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, March 22, 2014

Starting a new post, though it may take me several days to complete since I'm coming up to a busy weekend.  But my plants are feeling spring and there's lots to report...

Took a photo of a most wonderfully beautiful variegated macrophylla leaf on the one that grows in the dining room:
It's not only perfectly variegated, but it's a largish leaf.  This macrophylla has two new growth points, one of which is on the fasciated stem, so I'm anxious to see if that growth is normal...

So this morning, as soon as the sun comes up enough that I can see out there, I'm going to start cleaning stuff up in the GH.  And what I mean by that is I'm going to start arranging and pulling plants off and cleaning them up, making some notes, etc.  I plan to start with the shelf that has my oldest fungii on it.  It has a few of my older plants, like aldrichii.  Fungii is budding up, so that's exciting!  I love the huge flower umbels it gets.  This one was my favorite back in 2007...
In 2009, I had a double...
This one is from one of those multi-leaf nodes, which also had a double peduncle.  Pretty cool.

Soo, here goes.  The fungii seems to be maintaining for the most part.  There are still a few leaves, the oldest ones closest to the soil, that have a hint of the yellow (it was a problem a few years ago that made me whack it back... not a problem of yellowing as in ready to drop off, but maybe an iron deficiency or something?  Never did figure it out as new growth came in just fine...)  Otherwise, it looks great.  It has a humongous leaf and lots of other new growth - one vine took off onto an upper shelf, across the top of the green house toward the back.  And that's the one where I can see a peduncle budding up when I look straight up as I stand in front of that shelf.  Nice!

Let's see, I have the Cambodian pottsii - it's not doing anything yet.  Camphorfolia has maintained over the winter, but it had a long, leafless section of vine that I wrapped and secured in the pot, hoping to get a rooting point.  On top of it sits a rooted cutting of the same that I plan to put into the main pot, probably next month.  H. longifolia looks pretty good, but like camphorfolia, it had a leafless area I secured back into the pot to root.  The oldest foliage is a bit wrinkled (dehydrated) but the newest looks good, and it's hinting at growing. 

H. padagensis doesn't look as good as it once did (as full), but it is making a comeback and even has some new growth.  I think this may be it's year.  It's one of those I got from Thailand (2010), and I've never had a lot of success with anything I got from their, mostly beause (I'm sure) of the long journey.  Some may eventually grow well, but it's just not worth it as it usually takes years before they recover fully.

I have what I'm pretty sure is a rooted cutting of 'Dee's Big One' - not 100% sure, but pretty sure.  It's not tagged, but I did split up my main plant (when was that? last year or the year before?) into two, and it may have been three.  It seems to be doing well and I need to tag it as a sale plant since I have two others that are doing well.  This one has a nice new vine with new little leaves forming, so I shouldn't have any trouble selling it this year.

Then there's that pesky hellwigiana.  I know where the "hell" part comes from!  I've tried this one I-don't-know how many times - my first came from Carol and it did well for some time and even bloomed for me.  The flowers were beautiful!...from bud...
To flower...
So I've been trying ever since and I always end up losing it.  Well, it still has two leaves on it and it's hanging in there (so far).  I put a little piece of australis ssp. tenuipes in with it last fall, hoping the rooting hormones thrown off would help hellwigiana root.  Well, the australis doesn't look too hot, which is unusual - that one is usually a cinch to root!  Phhussh!

It have (the true) tsangii and Ban Ngong Ngoy rooted together.  Tsangii seemed so delicate, I was afraid I'd lose it, but as it turns out, it seems pretty resilient!  Both rooted and are doing well - in fact, tsangii is growing.  I should probably seperate them in April, but we'll see...

Next shelf down are a lot of my itty-bitty ones.  I don't mean young, I mean small species.  Kanyakumariana - I just figured out how to pronounce this one!!  Canny-yakoo-mariana.  I have looked at this name since I got it back in 2010 and I just shake my had and don't even try.  Well, today I said I gotta figure out how to say it because I always feel compelled to know their names.  So I broke it down and realized it's really not that hard!  In fact, I kind of like it now!  (I'll probably be saying it in my head for the rest of the day!  LOL!)  Anyway, it's one that doesn't grow a lot for me.  But it always looks nice.  The tiny wavy leaves are just as tough as can be.  Joni sent me some of the same as a bonus last fall, and they rooted fast.  I will probably take all of it and put it together in a bigger pot this spring.  Maybe it will take off at that point...

 
That little pot of Dischidia rosea has gone crazy!  I found it wound around and up into another Dischidia, and it's looking absolutely fantastic.  It's such a delicate one, I've always kind of held my breath thinking I would eventually lose it.  Take a look...
I think this one might be the perfect one to grow in one of my little cages.  It would display well, winding around the little bars...

And we have what I will call my favorite small Hoya, krohniana...
I mean, wow, this one is looking awesome!  The leaves are small, only about 1/2" long at most, and just as succulent as can be.  I haven't had this one too long, about a year.  They apparently used to think this was a form of lacunosa, but to me, it's very different.  From what I've seen in photos, the flowers are somewhat similar, though.  I guess we'll see if the fragrance is as strong.  If nothing else, it's a much heartier species than lacunosa!

