Monday, May 22, 2017

Frithia pulchra enjoying the sun (4 pics)

And here's another small update!

The sun is shining and my old Frithia pulchra finally opened its flowers. They only open completely around 11 AM and close again by 1 PM. My second F. pulchra is growing flowers too, but it'll be too late for pollination.

I think the camera overreacts when faced with so much lilac. On the photo it looks like most of the flower is colored in lilac and pink while in reality there is much more white inside and lilac is mostly at the tips. I couldn't catch that. It's beautiful nevertheless. Wonderful plant!

Here is a photo of part of my garden for scale ;)

Delosperma bonsai (2 pics)

Do you remember the two Delosperma plants I was training to be bonsais? 
I gathered the seeds on the side of the road in 2010 and grew these plants from those seeds back in 2012. There are a bunch of posts on that: little bunnies, new leaves, new branches, getting in shape, first time being beautiful, messy forest, a total mess after spending a year at my parents and the first haircut, bonsai phase 1 and phase 1.2. Last fall bugs were biting them badly and so I banished them on the balcony where they spent the whole winter. It killed the bugs and the shape on one of them has improved a lot. It looks now exactly like I imagined it to look like. Thick trunk and a full crown. Love it!

The other one however, which I considered more promising, does not look well. Branches all over the place. I need to cut some parts off for sure. Just need to figure out which... Something's not right there.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Last year's Anacampseros seedlings still kicking (35 pics)

It feels like we haven't had a real Spring this year. It started just recently, if at all, and will probably just jump into Summer directly. Maybe because of that or maybe because of reasons of their own my Anacampseros plants just recently woke up. While somewhere else there are already buds and flowers, mine are still pushing new leaves to compensate for Winter losses. Anacampseros are inactive in Winter. They don't grow at all and look very scruffy, dead even, drying off leaves and leaving dead twigs. Same goes for seedlings, I had to find out. I was starting to worry because they were so brown and lifeless, and then I saw bugs on them and thought I'll lose them all. I'm still quite new to this.

But then the sun was shining and they were getting watered regularly and then fresh green appeared on the old leaves, new leaves started growing. And with them even some flower buds.

Anacampseros lanceolata 

Anacampseros lancifolia

Anacampseros sp.

I called the kids of that first plant above "weeds" last year. This year, after a dry winter, the new leaves look much better. Instead of being floppy like those grown last year they are short and meaty. Hope to keep them that way.

The rest of the seedlings have grown into little round rosettes with neat fluffy fur. It is quite exciting to see them slowly develop the features of adult plants. I can even attempt some individual portraits.

Anacampseros baeseckei will grow into long fluffy towers with short leaves. At the moment they are just round. They all are from different localities. If you want to know the catalog number and other info click on the pics. The details will be in the file name.

Anacampseros namaquensis should be larger and bushier. Lots of fluff there! Can't even see the leaves on those MG7042.

Unlike these Anacampseros retusa fa. rubra. The kids have very little hairs but the flat heart-shaped leaves are the more interesting.

Anacampseros arachnoides should later have short pointy leaves with cobwebs kinda stuck to them.

Anacampseros telephiastrum should have large round meaty leaves. Mine are still small.

These Anacampseros sp. (albidiflora) look very promising with the pointy leaves.

Not sure how Anacampseros filamentosa are supposed to look like later. We'll see. They are cure little kids.

These are some of the older seedlings. I had hoped they would flower this year but no sign of it yet. I'm very fond of their overall shape.

Anacampseros rufescens can get sloppy easily, from what I see. I should keep them on a strict diet.

Anacampseros rufescens 'Sunrise'

I don't know what these are (An. rufescens?) but the color is great! The new leaves have not managed to get the tan yet.

In my excitement of seeing Anacampseros seedlings revived like this after watering I kinda overdid it with An. vanthielii. Diet!

I also have some younger seedlings (6 months old). I've been watering them though the Winter.

As a conclusion, growing Anacampseros is very rewarding and fun and I can recommend it to everyone.

PS: Hope the cat hair is not too noticeable on the photos. Mila regularly walks on them. It does not seem to damage them though. She also walks on lithops. Which is yet another reason to keep them nice and flat. 

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Update on Crassula rupestris and other news (8 pics)

Before I post more on lithops I just wanted to make a quick update on some other things going on.

You might have seen some of it over on Twitter where I usually post small updates and random photos from the windowsill. Sometimes I'm excited about something but feel like it's not newsworthy enough for the blog. But I like writing here much more.

Remember the Crassula rupestris I was pruning and dividing into cuttings last month? All the pieces have rooted and started to grow new leaves and branches.

This one is overdoing it with the roots.

As you can see the roots are quickly growing. I pulled this one out just to make sure.

I am still waiting for the Frithia pulchra and Frithia pulchra f. rubra seedlings to bloom. Very curious to see if there is a difference between the flower colors.

And two of the Delospermas on my balcony are flowering beautifully. Cold overwintering outside was really beneficial.

Delosperma sp. 'garnet'

Delosperma sutherlandii

Sunday, May 7, 2017

The Sleeping Kingdom (7 pics)

I don't have many winter growers and most of them are conophytums. Having had them for 3 years now I'm clearly not an expert. But in terms of seasonal watering schedule they seem to indicate what they want much better than lithops. Or rather they just insist upon doing what needs to be done in a way lithops often can't manage. Of course my observations are just that and I don't have that many plants to say they are all like this but let me try to explain what I've seen so far.

You know how lithops just go into stasis and completely shut down during a heatwave? You think that would be a great time to catch up on some quality growth with lots of sun and water but they just won't accept it. They stay wrinkly as if thirsty. But the difference is that instead of going soft they become hard as stones. And no amount of water brings them out of it until the heat is over. This indication of "leave me alone" is really great and helps the grower. Unfortunately they don't do the same during the important phase of regeneration, mainly because it IS the time of active growth. It just happens invisibly. And so if watered in winter they will just keep expanding until they rot. Would be nice if they just shut down then as well and didn't accept waterings.

Luckily for conophytums, the period of stasis and the period of absorption of old leaves overlap. And so when conos refuse water it happens at a strategically important time. This makes things easier. My plants looks like this at the moment and will stay this way until late August.

The thing is, young cono seedlings are doing it, too, it appears. I am currently having my first experience with them. My seedlings are 1 year old and very small. That's why I'd like them to continue growing and gain more weight before they start going into sheaths for half a year. You know, with lithops, the first couple of years they regenerate whenever and if you keep watering they will keep growing. I thought cono seedlings would do the same but no, they went to sleep timely with the others. I kept watering but they just stopped accepting it. Now I kinda gave up and am letting them go to sleep in a hope they will eventually wake up. I have my doubts about that... We'll see.

The young Oophytum nanum seedlings are doing the same, by the way. I see the green shining through but the plants are completely inactive. I don't think they have enough resources to go through with it though. They are still very young.