 

Sedum kamtschaticum ‘Variegatum’…

The Sedum kamtschaticum ‘Variegata’ is doing amazing this year. To think it was down to a few tiny stems and now it looks like this. It’s a good thing I moved it to the cast iron planter, huh? I had intended to take the stem whos leaves were more yellow and see if I could get its own clump growing but… I only seem to remember when I am taking photos. 🙂 I think it is to late to do it now because cooler temps and decreasing day length could be a problem. I will just have to wait until next spring to see if it returns like this. I am also glad it flowered this year for the first time since 2012 when we were in Mississippi. There are a lot of photos on this plants page.

 

Sedum kamtschaticum

Although the Sedum kamtschaticum (Orange or Russian Stonecrop) has done well this summer, it has also been weird. Normally it is growing more upright, but this year it has sprawled leaving a hole in the center. The taller growing Sedum species, like ‘Autumn Joy’, that produce LARGE clusters of flowers do this but this is the first summer this plant has done this. It is growing on the second level in the raised bed behind the old foundation in “the other yard”. Usually, there is A LOT of Celosia argentea var. spicata ‘Cramer’s’ Amazon’ growing around it and Marigold ‘Brocade’ in the first level but this year I didn’t let that happen. So, this plant has been in full sun without the shade of the other plants and it has had room to spread out somewhat.

Sedum kamtschaticum is one of the species continually in debate the past several years. Since the Sedum genus is a very large and diverse group of plants, many believe it should be divided into many other genera according to plant type (etc.). This species was named Phedimus kamtschaticus, and although many databases used that name for a while, most have gone back to Sedum. In a recent reply from Raphael Goverts (Senior Content Editor at Kew) concerning the Sedum genus, he said: “As to Sedum, POWO (Plants of the World Online) still takes a wide view of the genus because there is not yet an agreed system to deal with it. Most of the research has been done in Europe on European species for which a number of genera have been made but it is unclear how they relate to the Asian and American species. So until this is settled we will retain a large Sedum.”

Missouri Botanical Garden (and Tropicos) is still going with the genus Phedimus. The USDA Plants Database has changed the plant names that were moved other genera back to Sedum. It will be very interesting to see how this all pans out in the future…

 

Sedum spurium ‘John Creech’…

The Sedum spurium ‘John Creech’ is still doing awesomely well stuck in its little corner. It wants to spread out more so it can strut its stuff and is trying desperately to move into other territories. Friedrich August Marschall von Bieberstein named and described this species in Flora Taurico-Caucasica in 1808 but it is also one of the species in the debate. Henk ’t Hart described it as Phedimus spurius in Evolution and Systematics of the Crassulaceae in 1995.

 

Sedum spurium ‘?’…

This Sedum spurium ‘?’ has done very well this summer and FINALLY had a few flowers. I brought the start home from Wagler’s Greenhouse in 2015 and there was no label. I decided it was a Sedum spurium but the cultivar name is still up for debate. I believe it is probably a Sedum spurium ‘Dragon’s Blood’. I waited for 3 years before it flowered and hoped they would help me give it a positive ID. At some point, I am going to have to decide because it really doesn’t like being called “unknown” or “?”. I probably have more photos of this clump than any other plant here. As far as I can tell, there are no other Sedum spurium cultivars that have this coloration on the leaves and stems over a 12 month period. The stems are a reddish color, the leaves are maroon over the winter, then during the summer, the green leaves have a reddish margin. The flowers, of course, are bright reddish-pink. That all says Sedum spurium ‘Dragon’s Blood’.

 

Sempervivum ‘Oddity’…

The Sempervivum ‘Oddity’ is doing awesomely well. I need a new photo already because the stems and offsets are now touching the side of the pot. The Sempervivum ‘Oddity’ I had before did not grow such long stems. Information says the leaves are folded lengthwise, upsidedown and backward… When the leaves get a little larger on the main plant I will be able to take some good close-ups showing the seam along the leaf.

 

Sempervivum ‘Killer’ on 8-26-18, #499-38.

