Succulent Ramblings

I like to ramble on about my plants... and other things! My hope is to log the progress of plants and talk about my frustrations with others. So, tune in, turn on, or drop out (if you find it boring!)

Monday, May 31, 2010

We got through our Memorial Day weekend madness (three weddings...) and I don't feel too bad. So I've spent the morning looking over my plants and thought I'm come on and make note of new/newer Hoyas that are showing signs of new growth.

One that I'm most excited about is deykeae - I got it as a cutting in a GW trade over a year ago. It rooted fast, but has never done a thing. I absolutely LOVE the leaves on it - they have a blunt end that is vaguely heart shaped, and they're pretty succulent, too. I took this photo a few weeks ago. Well, today I find there is new growth at ALL three nodes!! I'm so excited!

H. villosa has two new growth points. That's the one I got from Dee/GW - she had gotten two of them and offered me one. It has gorgeous veination and the leaves are fabulously large. It seems to like it on the top shelf in my GH.

I put H. magnifica in the sunroom in an east window when it seemed like it wasn't as happy in the GH this spring. It gets a couple hours of east sun, then the bright reflected light off the house next door the rest of the day. It has two new vines on one of the rooted cuttings - I'm waiting for some new growth on the other. I have a feeling it's not too far behind...

I moved pottsii over to the antique radio (it's getting pretty crowded on the shelves) and found a big-ol' new leaf. I got that one from CBFM last year, so I'm glad it's finally growing. I'm sure it's so similar to my nicholsoniae that it will be like having a duplicate. Oh well...

'Nong Nooch' is growing well, FINALLY! I've had that one for 2 years, got it from Carol/Aloha Hoyas. When it didn't grow the first year, I put it in hydroton. It put on just bit of new growth last year. The biggest of the original leaves is a beat-up leaf, so I'm anxious to have enough new growth so I can take that one off...

I chopped up macgillivrayii and two of the potted cuttings have taken off. Others are in various stages of rooting. (I took the cuttings over some time because I was hoping the mother plant would be ok...) Imperialis, which I did the same with, is doing well, too. I made two plants of it - one with just a single cutting, and the other has 3 or 4 cuttings. They're not all growing, but they seem to have stablized and I think they're going to be fine. So far, no signs of new growth on the old "stumps" of either, so I suspect the roots had gone bad on both of them. I also took a couple of cuttings from archboldiana, and the first one I rooted and potted up is putting on new growth. Another I took later is still in the aquarium, but I pulled it out this morning and it's chock-full of roots. The mother plant is showing no signs of new growth yet, so I keep a close eye on it and plan to chop it up if it shows any signs of declining.

'Dee's Big One' is really pumping out new growth (a cutting I got from Awanda last summer...), and naumanii is also growthing nicely, though the new growth seems wierdly blotchy. Megalaster grows, but it's new growth is so tender that even the slightest bump or touch damages the leaf and it falls off, so I'm going to move it somewhere away from other plants because it wants to grow into other plants and loses its leaves when I try to untangle it.

I also have some growth "nubbins" on 'Ruthie', and new growth on siariae, two others that I got from Dee a month or so ago. And excavata has rooted nicely, too, and will probably be showing signs of growth soon.

More later!

Monday, May 24, 2010

It's a busy, busy week! Three weddings this coming weekend. We said a long time ago that we would turn away a third job any given weekend - this after a 3-job weekend when I ended up in the emergency room thinking I was having a heart attack. Of course, it turned out to be nothing, but I figured working 35+ hours in 3 days was just too much for this fat ol' body. But when this 3rd job came up after kind of a bad end to last year, we reluctantly booked it. Well, I've been preparing for this, both mentally and physically, and I think it will go smoothly. I'll try to just let myself veg-out the day after it's all over.

