Fall 2020 Update Part 4: Kalanchoe and Ledebouria

Kalanchoe luciae with friends on the shelf in front of a south-facing window in the back bedroom on 11-1-20, #754-1.

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you well. Since the “S” we have had rain. Last week was rainy for several days then the sun finally came out. This post is for the Kalanchoe and Ledebouria in my small collection and most of the photos were taken on October 15 when I brought the plants inside for the winter. I learned a few things while making this post that calls for a little further research… My Kalanchoe daigremontiana may NOT be a Kalanchoe daigremontiana after all. Hmmm…

All the plants on this post have their own pages which you can view by clicking on the name in green under the photo.

<<<<Kalanchoe daigremontiana>>>>

Kalanchoe daigremontiana (Mother of Thousands) on 10-15-20, #747-51.

The Kalanchoe daigremontiana (Mother of Thousands) has definitely been a plant I have had to grow with. It is kind of like being in a relationship with someone that starts out interesting then it just kind of gets weird. It wasn’t perfect in the beginning but you expected them to just grow with you and blossom. When they didn’t do what you expect, you kind of neglected them then they just stopped being the best they could be for you or themselves. You felt they were just hanging in there until you paid attention and gave them what they needed from you. Well, then I figured out what this relationship needed. Like any good and lasting relationship, you have to take care of it and then it will blossom and be great. Well, at least we hope so. Love is about devotion, honesty, loyalty… It is giving and receiving at the same time. Gardening is the same way, as is anything worthwhile. You get more of what you give sometimes, and you do have to give. The Kalanchoe daigremontiana is definitely a plant that you will either love or hate. You will love it if you know how to take care of it, and hate it if you don’t. So many of these plants are sold and given away only to have them neglected then discarded. If you follow a few basic rules, they are great plants and there is hardly a more beautiful plant than a well-grown Kalanchoe daigremontiana. I brought my first one home from Wagler’s in 2014 and it became a beautiful plant. After I gave up most of my plants in the late summer of 2014, it wasn’t until late in 2015 that I started to rebuild my collection. One of the first plants I brought home was another one of these plants. It started out great and it was a nice plant, too. However, in 2016 it started getting tall and strange. By 2017 it was tall and straggly and its leaves were smaller. It was NOT a pretty sight… Not to mention all those darn plantlets that were coming up everywhere!

Kalanchoe daigremontiana (Mother of Thousands) platelets on 10-15-20, #747-52.

Over the years I have figured out to remove the plantlets when I bring the plants inside. They fall off and come upon every pot close by. I have found them in pots that weren’t even close. Like kids, if you want them to grow into nice plants you have to give them attention, too. Removal of the plantlets is kind of like birth control. Just think of how many babies are born every year that weren’t planned… I have no clue where that came from… GEEZ! According to the experts, the leaves of these plants are not really leaves…They are actually phylloclades which are flattened branches modified for photosynthesis.

Kalanchoe daigremontiana is a native of Madagascar and is listed as an invasive species in several parts of the world. It can produce over 16,000 seeds per fruit not to mention the plantlets!

ANYWAY…

Kalanchoe daigremontiana (Mother of Thousands) on 10-15-20, #747-50.

NICE! Well, I suppose I better tell you the whole story. The two plants in this pot are actually offsets from the parent plant… Here it goes…

The strangest thing happened to my Kalanchoe daigremontiana last winter. In January, I went into the bedroom where the plants are and it had buds. I had seen flowers of them online but this was the first time mine had ever bloomed. OK, I will show you…

Kalanchoe daigremontiana (Mother of Thousands) flowers on 2-21-20, #670-2.

I was shocked! A week or so after I saw the buds I moved the plant to my bedroom with the plants in there so I could keep an eye on it. After the flowers faded I just left the stem attached to see what would happen next. Over the summer I was pretty busy with the garden and this and that and I more or less didn’t pay much attention to the plants on the front porch. After all, they were succulents for the most part and they would be OK. And they did just fine… The main plant just kind of fizzled out, because this species is monocarpic, but two NICE offsets came up next to it… NOT plants from the plantlets (there were several of them too), but NICE big plants… So, the plants in the photos are those two offsets.

