Saturday, July 25, 2015

Lithops experiment part 2 (2 pics)

It has been five weeks since I started the experiment to see if badly etiolated (is this the term for a plant out of shape due to a lack of light and too much watering?) lithops plants can be saved and corrected. Well, this is how far the plants are now. My initial plan was to make them wrinkle and shrivel to a better size to make it easier for the new leaves to come out next year. The pot was exposed to lots and lots of sun and heat and was not watered at all. In fact, I am not going to water them until next year. I was worried since they've never seen this much sunlight they'd get burnt but there was no problem with that.
Their current state is definitely an improvement. The two less longer plants are slowly nearing the "mark of shortness" I've set for them. The mark being as close as possible to the substrate level. The substrate level shortness is what I want for the long monster as well but it is not realistic within this year. It just needs to shrivel enough for the new leaves to come out of the side and all the "top" to be safely removed. At least that's my optimistic plan for it. Anyway, so far so good. Still alive!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Newcomers - other Mesembs (15 pics)

The other Mesembs I got in Essen mostly have familiar names but also some that are new to me. I'm very excited to grow them all on the windowsill.
My experience with Cheiridopsis was positive so far so I got more of them. Actually, thinking of Cheiridopsis, I imagine rather large plants but the ones I got are so small I could confuse them with Conophytums. I'll try to keep them in this size and shape.

This one is a Cheiridopsis, too! Who would have thought!

There are also two quite different Antimimas. The first one looks just like the Antimima fenestrata I already have now, all covered in dried up leaves, which is a relief. The second one I'd never take for an Antimima at all. But it's a cute little tree.

The young Nananthus margaretiferus came with a promise of beautiful flowers.

The Glottiphyllum neilii is the most compactly grown and intensely colored Glottiphyllum I've ever seen.

I also got a couple of tiny Trichodiademas. I'm still figuring them out. They seem to grow very slowly here.

The Ruschia unidens should become bushy in time.

The other plants are completely new to me and I'll have to read up on them first. The Hereroa looks like a pigmy version of an Ebracteola.

Chasmatophyllum musculinum seem to have beautiful see-through dots but the color is more of a Rabiea.

Erepsia lacera is something completely different with those razor blades for leaves.

And the Drosanthemum I can't even properly get into a picture. It looks very delicate and I'm afraid it might dry off those tiny leaves easily. Not sure if it means it should be watered more or not.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Newcomers - Lithops (13 pics)

Firstly, I'd like to introduce the new lithops I got from Klaus Ingenwepelt. I bought a couple of plants of each kind so there are actually more plants than the photos below and they are still in their original pots and substrates. Normally, lithops have it more cozier at my place, growing in groups of at least two in one container. But I'm generous with room these days and it can wait.
I was not very successful buying adult white-flowering lithops before but I think I have more experience now so I decided to get mostly hallii, karasmontana and julii this time, knowing that they were grown perfectly shaped which will give them a good start on my windowsill. They all have nice and sharp patterns and the best size. Even the aucampiae, that tend to grow huge in commercial nurseries, are so wonderfully small and round. This is definitely the goal for us hobby growers :)

Among the yellow-flowering lithops I really liked L. hookeri v. lutea and would have bought several but there was only one plant left. It has a nice dark color, in contrast with the usual light-green or orange.

And this strange guy is a Conophytum verrucosum, the only cono I can show you as all the others I bought look like the C. ectypum ssp sulcatum below. Photos will follow in the fall.

I'll post the pictures of other mesembs soon, too.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Cactus & Succulent Market in Essen on July 5th (6 pics)

Back to business :)

I have spent such a wonderful day in Essen. I think my friend was pretty bored but I needed to see all those lovely plants in detail so I was just wandering from table to table, letting the impressions sink in. I was also trying to listen to some conversations among cacti growers - those people can be quite eccentric! And I mean it in a best possible way.

Well, I knew where my journey was taking me from the start - to the Klaus Ingenwepelt's mesemb table. So, after I got myself a Sinningia (leucotricha?) and an Albuca spiralis at a very reasonable price (I wanted both for a while) I went straight there. I thought Mr. Ingenwepelt was a little skeptical towards me last year when I told him I grew my plant on a sunny windowsill. I was pretty sure he didn't take me seriously after that. But in fact he remembered me! And, as I reported to him that all his plants have survived and are doing fine, even the conophytums that were back then new to me, we started talking and I learned so much about his way of growing mesembs. Also, I didn't even know his book "Mittagsblumen, Eiskraut und andere Mesembs" has been released this year and now that I have it I'm going to study it cover to cover. As I've probably mentioned several times in this blog already - the way his plants are grown is my absolute goal. I was walking around for a while and when I came back to pick out the plants I wanted to buy from him (I got two boxes!) there was another grower at his table who made me blush very badly when he recognized me as Rika from the Lithops Stories blog right away. I still can not believe this. How did you do it? :) Thank you so much for reading my blog, please email me, I really want to stay in touch and I'm seriously thinking of going to Blankenberge this September. 

We started talking about our plants and all possible things and it was such an amazing experience. I think it was the first time for me to actually actively talk live with mesemb enthusiasts. Thank you so much for this!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

The service of Deutsche Bahn

Dear readers, as you might know I went to the Cactus and Succulent Market in Essen on Sunday July 5th and I would rather post a long report about that but there is a pressing matter I feel like I have to write about first.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

New pebbles 3 (3 pics)

I tried to grow L. verruculosa before but the plants didn't survived in the long run. This time I got some nicely grown specimen from Kakteen Haage nursery and they are such beauties, especially when arranged naturally. I love the "blood drops" and the color and the shape. It's gonna be difficult to keep them alive but I believe I have better conditions for my plants now compared to the old apartment so we'll see.

New pebbles 2 (5 pics)

I'll continue the introductions :)
The new guys are the lovely L. dinteri C206 from Cono's Paradise nursery (german), L. lesliei v. hornii C015 from Rare Plants nursery (czech) and some surprisingly well-grown L. schwantesii from a local hardware store.