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!

 

 

HAPPY 4TH OF JULY Plus A Few Photos

Echinacea purpurea on 7-4-19, #598-1.

Hello everyone and HAPPY 4TH OF JULY! As always, the city had their 4th of July celebration at the park down the road from where I live. There was a steady stream of traffic going by most of the day. It rained this afternoon which kind of put a damper on things, but the fireworks display went ahead as planned. I must admit, they do a pretty good job for a community the size of Windsor. I can see the fireworks pretty good from the backyard which lasted about 30 minutes.

Despite it sprinkling most of the afternoon, including one pretty good downpour, I did manage to go out about 6 PM and take a few photos. I took photos all week but have been tardy writing daily posts. Ummm… How many times have mentioned something to that effect? 😐

Last July 4 I moved the plants and plant tables from around the shed in the other yard to the front and back porch. That was because of the Japanese Beetles.

So, in alphabetical order…

In the above photo, the Echinacea purpurea, which may be the cultivar called ‘Magnus’, is now flowering up a storm. The bank in town has a HUGE patch of them I have been meaning to photograph. The Purple Coneflower is one of my favorite plants. GEEZ! I can’t believe I said that because I try not to have favorites! I like the way the petals droop and like the feeling of the cones. Echinacea purpurea is a very beneficial plant in many ways.

 

Hosta ‘Potomac Pride’ on 7-4-19, #598-2.

Out in the shade bed, several of the Hosta are starting to flower. The Hosta ‘Potomac Pride’ has a lot of buds but they haven’t peeked their way through the foliage yet. Hosta ‘Potomac Pride’ has been an awesome performer over the past at least eight summers. I bought it while in Mississippi at the mansion and the first photo was taken on April 15, 2012, but it seems like I had it longer. I really like its dark green, puckered, and corrugated leaves. The clump had gotten very large and has been the best performer of all the Hosta in my collection.

 

Hosta ‘Sum and Substance’ on 7-4-19, #598-3.

Even though I just brought the Hosta ‘Sum and Substance’ home last June 7, it has become quite a show-stopper. Very bight and cheery for sure and starting to flower.

 

Hosta ‘Whirlwind’ on 7-4-19, #598-4.

The Hosta ‘Whirlwind’ is always a dazzler. Its leaves change color with age which just adds to its interest. It isn’t a big plant, but it puts on a big show!

 

Ledebouria socialis var. pauciflora on 7-4-19, #598-5.

I purchased the two Ledebouria socialis (Silver Squill) varieties last October and have really enjoyed them as companions. The above photo is of the Ledebouria socialis var. pauciflora which used to be Ledebouria pauciflora. I like the silvery leaves with the small green flecks.

 

Ledebouria socialis var. violacea on 7-4-19, #598-7.

The Ledebouria socialis var. violacea is really growing well. It had many more bulbs than the other one when they arrived. This one was the species Ledebouria violacea but the name changed also.

 

Ledebouria socialis var. violacea new growth on 7-4-19, #598-9.

The Ledebouria socialis var. violacea also seems to be a bit more of a spreader. These plants are VERY, VERY easy to grow even through the winter in the house. You don’t even need to water them through the winter, in fact, it is best if you don’t.

I am STILL waiting for the two new cultivars to arrive… I think he is a bit behind.

Hmmm… My computer just notified me I have a new memory from summer 2017. Weird… Now I am wondering how it came up with that idea. 🙂

 

Mammillaria hahniana on 7-4-19, #598-10.

The Mammillaria hahniana (Old Lady Cactus) is starting to bud again. It isn’t looking like its normal fuzzy self because it is wet from the rain. This is our fourth summer as companions.

 

Mammillaria pringlei on 7-4-19, #598-11.

The Mammillaria pringlei (Rainbow Pincushion) is also starting to flower. This is our third summer together.

I took photos of all the cactus and succulents several days ago but they haven’t made it to a post yet.

 

Monarda didyma ‘Cherry Pops’ on 7-4-19, #598-12.

