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!)

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Well, happy days are here again!  We were notified a couple weeks ago that Mark has been approved for Social Security disability.  It has been a long, arduous, financially devastating year and a half since he quit receiving unemployment.  Looking back, I suspect the 2 years he worked after his amputation were a gift from "the powers that be."  I have a feeling that in reality, if he weren't who he is, he might have been considered unemployable in his field (commercial sheet metal work...)  But because he's got a lot of long time friends in his business, those guys "picked up the slack" for him on that last job.  Which I think was good for his psyche.  If he'd gone from a good wage earner to disabled all in one fell swoop, I think it would have been harder on his ego.  The time off from the economical layoff was a terrible erosion of his ego, but I think it also gave him time to recognize and accept that he just couldn't do the job like he should and has for the last 35+ years.  And could he do anything else?  I don't know...  His focus has been so complete on that one and only career that it's like all other possible skills fell by the wayside years ago.  He was willing to be a quick shop emplyee, but in reality, could he operate a cash register?  I don't know.  If it was simple like the one we have at work, probably...  But so many of them now are so complex and computer like, they might intimidate even ME, and I consider myself fairly computer literate (for an old gal!)

Anyway, the point is, we're on the SS payroll now and we can at least get by financially without me worrying myself into an early grave.  It has been stressful, but we made it through the system.  Now, it would be wonderful if Mark could get a little part time job, more to keep him occupied and keep his mind alert.  Maybe looking for that elusive job will be easier for him now that it's a job to add a little income rather than to stop the hemorrhaging of our savings...

I wanted to come on and talk about the new plants I got from Gardino's.  Yes, a plant order!  Of course, the minute we stopped dancing with the news that our financial future was about to improve, I made a list for a Hoya order.  It's been since the summer of 2010 that I got anything from a vendor... Well, I did get one little Hoya from Joni last summer, only because she was supposed to send me some mealybug stuff to try and since I was paying shipping, I thought I'd go ahead and add a plant.  Well, the stuff for mealybugs didn't pan out - it leaked and the P.O. was very upset that she was trying to send this stuff through the mail, and of course, at that point, it was kind of tacky for me to back out of the plant, yet I couldn't really afford more plants, so with shipping, that one little plant was pretty pricey.  But thankfully, it made it through the winter and it's starting to grow.  It's called H. pauciflora...
It's not very Hoya-like - grows fairly upright and the leaves are thin.  We'll see how it does for me...

The plants I got from Gardino's were huge - I'd forgotten how large their plants are!  What a bargain...  First was a red-toned clone of obscura, which they call H. obscura aff. 'Philip'...
It's a BEAUTY!  This is so big, I put it in a 6" EA pot.  It was very potbound and that was not a particularly big moveup for it.  I hope it will keep the red tones for me - I'll be growing it in the highest light I can give it - maybe in one of the east windows in the sunroom...

I also decided I would replace the H. memoria I got from Jessica last summer - it didn't survive my winter neglect.  When I ordered, they were out of one of the plants I wanted, so I ordered two of the memoria, since I knew it's a small plant.  One would have sufficed!...
It's a pretty little thing.  What appeals to me about it is the silver flecking in many of the leaves.  I'm hoping that in my conditions, it will be more prominent.

I also ordered a finlaysonii - my intent was to put it with the cutting I got from Shirley last year.  I really like the clone she sent me, and it's doing well, but of course it's still small.  Well, the clone from Gardino's is significantly different than Shirley's clone, AND it was such a huge plant, I'm keeping them seperately.  When I untwined the plant and repotted it, I ended up with one vine that's nearly 4' long!  WOWSA!...
I also potted this one in a 6" pot.  Their plants are remarkably well grown!

And last but not least, I got H. camphorfolia - one I've tried growing in the past.  I'd gotten it from CBFM and it was one of those (what I call) rooting cuttings, meaning it really wasn't fully rooted.  It never did very much for me except decline and I finally lost it completely after a couple seasons of struggle.  I've always wanted to replace it, so now I have...
I have a feeling I'm really going to like this one!
Nice & healthy!  I left a list with Gardino's of others that I'm interested when they restock, so I'll be getting one more order from them at some point.  I may get some cuttings from Joni sometime this summer, or maybe even Bob Smoley.  We'll see... room is becoming quite an issue.  I'm hoping that at some point this summer, I can pretty much clean out the GH and try to reorganize in a way that makes it easier to see, reach and care for the plants.  I need to give it a lot of thought...

