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!)

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Notes as I work in the GH...

I started this on my laptop, got my first paragraph in and the stupid thing deleted it!  I don't know what it is about both of my laptops, but for some reason, the keyboard just doesn't sit right and apparently, I must hit something as I'm typing that does one of two things - it either jumps back into the middle of what I've already typed, OR it highlights everything and as soon as I hit a key, it all disappears.  It makes me so mad I just wanna SPIT!  

Ok, back to my notes.  I've been spring cleaning...and what I mean by that is I take a plant down, check it over, trim, primp, whack, toss...whatever is called for.  I've had losses this winter because it's the worst year I can remember for mealies.  I'm usually really good at catching them before they get bad, but for some reason, they're hiding better from me.  My only explanation is my eyes are getting older and I'm not seeing them until they get bigger.  So I'm going to have to be more diligent, I guess...  In any case, it's weird because they're here and there.  In other words, I'll find a plant on a shelf that has them, and none of the surrounding plants have them.  Then several feet away, I'll find another one with them, but again, none of the surrounding plants have them.  It's weird...

I'm counting some of the losses as "maybes" at this point.  For example, I found 'Annakey', one of my super-expensive cuttings from Carol, dried up and destroyed by mealies.  I whacked it clear back to the soil, but the roots feel solid so I'm going to play "wait and see" - maybe it will come back.  I've got a few of those that I'll put out on the porch as soon as it's warm enough and see if I can't get them to come back.  

Then there were two (so far) that I whacked back just because I thought they were ugly.  Pentaphlebia is one I've been growing for some time.  I got a cutting from Dee about 15 years ago, then I got a plant from Gardinos a few years ago.  I put them together.  Well, they've always grown a little "funky" for me.  The leaves are almost always kind of wavy, not particularly pretty.  So I figure I'll let it restart and if that's just it's nature, I'll trade it off for something else.  

Kenejiana is another one.  I'm sure I blogged last summer about how my kenejiana is no favorite, but suddenly it sprouted 3 new shoots off at the edge of the pot that seemed completely different than the growth I'd been getting before.  Now granted, there are two different clones of kenejiana in the pot - one from Gardino's, and one from David Liddle.  Well, these new shoots are very eye appealing.  So what I did was I whacked back the old growth to see what will happen when it grows back.  I guess I'm feeling in an experimental mood this year!

My oldest kerrii really needs to be repotted.  Maybe back into the same pot, but it definitely could use some new soil.  It has such a super thick trunk on it, I think it would be better to put it in a slightly larger and very heavy pot.  Right now, it's in a lightweight metal pot.

Sp. aff. vitellina is one that has turned into a real beauty, and it's just covered with peduncles.  It looks like they may even be gearing up to bloom.  Here's a photo:
The leaves are relatively succulent, and subtly veined.  I think the spots are just from the sunny spot it sits in.  Sometimes, if there's droplets of water on a plant when the sun is blazing hot, the water magnifies the suns rays and "burns" a little spot into a leaf.  This is one that is pretty bug resistant, probably because the leaves are tough and vines are woody.

In the same vicinity is sp. Chicken Farm, one I got from Carol about 3 years ago.  It's grown nicely and the leaves are absolutely primitive looking!... 
This one is very succulent and the leaves are textured, veined and silver-mottled.  Very pretty!

I repotted bicknellii... poor, poor bicknellii!  It really should have been repotted last year at worst, and probably the year before would have been better.  I have it in one of my (what I call) BJ pots.  BJ was a good friend in the cactus club who passed away from cancer several years ago.  She made very interesting pottery, very textured and a little off-the-wall.  This was a heavy, tall pot that had about a 4" opening at the top, and it was maybe 6 or 7" tall.  Well, it was so grotesquely potbound that that I had to use a long, slender knife and cut along the outside of the rootball to separate it from the pot.  Well, even after that, I struggled like crazy to get it to "let go" from the bottom of the pot, and ended up losing about half the rootball.  I put it in a bigger, heavy clay pot and I'm so hoping it will adjust ok... It's such a lovely Hoya.  Here's a pic from a couple years ago...

And the flowers...
They're surprisingly small for the size of the plant.  Anyway, I'll be watching it closely with fingers crossed that it will adjust.

My huge H. australis ssp. australis has a lot of dead leaves on it.  I'm not sure why.  It's ancient, so it may just be experiencing some dieback that comes naturally with older plants.  When we have a nice warm day, I'll take it down (it's on the top shelf in my GH and quite heavy!), take it outside and spray it off with the hose, getting all the dead stuff out and getting a good look at it to make sure it's otherwise ok.

Time to fix supper!


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