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, June 20, 2017

More to talk about!

>7:00 a.m. and I'm in the GH, watering.  The last couple days haven't been as hot, but there are still a lot of dry plants.  Shelf #5, the one on the north end, has a lot going on.  On the bottom shelf is my oldest kerrii, which has a new vine, new rubbery leaves and new peduncles.  That's one that needs some of the worm castings (which I ordered...) as the soil is very hard.  I'm afraid when it gets like this, trying to repot into new soil will be a disaster as the roots are probably a solid mass clinging to that old icky soil.  The other one on that bottom shelf is my large specked obovata.  I have a spot cleared on one end of that shelf for the cats to sit and bird watch.

Next shelf up has plants I will be selling in the fall, so I'll just say they're all coming along fine, growing...  Above that shelf is one I got from Ric last year which I can't find anything about on the internet.  He tagged it Hoya obscruanervia.  Incidentally, it is nothing like obscura - it has large leaves, somewhat elongated.  Anyway, it has three new tiny leaves right above the soil line:
 You can see 2 of the three here, the third is blocked by the stem.  This looks like it could be a real beauty when it grows out!  I'll take a pic of the whole plant when these baby leaves grow out a bit.  Update:  I e-mailed Ric and asked him about this Hoya and this is what he said:  

I got a cutting from Christine Burton years ago. It was someone in Asia that sent her a cutting. I think it is probably in the Parasitica group. It's a really strong plant and the leaves get quite large. Very easy care and very fragrant. Definitely a nice specimen plant. Mine got really huge.

Close by is myrmecopa, one I have never been thrilled about both because it has any annoying, hard to figure out name, and it's kind of a messy grower.  But I've held onto it because it does grow well, and I figure when/if it blooms, I may decide it's worth keeping.  Well, I finally have some peduncles budding up.  It actually developed a couple peduncles last year, but it never budded up...
 Looks like they're going to be teeny-tiny!  I also have a clone of rigida I got from Jessica (I'm pretty sure) that continues to struggle.  If it ever grows, I'll probably just stick it in with my other rigida.

I had two sp. 22 Khao Yai and I potted them up together in one of those old, round ceramic pots I've had forever.  I'm not sure if they're both growing, but at least one is.  Sp. aff. vitellina is growing all over the place!  I think I mentioned this in one of my recent blogs because I found SO many new growth points that I was in awe of it.  It's also got a couple peduncles budding up.

Sp. Ko Chang, which did well and then lost all but a couple leaves, now has a tiny new leaf coming on the old vine.  I'm so glad, because this is one of those really cool, super-succulent species I like so much.  Like Chicken Farm, one of my favorites... Here's a pic of Ko Chang at it's best:

I have two Ban Ngong Ngoys, one of which has bloomed already this spring and is budding up again.  The other has peduncles, so it'll probably start blooming soon, too.  I'll probably sell one of them this fall.

Also actively growing are ilagiorum (which I wasn't sure was going to make it!), chunii (which has been essentially dormant since I got it 3 years ago) and camphorpholia.  The older leaves of the ilagiorum still look a little stressed, but I figure if it's growing, it must not be unhappy.  I also have two pachycladas - my old one which is large, and a small, hard-grown one from Chuck.  This is a species that is so pretty when the leaves are young, but as they age, they become rather ugly.  I wonder if there's a way to grow this so that the old leaves don't get so gnarly looking...

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Here's what's goin' on...

So many plants to report on!  So I'm going shelf by shelf.  This may take a few days!

Shelf 1, right inside the GH doors... H. bhutanica is budding up.  It's in dire need of a good whacking and cleanup.  The soil is SO rock hard.  I'm thinking of getting some worm castings in hopes of rejuvenate the soil.  But at least it's growing, so it's not too unhappy yet.  After I took this photo, I found one open as well...

H. pubicalyx 'Red Buttons' - I started a bunch of cuttings that rooted nicely and now, there are 5 new growth points!  It's taking off like a rocket.  I'm going to move it into a slightly sunnier location to encourage growth.  I put what was left of the mama plant out on the back porch.  I need to whack off the sunburned leaves as I see new growth is coming.  Maybe by fall, I'll sell off the mother plant, keep the refreshed one.  I also took 'Bright One' out as well and hung it in the tree.  I think I'll take some cuttings off of it and do a restart on that one as well.  It's gotten SO large!