So, what became of the old flower stem?

Kalanchoe daigremontiana (Mother of Thousands), where the flowers were, on 10-20-20, #748-1.

The flower stem had fallen over but it produced MORE plantlets where the flowers had been. What else did you expect from this plant? I didn’t notice any fruit or seed pods, but this plant can produce over 16,000 seeds per fruit.

All parts of this species contain a very toxic steroid known as daigremontianin but many commercial drugs are produced from compounds of this plant (from Wikipedia).

Although Kalanchoe daigremontiana is the accepted name at the moment, sometimes it is Bryophyllum daigremontianum. For a while every time I checked it had changed from one name to the other. I left both names on the captions on its page so I wouldn’t have to keep changing it. It miraculously hasn’t changed since I last updated its page in October 2019. There is even confusion online about this plant, and some have it confused with Kalanchoe delagoensis. Even the Llifle (Encyclopedia of Living Forms) website has a photo that is not correct. It looks more like K. delagoensis. The species also hybridize which even complicates the situation further.

I had to do some did some further research because I just read Kalanchoe daigremontiana is supposed to have purple markings under its leaves which mine does not have. How come I never saw that before? Another accepted species, Kalanchoe laetivirens, is very similar with no purple markings under the leaves. Hmmm… Even though POWO says it is an accepted name, Wikipedia says is it likely a hybrid between Kalanchoe daigremontiana x Kalanchoe laxiflora, therefore, lists it as Kalanchoe x laetivirens. Hmmm… Hmmm… Maybe my plant is actually a Kalanchoe laetivirens… GEEZ!!! Llifle doesn’t even list it. I am going to have to look into that further… I will keep you posted…

<<<<Kalanchoe luciae>>>>

Kalanchoe luciae (Paddle Plant) on 10-15-20, #747-53.

Kalanchoe species come in a wide array of sizes and leaf shapes and Kalanchoe luciae (Paddle Plant) is a great example. I brought home my first Kalanchoe luciae from Wal-Mart on February 1, 2016. I have never had issues with this species and it doesn’t proliferate like its life depends on it. I have four pots and they all have offsets. Actually, the top pot has three offsets of the original plant which was cut off and is now in the pot on the left. The original plant grew a long stem and was hanging out of the pot. I thought that was kind of neat so I left it like that until  I need to cut the plant in the pot on the right off and regrow it. It keeps wanting to fall out of the pot. Ummm… There seems to be a pot missing.

Kalanchoe luciae (Paddle Plant) on 10-15-20, #747-54.

The leaves of Kalanchoe luciae are kind of ovalish, light green, with kind of chalky undersides. When in good light, the leaves get kind of a reddish-orange-peachy glow. There is a similar species, Kalanchoe thrysiflora, which share some of its common names but the leaves don’t take on the color in brighter light. The industry sells plants with the name Kalanchoe thrysiflora that are really Kalanchoe luciae. I guess they think they can sell more plants like that and it is a good trick. Most people would never know the difference, but K. thrysiflora is actually a rarer plant and unlikely found in stores. So, if you have a plant labeled Kalanchoe thrysiflora and its leaves turn a reddish color in the sun, you actually have a Kalanchoe luciae. Oh yeah, cooler temps in the winter can also promote the leaf color. Flowers are also different between the species. K. luciae flowers do not have a strong scent while those of K. thrysiflora are strongly scented.

Kalanchoe luciae (Paddle Plant) on 10-15-20, #747-55.

The stems have this neat chalky stuff called “bloom”. The bloom will actually rub off.

Common names for this plant include Flap Jack, Red Pancakes, Paddle Kalanchoe, Northern White Lady, Pancake Kalanchoe, Flipping flapjacks, White Lady, Flapjacks, Dog Tongue Plant, Paddle Plant, Paddle Leaf, Desert Cabbage, and maybe more… Kalanchoe thrysiflora share some of these names.

Kalanchoe luciae (Paddle Plant) on 10-15-20, #747-56.

Ahhh, there you are. This pot was hiding among the smaller succulents on the right side of the table. This is the one I experimented with last summer in full sun on the back porch. Its leaves turned a bright reddish-orange. The right side of the table seems to get more light so it is glowing.

