Sunday, January 12, 2014

Kanchūmimai :)

I hope all of you my dear readers have had wonderful winter holidays and a good start into the new year 2014! It's late but I wish you all the happiness and health for this year and good species-appropriate growing season to your plants ;)
The last one is actually too early in case of our mesembs. There's still a long way to go until there's any real quality growing. Not much happening at the moment. All the plants look more dead and destroyed than anything else...  I don't even have anything to show you since there's nothing new between fall flowering and spring's new growth. Some of my lithops have almost regenerated but are still not being watered for lack of sunlight. So far I can see 13 new heads ("new" as in 1 divided into 2 or 2 divided into 3), three of which are my own seedlings. Quite encouraging. Other mesembs are sort of hanging in there. I'm watering them but very very little.
Still there is one development worth mentioning. My Frithia pulchra's health has been in decline since summer: no new growth, drying out patches of leaves etc. I've noticed too late that it was basically lying on the substrate and didn't have any root system left. The whole root rotted away and as I was cleaning it from dead tissue the plant broke in two parts. I wasn't comfortable putting it back into soil and hoping the roots will grow back. Moreover I wanted to be able to check up on the development whenever I like. The result was the following paper towel based set-up. The cuttings have spent a couple of months tightly wrapped into paper and fixed on a plastic lid. I watered them by watering the paper wrap. 
Now, after the new roots have shown up I've potted them safely. Should be fine now. After all, spring is coming. :)

11 comments:

  1. Very nice idea! Congratulations with successful rooting!

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    1. Thank you :)
      I was a bit skeptical about this but it worked.

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  2. Thank you for showing your "mesemb emergency rescue". I am glad we are documenting these. Many people have the same troubles, and when we have a "medical success" with a mesemb, we can share the technique with others. I am filing this technique away for future reference, you did a great job!

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    1. Thank you for reading :)
      We all try things out now and then and it's fun to share the stories~

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  3. Sorry about the troubles with your frithia but as Marla said, nice rescue. I'm wondering if the pH of your pumice, or water, is too alkaline. Frithia pulchra is one mesemb that does seem to want an acidic substrate. I've got pH in my thoughts right now because I bought myself a new digital pH meter for Christmas. Tested my well water and right now it is very alkaline with a pH of 8.0.

    Stimulating rooting with high humidity is a very successful technique, even for succulents. Your technique is simple and allows the easy examination of the base of the plant in order to quickly check on root initiation and development. I do something similar when I root the scions of my grafts that I have removed. However, I use a different method. I use a clear plastic cup (actually the cut off bottom portion of a cola bottle. Inside the cup, about 5cm from the bottom I attach a piece of window screening (sometimes called hardware cloth). I fill the bottom 4cm of the cup with water, and place the plant section (cutting) to be rooted on top of the screening in the cup. The bottom of the plant to be rooted is then about 1 cm above the water. It never touches the water but takes advantage of the humidity created by the evaporation of the water. I place the cup with the cutting on a warm surface which enhances the evaporation of water and warms the base of the cutting. The status of the rooting can easily be checked by looking through the clear plastic bottle, or even reaching in and removing the cutting for examination. Usually I only have to add more water to the bottom of the cup every 5 days or so; it's very low maintenance. Nearly all my work is with cacti, but I have rooted several lithops that had lost their roots.

    High humidity rooting is an established horticultural technique but it's impressive when someone without a hort background comes up with such an idea and makes it work so well. Maybe another article is born. ;)

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    1. Thank you very much for sharing your method and thoughts on this matter :)
      Your way seems to be more hygienic and maybe more sphere-shaped plants appropriate. Actually one of the reasons I took a plastic lid instead of a cup to fix the plants on was the fact i didn't have the room to put another pot/container on the windowsill at that time. The lid could just be jammed between other pots haha XD

      I always keep high humidity in mind since you told me about how important it is ;)

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  4. I have never heard of your method of re-rooting but have used the method outlined by Bob. I have had some activity with Mesembs this Winter with Lithops optica rubra flowering. Please see SUCCULENT SUNDAE.

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    1. Congrats on your Rubra flowering! Making plants flower is always an accomplishment.

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  5. My Frithia pulchra is just beginning to flower - I obviously need a blog getting started!! You can see them until I enable my own blog at the british cactus forum. Gee, I do feel envious every time I look at your marvelous plants. It seems they like ou (and you obviously like them plants...) :D

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    1. Congratulations on the flowers! :) You're lucky, mine don't even try to flower, neither three adult pulchras nor humilis seedlings.

      Thank you very much for reading and commenting. Do start your own blog, it's much easier to connect and discuss plant growing stuff this way ;)

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  6. Yep, thats correct! Noch kämpfe ich mit der Seite ... kann nicht unterscheiden, was ich falsch mache von dem was die Seite garnicht kann. Schau mal rein - verdemaravilloso bei worldpress - wenn Du dreisprachige Baustellen magst! Und das Grün wächst derweil munter weiter und will verpixxelt werden. Ich beeil mich ja, ich versprech's!

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