H. fungii Splash that I got from Colorado Kathy has two new growth points, and it looks like the new leaves are splashy.  She wasn't sure if this was going to be a stable sport, but I think it might be.  I hope it grows a lot this year as it's not been a good grower for me yet.  This isn't one of the new leaves - just showing the nice splashy contrast that I hope it keeps...

H. acuta - wow, this one is really taking off!  There are four new vines, all coming from the soil line!  So this one is going to look very full after this summer, I'm betting.  Of course, I just found out that acuta is just another verticillata, but the leaves are substantially smaller than my original clone of verticillata.  Here's a comparison - first is acuta...
...and my old clone of verticillata...
 Hopefully, the comparison of my nail illustrates the size difference.  And the texture - acuta has very matte leaves whereas verticillata's leaves are glossy.  Then, of course, there's pallida, which some also think is just another clone of verticillata:
Pallida's leaves are very similar in size to acuta, but the veins are much more distinct.  They may all fall into that group, but they are very, very different clones if they are the same species. 

I have the macgillivrayii that Marco sent me last year on the same shelf.  It has not started growing yet, but it's stable.  None of my small ones that are started to be sold have started growing yet, either, but my mother plant is pumping out new growth like crazy!  I think this could be the year it will bloom for me.  I'm hopeful!

Yesterday, I finally bit the bullet and took four nice cuttings off of my macrophylla that was in my bedroom over the winter.  That one has not started growing yet, so I decided to whack at it so that I have rooted plants to sell in the fall.  These are the ones that bring me the most money at the club auction.  The mama plant should also be inspired to start growing now.  The one in the GH, which are the giant leaves I rooted a couple years ago off my main plant, have two new growth points.  And the biggest one in the sunroom has one new vine, down toward the base, and it looks like maybe a couple growth "nubbins" up high, but I can't tell for sure.  I want some of those giant leaves, please!  Here's a photo of the new growth on the one in the GH...

Yesterday, I repotted my 'Krimson Queen' so that I could add the new cuttings that Marco sent me this spring.  They all had fantastic roots on them, and I moved it up to one of those big EA pts (10" I think).  Here's the finished product:
Now that's a nice full plant!  I noticed new growth on the old plant, and even some new growth on one of the new cuttings!  I also got several 'Krimson Princess' cuttings from Marco, and one rooted well and is in with the mother plant now, and a few others I put in the humidity dome to help them along.  

Last week, I finally took the australis ssp. australis down from the top shelf, took it out back, hosed it off, and offered cuttings for $1 each again on the forum.  I'm amazed I've only had two takers so far.  I started two pots - one for me and one to take to the auction in the fall.  I'm going to start a third one for Laurie's daughter, and I'll probably start a few others for club raffles and other friends.  I do not plan to bring the mother plant back in this fall.  It's so freakin' huge!
 On the bottom shelf, there's my newest clone of kerrii, the splashy one.  I put it in a big, rectangular ceramic pot, and it grew straight up, one vine, which I clipped up the side support as it grew, and it grew pretty much to the top of the GH.  Then a couple years ago, I whacked a piece off in hopes it would branch, and rooted it into the pot with the mama plant.  It rooted, but didn't grow at all.  Now, it's finally got a new leaf forming, so now I'll have a second vine to finally start clipping up as it grows.  And there are growth points along the old vine...
Isn't that just the cutest little set of new leaves?  Yay!  Over on the next shelf (to the left in this photo), bottom shelf, is one of my big kerriis.  I think it's hairy kerrii, and both it and the splashy one are budding up.  Here's the big boy...

Dolichosparte has finally thrown out a new vine.  That's the one with the nice red leaves...
The other leaves have since taken on more red, but I'm sure glad it's actually growing now.  Close by is 97005 - last post (I think) I showed it flowering.  I think I do see a hint of new growth - it's getting a late start! And another one close by is treubiana, one of my favorites.  It has long, shiny leaves that are fairly succulent and it just has a beautiful growth habit.  I've been watching and watching for new growth, and today, I found two little new leaves.  It's about freakin' time, treubiana!

H. clandestina is a really oddball plant.  It's developed peduncles in very weird spots, and it's just like a little mole that sprouts buds, and like macrophylla, they don't all develop or open at the same time:

And then there's the Vanilla Orchid cuttings I just got.  I found someone on eBay selling 3 for $23 - with shipping, they ended up being less than $10/cutting, which is pretty cheap.  And these are big cuttings!  It said to lay them flat on the media, grow them in no more than dappled sun.  I saw a huge one at the Des Moines botanical gardens and fell in love with it, so I'm sooo hoping it will grow for me!  They came with some nice air roots, so I think it will root just fine this time of year...