And one last one before I stop for today (need to get going to go to work...)  A mystery Dischidia...
I got this one from Tom last time I was at the UNO GH.  It's finally started growing and it's vine is so delicate.  It could be related to (or a clone of) Discidiopsis parasitica.  In fact, it's close enough to that species that I think I will plant it in with my parasitica in April.

Now, off to make a living!


Friday, March 21, 2014

Plants are a-percolatin'

Things are really starting to **POP** in the GH and in the sunroom!  Well, all over the house, really...Those leaves on 'Dee's Big One' are starting to grow.  Last time I posted, I commented on the tiny new leaves that formed last fall then stopped growing.  I didn't know if they would now grow, or they would abort with spring and I'd have to cut it back. Well, YAY, they're starting to grow!  

Hoya siariae, which I've had in the sunroom for some time, has either two new leaves or two new growth points (hard to tell which at this point...)  This is truly signficant because I have had this little cutting since 2010!  It's 4 years old!  I got it from Dee in Florida and it rooted, but then I believe it was the next season that it started to falter.  I seem to recall that I put it in the aquarium where it sat for a long, long time.  Then, once it looked better, it simply just sat there, not doing much of anything.  I'm sure I've gotten SOME growth since I got it, but obviously not much.  Here's a photo of it today...
I think this will be a nice one once it gets going.  You can't tell from the photo so much, but the veins are nicely prominent.

The other one on the same shelf that's got a growth nubbin' is H. vitellinoides, a particularly pretty species.  When I got the cutting from Kathy in 2012, it had two leaves - one massive one, and one a little smaller.  It rooted quickly and put on two new leaves, and that's all it's done for me.  Well, I'm sure excited to see what happens next - another gigantic leaf, or smaller ones like I got before?  Here's the giant leaf with the two newer ones...
It's a real beauty!  

Also in the sunroom is carnosa ssp. carnosa that I got from Carol in 2006 - wow, that makes it 8 years old!  A couple years ago, I moved it to a large pot as it had become hopelessly rootbound in a 6" pot.  I moved it up to a biggun' - it's probably a 12" pot, maybe even bigger.  So it didn't grow much in the last couple years, I suppose setting out new roots.  It was in the GH for a long time, then last year I moved it to the sunroom.  It must be settled in nicely now.  It's been putting on small amount of new growth for the last several months, but I see lots of new growth coming on now that spring is here.  I have a feeling it will grow by leaps and bounds this year.  Maybe this will be the year it blooms for me!
I love the super-long, apple green leaves.  It's very different from the standard carnosa.  Carol now has a new name for it, which escapes me right now.  I'll find it later and post it.  The new leaves start out relatively thin and somewhat pale green, then the green brightens up as it matures, and as they age, they become succulent.  

I started this post a week or so ago, so I better get it published so I can start a new one!  But first, I wanted to show a photo of how my bathroom window turned out with the new "rag garland"...
I've been trying to figure out for a long time how to hide that homely rod without something that would hang and block some of the light.  This worked out perfectly!!
 




 

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Doing a bit more watering and inspecting today...

Hoya dasyantha - Somewhere along the way, I read that this is likely very closely related to carnosa, which I can see.  But I love this Hoya.  The leaves are bigger, more robust than carnosa, and there's just something intrinsically wonderful about this species.  It's grown well for me.  I don't see any signs of new growth yet, but it's just so very healthy.  It sits in the east sunroom window...
The leaves show their veins more than carnosa, and they're pointier - they stay very shiny.  

On the same shelf is the unknown Hoya I got from Kathy E.  It has 4 new growth points, 3 of which are all on the same tip, one that got cut off and is closer to the soil line.  It's really going to take off.  Maybe once it blooms, I can get a definitive ID on it...


And I have to show off my silly kitty.  I emptied my little trash can here next to the computer last evening and this morning, Miss Cleo decided it was a cool place to play...

Of course, her brother, Spike, had to get into the picture.  It's an interesting picture - I've always said Cleo and Spike have typical yellow/green cat eyes, whereas Pearl and Bella have more blue eyes.  Spike's REALLY look GREEN here!!  Cute!

I've been voiceless for about a week.  Two weeks ago yesterday, I "tipped over" to a sinus infection.  By that I mean I've felt somethin' a-brewin' in my sinuses for several weeks.  I wish I knew what would tip it the other way...  Anyway, it went over and I was in utter misery for several days, then I lost my voice, as I typically do, as that is my weakness...  Well, in the last few hours, it seems to be breaking!!  I've gone from barely only being able to whisper to a gravelly voice.  YAY!  This is a good sign!  I've been known to lose my voice up to two full weeks before it begins to break, so I'm very pleased it's coming along this fast... Everything feels "looser", thankfully.  I haven't been in my bed much in the last couple weeks, because when I lay down, it all seems to "coagulate" in my throat & chest, and it's very uncomfortable and hard to sleep.  So I've spent a lot of time sleeping in my chair.  Not the best sleep, but better than hacking and tossing and turning in the bed...