I was delighted to see a flower on the Monarda didyma ‘Cherry Pops’. I was amazed that it even returned this spring as it seems most perennials I have bought have not, especially in the north bed.

Let me see… How many perennials have not returned here? I don’t even want to think about it. I have amended the soil with “the good stuff”, added new soil with LOTS of “the good stuff”, raised the whole area only to have it sink during the winter.

 

Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii ‘Goldsturm’ on 7-4-19, #598-13.

Hmmm… While the Rudbeckia hirta (the native species) have been flowering for a while now, the Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii ‘Goldsturm’ is STILL in bud!

 

Schizura ipomaeae (Morning Glory Prominent)

I took the above photo this moth a few mornings ago but wanted to share it with you. It was just sitting there trying to blend in with the porch raining. Later I found out is it the Morning Glory Prominent (Schizura ipomaeae). It reminded me of a post called Rainy Season from June 4 on the SKYEENT blog. The second photo on the post is of the Buff Tipped Moth which looks exactly like a decaying birch twig. I find many moth species camouflage very fascinating.

A lot of insects do some very interesting things. There is a small wasp that fills the windchimes on the back porch with grass. It was kind of funny, actually. I had noticed the grass in the wind chimes but didn’t say anything to mom and dad about it. I just kind of ignored it as weird. There is a lot of weird around here sometimes. Anyway, one day dad and I were on the back porch and this small wasp comes flying in with a piece of dry grass about a foot long and somehow manages to put the whole thing in one of the tubes. Dad said it always does that and sometimes the wasp drops the grass and has to get another one. I didn’t notice the wasp last summer and a lot of the grass has fallen out by now. I have been hoping it would return so I can take photos. 🙂

OK, I am finished now. It is 12:35 AM and it is now the 5th of July. It is raining and thundering which will make for a good night sleep (hopefully).

Until next time, be safe, stay positive, be thankful and GET DIRTY if you can.

 

Sunday Photos on Wednesday

Amorphophallus sp. on 6-16-19, #591-5.

Hello folks! I hope this post finds you well. The Robins are singing this morning, giving thanks for being the early bird who gets the worms. I remember walking to catch a ride for work at 4:30 AM and they were already hopping about singing. It was quite a chorus! I am just going to post a few highlights of the photos I took on Sunday.

Of all the plants budding and flowering, it is always AWESOME to see the Amorphophallus (Voodoo Lily) when it starts coming up. I stuck my finger down to where the corm was and noticed it was sending up a petiole, but it wasn’t until the 6th of June that it peeked through the soil. Then I noticed on Sunday the leaves were starting to emerge. It is pretty neat! Almost reminds me of a squid. Last year I was gradually rewarded with a lot of babies, so I am wondering how many there will be this year. Of course, it is has been three days since I took the above photo.

 

Alocasia ‘Mayan Mask’ on the front porch on 6-16-19, #591-2.

This Alocasia ‘Mayan Mask’ on the front porch is doing great now. It spent the winter in my bedroom but was very glad to get back outside.

 

Aloe juvenna on 6-16-19, #591-3.

The Aloe juvenna (Tiger Tooth Aloe) is quite an interesting Aloe. It needs bright light or the leaves will stretch. In full sun, the leaves will take on a reddish color and too much will burn their leaves. I don’t like my Aloe leaves to burn and at times it hasn’t had enough sun. So, the leaves on this cluster, some being short and some longer, reflect when it has had different periods of light.

 

xAlworthia ‘Black Gem’ on 6-16-19, #591-4.

I don’t know much about the xAlworthia ‘Black Gem’ since I haven’t had it very long. I still need to check its roots to see if there is a plug wrapping around them… I am curious because I can see the plug wrapping around the Gasteria ‘Little Warty’…

 

Aristaloe aristata on 6-16-19, #591-6.

The Aristaloe aristata (Lace Aloe) and family are doing very well. I am wondering if it will flower? It is a very nice plant and I am thankful to have found it. You just never know what rarities you will find.

