Sunday, May 15, 2016

Cheiridopsis on a diet (4 pics)

A months ago I was struggling with the decision whether to keep watering the opportunistic Cheiris or diet them down to one pair of leaves. I decided that the smaller the plant the better, more natural looking and stopped watering. Some structure within the yearly growth cycle must be beneficial as well. I'm glad to report that the plants reacted very well to this treatment. Not only it improved their looks, it also shows that this is how they wanted to be treated to begin with. No, I'm not hearing voices in my head and my plants have not started talking to me. It feels right because the plants have reacted to the absent waterings in the way a plant preparing for rest would react. As soon as they noticed the drought they started using old leaves for resources. The newest leaves stayed firm and wrinkle-free while the old unnecessary leaves are shriveling. I hope to bring them to the state they had last July. If the plants had shriveled completely, old leaves and new, I would have aborted the mission.

Cheiridopsis brownii (MG 1365.4). Very close in looks to last July. I'm glad.

Cheiridopsis bruynsii (MG 1404.81).

Cheiridopsis excavata (MG 1375). Might be called Ihlenfeldtia excavata.

The strange Cheiridopsis meyeri v. minor have also reacted to the withdrawal of water by getting much closer to the looks they had last year. According to the books this is how it should be so I'm not questioning it. They look awful though XD

I've reduced watering to the huge Ch. denticulata as well but nothing can stop them now. They are pushing new leaves and even new branches like crazy no matter what I do.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Recent observations on Anacampseros (15 pics)

I'm getting excited about Anacampseros again :D

Seeing the seedlings grow and some of the adults with first signs of flower stalks is more than enough to rekindle the fascination. Growing Anacampseros is very new to me and there's a lot to observe and note to myself. 

First, please let me brag about my 2014 and 2015 seedlings, grown from own seeds, for just one moment. Both sets of seedlings have recently started looking like adults and it's just such a joy for me!

The fuzzy An. filamentosa ssp namaquensis are probably the closest I'm gonna get to owning a cat.

An. vanthielii have finally grown enough leaves to form neat rosettes. They will be quite large when they grow up.

Back to the observations, I've noticed an interesting growth pattern on a couple of my older and bigger plants. This An. vanthielii (mother to the above seedlings), for example, seems to abandon (or replace?) the tops of the stems while growing lots of new branches "from below" near the root.

The below An. telephiastrum are doing the same. It's a forest of new growth near the roots while the tops barely grow any new leaves. Although they do seem to re-use the tops for growing flower stalks.
This growing pattern seems strange to me but it is also very welcome. I'd greatly prefer it to the tendency of growing in hight while dropping leaves down below (looks like An. arachnoides enjoy doing that, from what I see). This results in ugly sticks and necessity of cutting and re-rooting. Or in going horizontally overboard. I really don't have room for that. So do your thing, little guys, I support you.

In other news - flower stalks! I see several around. It's pretty exciting :)
This An. lanceolata (An33 in atomic-plant catalog) is ahead of all others. Unfortunately I missed the fully open flower yesterday. Still sad about that. Stupid.

Other flower stalks are just starting to show.
Anacamoseros sp.

An. arachnoides (An106)

An. arachnoides (An208)

Also, the seedlings sown in February are still alive. Actually, I won't stop worrying about them until they grow first "real" leaves.

Some are already quite fluffy.
An. telephiastrum

Some even show a glimpse of first true leaves.
An. rufescens

An. filamentosa ssp. filamentosa (An150)

Other appear fine but are kinda stuck. I'll keep worrying about them until I see some action. Maybe it's the recent heat or maybe they're just too young. Time will tell.

An. filamentosa ssp. tomentosa (An156)

An. rufescens 'Sunrise'

I have many more seedlings but of a smaller varieties. I can't quite catch them on camera yet. 

Monday, May 9, 2016

Delospermas on the balcony (8 pics)

Well, now I know, Delosparmas really like it on the balcony. All of the below plants have overwintered outside in the cold and are now enjoying direct unfiltered sunlight. No burns and lots of flowers and flower buds. I'm seriously thinking of moving all my Delospermas out there permanently. Except for D. sphalmantoides. And the "bonsais", I suppose. And D. harazianum is flowering just fine on the windowsill after a warm winter. But otherwise, these guys do enjoy fresh air :)

Delosperma sp. A variety called "garnet", I think.

Delosperma sp. A variety called "moonstone".

Delosperma sutherlandii

Delosperma lineare "golden nugget"

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Titamopsis primosii: first flower (3 pics)

Before I write a post on all the showy Delosperma flowers from my balcony I wanted to show you this one which is much more special to me. I grew this Titanopsis primosii from seed and am now very proud it has managed to grow such a large and beautiful flower. Or to bloom at all. The plant itself is quite tiny and I really wonder where it got the strength. After all, my grown up Titanopsis promisii have never ever flowered for me. 

It has been flowering for a week now but I couldn't see it as it only opened for a short time in the afternoon. Yesterday I could finally arrange a photo session with this beauty.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Spring update on Conophytums - part 2 (14 pics)

This rainy, cold, dark Sunday morning (hence the dark photos) I thought it'd be nice to post an update on my Conophytums going to sleep. In fact, it is so cold and uncomfortable (we've had -2° last week!) I'd rather wrap myself in sheets and sleep all day, too. 

Last post was one month ago. Make sure to check it out for comparison. Almost all of the plants are prepared for summer heatwave now (even though any kind of warm weather feels like sci-fi at this point). By the way, I can't believe how long I've struggled against growing Conophytums, considering them too boring for any attention. Now I'm quite fascinated by them and would love to grow more. And try them from seed, too. The watering schedule might appear confusing at first but you do figure it out eventually, after a couple of years. If I have a chance this year I'd like to get more C. pellucidum (the white flowers are unusually mat instead of silky) as well as something fuzzy or a species with larger heads for diversity. 

Conophytum pellucidum v. pellucidum 'pardicolor' ex. de Boer

Conophytum pellucidum ssp. cupreatum v. terrestre

Conophytum uviforme ssp. uviforme

Conophytum uviforme ssp. decoratum

Conophytum minusculum

There's a two-headed plant to the right. Can you see it? ;)

Conophytum ricardianum

Conophytum meyeri 'Leopardium'

Conophytum khamiesbergense

Conophytum fulleri

Conophytum ectypum ssp sulcatum

Conophytum angelicae ssp. tetragonum

Conophytum bilobum 'christiansenium'

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Lithops experiment part 6 (2 pics)

Seeing that my last post about the troubled L. pseudotruncatella was back in December it's time to update you on their progress.

Yes, they are still quite ugly. My hopes of getting them into good shape within one regeneration cycle were too much but hey, no rush. Simple survival goes first. On the survival front I guess they are at 50%. The best looking plant out of three has perished - go figure! Another has lost one head. The balance is two plants, one and two heads.

It's almost May and they've been watered twice so far. They react well to water and, even though they are still way too long, they don't get any longer but bigger and more substantial instead. I intend to be very strict with them so they'll need their strength later. Long way ahead of them.

You can read up on the lithops experiment here: part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Much anticipated flower

I have something to be excited about these days. This is my own Titanopsis primosii seedling :)