Ok, so new stuff about my plants... H. davidcummingii is budding up. It's one of my favorites for blooms. The sunroom smells like a French whorehouse, with lacunosa bloomin' its head off! In the greenhouse, verticillata continues to bloom, as well as vanuetuensis. Macgillivrayii cuttings that have rooted are GROWING!!!!!! Yay!!!! Others in the cutting stage are still rooting, but seem nice a pert. I'll probably sell one or two at the show/sale. The old stump shows no signs of growth, so I'm glad I took cuttings! But, who knows? Maybe the stump will still make a comeback. Ya never know until the fat lady sings!

I got 5 cuttings from the Thai vendor, Plumerindr. One seems to have already bit the dust (there may be a snowball's chance in hell it will recover, but I'm always hopefull hell will cool down!) The others all seem very healthy, and I think they'll all make it. They're all pretty rare ones, so I think they were well worth the $$. They were nice, big cuttings, wrapped with orchid bark, with some roots, and the bark/roots wrapped in orchid moss. They were in the mail about 8 days, and the moss was pretty dry, but the roots still felt quite healthy and the bark wasn't terribly dry. Now we've come into a period of warm (hot) days, so I think they'll probably be ok if I', careful not to overwater... I'll post photos in a week or so..

I planted cucumbers in a pot by the garage and several have come up. I'm SO hoping to have cucumbers this summer. I love baby cucumbers!! I planted a cold hardy Passion Flower on the west side of the house and put a small trellis by it. It's already climbed halfway up the trellis, so I'm hoping I didn't "think small."

So I'm trying to figure out what plants to show this year. I really, REALLY want to show Aloe plicatilis. It's a beautiful plant! If I can keep it pristine this year, I WILL show it! I've never seen one in the show, so I'd be so proud to show it! I intend to show my Crassula ovata 'Skinny Fingers' as long as it still looks good. (Remember? 2 years ago, we had that big storm that basically pruned the crap out of it!!!) It looks fabulous right now!!

Some maybes... a Monedenium? I have a few, and I say let's see how they look in a month. I have a few other small Aloes that may show well. I will, of course, pick out a few Hoyas and Dischidias to show. I'm hoping I'll have blooms to show off by then! And I have at least a couple of Haworthias, Gasterias. I hope to show at least one Crown of Thorns.

Oh, and just an observation before I close today's post... OMG, my Opuntias out front have - well - probably at least 250 buds on them!! I started to count, bot to about 4 pads and was up to over 30. So I figure it's going to be massively beautiful out there in a few weeks! Go figure - thought after this kind of winter, they'd be not-so-bloomy!


Saturday, May 01, 2010

A quick post before I have to get ready for work... and a few comments, photos. I mentioned that I restarted my Hoya hueschkeliana and it's taking off. I put the little princess in a cute little cage and I think it's going to do well in there, if I'm careful to water it enough! I put it somewhere in the GH where I will see it daily, so hopefully that will help. Here's a photo (left) I took this morning. The leaves feel all firm and nice, which is awsome. They had gotten very dehydrated and I was really afraid I'd waited too long to restart it. But it had buds on it and I put it off to see the flowers. This new method I've been using (mossing the cut end in a baggy) in combination with the aquarium seems to be a real winner!

Then, this morning as I was spraying everyone down with VF-11, I found two open flower clusters on my fungii. I took a shot to get both of them in, so you can't see the detail, but I've posted photos of fungii flowers before...
My camera was set on a lower pixel setting (must have bumped it) so it's not as crisp as my photos usually are. The umbel om the right is hanging through the shelf wires, from foliage on the shelf above! Fungii is quite a wanderer. I have so many leaves that have grown through spaces too small to pull them out, so it's where it is permenantly, unless I want to lose some leaves in the process of moving it.

And one last comment before I run off to get ready for work... Left is the Epiphyllum I got from a GW guy last summer. It was a cutting and rooted FAST and grew some late in the summer and fall. It's taken off like a bat out of hell this spring and is growing like mad. Now if I only knew what it takes to get these babies to bloom! I'm liking it a lot, but Epis have such beautiful flowers, I really must learn to flower them. The guy I got it from "thought" it had read flowers. I guess I'll see what I can learn about getting them to bloom and see if I can find out for myself.

More later!