Sunday, January 12, 2014

Trichodiadema and Crassula flowers

Recently purchased Trichodiadema densum has opened a flower. Not white or yellow for a change :)

All the Crassula I have went through a long acclimation process, with growth stop, rotting and such, but at the end they got used to their new situation and two of them even flowered. Here is the cute little Crassula mesembryanthemopsis. It's strange to see so typically crassula-like flowers on such a mesemb-looking plant :)


  1. A very Mesemb looking plant. Nice to have Winter flowers. Mine has been flowering. Please see

    1. It's really something to lighten up the winter days :)
      Crassulas mesembryanthemopsis are such cuties

  2. Glad to see your Crassula mesembryanthemopsis doing better. It's a bit of an art to get some of these plants to adjust to an entirely new growing environment, especially when the adjustment is to lower light levels. We understand we have to slow/stop their growth in lower light, and that keeping them dry is one way to do this, but with small sized plants, there is a limit to how long they can go without water. After a long period without water the roots dieback and the plant has to adjust the use of the water stored in the leaves or stem, depending on the species involved.

    Are you giving the C. mesembryanthemopsis any water at this time? If not, what will be the deciding factor on when to supply water? How do you judge the amount of water in the pumice? Weight of the pot? Appearance of the pumice? Testing stick? I once used a small wooden stick, like a chopstick. I would stick it into the potting media and pull it out. If some of the media was adhering to the stick, there was moisture in the media. If the stick came out clean, the media was dry.

    I've never grown Trichodiadema. To me it looked more like a cactus than a mesemb. Pretty colored flower. It's amazing how you always find a little more room for a new plant. Like magic.

    1. I'm very happy the Crassula is doing better. At times I thought there's no hope for it. I haven't watered for some time after the rotting and the leaves were really soft and wrinkly and didn't want to swell after i finally felt comfortable to water it again. The roots only "woke up" after maybe a second or third watering (note that after the rotting I've repotted it into a small and relatively shallow pot so that the substrate will dry faster even if the plant refuses to absorb water). Now it's growing new leaves and, as you see, even could be persuaded to flower a little. I'm monitoring it closely. :)
      As you described there is a lot of adjustments the plant needs to make. No wonder it acts out and sadly even "gives up" sometimes.

      Are you giving the C. mesembryanthemopsis any water at this time? If not, what will be the deciding factor on when to supply water? How do you judge the amount of water in the pumice? Weight of the pot?

      Exactly! :) There is a considerable difference in weight between wet and dry pumice and since I grow my plants in light plastic pots it is easy to determine which pots haven't been watered in a while.
      I don't rely on pot weight alone though. Often even if the substrate is dry (light pot) if the plant doesn't look like it needs water I wouldn't water it. I don't have a regular schedule for it like watering all plants once a week during the summer. I water depending on individual needs (something probably impossible in a greenhouse but not a problem on a windowsill with a limited number of plants). The signs of thirst are for me 1) looks; the plant is shrinking, leaves are getting wrinkly 2) grade of "softness" which is even more important than looks in my opinion. I rely A LOT on how the plant feels to the touch. Sometimes a mesemb is shrunken and wrinkly but the leaves are really firm (lithops can be even hard as a stone) - for me it means it's resting and doesn't need water. Only if the leaves or the rased root/caudex are getting soft to the touch the plants is losing resources and it's time to water.

      About a stick, with pumice it's difficult to stick anything between the stones. Also, I use such small pots that the plant normally occupies all the surface ;) If it doesn't I sometimes dig in a bit to -see- if the pumice underneath is wet (wet pumice is much darker than dry pumice).

      I also always thought Trichodiadema is more like a cactus :)
      This picture (2nd one) made me want to grow it: Those spines around the flower! <3
      I really need to take some close up photos of the leaves, they are so cute and hairy XD

      Haha, yes, it looks like magic to make room for more plants here. I could give away some of the lithops seedlings and also had to make some of them "move in together" for this.