The clump of Sempervivum x ‘Killer’ is one of the succulents that has been continually changing this summer. This is the first year it has flowered which has brought both joy and sadness. Joy because this is the first Sempervivum I have grown that has flowered. It brings a little sadness because, after the larger rosettes flower, they will die… Of course, there are plenty of offsets. A few of the larger rosettes died last summer but it wasn’t because they flowered. At first, I thought maybe they flowered and I just hadn’t noticed, but now I know that wasn’t the case. As long as these have lasted I definitely would have noticed. It has been flowering since the end of July… It is like the cycle of life unfolding right before my eyes.

 

Sempervivum x ‘Killer’ flowers on August 11…

The above photo of the Sempervivum x ‘Killer’ flowers was taken on August 11.  Pretty neat, huh?

 

Stenocereus pruinosus on 7-29-18, #487-97.

The Stenocereus pruinosus (Gray Ghost, Organ Pipe) has been spending its summer soaking in the sun on the back porch. Every time I ask him how he is doing he just smiles and says, “Life is good…”

 

Tephrocactus articulatus var. papyracanthus on 8-18-18, #498-7.

What would life be like without the Tephrocactus articulatus var. papyracanthus (Paper Spine Cactus)? Well, I am sure life would be fine without it, but not as interesting. Sharing our life with interesting plants is a great reward and this cactus is definitely interesting… It has done very well since I put it in a larger pot on May 25 and it also likes it on the front porch. This is one cactus you have to be able to communicate with. While it likes bright light, It seems to prefer a little shade and burns pretty easily in too much sun. It will definitely let you know when it is too much. If they aren’t in enough light their segments will be smaller.

 

Walley’s Unknown Succulent #1 on 8-29-18.

My very good friend and fellow plant collector, Walley Morse, from Mississippi sent me a couple of very interesting succulents. I was hoping he still had the Lenophyllum acutifolium that was in the pot with the Lemon Eucalyptus I left with him when I moved from Mississippi. Well, you know, time has passed and maybe he didn’t even take it. I don’t remember… Anyway, he also sent me several stem cuttings of his Purple Heart (Tradescantia pallida) which I was very glad to receive.

I was very glad he sent me the two succulents as well but so far haven’t been able to properly identify them yet. They are going good in pots on the front porch. I should have cut their main stems off closer to the lower set of leaves, but since they already had roots attached, I thought I better just get them in some soil right away. #1 had buds but they seem to have disappeared…

 

Walley’s Unknown Succulent #2 on 8-29-18.

Several leaves had fallen off #2 during shipping which didn’t take root. The top of the stem had also broken off, so I put them both in their own pots. I am not sure, but this could possibly be a species of Echeveria (or a similar genus)… One of 184 species and HUNDREDS of cultivars… I posted photos of both these succulents on a Facebook to see if a member could identify. Usually, that works pretty well, but not this time. I guess I will have to post their photos on a few more… There are several other places I can also post their photos. I am almost 100% sure they are both members of the Crassulaceae family (especially #2).

 

Cactus on the back porch on 8-26-18.

This is the most recent photo of the cactus on the back porch. I had switched places with the Mammillaria vetula subsp. gracilis and the Oscularia deltoides.

 

Plants on the front porch on 8-26-18.

I checked, and triple checked, to make sure I didn’t leave any of the Cactus and succulents out. I took several new photos and updated this post several times in the, umm, two weeks it took me to publish it. So, I thought I better get finished before I decide to take more photos.

Now that the cactus and succulent update is finished… I have more posts to add. But first, I need to catch up on YOUR posts to see what YOU have been up to! 🙂

Until next time, stay well, positive, amazing, safe, and…

GET DIRTY!!!

 

R.I.P. Mr. Argiope

Hello folks! I hope this post finds you all well. Sunday afternoon I planned on taking a few photos which led to some weeding. As I was taking photos, I asked Mrs. Argiope where her husband was. She became a bit testy at the question and abruptly informed me that he was NOT her husband. But, she went on to explain that she invited him to dinner one afternoon but it had been a slow day… Sometimes I throw a grasshopper in her web, but Sunday there was none to be found. That in itself is a bit strange… Then Mrs. Argiope didn’t seem to happy with me when I was trimming and pulling weeds under her web. This darn maple tree keeps sending up sprouts along the wall and her web happens to be attached to one of the sprouts. I removed the other sprouts and one messed up her web. She ran for cover are gave me a very bad look. For a minute I thought she would invite ME to dinner…

I am still working on part two of the cactus and succulent update. Some of the photos I took earlier are out of date so I took a few more on Sunday. Umm… 42.