Kalanchoe luciae are easy to grow and are low maintenance. Once they lose a lot of lower leaves just cut the stem a few inches from the lower leaves, let the stem scab over for about a week, then put it in the soil up to the leaves. That’s it!

Give them regular watering over the summer but very little during the winter. Only give them a little water when you notice its leaves starting to wrinkle and get somewhat soft.

Keep them in as bright a light as possible over the winter otherwise, they will stretch a bit. If this happens, just whack off the stem and regrow the plant in the spring. This is true for A LOT of succulents and other plants as well.

<<<<Kalanchoe marmorata>>>>

Kalanchoe marmorata (Penwiper Plant) on 10-15-20, #747-57.

The Kalanchoe marmorata (Penwiper Plant) has been simply weird. I bought this plant from a member of a Facebook group and it arrived beautifully in April 2018. The seller shipped it bareroot and it was beautiful and LOADED with leaves. I put it in potting soil thinking all would be well. It wasn’t. This plant went into shock and lost all but four leaves on top of the stem. Even so, it grew an offset. Since then, it has survived but it is still weird. Last summer I cut off the stem in half and put the offset in its own pot. Sometimes they look like they are getting somewhere but not really… The offset stays short while the other one has grown to 7″ and the leaves fall off as it grows. I am going to have to cut off the stem again this spring (if I can wait that long).

Kalanchoe marmorata (Penwiper Plant) on 10-15-20, #747-58.

It looks good on the top. I will figure out what this plant needs one way or another… Llifle says this is an easy plant to grow. Hmmm… I really want to like this plant because of its interesting leaves. After all, that is why I bought it.

<<<<Kalanchoe orgyalis>>>>

Kalanchoe orgyalis (Copper Spoons) at 25″ tall on 10-15-20, #747-59.

The Kalanchoe orgyalis (Copper Spoons) I brought home from Mast’s Greenhouse in June 2018 has been pretty entertaining. Apparently, I didn’t measure it when I brought it home, but it has grown 6 1/2″ taller than last October to 25″. It seems a little strange for a 25″ tall plant to be growing in a 6 1/2″ pot and it is somewhat top-heavy. I have found it laying on its side a couple of times this past summer when the soil was dry even though I keep bricks around the pots. It was like the wind just lifted the pot up and then the plant fell over but luckily it had close friends to catch it so it never fell on the porch floor. I have a heavier, more decorative, clay pot that might be a good idea for this plant. It is a little too big so I may have to do some improvising… Even though this plant is 25″ tall, it doesn’t have that much of a root system so you have to be careful not to put it in a pot with too much soil.

Kalanchoe orgyalis (Copper Spoons) on 10-15-20, #747-60.

One of the common names for this species is Copper Spoons due to its spoon-shaped leaves of a coppery-brown. As the leaves get older the color changes to a browner tone. The leaves are kind of fuzzy like mohair seats but they don’t smell like a wet dog when they are wet.

I hate to do it because I like watching this plant get taller, but at some point, it may need to be whacked in half. The two lower branches are growing, but there are upper branches that are not getting with the program…

Now, for the Ledebouria… 🙂

<<<<Ledebouria socialis>>>>

Ledebouria socialis (var. paucifolia) on 10-15-20, #747-61.

If you haven’t tried Ledebouria socialis (Silver Squill, Etc.), I suggest you do. These are great plants and very easy to care for. Plants of the World Online still doesn’t recognize the varieties of Ledebouria socialis but I include the variety name in parenthesis because there are definite differences. Although Ledebouria species are grown by many succulent enthusiasts, they are bulbous perennials in the Asparagaceae Family (Llifle still says Hyacinthaceae). The variety above could possibly be the “original” species and the others may have “evolved” from it. The species was also named Scilla socialis, Scilla paucifolia, and Ledebouria paucifolia. Scilla laxa is also a synonym. It was first in the Scilla genus, which is still genus, but some differences determined they are Ledebouria. The Pacific Bulb Society has a lot of information about this genus which you can find a link to on the plant’s page. The information they provide is somewhat out of date, name wise, but it makes for an interesting read. Ledebouria species are natives of South Africa.