So it's hot now, so I'm going to talk about what's going on in the sunroom.  Hueschkeliana bloomed a couple weeks ago:
I'm pretty sure this is the second time this year, so it must be happy.  I also have one in the kitchen that has yet to bloom.  It MAY be the yellow flowering one.  I bought one at one time, but I've also taken cuttings of this one and lost one, so I won't know which that one is until it blooms...

H. merridithii x crassicaulis has put on some beautiful leaves, like this one...

That veining knocks my socks off, and then those occasional silver flecks are a grand bonus!  And it's budding up again:

 Maybe I'll actually catch the flowers when they're open this time.  It seems very happy despite the fact that it gets indirect reflected light for the most part. 

My vitellinoides has a nice long new vine, has put on some nice new leaves and has 3 more coming on.  This is one you have to be VERY careful around because the slightest brush is enough to cause a new leaf to abort.  Right now, one of the 4 leaves on this vine is missing:
 This one is in my top 5 favorites for the outstanding leaves.  It's truly beautiful!!
I took off an imperfect leaf several months ago and rooted it, and now it's starting to grow as well.  This is another that will fetch me some big bucks at the club auction!

Well, I think that's enough for today!

Sunday, June 11, 2017

So much to record!

Here we go again!  Almost everything is growing, some like CRAZY!  I was watering sp. aff. vitellina this morning and I counted at least ten new growth points AND peduncles are starting to bud!  Check out these two closeups of new growth...this first one is on an established vine:
...and this one is right down in the heart of the plant, out of the oldest growth!
Can you see the two ants by the upper growth?  This is the second year in a row I've had a good number of ants in the GH.  As long as they stay out of the house, I really don't have a problem with them...

Pubicalyx 'Philippean Black' is growing well, with lots of dark new growth.  But here's something weird.  I apparently cut the cutting when I got it and rooted them both, but one had little short stout leaves that looking nothing like the others.  Since I don't really remember specifically doing that, I thought maybe I had put a cutting of something else in with my PB, but when that other cutting started growing, it was obvious it WAS a PB cutting!  Check it out, and notice the short, stout leaves in the background:
You can't always explain nature.

I took some cuttings of rigida last year and put them in hydroton.  They rooted quickly, and they've finally started growing.  Two nice vines came out of the hydroton, so I think this will turn into a really cool plant:
 Flowers opened on UT-039, thankfully before the heat of the weekend...
So pretty!  I didn't detect any fragrance.  But this morning, I woke up to the pottsii in my bedroom with an umbel open. I smelled it last night, but it really got my attention about 6 a.m. this morning!!...
Such a SWEET smell.  I got up and went out to water since it's supposed to get so hot...

And it did.  Now it's Sunday and it feels even hotter than yesterday.  Much more humid.  It's only 9:00 and I've been out in the GH and out back and the sweat is pouring off of me.  Decided to come in and sit under the fan to cool off awhile.  Here's what I got done...

I put a couple rooted cuttings of vanuatuensis back in with the smaller pot that I plan to keep.  The bigger pot is on the back porch.  It looked a little... well, ehh... this spring, so I took some cuttings and put it out back early.  It's doing fine and even growing.  Plan to sell it off this fall at the C&S multi-club auction.  I'll keep the smaller pot.  It's one of those Hoyas I find less than thrilling, but the yellow flowers are outstanding, so it's worth growing - BUT ONLY ONE!

I had taken down 'Jennifer' last night to water and it was still over the sink this a.m.  When I examined it, three of the stems have super-thin leaves.  Uh-oh...  I know what THAT means!  So I cut those off and ended up with 4 pots of cuttings.  Those I can get a pretty penny for in the fall!  I'll put a couple back in with the mother plant to balance out the pot, but I'll sell the other two.

Oh, and I didn't get a lot posted yesterday as I had intended because I worked on my database.  It's been a chore to get it put back together after losing it.  Well, when I set it up initially, I didn't have the presence of mind to set it up as a numbered list.  (Side-note: I lost my Excel program when I reloaded after the virus incident, so I had to set it up in Word...)  So yesterday, I must have spent 3 hours re-doing it (it wasn't an easy fix...), and then checking my old list for species I wasn't sure I still had.  I think I FINALLY have it all up to date!  And if it is correct, I have 163 species right now, so I really still need to hone it down some more, if I can!