So, until next time… Have a great and awesome day, evening, rest of the week and so on. Stay positive, amazing, and be well. Most of all… GET DIRTY!

 

Bed & Plant Update Part 4: Cactus & Succulents Part 1

Hello again! I hope this post is finding you all well. I decided to make the forth plant and bed update about the cactus and succulents. I really like cactus and succulents and over the years have had success and failure. I had many more, but I gave up most of my plants in 2014 and had to start over again. I buy most of my cactus and succulents from the local greenhouses, Wal-Mart, and Lowe’s. The bad thing about starting over is that I haven’t found many of the plants I really enjoyed before. Some plants I gave up had sentimental value that can never be replaced. Well, life is full of making changes and sometimes we make a wrong decision. I hope I am much wiser now than before. I don’t mind making changes, or even giving away all my plants, as long as the change is for the better. I can always find more plants and even make their conditions better next time.

This post will probably be pretty long and I am going to try and update the pages for these plants as I go along. That will be OK unless I run into some name changes and get frustrated. 🙂 That has happened a lot lately. Then I get frustrated, write an email to the content editor of Kew, write a lengthy reply that I don’t send, and then get writer’s block for a few days. Well, be happy because I just deleted a long paragraph… 🙂

 

Agave univittata (Center Stripe Agave)…

The Agave univittata (Center Stripe Agave) is doing very well and is happy in its larger pot. I have grown several Agave species and most have done very well. I have found that the smaller species, like this one, are MUCH easier to handle. I don’t think it was getting enough sun, but it is getting more here on the front porch now.

 

Aloe juvenna (Tiger Tooth Aloe)…

I acquired my first Aloe juvenna (Tiger Tooth Aloe) in 2009 from a piece that had broken off of a plant at Wal-Mart in Greenville, Mississippi. I looked around to see where it may have come from and found a plant labeled Aloe squarrosa. Then, in 2012, I bought a similar looking plant labeled Aloe zanzibarica (Zanzibar Aloe). As it turned out both of the names were incorrect. There is no such species as Aloe zanzibarica and practically all plants labeled Aloe squarrosa are actually Aloe juvenna. In fact, Aloe squarrosa is rare in today’s marketplace. I was glad I found another one of these plants at a local greenhouse in 2017. They are a really nice small clump-forming Aloe that is very easy to grow. You just have to put them in a larger diameter pot every few years and give them adequate light during the summer months when they are actively growing. Their leaves should be somewhat short and if they grow longer they aren’t in enough light. To much sun and their leaves will burn. You have to be somewhere in the middle. I put this Aloe juvenna in a larger pot on July 12. You will notice there are short and long leaves on the plant(s) in the above photo. Sometimes they were in enough light and sometimes not. 🙂 Oh, yeah, there are a few babies in this pot.

 

Aloe maculata ‘Kyle’s Grandma’…

Well, I will tell you, this Aloe maculata (Soap Aloe) is MUCH, MUCH, MUCH happier now. It is in a larger pot on the front porch where it can get the attention it likes. Some plants are kind of shy and some like attention. Just like people. This Aloe loves it when you touch its leaves and tell it how well it is looking. Yeah, I know. You think I’m crazy. Just click on the name and go to its page and you will see for yourself… This plant and I have a LONG history dating back to 2009. This plant’s ancestor was the first of many plants and cuttings brought to me by my good friend Kyle Hall while I was living in Mississippi. It was my first Aloe, and maybe my first succulent. I didn’t know the species name so I called it Aloe ‘Kyle’s Grandma’ (I didn’t know his grandmothers name at the time either). Go to the page and you can read all about how many offsets I had… I was the Aloe maculata king. 🙂 The page covers 8 years… I skipped 2015 because I didn’t have it then.