Ledebouria socialis (var. violacea) on 10-15-20, #747-62.

The Ledebouria in the above photo was previously named Scilla violacea and Ledebouria violacea but most botanists decided it should be a synonym of Ledebouria socialis. Even so, it is different in several ways from the others. For one, the leaves have larger and darker spots with violet undersides. This one also grows and spreads like crazy compared to the other. I had to ut it in a larger pot last year because it had gotten so cramped in the other. It still has some growing room in this one…

Ledebouria socialis (var. violacea) on 10-15-20, #747-63.

This one didn’t flower this summer and I think that is because I didn’t move them to the cooler bedroom early enough so they could go dormant properly. I had them in my bedroom for a while then noticed they just kept growing and the new leaves were long and skinny. Well, that’s what information said they would do if they weren’t allowed to go dormant. They will continue growing and not flower if you don’t move them to a cooler spot and stop watering them. I didn’t put them into the other bedroom until December last winter but they are already in there now. Just since I moved them inside on October 15, they have grown new leaves that are already long and skinny. NO MORE WATER!!! So, now what will happen is the leaves will start dying off, which will take a while, then the bubs will start to shrivel. That process may take a couple of months. Then I will say, “HOLY CRAP”! Then I will be tempted to give them water. So, this will be my first winter with them properly forcing them to go dormant. We shall see what happens…

I will end this post now and get ready for the next one. It will be about the Mammillaria species in my collection.

This week’s forecast is bright ad sunny so I wonder what I can get into. I have gotten all the nails out of the boards I will use to build the new plant shelves, so that will be the main project for the week.

Until next time, take care, be safe, stay positive… You know the drill…

Cactus & Succulent Update #5

Group photo for Cactus & Succulent Update #5 on 11-24-19.

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you well. This is the fifth and final cactus and succulent update which I started on November 23rd. The temperature got up into the mid 50’s on the 24th so I decided it would be OK to take the plants in this post outside for a photoshoot (Grammarly continues to argue with itself whether it is photo shoot or photoshoot). I didn’t list the plants in the caption because they are kind of mixed up and there a few that there are several of.

 

Plant shelf in the back bedroom in a south-facing window on 11-24-19.

I repotted several and whacked the Kalanchoe daigremontiana stem in half s you can see in this photo (bottom left). Although the Kalanchoe orgyalis is also very tall I just put in a larger pot. It was on the bottom shelf and was almost touching the one above it so it is now on the floor between the shelf and window. On the second shelf, on the right, you can see the Huernia schneideriana has some pretty long stems. The room stays fairly cool and the plants get plenty of light from this south-facing window. Hmmm… It seems I forgot to put the other four smaller Kalanchoe daigremontiana back on the top shelf…

Most of the photos on this post were taken on October 11 when I moved the plants inside for the winter (the first time), but I had to take a few more for this post.

 

Kalanchoe daigremontiana (Mother of Thousands) after being whacked in half and repotted on 11-24-19.

Well, I didn’t take photos of the Kalanchoe daigremontiana (Mother of Thousands) on October 11. I suppose that’s because they dive me nuts and didn’t need the added attention. I was going to take a photo of all of them together for this post but then decided against that as well. This evening I decided to whack the stem in half and stick most of it back in the pot. It was at least 20″ tall now it is 11″ again. I always remove the plantlets from the leaves when I move the plants inside. Actually, they aren’t leaves but only look like leaves…  To say I have five of these plants would be an understatement because several are growing in other pots as usual.

Click HERE to view the Kalanchoe daigremontiana page.

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Kalanchoe luciae on 10-11-19.

The Kalanchoe luciae (Paddle Plant) are really neat plants. You may have heard it called by other names because it has many including Flipping Flapjacks, Red Pancakes, Paddle Kalanchoe, Northern White Lady, Pancake Kalanchoe, White Lady, Flapjacks, Paddle Leaf, Desert Cabbage, Paddle Plant, Dog Tongue Plant, and Flap Jack. They don’t seem to grow that tall and like to lean a bit then they grow roots under the lower stems when they are ready to repot. I guess in the wild when they get a certain height and lean far enough they take root in the soil. The leaning stem on the plant to the left is the original plant and it is three years old. The roots on the stem are under the leaves right in the curve. All the other plants were offsets from it. 

