Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Adromuschus clones (5 pics)

For a while now I have been wondering about price development for succulent plants these days. Prices are skyrocketing for no apparent reason. It's not like the plants have gotten more rare or have grown indestructible. Plants are not an investment. They die. Quite suddenly, too. No regular size plant that's not even old, even if it is extremely rare, should cost more that 20€ and seeds more than 5€. Why would you pay more? Some prices are ridiculous! Out of curiosity I've recently checked Ebay for Adromischus and saw a small plant that was visually nothing special going for 4500€. Why? And especially for Adromischus. It multiplies easily from a leaf, no effort required from the grower.

Fellow growers, let's share our passion, not kill it by making plants and seeds unaffordable.

So, apparently, I am not buying new plants anytime soon. More time to enjoy those I have, am I right? ;) In September 2013 I got one Adromischus marianae v. herrei (green form) and now I have three thanks to the convenient propagation method - leaf cuttings. Sure it takes time and sometimes it can take months for the new leaves to appear even if the root system is fully developed. But the result is a new perfect plant. The below plant looked like this in February 2014, like this in April 2014 and like this in August 2014. Now it has a size of an adult Adromischus and might bloom next year.

The smaller cutting still keeps it's mother-leaf and is a bit slower. In its defense, looks like it is growing two branches simultaneously.

After a time I acquired others but they were not growing too well. I have decided to get rid of them and try anew from their leaves. The one to the right on the above photo is a young cutting of something called Adromischus marianae v. herrei CR1263 and below are my newest cuttings of Adromischus marianae 'Little Sphaeroid'. Hopefully they will develop well in time.

Oh, and here is the initial plant I got the little greenies from. It looked like this back in 2013.


  1. I rarely buy plants so I don't have a good feeling for how plant cost have changed here in the US over the past few years. I do know the plant cost, like most other products, are usually a function of supply vs demand, and supply is a function of ease and time of production (propagation). Ease and time of propagation are of course a function of the particular plant characteristic (genetic makeup). The longer a plant requires to go from propagation initiation to saleable plant the more is cost the grower to produce.

    Of course newly discovered plants, or newly produced hybrids are initially few and if demand is high, the cost will be high. Demand is a very unpredictable matter. Often a journal or magazine article can create demand for a particular plant or group of plants. Word of mouth can do this also but it is relatively slow. Of course on ebay the seller can ask any price they desire, but it is how many people are willing to pay that price which will decide if that price remains high.

    For commercial growers, predicting demand is one of the most important, yet mysterious, parts of their business, especially for plants that require a relatively long period of production (propagation to saleable plant) time. Commercial plant production is a difficult business and generally doesn't make you very wealthy. Deciding what plants to grow and how many is usually a gamble you can often lose. A commercial plant nursery is a tough business.

    For peace of mind it is better to grow plants on a windowsill or in an over-wintering frame where your living expenses don't depend on it. Of course we still have to decide on what plants to grow and how many, but it depends on using our limited space, not whether we are going to be able to pay the rent and buy the food we like.

    Thank you and your blog for allowing me to go into teaching mode again. :D

  2. Thank you for getting into teaching mode for me Bob :D

    I understand the supply and demand situation, however it does not lessen my frustration. I don't buy plants very often either and that is actually why I can see the huge jumps in prices. Basically, these days, for a normal person, it is absolutely impossible to start growing Adromischus. And from what I see in regards of mesembs the situation is not much different. At least in case of lithops and other mesembs seeds are available (also more expensive than before but affordable). It is simply frustrating that if a person is interested in Adromischus that person needs to be really rich (paying over 1000€ for a couple of Adromischus leaves on Ebay - only a person that doesn't count money can do that).

    If people like you and me can not get their hands on these plants than the whole plant growing hobby becomes elitist and the passion and plant growing community dies. It is not ok. It's sad.

    When I write about my plants I want to encourage people to grow their own. I want to be able to link them to websites of nurseries that offer them for regular prices so that more people can have them and we all can talk about them.

    I see that non-commercial growers profit a lot from their sales right now and popular nurseries are sold out. But what is profit for the moment will be a loss later when there is no community to participate in discussions and no one to share our passion with.