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 29, 2017

More observations...

With this "long" holiday weekend, I've been spending lots of time on my plants.  "Long" sounds funny when I have 4 days off every week... I guess the truth is that it's more about the weather/temp being perfect to hang out in the greenhouse and take the time to really LOOK at my plants as I water and groom.  This whole weekend has been in the mid to upper 70's, not too much humidity, sunny with some occasional clouds.  

I went down to see Mom at Merry's house yesterday, took her to lunch.  (Rick and Merry had the nursery open...)  Merry got some Hoyas, two HUGE carnosas were in full crazy bloom.  She has a massive compacta that she almost lost to mealies that is budding up.  She has a small shepherdii that has a budding peduncle.  (I had to point that one out to her...)  Which makes me think I need to go back to using the VF-11 in my water bottles as well as in my spray bottles.  I'm the one that turned her onto that shit several years ago and she swears by it - in fact, uses it on her trees, vegetables, etc.  When I started using the bloom booster a few years ago, I went to just feeding them the VF-11 foliarly.  Well, I think I'll do BOTH through the summer to see if I get more growth and blooms...  I think I will also add some peroxide to the water for awhile as well.  This is supposed to oxygenate the roots, which is probably a good thing to do periodically.

But here are some observations...

My old DS-70 is happily blooming.  It has a LOT of peduncles and I'm hopeful they will all set blooms this year.  It's got a few budding, one fully open right now.  This is the one in the GH - I've also got one in my west bedroom window that has been blooming off and on the last few months.  I've had both of them for so many years - I should really part with one of them with my downsizing, but I'm not sure I can!  It's an old favorite... It's kind of funny how I ended up with two.  I ordered two small ones from Cowboyflowerman (I think) for $7.50 apiece because I wanted a nice pot full.  Then I was at HD for something else, and of course I always look at the plants, and there was this HUGE DS-70 for less than I paid for the two small ones!  I couldn't pass it up.  So now I have two (LOL!)  So here are the two DS-70... first the smaller one in my bedroom:
And the one in the GH:
And the one open umbel:
Maybe what I'll do is combine the two together before fall - I guess we'll see.

Next to DS-70 in the GH is verticillata, which is fat and happy and buds everywhere:

I love it when they open as they cast this wonderfully sweet smell into the kitchen in the evenings!  My variegated verticillata in my bedroom has open flowers that I smell at night, so I'm glad it's not covered with buds like the green one or it would be overpowering to have more than one open at a time!
One that has totally stolen my heart is juannguoiana - a real mouthful!  As it has grown out, it gets prettier and prettier.  I got this as a cutting from Dee in Florida many years ago (2011)...
 Well, a few weeks ago, I noticed leaves on one stem were wrinkling.  I've learned that this means that it's not taking up water somewhere along the way when just a stem of leaves do this, so I whacked it off and potted up cuttings and put it in the humidity dome.  They seem to be already rooted and fattened back up, but I'm going to wait another week or so, then put them back in with the mother plant.  Oh, and I've got a peduncle for the very first time!  I may wait until it blooms to put the cuttings back in.  I wouldn't want to cause it to abort the buds...

My 'Majik' (which is the cross of carnosa and obovata) has open umbels everywhere...

I don't really notice much of any fragrance from 'Majik' flowers, but they are pretty.  I've grown cuttings of 'Majik' out and the leaves on the cuttings tend to revert back to more carnosa-like leaves.  I asked Carol about this (it's one of her hybrids) and she said that this can happen with a weak hybrid, so I guess those of us who have this one are probably the only ones who will EVER have it in this form!

I snapped a photo of my oldest kerrii.  I'm thinking that this thing is over 20 years old.  I got it back in the early 90's from a nursery that was over on Maple Street called Mar-H Nursery.  It's the only place in town I ever found Hoyas before the internet, and it was rare to find one there.  I've taken so many cuttings off this... in fact, about 3 years ago, it was looking so old and gnarly, I decided I would take cuttings and toss the old stump.  Well, I started whacking at it and as I got closer to the stump, I realized it had THREE new leaves emerging from the old, woody stump!  So I whacked EVERYthing off except those 3 new leaves and kept the old stump.  (I'm sure I documented that on this blog - I'll have to look and see how long ago it was!)  Anyway, it came back and now it's looking grand, though I try to keep it whacked back to a manageable size.  But here's a photo of the old stump:
It's hard to tell in a photo, but that stump you see at the soil line is a full inch in diameter!!  

Several weeks ago, I took cuttings off my 'Rebecca', which had gotten very, very long on one side.  Today, I took the pot of little cuttings out of the bag and they had nice roots on them, so I moved 'Rebecca' up to one of the small hanging pots and added the cuttings on the other side of the pot.  When they grow out, it will be a nice, balanced pot.  

More soon...


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