 

Kalanchoe luciae from the back porch on 10-13-19.

I took this Kalanchoe luciae to the back porch for a shot on the 13th because it hadn’t been incuded in the above group photo. It had been growing on the back porch in full sun with the cactus during the summer to see how it would do. I knew the leaves would turn this color because the original plant was in brighter light in 2016. Pretty neat huh? I repotted all the smaller pots of Kalanchoe luciae this evening except the older one which had been done earlier. Another thing I like about these plants is their chalky white stems…

 

All the Kalanchoe luciae on 11-24-19.

I took a group photo of all the Kalanchoe luciae while the plants were outside for their photoshoot.

Click HERE to view the Kalanchoe luciae page.

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Kalanchoe marmorata (Penwiper Plant) on 10-11-19, #639-49.

Hmmm… The Kalanchoe marmorata (Penwiper Plant) and I have made an agreement. As long as it doesn’t die I will keep doing the best I can. I bought this plant from a member of a Facebook group in April 2018 and it went into shock and darn near died. It lost all but two of its upper leaves but started doing much better and growing more leaves within a couple of weeks. Then, the next thing I knew, it sent up an offset. I cut the top off the old plant after a while and then stuck it in the same pot because it looked so weird and the stem was growing roots under the surviving leaves. I put the offset in a different pot… Then, the stem I stuck in the pot started growing roots on its stem and the old stem started growing leaves under the cut… After the above photo was taken, I removed the stem cutting and put it in another pot. Then, when I took the plants outside for a photoshoot for the group photo, I noticed the original stem had died…

 

Kalanchoe marmorata on 11-24-19.

I decided to take a new photo of what they look like now. The plant in the smaller pot was almost completely out of the potting soil… So, we have had our ups and downs but I hope they survive the winter.

Click HERE to view the Kalanchoe marmorata page.

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Kalanchoe orgyalis (Copper Spoons) at 18 1/2″ tall x 10″ wide on 10-11-19, #639-50.

The always AWESOME Kalanchoe orgyalis (Copper Spoons) has done very well and was 18 1/2″ tall x 10″ wide when I brought it inside on October 11. It has grown a little since this photo was taken. I decided it needed a larger pot so I did that before putting it back in the bedroom. It had grown a little since I brought it inside and the larger pot added a little more height as well. It wouldn’t fit on the lower shelf anymore and I didn’t want to raise the second shelf again, so I put it on the floor between the shelf and window. The bottom of the window is only 10″ from the floor so I think it will be fine.

Kalanchoe does not seem to have an extensive root system, so most of the time you can just replace the soil and leave them in the same pot. If they are very tall, you have to consider pot size to keep them from falling over.

Click HERE to view the Kalanchoe orgyalis page.

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Ledebouria socialis (var. paucifolia) on 10-11-19.

Hmmm… OK, I am not going to vent about the scientific name for the Ledebouria socialis on this post. I need to rewrite their pages or maybe completely redo it and put them both on the same page. Whether you choose to call this one Ledebouria socialis, Ledebouria socialis ‘Paucifolia’, or Ledebouria socialis var. paucifolia is fine by me. 🙂 They were previously in the genus Scilla… Until 1970. Common names include Silver Squill, Violet Squill, Leopard Lily, South African Scillia, Bluebell, and Wood Hyacinth.

 

Ledebouria socialis (var. paucifolia) leaves on 10-11-19, #639-52.

The leaves of this one are silvery green with darker green spots. But seriously, why am I calling this var. paucifolia?

 

Ledebouria socialis (var. paucifolia) bulbs on 10-11-19, #639-53.

They grow from bulbs and this one doesn’t spread as much as the other.

 

Ledebouria socialis (var. violacea) on 10-11-19, #639-54.

The other one, which you can call Ledebouria socialis ‘Violacea’, Ledebouria socialis, or Ledebouria socialis var. violacea (as I call it)… Hmmm. I’m doing well not putting in my two cents but it is very difficult. In the spring I removed a bulb for the guy in Alabama that was supposed to do some plant swapping with me. The exchanges never happened and now that one bulb has turned into 6… It has produced most of them since I moved the plants inside for the winter. They have gone NUTS and they should be thinking about dormancy.

