Monday, July 10, 2017

Random seedlings report (13 pics)

It's always fun to grow plants from seed. Even if you know approximately what to expect you never know what their growth pattern will be or how the seedlings will turn out in the end. It is even more fun to grow something from seed that you have not grown before. Sure, most of the time you are just guessing how to care for such seedlings. And you do make mistakes. But this is all part of the fun of discovery and will help you understand the plants later.

I have tried growing Conophytums from seed before but they either didn't germinate or died right after. And so I consider my latest attempt the actual first try. They went through a couple of leaf changes and they are still alive. Being one year old, they went to sleep in the spring just like adults. But they were so very tiny! I really didn't want to let them do that, thinking they need to get bigger first. They didn't listen, of course, and were just doing their thing. I woke them up again recently and luckily all of them seem to be alive underneath the sheaths. Maybe it wasn't a good idea to wake them up a month early but that's also part of the experience.

Conophytum pillansii

I'm happy to report that Oophytum nanum seedlings (1 year old) are also slowly coming out of their slumber. I was really worried they wouldn't.

Below are Meyerophytum meyeri (MG1778.65) seedlings I grew last year. Another of the firsts. The plants have turned out to be easy to grow and very eager to branch out. I understand, as winter growers, they also should be in sheaths but I didn't let them do that out of the usual concern - too young and small for such a long time without water. I worry too much. These guys are tough.

I liked them so much that I sowed more this year. They make very cute seedlings (2 months old).

Meyerophytum meyeri (MG1778.65)

Meyerophytum meyeri v. holgatense (MG1778.7)

My youngest lithops seedlings are too small for photos so I will report on the second youngest bunches. I still have some of the seedlings of which I don't know the names. A couple of them look like L. olivacea. The rest I'm still not sure. They are uniform though and once they are bigger I'll probably be able to match them with my sowing list of around that time (most likely C266). We'll see.

L. dorotheae de Boer from the seeds of my own plants are also growing. You can even already see the characteristic lines and dots and colors.

This year I'm also growing Neohenricia sibbetii (MG1782.12) from seed. Mainly because my own adult plants are all cuttings of the same plant and I'd really like to be able to produce seeds. It might take years until they flower.

Can you guess what these tiny blobs are? That's right, Adromischus mariannae v. herrei. This is the first time for me to attempt them from seed. They look crazy! Just spheres with a root. Really hope I won't kill them. Very curious to see them grow.



Last year all my Delosperma harazianum got eaten by bugs and then froze on the balcony where they and the bugs were banned to. So now I'm starting again from seed. They are already beautiful (3 months old). Now to keep mites away from them...

And these are the red flowering Delosperma "garnet" seedlings. Because why not :)


  1. My delosperma seem to like regular dirt and regular waterings.
    They're weird plants.
    Some hybrids have pink, yellow, and white on the same flower. I have a few like that.

    1. Nice! Delospermas are grateful plants. Most of mine are on the balcony all year and like it very much. There are beautiful hybrids out there but who has the room to have them all XD

  2. Great blog post Rika. Yes, growing from seed is such fun and so exciting. My seed sowing pots are always the first things I look at when I go to my plant growing area in the basement. I am primarily growing cacti but I have planted a little Titanopsis seed. My Delosperma harzianum from your seed are doing quite well. The full sun has produce dense, compact leaves with a quite dark green color. They look a bit like little miniature pine trees.

    Where did you get the seed for the Adromischus mariannae v. herrei? Neat looking seedlings. They should be very interesting as they develop their mature wrinkled leaves.

    The Neohenricia sibbetii seedlings look a lot like Titanopsis calcarea seedlings. So exciting. You should have studied horticulture. You are developing into a super succulent plant propagator. I'm very impressed. I am beginning to like the LED (Light Emitting Diodes) as a source of artificial light for my plants. They do not produce much heat. They use less power than fluorescents. And, they produce compact, healthy plants.

    Thanks for all your great photos. Hope the mites leave you alone. They are a very difficult pest to deal with. I've never had them on succulents, but I have several cacti they often infest and discolor. Unfortunately, spider mites love hot, dry environmental conditions, the same as many succulents.

    Take care and enjoy those wonderful plants you have. Glad Mila is helping you with your inspections. It's so nice to have extra help. :) Bob

    1. Thank you for your kind comment Bob. Your faith in my abilities really means a lot to me :)

      Growing plants from seed is the best. It takes a long time for succulents but I don't mind at all. You really make me curious about those LED lights. Maybe there are industrial models of small sowing boxes with LED i could buy somewhere. Seeing seedlings grow into healthy compact shapes is very satisfying. And pine tree shape is the best shape for young Delospermas. They are very lucky to get full sun at your place. Mine have to deal with 50% and less.

      I got the Adro seedlings from Mesa Garden this year (added MG numbers to the pictures above). I know very little of Adromischus which makes is difficult to anticipate their needs but it also makes growing them particularly interesting.

      I often ask myself why i haven't studied horticulture. It would have made me much happier professionally. I wonder if it's too late...

      I have better control of the mites now that i water regularly. Curiously, simple soapy water seems to help better than chemicals. There are plants mites especially like and I was thinking of keeping sich plants just as a distraction. Maybe sacrificing a Nananthus or a halfdead Delosperma from a hardware store.

      Mila is a huge help, always watching me transplant lithops, inspecting the pumice and pots, keeping flies away and being very serious about all those tasks. She is the best help I could have :)

  3. I have given up on Conophytum seed as I could not get them to germinate. This despite a tutorial from Terry Smale.

    1. Really? I had no difficulty getting them to germinate by setting them up exactly the same way as lithops. Wet pumice, seeds on top, transparent lid on the pot. But as I said all of them die shortly after. I yet have to figure out that part.

    2. Conos need big day night temperature (24C to 10C). Even refrigerating them at night works. Probably also starting them in fall is best. Sometimes winter "growers" don't thrive when started in summer. Conos do not need bright lights nearly as much as lithops.

  4. Join the club Alain. This year I cannot get any haworthia seed to germinate. I have had good germination in the past but not this year. It is frustrating. Maybe Rika has an answer for your conos, but I don't believe she has worked with haworthia seed before. Although, I really think she could do just about anything she decides to do. One very smart young lady.

  5. Inspektor Mila... war auch hier!? lol
    Vg W.P.

    1. Sieht man an den omnipresenten Katzenhaaren :D

  6. Beautiful and uniform black pots! Where do you get them?

    1. They are being sold at Kakteen Haage

      Size 5x5x8,5cm

      0,60 euro each

      Otherwise cheaper at Kakteen Schwarz
      264 pots for 74,20 euros