Thursday, August 18, 2016

Transplanting some older seedlings (14 pics)

I've been transplanting some plants that probably didn't need any transplanting. What started as "these seedlings are kinda small for their age, better check the roots" ended up as "let's check them all!" I have ordered pumice from ebay lately and it was a bad idea. Now I'm back to my usual supplier. How great his stuff is in comparison! Transplanting is so much more fun when you are using good quality pumice. 

I'm generally proud of my seedlings, all of them. No matter how well-grown the plants are we buy from someone, plants grown from seeds always seem to be the prettiest of all to me. Not partial at all! ;D But, to be honest, the plants that have germinated and grown under the same conditions all their lives, really do appreciate it. You also have good control over their shape if you watch them closely and treat them accordingly. You know how big a fan I am of plants that are small and really flat to the ground. It is not easy to get such plants as adults. But with seedlings hatched and grown in pumice without any extra food, that is how they will eventually turn up looking. Not much effort involved. They grow very slowly though. And show their true patterns quite late. I'm not growing them for sale so that's okay.

The seedlings that appeared small-ish to me are the L. lesliei ssp. burchellii (C308), sown back in 2011. It's been 5 years! You might remember them from herehere or here. Cute kids they were. Well, I'm not sure if that's it with their size and they won't grow any larger but they seem to be fit and strong with nice root systems. So maybe fresh substrate will give them a bit more energy. They show a variety of patterns and I tried to regroup them according to their looks. You would probably not notice the difference but I did have a system.

They also like to dig themselves in. Here is a "before" picture.

Squeeze and pull! That is why clay pots are not recommended, btw ;)

Also, it's absolutely okay to remove half of the fine roots, or even more, along with the rests of old substrate during transplantation. The fine roots grow back in no time. I think the trimming actually stimulates them.

The others I spontaneously decided to re-pot are the L. aucampiae ssp. aucampiae v. aucampiae 'White Flower' (C002A) seedlings I got from seeds of the plants I got from Mr. Shimada when I was living in Japan. Well, the parent plants were way too huge to survive long under my conditions. But at least I got seeds and this is what I have to show for it now. Back in 2012 they looked so week and ugly and strange. Then they got better and better and now they are such beauties! The uniform color, the perfect shape, the manageable size. I do mean to brag!

The size of Mr. Ingenwepelt's plants is what I'm going for so if we compare the L. aucampiae head size, mine should not get any bigger.

I've refreshed the substrate for some other seedlings too.

Some nameless L. lesliei seedlings.

The Ventergreens (C001A), from own seeds. They look all grown up but never flower. That's my curse :) At least the leaves look very pretty.

This L. lesliei ssp. lesliei v. lesliei 'Storms’s Albinigold' (C036B) is two-headed but tiny, sown sometime 2008. One of my first.

This L. bromfieldii v. glaudinae 'Rubroroseus' (C393A) went a bit too far in its flatness. I have a bunch of "kinda small" Rubroroseus seedings while their siblings are already adult looking. New substrate it is.


  1. Rather amazing what YOU can accomplish in a window. I'm impressed, and I am hard to impress in terms of growing succulents. BTW My Lithops lesliei ssp. burchellii are also smaller in comparison to most of lesliei species and varieties. And, they tend to pull themselves very low in the substrate, even when watered regularly. I really like their leaf top color patterns, so it is a same they don't grow a little larger. Cole list the facial diameters of burchellii at 30 to 35mm while mine measure around 15 - 20mm. Strange.

    I really like your L. aucampiae ssp. aucampiae "White flower" plants. Yes they are small, but a very nice red-orange-brown colored leaf surface. Great plants. I know you are a bit of a purist, but you should consider a small LED light to see if you can get better flowering on some of the lithops. I still believe the lack of flowering is either insufficient light intensity or problems with daylength. However, you seem to grow and flower other plants that are light hungry quite well. Oh well, growing succulents wouldn't be as much fun if everything went as planned. XD

    When you get a chance it would be very nice to see a few pictures of your overall growing areas again. A cat in the picture is always welcomed :) Thanks for sharing your time, your plants, and your knowledge with us.

    1. Thank you Bob! Your words are always very encouraging to me and your comments very welcome :)

      Really? So yours are also smaller than the rest and pull themselves into the ground? Then I'm relieved. The biggest of mine is 15mm across the long side and the smallest 9mm. Feels like it's quite small but if it's okay it's okay. They seem to be healthy in any other way. I was also waiting for them to get bigger so that they show more typical burchellii patterns, you know the ones that flow like water around the edges. I'm not sure I'm seeing that on mine much, even though there are some lovely open window patterns among them I'd like to cultivate (if they ever decide to flower which is unlikely).

      The aucampiae have turned out exactly the same color as their parents but of a good compact size. (The two parent plants had to be put in a 7cm container! That's "overfed" in my book. Don't know what they feed them in Japan.) I feel very lucky I could get the seeds back then.

      In terms of flowers, you are right, there's just not enough sunlight here. In fact, every time something blooms on my windowsill, I think it is more or less a lucky accident. This season we barely had any sunlight at all. Conos are showing some flowers and buds but lithops - none, not even a hint. I have very little hope of seeing lithops flowers this year.

      Haha, yes, I'm a purist, it seems ;) But also, installing LED light on the windowsill will not look pretty, you know? Like, now it is a nice little garden, but if I put a box with all the lights and wires and what not it will not look good. And I have no basement or something to hide this kind of installation.

      Ok, I'll take pictures of the windowsill in a whole next time the sun is shining :) The windowsill is now 2/3 full, 4 out of 6 trays are in place.