As I work on my plants this year, I'd like to make notes as to progress and size, and take new photos.  So I was thinking how to do this in an organized manner so I don't miss any and I think I came up with a really great idea.  It will also help me get ones on this list that perhaps haven't made it on there (I discovered this about pauciflora when I took that photo!) and ones off the list I've lost, but I won't miss any.  Since they're on my database alphabetically, I'll just go down through the list and do some every few days.  Let's see if I can "cut & paste" my list of Hoya species here to give an idea of the magnitude of this project!...

aldrichii IML 1418

aff. anulata PNG IML 1120

amoena Java



australis ssp. australis

australis ssp. tenuipes

ban Ngong Ngoy


bhutanica IML 224








carnosa cv. 'Chelsea'

carnosa cv. 'Dee's Big One'

carnosa cv. Krinkle 8

carnosa cv. 'Rubra' ('Krimson Princess')

carnosa cv. 'Tricolor' ('Krimson Queen')

carnosa rubra (ID conf. by Carol)

carnosa ssp. carnosa



compacta variegata

coriacea IML 0716


cystiantha IML 1638





dischorensis IML 0112


diversifolia ssp. el-nidicus


finlaysonii (Gardino clone)


finlaysonii, Rippled Leaf

aff. fischeriana

flavida (IML 0423)


globulosa (per AH, actually NOID)



sp. Haruku


heuschkeliana (pink flower)

heuschkeliana (yellow flower)




incurvula (or brevialata)

cv. 'Iris Marie'


javanica (multiflora)

cv. 'Jennifer' (incrassata x finlaysonii)





kerrii, hairy clone

kerrii, veined clone

kerrii, reverse variegated

kerrii variegated


lacunosa 'Sno Caps'

lacunosa 'Ruby Sue'

lambii IML 1046

lanceolata ssp. bella variegata

latifolia IML 88

leucorhoda IML 0518


lobbii (dark pink flowers)

longifolia IML 0906


macrophylla variegata

macgillivrayi IML 16

magnifica IML 0152

cv. 'Mathilde'

megalaster P.N.G.



merredithii x. crassicaulis (clone #1)

merredithii x. crassicaulis (clone #2)



mindorensis IML 0768



montana IML 1016


multiflora variegata

naumanii IML 0198

nicholsoniae (sny. pottsii)

sp. Nong Nooch


obovata - silver flecked clone

obovata x. carnosa


obscura aff. 'Philip' (red clone)


oreogena IML 1513



pallida (another clone of verticillata?)

patella IML 1083





polystachya IML 1043


pubicalyx 'Bright One'

pubicalyx 'Red Buttons'

pubicalyx 'Royal Hawaiian Purple'

pubicalyx 'Pink Silver' (aka 'Splash')

pubicalyx (Paul Shirley, green leaf)


revoluta IML 1455


rotundiflora (formerly 'Square Leaf')

rubida IML 1710

samoensis IML 0192





sp. (maybe a clone of diversifolia - TG)

subclava IML 0229

subglabra IML 1127


sp. Tanna Island



DS-70 (formerly known as tsangii)

vanuatuensis (originally rcvd as diptera)

verticillata (clone #1 rcvd as limoniaca)

verticillata variegata


sp. aff. vitellina

wayetii (kentiana)

waymaniae Malaysia

Huh!  Well, it seems to have worked.  We'll see how it looks after I hit "publish."  I will start working on this right away and maybe I'll get done by summer's end!  It would be nice to have a record of where they all stand right now. 

Enough for now!

Monday, April 09, 2012

I see at least FOUR new growth points on my H. rubra in the sunroom, AND it’s got a peduncle budding up! It sits in the east window. My other “offspring” from my mother plant is in the spare bedroom – it’s looking happy, but still no new growth. Others in the spare bedroom include Dischidiopsis parasitica – it has some new growth. It’s one I just love but if I fret over it even a little, it gets yellow leaves that drop. Dischidias in general are touchy when it comes to being a fuss-bucket. They want to be left alone and given just a bit of benign neglect. Macgillivrayii has some new and very slow new growth coming at the end of one vine. I wish I knew what it would take to kick this one into high gear. All my other macGs grow well – well, let me rephrase that. They grow well during the growth season, which admittedly is short for me. Usually late June to maybe the end of August. But this one has been in the spare bedroom for 2 years now with no signs of growth. It looks happy and healthy, it just doesn’t grow. Then I have my minibelle in this bedroom, too, and I see it’s got a few new growth points. I recently moved my ‘Square Leaf’ into the bedroom window and it seems to be doing fine there – in fact, one of the 5 plants in the pot has a new vine growing. Multiflora (or javanica) grows semi-hydro and never looks quite as wonderful as I’d like, yet it blooms regularly. It dries out SO fast, even in the leca stones! And I have a small start off of my variegated verticillata that is doing fine but not yet growing.

H. dasayantha, which I got from Kelly in 2010, is looking fine! I put it in the sunroom last summer, thinking it looks like a nice climber. It seemed happy there all winter, getting south sun, and now it’s got at least two new growth points. I need to pull it out and have a really good look and give it a good bath. Lambii is growing close by, and I’m using the word “growing” loosely. As much as I lusted for that plant, it sure hasn’t done diddley for me! What little new growth it’s put on since I rooted it hasn’t been particularly pretty. I want to see those big perfect leaves, please! That’s why I moved it to the sunroom last summer, too. I figured maybe if it’s not disturbed too much, it won’t get ugly marks on the leaves.