When I had to start plant collecting again, I had given several of these plants to Wagler’s Greenhouse. So, I brought another one home from there in 2016. It did not do well because I was busy doing this and that and did not pay much attention to it. Then, when I moved the plants to the front porch, put it in a larger pot, and it is where everyone can see it… Most everyone who goes to the front porch notices this plant right off. It is soaking in the attention and thriving. 🙂

I think I owe a lot of my enthusiasm about plants to the Aloe maculata. It encouraged me to be myself and never give up. I made many new friends in Mississippi because I gave them offsets of this plant.

 

Aristaloe aristata (Lace Aloe)…

I bought this Aristaloe aristata (Lace Aloe) in March. I put it in a larger pot and it has done very well. Although this was originally thought to be a species of Aloe, phylogenetic studies show the Aloe genus is polyphyletic and this unusual species IS NOT an Aloe. It is closely related to the Astrolabes and to the four Robustipedunculares species of Haworthia. Because its genetics are unique, this species is in a new genus of its own. The Aristaloe aristata has been used to create many x Gasteraloe hybrids.

 

Cereus repandus f. monstrose on 7-29-18, #487-29.

The new Cereus repandus f. monstrose ‘Rojo’ I bought from Wal-Mart in March is still doing very well. If you have or purchase a plant labeled Cereus peruvianus monstrose ‘Rojo’, it is the same plant. Even though it may not look like this one because there are many shapes to the monstrose forms. I bought my first Cereus peruvianus ‘Rojo’ in 2009 and had it until 2014. The species name has changed MANY times… I like the “monstrose” or “monstrosus” form better than the straight species and this particular plant because it is growing upright. Monstrose forms appear in nature in several species of cactus but the cultivar ‘Rojo’ was created by man. 🙂

 

Cotyledon orbiculata ‘Silver Storm’…

GEEZ! What can I say? I first saw the Cotyledon orbiculata ‘Silver Storm’ (Pig’s Ears, etc.) at Wagler’s Greenhouse in May 2017. They had quite a few plants and they looked really nice. I was tempted but I knew what would eventually happen. I knew after I bought it home it would eventually become infected with brown scale. I also knew it needed a lot of light to keep it looking as good as it dit at the greenhouse. Well, eventually I gave in and brought one home on June 6 (2017). It took off growing like a weed and started to stretch. By July it was showing signs of brown scale. Fortunately, I don’t have any other plants that are that susceptible to brown scale. By the time I needed to bring the plants inside for the winter, the Cotyledon looked like a completely different plant than when I bought it. I was tempted to leave it in the basement, but I moved it to my bedroom for the winter. Well, it survived and is STILL growing, stretching, and it has LOTS of brown scale. I really need to cut the tops off of all the stems and regrow them on the back porch. I think I will do that this week… Just in the short time it has been on the back porch, the top leaves are doing what they are supposed to and not stretching. That shows me this plant absolutely needs the brightest light possible. It has also proved to me it isn’t about to die…

 

Cotyledon orbiculata ‘Silver Storm’ cuttings…

As I am writing this post and got this far (on August 6), I decided to go right out and take cuttings from the Cotyledon ‘Silver Storm’. Now, we will see what it will do. First, the cuttings need to scab over for a few days before I put them in pots. Now, I have to figure out what to do with the scale. Normally brown scale are easy to remove, as with the Crassula ovata. You can just pick them off with your fingernail. Well, the scale on this plant is different and they can’t be removed with my fingernail. So different it may not be scale at all. I don’t know… Maybe I should attach photos on a Facebook group to see what the members have to say. I do have a bottle of insecticide that is OMRI certified with neem oil. Maybe I will try it.

 

Crassula ovata ‘Lady Fingers’…

The new Crassula ovata ‘Ladyfingers’ is also doing well. I bought this plant from one of the local Amish greenhouses on May 5. I had one before for several years so I was very glad to find another one. Although there was no label with it I knew what it was. If you find a plant at Lowe’s or Wal-Mart like this it will probably be labeled Crassula ovata ‘Gollum’ or Crassula ‘Gollum’. If you click on the link you will go to this plants page. On the page, you will find a link to the article written by Roy Mottram explaining the difference (with photos) explaining the difference between ‘Gollum’ and ‘Ladyfingers’. A few of the leaves may be a little Gollumy, but most of them definitely say ‘Ladyfingers’.