 

Astilbe x arendsii ‘Fanal’ on 6-16-19, #591-7.

The Astilbe x arendsii ‘Fanal’ is STILL flowering. This is a very nice plant and if you haven’t tried one and have the chance to bring one home, I suggest you do.

 

The left side of the north bed on 6-16-19, #591-8.

OK, I have to admit the north bed is driving me crazy. That even made me laugh! First of all, the Achillea millefolium is NOT supposed to be there. I try to pretend they aren’t there but the taller they get the harder that becomes. There are actually two there, but one decided to lay down on the job. I suppose it thinks if it lays down it is hiding. I moved the mother clump to the barn last year then these came up this spring along with several others closer to the house. I “intended” to move them to the south bed, so hopefully, I can get that done this week when I “hopefully” have a chance to work there. They need to be moved because the Colocasia ‘Coffee Cups’ is hidden behind them. So is the Echinacea ‘Cherry Pops’ that miraculously returned unexpectedly. Oh, yeah I almost forgot… The two Conoclinum coelestinum that decided so come up are under it. You never know if, when or where they will pop up. I also planted the Xanthosoma robustum to the right of the Astilbe but apparently, it rotted. A friend from Alabama is sending me a Xanthosoma sagittifolium so it will go somewhere between the Astilbe and the Leucocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant.

 

Right side of the north bed on 6-16-19, #591-9.

The right side of the north bed… OK, a series of things… First off, I wanted to extend the north bed out farther. Since my son and his friend are here, and they “said they would help out”, I told them they could extend the bed. I showed Chris what I wanted him to do, in detail. When they said they were finished, they had just dug one strip from the end of the gutter to where it joined with the left curve. It was not even straight. 🙂 I had told him to turn over everywhere there wasn’t plants and to remove the grass. He said, “Oh, I thought you wanted a ditch.” Now, why would I want a ditch? Needless to say, I went ahead and planted the Colocasia esculenta rhizomes and Leucocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’.

Trust me, this bed is normally neat and tidy but this spring has been officially weird. It has rained off and on then the soil stays damp here. Then sometimes when I have time to work here the soil is damp or the grass and weeds are kind of wet. I do not like working in damp soil because it can make it hard. I don’t like working in damp grass and weeds because the chiggers seem to be worse. I rate chiggers at the top of the “do not like” list with poison ivy, thorns (Roses), flat tires, dead batteries, and mosquitos. Eventually, this bed will look great.

 

The northeast corner bed on 6-16-19, #591-10.

The northeast corner bed looks pretty good especially since Thor seems to be doing a pretty good job keeping the moles away. The only plant you can’t see is the small mound of Achillea tomentosa ‘LoGrow Goldie’. Ummm… It is now under the Salvia coerulea ‘Black and Blue’. So, I guess I need to move it. Maybe to the left of Thor in front of the Colocasia ‘Distant Memory’. There are a few Conoclinum coelestinum in this bed now, too. One next to Thor and a few that have recently came up under the Salvia. This is a small area but I have a tendency to pack plants in it anyway. It looked really good last year.

 

Begonias on the front porch on 6-16-19, #591-13.

Three of the Begonias are doing well but ‘Brazilian Lady’, which is normally looking great, is a pitiful sight. Normally, I keep them in the basement over the winter where they do fine but I kept them in the front bedroom this year. ‘Brazilian Lady’ didn’t approve…

 

Miniature Begonia on 6-16-19, #591-12.

The unnamed miniature Begonia did fine during the winter but half rotted when I moved the plants outside. Now I need to re-pot it.

Well, the deadline for naming this post “Sunday Photos on Tuesday” has past. I just looked at the time at it is 1:11 AM Wednesday… SO, I suppose that means I should go to bed and finish later. That screws up my next post and hoping to write a post a day. 🙂 I had to change the title of this post to “Sunday Photos on Wednesday”.

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OK, now I am back working on the post at 4:22 PM when I really want to take a nap. I have been digging thistles for about 3 hours.