Macrophylla – the large one in the sunroom is showing signs of new growth, but the smaller one in my bedroom so far is still dormant.

H. blashernaezii is one I got from Regina ( last summer and it’s doing great!! I moved it from a small clay pot to a slightly larger glazed pot – one of those little gnarly looking pots that BJ made. Love those little things! They’re so heavy and completely unique! Anyway, blashernaezii has some nice new growth on it and looks like it could easily turn into one of my favorites.

I’m trying to decide if I need to cut back my Pelergonium or let it ramble. I’m thinking I might put it out in one of the community pots this summer and whack it back a bit, then let it get all shrubby over the summer. I think I’ll talk to Chris Steele about it – he seems to be well versed in growing Pelergoniums.

As for the plants in my bedroom, I’m amazed at how well they’re doing despite the fact that they get no sun whatsoever throughout the winter, and mostly just bright indirect light in the summer – maybe just an hour or two of west sun in the months when the sun is most north. So what I’ve been growing in there for the last couple of years are H. pubicalyx ‘Bright One’ – it has new growth coming on. H. rigida is just sprouting a new vine. H. fisheriana has new growth and I’m watching the peduncles closely – it has lots of peduncles that haven’t yet bloomed. H. micrantha, as I mentioned before, is putting on new growth AND has a peduncle budding up, albeit slowly. H. polyneura has been putting on some new growth for a couple of months now. My old green carnosa and a semi-hydro fungii grow in the north window – absolutely NO sun, just what little north light comes in the window and the west sun reflecting in the room. The carnosa continues its slow rate of growth as it always does. The fungii is the one that surprises me – it didn’t do much of anything the first year I had it growing in semi-hydro, but now it’s putting on all kinds of new growth.

Pulled down pupureo-fusca today to water and it has THREE new growth points!  Yay!  One of the vines was kind of dehydrated and showed no signs of growth, so I cut it off and put it in a rooting bubble in hopes of rehydrating and starting a new plant.  Also took down mitrata - although it looks fabulously happy, it's not growing yet.  That's ok - at least it's not unhappy!  I see a new growth point on 'Jennifer', too - only one, though, which is surprising because it's such a big plant.

'Dee's Big One' has 4 new growth points that I can see - I let it get a little dehydrated this winter, so I was a little worried about it, but it's popped back nicely.  As has 'Mathilde' - it looked a little peeked for awhile, but the leaves are now fat and shiny and healthy looking, though it hasn't started growing yet. 

I see a growth nubbin' on my variegated kerrii!!  I've had this little plant since 2008 and it has done very little.  In fact, at one point, I thought I might lose it and split it into two pots - one in hydroton and one in a soup cup that I've drilled a hole in.  Both have growth nubbin's - goody!  Callistrophylla has new growth, too.  Last fall, I set it on the dresser in the sunroom hoping it would be a good spot for it to grow where I could admire its beautiful leaves every day.  Well, an ornery kitty-cat apparently decided THAT'S where she wanted to lay and knocked it off, causing leaf damage.  ARGH!!  I was so pissed!!  So a lot of the leaves have ugly damage, so I'm anxious for it to grow so I can cut off some of the ugly ones...

Sellable plants:

H. brevialata – a nice sized plant, I’d say around $9

H. shepherdell – I thought these were minibelle, and I’m still not 100% sure which they are. I’ll have to see if I can find someone who can tell me the difference w/o flowers.

H. macgillivrayii – I have two good sized ones I’d sell for $20/each. I also have one small one that I’d sell for $7.00. I’m starting a few more this spring.

H. diversifolia – I have two of them. I’ll sell at least one, maybe both – it’s not one of my favorite Hoyas, though I’ve seen photos of the flowers and they’re beautiful! That alone will probably have me keeping one at least until it blooms.

H. kerrii – I have one rooted cutting, and actually, it’s now 2 seasons old, so it should be called an established plant at this point. But because it hasn’t grown much until this year, it’s still fairly small. It would be a good starter plant because it doesn’t have any of the stiff stems yet and a new grower could perhaps try to train it. That’s the only down side to kerrii – those long, super-stiff stems turns them into real space guzzlers!

H. macrophylla – I’ve got a cutting I started last fall that rooted fast and is ready to take off. I’ll probably sell it for $10 now or more later after it’s grown a bit. I remember back when I bought mine, at least a dozen years ago. It was a single rooted cutting and I paid $17 for it, more than I’d ever paid for a plant up to that point. But I’m sure glad I did, because I don’t see this wide-leaved one very often.

Well, I have to post this and come back another day for more notations.  I have housework that needs to be done and more plants that need to be watered...