 

Cylindropuntia imbricata (Tree Cholla)…

Well, the Cylindropuntia imbricata (Tree Cholla) has definitely gone through a growth spurt this summer. It has gone completely silly! But, that’s what I like to see. I was given this plant when it was very small by Wagler’s Greenhouse in 2016. It is very interesting because it is doing or has done something different almost every time I take photos.

 

Delosperma cooperi ‘Jewel of Desert Grenade’…

This Delosperma cooperi ‘Jewel of Desert Grenade’ has been weird. It looks like it isn’t happy but it is ALWAYS flowering up a storm. When I was at my cousin’s house they had these in a planter and they were so full and lush… Sometimes I wonder if I shouldn’t use my cactus and succulent recipe on the Ice Plant. The last one I had was in 2010 in Mississippi and it did great then all the sudden it died. I think I overwatered that one, though. But my cousin’s wife waters their almost every day! Hmmm… Maybe I should buy several of these next year and experiment a bit. 🙂 I may repot this plant and put in regular potting soil with fertilizer. Yeah! That’s what I will do!

 

Echinocactus grusonii (Golden Barrel Cactus)…

The Echinocactus grusonii (Golden Barrel Cactus) is still alive and kicking, or should I stay “sticking”. I bought these two Golden Barrel Cactus in 2016 and they have slowly grown. I always measure the cactus at least once a year to see how much they have grown. According to Plants of the World Online by Kew, there are only six accepted species of Echinocactus. Version 1.1 of The Plant List (2013) named six accepted species (plus two infraspecific names), a total of 107 synonyms, and 469 names that were still unresolved… This species has received the Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit. When the cactus were close to the Chiese Elm Tree, the dead leaves would stick on their needles. The Japanese Beetles were always getting stuck in this particular cactus more than the others.

 

Echinopsis ‘Rainbow Bursts’ on 7-29-18, #487-39.

Well, I don’t know… When I bought this cactus in 2016 the label said Echinobivia ‘Rainbow Bursts’ and it said it was an intergenetic cross between Echinopsis and Lobivia. Well, all the species of Lobivia were moved to other genera, mostly the genus Echinopsis. So, now I am just calling it Echinopsis ‘Rainbow Bursts’. Recently I have narrowed the actual name down to two species. Funny how none of the photos on Llifle (Encyclopedia of Living Forms) or other websites show the offsets growing on the side of the plant like this. The reason the cultivar name is ‘Rainbow Bursts’ is because the plants can have different colors of flowers (not on the same plant). The reason I haven’t removed its kids is because I only need one of these plants… Several have fallen off but I don’t know where they rolled off to.

 

Espostoa melanostele (Peruvian Old Lady)…

The Espostoa melanostele (Peruvian Old Lady) is still alive and well and growing. Some cacti are very slow growing, but this one has grown 5/8″ so far since I last measured it in October last year. It is now 6″ tall and it was 2 3/4″ tall when I bought it in February 2016.

 

x Gasteraloe ‘Flow’ on 7-29-18, #487-42.

The x Gasteraloe ‘Flow’ is doing very well as always. I have had several x Gasteraloe cultivars and all but one did very well. The four offsets are getting a little cramped so I either need to remove them or put the whole clump in a larger pot. I bought this plant in July 2016 and it is currently the only x Gasteraloe I have.

I just finished updating the x Gasteraloe ‘Twilight Zone’ page I had been calling Aloe x ‘Twilight Zone’ since 2012. The plant had a Proven Winner’s tag that said Aloe Hybrid ‘Twilight Zone’. The National Gardening Association was calling it an x Gasteraloe. So, I sent the creator, Kelly Griffin, a message and quizzed him about it. He said it was indeed a Gasteraloe and told me what species he used to make the cross. He named it after the intro to Rod Sterlings Twilight Zone (the TV Show).

I think I will go ahead and publish this post and start working on the next cactus and succulent update…

Until next time, stay positive and stay well. Most of all… GET DIRTY!