 

Ledebouria socialis (var. violacea) leaves.

This “variety” or “variation” of Ledebouria socialis has the same silvery-green leaves with larger darker green spots. The undersides of the leaves are kind of a maroon color. It was formerly known as Scillia violacea, Ledebouria violacea, and the Pacific Bulb Society calls them Ledebouria socialis ‘Violacea’. I call them Ledebouria socialis var. violacea because they are NOT a cultivar… OOPS! The Pacific Bulb Company lists several, umm, varieties of Ledebouria socialis which used to be species.

 

Ledebouria socialis (var. violacea) bulbs. That is not mealybugs in the photo. I checked and it’s perlite. 🙂

This one has definitely spread a lot more and makes a nice full pot. Both flowered this past summer.

In all, if you haven’t tried Ledebouria socialis I recommend you do. They are cold hardy in USDA zones 10a-11 (30-40° F) but make great potted specimens where not hardy. You water them normally during the summer, but should not water them during the winter. I am trying to decide when to stop… Mine arrived from a seller on Facebook on October 13 (last year) and I don’t think I watered them until spring. If you continue to water them they will produce longer and narrower leaves during the winter and may not flower the following year. I think the trick is to get them not to grow over the winter so they will do it in the spring. They should also be in a cooler room. So, I suppose I need to stop watering them and put them in the cool bedroom since they are beginning to grow long and narrow leaves… If you give Ledebouria socialis a try, make sure you plant them with 2/3 of their bulbs exposed.

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Parodia lenninghausii at 5 1/2″ tall x 2 1/8″ wide (left) and 5 3/4″ tall x 2 1/4″ wide (left) on 10-11-19, #639-77.

The two Parodia lenninghausii (Golden Ball Cactus) are looking and doing great as always. The smaller one in the green pot is now 5 1/2″ tall x 2 1/8″ wide. It has grown a lot from 1 7/8″ tall x 1 3/4″ wide since I brought it home from Wal-Mart on February 1, 2016. The taller one in the red pot is now 5 3/4″ tall x 2 1/4″ wide. It has always been about 1″ taller than the other.

 

Parodia lenninghausii from the top on 10-11-19, #639-78.

They still have the neatest hairdo.

 

Parodia lenninghausii with its baby on 10-11-19, #639-79.

I was happy to see the smaller plant had a baby when I took the above photo on October 11. I noticed today it has another one right next to it.

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Parodia magnifica at 2 5/8″ tall x 2 5/8″ wide on 10-11-19.

The Parodia magnifica (Ball Cactus, Baloon Cactus) is a nice little cactus that is doing well. It is now 2 5/8″ tall x 2 5/8″ wide. It has grown 1 1/4″ taller and 1/4″ wider since I brought it home from Lowe’s in March. That is 1 1/4″ in only seven months!

 

Parodia magnifica in its new pot on 11-13-19, #649-21.

It was strange posting the photo from October 11 when I had already posted it in its new pot. In case you missed it, I am sharing it again. With more room, I wonder how much it will grow after another year.

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Sedum adolphii (Golden Sedum) on 10-11-19, #639-85.

The Sedum adolphii has done very well since I repotted it in August 2018. Its common names include Golden Sedum, Coppertone Stonecrop, Stonecrop, Coppertone Sedum, and Nussbaumer’s Sedum. It is synonymous with Sedum nussbaumerianum so if you have one by that name is it correctly Sedum adolphii. The industry sells them by both names and one time, in 2012, I bought one of each not realizing at the time they were the same. After I gave up most of my plants in 2014, I found this Sedum adolphii in 2016. They are pretty easy to grow in pots and have to be brought inside for the winter where they continue to do well. Many Sedum species do well in pots but dislike being inside. I have grown MANY species over the years that have done well and others that didn’t survive…

 

Sedum adolphii ‘Firestorm’ on 10-11-19.

