Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Delosperma harazianum flower

So pretty!!
Got this plant as a present recently so the flower is not my achievement.
Seeds are also available (check here for more info).

This is my 500th blog post by the way :)

Adromischus leaves getting independent (3 pics)

These Adromischus species are quite attractive. Unfortunatelly they are also fragile and slow-growing. And even though they can be propagated by rooting their leaves it can take months until the leaf will turn into a new plant.
The two green forms below have been separated from the mother plant in September 2013 and this is how they look like now. While the roots came out quickly (in a month or so) it took half a year for one of them and almost a year for the other to develop new leaves. As you can see even the rooted leaves get quite fat roots. I might raise them in time... in ten years time most likely.

This one has grown its roots to this size in two months :)

In conclusion, if you got a dwarf Adromischus in the mail and some leaves have come off don't be sad - they will make new tiny plants if you're patent!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Monilaria waking up

Don't know about you but I find these bunny ears simply adorable! :)
Monilaria chrysoleuca is waking up from its summer sleep. You can clearly see the two types of leaves at this stage - round ones and bunny ears. Curious plant. I'd love to grow more of them but I keep killing seedlings at leaf-set number two. Will try sowing in the fall again.

This is my first year growing Monilaria and I was very worried it will not wake up. What a relief.

L. fulviceps v. lactinea in bloom (2 pics)

Another one opened today. Every little drop of light is reflected in the petals. What a glow!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Braunsia, Ruschia and Antimima (3 pics)

I've been reading up on some species in Mesembs of the World (strange name for a book about plants that naturally grow in only one part of the world) and Succulent Flora of Southern Africa. Both books have wonderful illustrations telling more than words but as usual there is next to nothing about care in cultivation. A book on that has yet to be written. Still, using the discription you can try to guess and then handle the plants accordingly. That's when experimentation under carefuly observation begins.

Intrigued by the looks of the Mesembs below I bought them at the recent C&S market in Essen. I've never grown Ruschia, Antimima or Braunsia before and know nothing about them so at first I waited to see how they'll react to the new conditions (they are greenhouse grown). I haven't seen any big changes in the looks except for getting wrinkled in the sun and returning to the old shape when watered. Carefully watered. Because I really don't know what I'm doing here. So let's see what we can interpret into something useful from the articles in the books.

The articles on Braunsia are pretty short (same as others). The specimen I have is Braunsia geminata (SB1397/MG1353.4). Combined with The New Mastering the Art of Growing Mesembs by S. Hammer this is what I learnt that might be useful: It can get up to 30cm tall, grows primarily in winter (in SA or here?), flowers pink or white (there are way too many "or"s in Succulent Flora of Southern Africa, not helpful), dries out quickly (the photo in Mesembs of the World shows a very very wrinkly plant). According to S. Hammer it flowers in winter to spring (which is basically all year long?), in Mesembs of the World they (probably also him) write "flowering from midsummer to early winter (Jan to Jul in SA)". So no idea, will have to find out myself. In fact, every indication of time of the year in the books is unclear because you don't know whether it's southern or northern hemisphere. Can be propagated from cuttings.

Moving on to Ruschia, a significant part of the articles is about how it's been mixed up with Antimima before (irrelevant to me). Mine is Ruschia sp. (MG1852.222). As per S. Hammer, "watered amply, they retain more lower leaves while adding new ones on top; starved, they will favor the new, and abandon the old yellows" which is quite good piece of information meaning that we can regulate the looks depending on what we as growers find more attractive. I guess the former will look better throughout the year while the latter will increase chances for flowers. Daytime flowers seem to be mainly pink and sweet-smelling and can be expected anytime in the year with peaks in spring and fall. No useful info in SFSA.

Antimima seem to be winter-growers (meaning kept dry in summer), flowers pink-red before spring, strongly scented and sometimes growing on "sticks". The whole "1-to-3-type leaves" got me confused. The one I have is Antimima fenestrata (MG1319.42) and the sheaths are wrapped around the new green leaves. Accordning to MotW the "leaves are either of one type only, or of two, rarely three" but nowhere is indicated which species is which. It says, the first leaf pair forms a sheath which tells me that mine must have two. Okay then, it might be Monilaria-like so it should start growing soon. It says in SFSA "attractive genus which deserves more attention". Right. Then why not write something about it? No useful info in SFSA.

That's what I got so far. I wished the articles had less descriptions of plants' looks. The plants are right there on the photos! We can see how they look like. Why repeat it? To fill the pages? Fill them with more photos then :D

In this sense, do you have any tips and tricks for me? :)

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Frithia humilis kids (2 pics)

If you click the "Frithia" tag at the bottom of this post you can actually see these Frithia humilis seedlings grow from seed. Unbelievable but they are now over 2 years old and I still have all nine of them. They grow closely together so that one might think it's all one plant. Frithias never flower at my place but I do hope these kids will once they are more mature. For now I will just find my joy in their cat paw leaves.
You might notice that one of them has the tentacles of their mother plant :) Too cute!
(The color depends on whether they've been watered lately. They get really flat and compact between waterings.)

Monday, August 4, 2014

Titanopsis calcarea kids

My Titanopsis calcarea seedlings are now 15 months old and branching out. The leaf texture and the overall appearance are everything I hoped for ♡
What makes them even more special to me is that they're the result of my own pollination :)