One of my Epiphyllums decided to bloom, and thankfully, it stayed open long enough for me to get some photos:
 It was truly beautiful!  It's my largest Epi, and this was the only bud (so far).  The one that usually goes out on the front porch is staying in the GH this summer, and it is budding up and blooming, so maybe that won't affect the blooming.  

I also combined two pots of variegated macrophylla, and I'm going to figure out someplace to hang it out front.  Jan contacted me today about getting some of my wide-leaf macrophylla, so I think it's a good time to whack up my extra one and make cuttings to sell this fall.  I get a pretty penny for those!

An observation... I have to admit that I'm enjoying the time with my plants more this spring than ever before.  I've always worked... back when I worked a real 40/45 hour week, I had to make time for my plants, but I was still pretty young back then and I didn't have near as many...  The last 21 years, being a co-owner of the business, I didn't really have to work that many hours a week.  I worked 4 days, 4 hours a day, then a long day on Saturday, maybe 11 or 12 hours.  So >30 hours a week, maybe.  There were weeks when we had two jobs, or an extra big job, where I might put in 36-45 hours, but that wasn't typical.  And then there were weeks in the "down" months where I might only work 15 hours a week.  But there was so much more stress involved.  Making every brides day PERFECT, and in the "down" months, worrying about paying bills.  Stress...  Now, I'm working 25 hours a week, totally stress free, and this gives frees up my mind to enjoy this hobby on my days off.  It feels SOOO good!  I am seeing so much I didn't have the time to see before, or I was so stressed about the business that I couldn't enjoy it.  Life is good!  And on that note, I'm done for tonight!


Tuesday, June 06, 2017

More ramblings...

Day off... I should be cleaning house, but it's unbearably hot and that makes me unmotivated... I just want to sit here under the fan and stay cool!  

Almost everything is growing now.  It would be easier to name the little bastards that AREN'T growing than to name the ones that are, but I don't want to dwell on them!  If they don't grow this year, they're GONE!  I've explained that to them, so they better shape up or they're shippin' out!  LOL!

One that is growing nicely is sp. India, which I got from Marco last year.  It's so pretty - it reminds me of carnosa ssp. carnosa, except the leaves are such a pretty deep green (whereas CC has lime green leaves).  Here's a photo:
It has lots of new growth points.  I have a feeling this one is going to turn into a real big beauty!  It hangs in the dining room getting mostly bright reflected light off the house next door...

UT-039 is budding up for the first time!  I'm really excited to see them open.  Here's what they look like from behind:
 I didn't want to mess with turning them while they're developing - I don't want to give them ANY excuse to abort!  The leaves are pretty but not exactly spectacular on this one:
It's a relatively thin-leaved species... at least so far.  

I went out to the back deck to do a little grooming of my Crown of Thorns and Jades.  I have lots of my Haworthias growing in with my large plants.  They seem to thrive growing in with other plants.  I never seem to have trouble with root loss when they're growing in with others, I think because it probably mimics their habitat.  Here are some photos:
These little gems are Haworthia cooperii, a hybrid I'm sure.  I've lost all my tags and my database, so I can only go by my photo site now, and I have/had a couple different hybrids of this. It's one of the "window-pane" Haworthias, and this one is growing in with one of my many Jade sports.  You can't see it unless you look REALLY close, but it looks like there is some fine grass on the soil... That's actually little seedlings of Schizobasis intricata, a South African bulb that grows like a Climbing Onion (Boweia) but is much more interesting.  It flowers, sets seeds and they end up EVERYWHERE.  I can not grow from seed if I try, but these things apparently need NO encouragement!  LOL.  I'll need to pick them out as they grow and find homes for them...

These are some variegated Haworthia cymbiformis growing in with an Aloe:
That's my old Gold Tooth Aloe (nobilis).  I'm hoping it will do some pupping this year.  

And another shot:
These are in with my oldest/biggest Jade.  Those are green cymbiformis on the right and far left/back and a truncata cv. 'Lime Green' there on the edge.   And another:
You can see a lot more of those little Schizobasis babies in this one, too...  Those toothy looking Haworthias are herbacea.  Additionally, there's a little Crown of Thorn seedling in there, just looks like a little red spot over close to the plant label on the right.  I have several of those that have come up in pots as well.  I can't even tell when my Crown of Thorns set seed!