The Sedum adolphii ‘Firestorm’ is one of several cultivars of the species. It has done well despite not really wanting to be on the front porch. If I had it on the back porch in full sun its true colors would have come out better. Right now, being in a south-facing window inside, its leaf tips are taking on more of an orange color. So, next summer, I will put both pots on the back porch to see how they do.

 

Stapelia gigantea (Zulu Giant) on 10-11-19, #639-86.

OK, I know the Stapelia gigantea (Zulu Giant) looks a bit crowded. It looks crowded because it is crowded. I received six cuttings from a seller on Ebay last October and made the mistake of putting them all in the same 5 1/2″ diameter pot. Well, I had never grown a Stapeliabefore so I had no idea what would happen. I thought about taking a few to Mrs. Wagler (Wagler’s Greenhouse) but decided I would wait until I saw how they did. Remember, the post from November 22 I mentioned I took her cuttings. 🙂

 

Stapelia gigantea (Zulu Giant) on 10-11-19., #639-88.

I think there are more than six in the pot now. I removed the two branches hanging over the sides and made four cuttings from one and gave them to Mrs. Wagler. I wouldn’t have necessarily cut the branches off but I thought they might break off. When I was taking the cutting I learned there would have been no chance of that happening. They are VERY tough! It is strange how offsets in the center of the pot have no branches while the ones closer to the edge do. It is like they think if they branch out one may reach the ground…

 

Stapelia gigantea (Zulu Giant) buds on 10-11-19, #639-87.

Of course, the obvious reason I bought the Stapelia gigantea was for it’s AWESOME 10″ flowers. So, I was very excited when I saw buds! I wish I was posting photos of its flowers instead of just buds. BUT, unfortunately, after I moved the plants inside, the buds fell off. They started growing new ones but one day I noticed a few mealybugs on the buds and on the top of a few stems. Do you know how long it has been since I had bugs? Well, I mean on the plants inside the house. Of course, I have bugs outside during the summer. 🙂

Stapelia are Carrion Plants like the Huernia schneideriana I have had for several years. It also came from Mrs. Wagler. While my Huernia has very small maroon flowers, the other species have much larger and very colorful flowers. I went to the Llifle website to ID mine and became hooked. There are several genera of plants known as Carrion Plants that have similar flowers but their stems are somewhat different. As I have found out they are very easy to grow. While the Huernia doesn’t tell me when it needs water, the Stapelia does. Its soft, fuzzy stems get kind of spongy feeling and when it doesn’t need water they are more stiff.

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Stenocereus pruinosus at 4 3/4″ tall x 2 3/4″ wide on 10-11-19, #639-89.

I have to whisper, but the Stenocereus pruinosus is one of my favorite cactus. It has several common names including Gray Ghost, Organ Pipe, Pitayo, and Pitaya of October (de Octubre). They are highly prized for their fruit and widely cultivated in Mexico in the states of Oaxaca, Puebla, Veracruz, Guerrero, and Chiapas. It was only 2 7/8” tall x 2 3/4” wide when I brought it home from Wal-Mart in February 2016 and now it is 4 3/4″ tall 2 3/4″ wide. It has been a while since I repotted it so I will do it in the spring. I somehow ran out of pumice…

Llifle says Stenocereus pruinosus “is a large shrubby or tree-like columnar cactus to 4-5(-7) m tall, usually with one or more, definite trunk(s) from which little-branching stems arise from the base for a distinctive V-shape.” Well, we have a ways to go…

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Tephrocactus articulatus var. papyracanthus (Paper Spine Cactus) on 10-11-19, #639-91.

Last but not least, Tephrocactus articulatus var. papyracanthus (Paper Spine Cactus) is still doing its thing. I started out with this Paper Spine Cactus as a rescue when I was cactus shopping in February 2016. I spotted a piece that had fallen off so I put it in my pocket and brought it home and we have been friends ever since. It doesn’t grow that tall because the top segments keep falling off and taking root. Sometimes they get lost so I think I will put it in a wider pot. Maybe they won’t wander off then. It is interesting to transplant…

That is finally it for the cactus and succulent update. I have other plants to post about so we shall see what happens next.

Until next time, be safe and stay positive. Don’t forget to be thankful and get dirty every chance you get. Thanks for reading!

 

 

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!!!