Monday, May 20, 2013

Getting better: Titanopsis calcarea

This was probably the worst case. One day this beautiful plant just decided to die. First it dried off all the new leaves so that the growing points looked like nothing will ever grow out of them again. Then it cast off  some of the old ones. All that remained looked brownish and more like a carcass than a living plant (you can still see it on the picture). A very sad sight.
But just like it spontaneously decided to die, it then found the will to live. "Hey I forgot that I don't actually need those old growing points to start growing again!" And there there were three new branches! I think it should recover now. :)

Its mate is doing fine, btw.

9 comments:

  1. I think that plants dont just die, they try to start over, some make some dont :) never give up hope on them.

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    1. I realise now that with non-lithops mesembs there's always hope. Seeing that they get through rough times gives me hope too. :)

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  2. Generally as long as the roots or the crown (the connection point of the roots and stem)survives, there is a good chance the plant will recover. The danger with succulents is that their high moisture content makes them very susceptible to bacteria, and once the crown rots there is no chance for the roots and leaves to regenerate.

    It's nice to see your Titanopsis coming back with such beautiful new growth. Such recovery is always a reason for a smile. :-)

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    1. I see. In this sense it appears like the plants that don't feel well should better be left alone. Trying to actively help them mostly leads to transplanting (root checking) or watering, all of which disturbs them and results in... more likely rotting.

      When I first saw those new leaves it felt like a miracle! :)

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  3. Of course with any sick plant we need to try and figure out why it is sick. This is the diagnosis stage and is not so easy. But it is generally better, as you mentioned, to do nothing until we know what caused the problem in the first place. But, we love our plants, and doing nothing is often very difficult. When I was learning horticulture in school the advice to those growing plants for their job was to always throw sick plants away and concentrate on growing the healthy plants. But when you grow as a hobby, out of love for the plants, throwing away is not usually an option.

    I really enjoy reading your blog posts Rika. Always makes me want to run outside and work with my plants; which is always a good thing.

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    1. Thank you Bob :) I'm really glad to hear it. Wished I had the "outside" where I could work with plants, too.

      That's a business approach... Caring for plants out of love you simply can't "concentrate" on the healthy ones while neglecting the others. Sometimes there are species that just won't grow in my conditions and with the care I'm able to give them. So after having tried and failed I don't grow them. I think, this is kind of a preventive selection suitable for hobby growers like us.

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  4. Rika I have plenty of "outside" - 1.3 hectares. When we purchased the land it was horse pasture, no trees, no shrubs, all sun. Great for cacti and succulents. Now we have planted trees and shrubs but still lots of sun and the succulents love being outside for the no frost part of the year. However......I must be careful in the number of plants I grow because all that are outside now, will have to have shelter from the cold in early October. I have developed an interesting way to get my plants through the winter. Talk about that soon.

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    1. I'm very much looking forward to reading about your plants and the place where they grow. It's such a dream! At the moment I can only hope to once have an appartment with more than one window..

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  5. Is this conversation still monitored? Having the same issue with t. calcarea, was hoping to discuss options for my dying baby, but i AM encouraged by this post!

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