Sunday, December 10, 2017

Other developments (12 pics)

There are other things I noticed on the windowsill recently.

For example, I was very surprised to find a seed pod on my Argyroderma crateriforme. The plant flowered out of two heads this year: one flower wilted into nothing, the other however has developed a fruit. Not sure what happened there as I haven't pollinated it. I only have this one Argyroderma plant. If there are some viable seeds inside it would be interesting to see what kind of plants will germinate.

Then, there are the Adromischus marianae v. herrei I'm totally fascinated by. That's no news to you. I post about them frequently. But they are so worth a closer look all around the year.

I was under the impression that they grow very slowly. And so it was surprising to see that, actually, some plants have had a huge leap in development. The leaf cuttings that have started growing own leaves in April (left pic) now look almost like adult plants!

The red-ish specimen has grown a lot of new leaves over the year, too. It was barely growing last year but this year there is a big progress. The photo to the left was taken in June.

By the way, notice how red it was last winter? We had good light and I was keeping it dry. This teaches us not to trust all we see on Ebay. Red cultivars are being in high demand and very expensive. Not all would be proper cultivars though. Sometimes it's just sun tan. Once they transfer from a sunny greenhouse to an environment with less sufficient light they very well might turn green on you. 

The mother plant of the leaf cuttings above and its previous cuttings however haven't grown much. I blame the flowering. They spend all their energy on those huge inflorescences they grow all summer. They look impressive and I was happy to watch them grow and the flowers open. Unfortunately while the inflorescence is there the plant does not grow any new leaves at all. I'd like them to rather grow leaves and so, I think, next year I won't let them grow flowers. There is no chance of seeds anyway as all of my plants are clones of one and the same plant and are genetically identical.

And as for the seedlings, they are still alive. But not more than that. Just tiny green blobs sitting on the pumice. No sign of a second leaf yet. It's been 6 months.

Oh, and this is what I was talking about when I said Anacampseros look dead right now. Not all are this dramatic but you can see how depressing it looks.

No news from lithops and conos. Lithops are growing new leaves on the inside. Conophytums are preparing to sleep already.

At least this Titanopsis calcarea seems to be growing flowers. That's something to look forward to (unless it aborts them).

And here's one bonus picture to end on a high note :)


  1. Very nice group of plants. I don't know if Argyroderma crateriforme is self fertile. I looked through a few of my references but couldn't come up with an answer. It will be interesting to see you get any viable seeds. I had a large Ariocarpus trigonus that flowered every year but never produced any fruit. This was expected because ariocarpus are not self fertile and it was my only ariocarpus at the time. In the spring of 2010 it rotted due to condensation water dripping down on it in the over-winter frames. However, I found theat it had produced one fruit from the flowers of the past fall. I extracted 10 seeds and planted them and grew 6 seedlings. These seedlings are now six years old and they are definitely Ariocarpus trigonus. Somehow, that last flowering period before it died, it had one flower that self pollinated and produced fruit and viable seed. Ariocarpus wasn't suppose to do this, but sometimes plants don't read the books and just do what they want. Keep us posted when you plant the seeds (if you get any seeds).

    I have several Adromischus marianae v. herrei plants and they are neat. I have also lost several due to me being to free with the water. I like the red forms but that's the type I lose most often. I may try a few in a pure pumice mix and see how they perform. My problem is that I am not as regular with my watering as I would like and succulents can do poorly from insufficient water also.

    I've never grown Adromischus marianae v. herrei from seed but I can see (from your experience) that the seedlings will take their time developing. Where did you get your seeds? I would suspect they are not too common.

    I've got to go to bed now but I'll write back soon and discuss the beautiful Titanopsis and Avonias. My lithops are also beginning to look sad, but I tend to ignore them over the winter. Have a great week.

    1. Hi Bob :)

      Sometimes plants just miraculously do what they want, in a good way. Now I always check all shriveled rests of flowers because I know there might be some seeds, even on those plants that are not supposed to be self fertile. Like with your Ariocarpus, I find seeds on my Avonia quinaria sometimes. It gives me a chance to practice my sowing skills (which are in need of practice). I currently have one seedling of Avonia quinaria growing. Terribly slowly. It'll eventually die, I think, but it is the furthest I got with those so far. This reminds me to sow some Avonias as soon as the weather is better (in 2 more months).

      As for the Adromischus seedlings, they are also still alive but have not changed a bit. It will take years for them to get to a proper size. At the moment there is not even a sign of a second leaf. I got the seeds from our usual source Mesa Garden last year.

      Please do show your Ad. marianae v. herrei! They must have the best form and color under your conditions. I have several bigger Adro species but they are really struggling this winter. It's too dark for all of my plants. I'll need to pick your brain for artificial light setup sometime :)

  2. Titanopsis calcarea remains one of my favorite succulents. I've never had any trouble growing them but I continue to hear stories that they are a problem for others. I do have lots of direct sunlight to give them and I keep them on the dry side, not that I plan it this way, I just don't seem to have the time to water them on a regular basis. Your Titanopsis calcareas look very nice. After growing many from seed I am paying more attention to the textural and color variation in their leaf tips. I still have my plant with the reddish leaf tips and I am watching the batch of seedlings I grew from that plant with hopes of more red leaf tip plants.

    I always enjoy seeing your Avonias, and yes a great plant to end a blog article with - certainly a high note. Beautiful plants.

    At present I am looking for a place within my new house to serve as a winter home for my lithops. I had a perfect large window in my old house, and although I have a lot of good windows in the new house, I can't seem to decide on the best one for the lithops. However, we are having an addition to the house built as I write and that may be where they end up. I'll discuss my new windows as a topic in my resurrected blog, if I can get up the courage to start writing it again. I'm trying. :) What are the two round lithops just above the Titanopsis? Look a little like L. p. volkii Nice. Hope your weather is acceptable and Mila and you are having interesting conversation. Bob

    1. You are lucky to be able to grow your Titanopsis in direct sunlight. Mine have real troubles this year. I'm losing T. promisii, too. T. calcarea just don't look good but there's still hope of improvement. This year the darkness just does not end...

      Actually, with all the troubles I have this year, Avonias are doing really great. No negative changes at all. They are just patiently waiting for spring. Anacampseros are also mostly fine, so are lithops. Lithops really don't care much if it's dark as long as they are not watered. They just regenerate at their own pace. However, they will be weakened by the time the finish. I'll need to fertilize this year.

      So maybe this report will put you at ease with the search for a perfect window :) Mine have had the worst and darkest winter and they survived. The long leaf-changing process is a blessing.

      Can't wait to read your blog again!! :D