Anyway, today is our 25th anniversary.  A quarter of a century!  Geez, who'd-a-thunk?  As Mark would say, with that sweet look on his face... "Honey, it feels like it's only been 20 minutes........ under water!"  Haha, funny man!
<=]
He thinks he's SOOO funny!  

Well, I'll try to get back to write more soon.  Work is getting busy now, which is good, but April is slow - not just slow, but OMG slow!!  So I'll have plenty of time to document what's goin' on with the plants.  Sooo, more later!



Monday, March 03, 2014

The days are definitely longer, but geezy-peezy, it's still so damn COLD!!!!!  Yesterday, the high was 3 degrees.  It's supposed to be in the 40's by now.  It SUCKS to say the least.  Usually by now I'm getting the back deck cleaned off and ready for plants to go out.  I mean, it's still 6-8 weeks away, but usually it's getting warm enough that I'm getting the itch and do a lot of "plant play."  I can't seem to get in the mode, I think because it still feels like winter.  

But my plants are showing signs of spring.  I'm starting to see new growth on quite a few, and a few are budding up.  So here's some notes:

Hoya crassicaulis - I'm growing two of these now.  A year or two ago, the plant took a downturn and I was afraid I was going to lose it.  It was growing in my bedroom and it looked like it had become dehydrated.  So I took cuttings and I put the mother plant in the rooting aquarium.  Well, the cuttings rooted nicely and I planted them in a nice pot and the mother plant recovered and continues to grow in the bedroom.  Now I've got the other pot in the sunroom, and that one is actually bigger and looks nicer than the mother plant - so it really took off once it rooted.  The one in the bedroom has a new leaf, and the one in the sunroom has a couple "growth nubbins" starting.  Here's what it's looking like today:



Hoya mitrata - I've got two of these as well.  The one in my bedroom is showing signs of budding up, though I don't see any signs of new growth.  It's probably going to wait until after it blooms to grow.  

Hoya pubicalyx 'Bright One' - It's been putting on new growth for a couple weeks now.  And I see a new peduncle.  I can't remember the last time this one bloomed - in fact, I'm not sure it's bloomed at all!  I can't find a photo of a 'Bright One' flower, so I'm thinking it probably hasn't, which is amazing.  It's very large - from pot to longest vine, it's probably 4'...

'Dee's Big One' is another one that started to falter a couple years ago and I took cuttings, so now I have two.  They're about the same size, and they both have the same new growth.  But what's interesting is they both have a new vine that started last fall, then stopped growing.  Both have teeny-tiny new leaves on the vines that didn't develop past the baby stage, so I'm wondering if they will develop or if they will drop.  The vines look perfectly healthy, as if they just grew yesterday, and the baby leaves don't look damaged in any way.  One grows in the bathroom and the other in the kitchen above the sink.  I have to assume the leaves on this one are pretty darn tough because the one in the kitchen gets a lot of kitty activity - you know, swatting, brushing against it, etc.  And the leaves have remained intact.  So many Hoyas are SOOO sensitive, that barely touching them will damage the new leaves causing them to drop.  I have several species I have to be so careful around when they're growing new leaves... Anyway, I'm hoping this will be the year 'Dee' blooms for me.  I love the largesque leaves, though I notice the one in the bathroom, where it gets incredibly bright (though reflected) light, the newer leaves are much smaller...

Hoya fischeriana - I don't see clear signs of growth, however one of its peduncles is "fuzzing up", and there are several others, so I can probably expect it to go into a bloom cycle soon. It's funny how some of them sprout out new growth in the spring and others bloom, then grow after they're done blooming.  

Hoya heuschkeliana - This is one of the cutest little Hoyas out there!  A very petite little thing, it can be grown in the cutest of containers.  I'm growing 3 right now - two of them are the standard heuschkeliana, which bloom a dark pink, balloon-type flower.  Here they are in their cute little pots:


The middle photo is of my original - it's in a little stone (maybe soapstone?) pitcher, like maybe what was once a creamer pitcher.  I found it at Goodwill several years ago and drilled a hole in the bottom.  Heuschkeliana grows slow enough that it can stay in the same small pot for years.  The top photo was cuttings I took off the original, and that little pot was won in a raffle at a cactus club meeting a few years ago.  Again, I drilled a hole in the bottom, but it's so tiny, I didn't think there was much I could grow in it.  The middle part, behind the bird, is probably not even 1" in diameter.  But it's been growing in this for a couple years now.  And the third photo is one of those rare occasions when heuschkeliana bloomed for me.  I also got a clone of heuschkeliana ssp. heuschkeliana from Joni last year - it's supposed to bloom yellow flowers.  The leaves on that one are rounder than those of my old clone.

Hoya lobbii - My mother plant is in the greenhouse and it's LARGE.  Well, periodically, I whack it back (I'm trying to get it more bushy and less, well YIKES-ALL-OVER-THE-PLACE wild!)  I start the cuttings to sell, but I have this one that I started in hydroton.  Check it out...

Look at the roots on that thing!  I should probably move it up to a larger pot this spring, but I think I'll have to cut the net pot off of it to avoid damaging the roots.  Anyway, I haven't checked my mother plant yet, but this one is definitely growing.