Sunday, April 13, 2014

Titanopsis seedlings today (4 pics)

My Titanopsis calcarea seedlings are almost one year old (sown 1st of May 2013) and look at this beauty! Perfect shape, perfect color, perfect warts - love it! ♡ 

But not every seedling had a chance to grow just as perfectly as the one above. Two of them had some difficulties during the winter and messed up the growing point, the spot where the new growth starts in the middle of the rosette. All the plants give up on some growing-points now and then and just use another (like a side branch) to continue. It is just a bit tricky if it only has one. I'm not sure what exactly goes wrong in these cases. The seedling below had a pair of really strange crippled leaves that didn't want to grow and then grew into weird shapes (trauma at a very early stage like an insect bite?). Luckily the seedling is healthy and strong and didn't want to wait until that growing point sorts itself out. It just grew a side branch and the new grows is healthy and well-shaped. By now I already can see new healthy leaves coming out of the messed up rosette as well.

The seedling below has just completely dried off the main growing point and focused on the side branch. A less strong plant would just give up all together as we probably all have sadly experienced. With these seedlings I'm pretty confident that they will be fine.

Just like their parent :)


  1. Looking good! Do you find dying growth points to be a common occurrence with Titanopsis?

    1. Thanks Craig :)

      Yes, in my experience it's quite common. A strong plant just starts growing a new branch right beside the one it gave up so that's okay. But unfortunately it also happens that it just dries from the growing point outwards without any new growth to replace it. If a Titanopsis turns magenta-red in the middle of the rosette it almost always means nothing will ever grow out of there...

  2. Titanopsis calcarea is such a beautiful plant. The leaves are like a fine and intricate sculpture. Interestingly, in their native habitat the soil is usually a gritty, chalky white, and the plants almost disappear. Your plants have wonderful form and color.

    Sorry about the dieback of the new growth in some of your plants. New growth is very tender and can be damaged from exposure to sudden strong sunlight. New growth is also the first tissue to be damaged by a period of insufficient water. The one pest that can damage new growth is spider mites, although I have never had a problem with mites on Titanopsis. Finally, sometimes new growth can simply die from internal problems with their vascular connnections (the tissue that moves water through the leaves and stems). In all cases, as you pointed out, side shoots develop to take the place of the lost terminal growth. Plants are so fascinating. :)

    1. Yes, it's like the leaves have been decorated with gems. Love these plants!

      Hm, strong light sounds actually plausible in this case, but at the end it's probably impossible to definitely tell what went wrong. The main thing is that they heal themselves and compensate the grows as they should instead of just giving up all together. The plant on the second photo has grown a set of normally shaped leaves out of the damaged rosette by now. The other one's side branch looks strong and is about to completely replace the "main" one. They got me worried for a while though. It was sad to see them like that expecially beside the beauty on the first pic. :) Can't stop looking at it, so proud I am :)

      True. Especially while watching them so closely you understand how fascinating they are!