Euphorbia mammillaris (Indian Corn Cob) on 6-16-19, #591-15.

The Euphorbia mammillaris (Indian Corn Cob) is going GREAT although it looks pretty much like it did the last time I took photos. I think maybe the leaves have grown a little. 🙂

 

Gasteria obliqua (Ox Tongue) on 6-16-19, #591-18.

This Gasteria has remained unnamed for a while so I have resorted to making a decision to call it Gasteria obliqua. Most Gasteria species of this type have rough leaves and very few are smooth like this one. Since those species are all now synonyms of G. obliqua, I guess that narrows my choice down to one. Unless it is a cultivar or a hybrid… I posted photos on a few Facebook groups twice but only got a few “likes” and no suggestions. One lady said it could be ‘Little Warty’ but that would be impossible. I clearly said it has smooth leaves and ‘Little Warty’ has warts. So, for now, it is Gasteria obliqua.

Gasteria obliqua has 39 synonyms!

 

Haworthiopsis limifolia (Faries Washboard) on 6-16-19, #591-20.

The Haworthiopsis limifolia (Faries Washboard, File Leafed Haworthia) is a pretty neat plant. There is a strange issue, however, with the species. Well, maybe not an issue, just issues. Apparently, there are several “varieties” which can get a little confusing when you do a little research about Haworthiopsis limifolia. You have to dig a little deeper. There are many photos online of Haworthiopsis limifolia (Syn. Haworthia limifolia) that look nothing like this plant. That is because they are not using the “variety” name. Then there are MANY websites that have the spelling completely wrong by using the name Haworthiopsis limafolia… The many “varieties” made me wonder if the name “Faries Washboard” was a common name or cultivar name. Well, the straight species is known as Fairies Washboard or File Leafed Haworthia. Llifle (Encyclopedia of Living Forms) says, “It obtained its name “limifolia” (File Leafed) from the distinctive, dark brownish-green leaves, with transverse ridges of raised, horny, tubercles which resemble those of a coarse file and give it such a distinctive appearance.” Hmmm… Dave’s Garden says limifolia = From the Latin limes (file), referring to the acicular or linear leaves.

 

Houttuynia cordata ‘Chameleon’ on 6-16-19, #591-22.

The Houttuynia cordata ‘Chameleon’ is STILL in the pot I brought it home in. I have not decided where I want to put it to spread and pop up here and there. It seems I already have enough plants that pop up unexpectedly, but maybe for this one it would be OK. It is just the re-seeders that take their sweet time coming up that throw me a curve. Most perennials can be moved here early enough in the spring. But, from my past experience with this one in Mississippi, no telling where it will show up. I am not going to talk about the Equisetum hyemale (Horsetail) in this post. I promise. 🙂

 

Ledebouria socialis var. violacea on 6-16-19, #591-30.

One of the most important discoveries of late was the bud on the Ledebouria socialis var. violacea (Silver Squill) on June 8. Then I noticed it had another one on the 16th.

 

Ledebouria socialis var. pauciflora on 6-16-19, #591-28.

Then when I went to take a photo of the Ledebouria socialis var. pauciflora, it had one, too! NICE! I am beginning to really like these plants. My plant friend from Alabama is going to send two more and a Drimiopsis maculata, which is similar.

 

Stapelia gigantea on 6-16-19, #591-41.

The Stapelia gigantea is doing very well and growing. I can hardly wait until it flowers. It is in the same group of plants as the Huernia schneideriana. It is a Carrion Plant, too, whose common name is Zulu Giant or Toad Plant. 🙂 I bought this plant from a seller on Ebay last fall and he sent SIX rooted cuttings which I put in the same pot. Hmmm…

Well, I think I am going to close this post before I have to change the title again. I was distracted earlier by a nap, then I started re-arranging the potting table on the back porch. Then I had to re-pot a couple of cactus. I need to eat dinner, but I wanted to get this post finished first. Now it is already 9:07 PM!

Until next time, be safe, stay positive and always be thankful. If you have time, GET DIRTY!