On a recent visit to Northwind Perennial Farm in Wisconsin, I found myself face-to-face with a table of Sedum plants. Stonecrop is what some may call them. They're NOT new plants in general and not necessarily new to me, either. I had some inherited Sedum in our house in Elmhurst that seemed to do just fine along the driveway. Didn't think about them much then. And haven't thought about them much now. We also have some Angelina Sedum that I really like in a few spots. But, these more upright sedum? Don't have them in our garden, but that doesn't mean I can't 'get to know' them a little bit, right? Below are signs for three: Neon, Karl and Stardust. The sign for the Neon variety says a lot (to me): We've been buying Sedum since the 1970's. Lol. The Stardust sign is even better: This is an upright sedum with white flowers. Go find a spot. Another LOL. For me, the Neon and Stardust sedums are viable - as they're listed for
Showing posts with the label succulents
Earlier this Summer, the small Firesticks succulent (is it a cactus? I think so?) made its annual migration from indoors to outdoors. First...staying in the shade for a couple of weeks. Then, moving to a little bit more sun. This container-grown cactus lived in the basement all Winter and seemed to come out the other side in decent shape. I barely watered it and it barely grew. But...When I moved it outside and gave it some water, it started to take-off again. The last time that I captured a photo of this Firesticks succulent was more than a year ago - February 2022 . It continues to grow and the current state is below: It is easy to see that there is a ton of new, fresh growth. Those yellow-going-on-red tips are the tell. It seems happy in this small container and I'm not in a hurry to move it to something bigger since I'm seeing so much growth. I suppose that's something that I need to start to look at and figure out if it would benefit from a larger home. It
In late January, I tried a succulent propagation experiment with one variable: cutting vs callus'd-over pieces of Burro's Tail. I used rooting compound and went about planting two small containers of little pieces of succulent. In the green, plastic container, I planted segments that I sliced in-to and then applied the rooting compound. In the clay pot, I left the segments with their calluses and just rubbed rooting compound on the surface. The little white post-it note says: "Uncut = Clay". (I keep an offline garden diary of sorts, too...) Four-or-so-weeks later, here's what those two containers look like: What has happened? The cuttings on the left - the ones that I sliced into with a knife BEFORE applying the rooting compound have just melted away. On the right - the ones that I left intact? Many of them are still there and doing just fine. Lesson learned: when propagating succulents, make sure they have completely callused over before attempting
'Tis the season for documenting our house plant collection in the [ container diary ], it seems. I've done Nat's large Fiddlehead Fig tree , my wire vine plant that we brought in from outside, my only (for now) Staghorn Fern and my Maidenhair Fern that I recently repotted . However, I have a potted plant (a cactus) that I've had longer than any of those - in fact, it might be the oldest house plant/container that we have on hand: a Firesticks Cactus Succulent. Seems that I've long called this a "pencil cactus", but that's not accurate. This is a succulent and officially named: Euphorbia tirucalli 'Sticks on Fire'. I posted some photos of this succulent when it arrived in March of 2018 - almost four years ago. I had it in an orange container that I've moved on from - I think it cracked - because the current container isn't much larger than the original one (hence...I don't think I sized-this-up). What does it look like fo
On my Winter Gardening to-do list are a few propagation-related items: Being more deliberate with propagating some of the Burro's Tail buds that seem to fall off of the main vines everyday and starting to propagate our Christmas Cactus . To do both of those, I'm going to give this Rooting Powder from Bonide a shot. For Burro's Tail, I've had luck WITHOUT this rooting hormone , but that all was when I was in a downtown high-rise window. I'll post some photo updates when I get around to planting these small cuttings in their own containers and will experiment with how this rooting powder helps/doesn't help with getting them going.
This isn't part of *my* Christmas Haul (like the padded espalier training wire from last week), but I still wanted to post a photo of this gift that was received in our house by the Bird. One of the things that we've done over the past year-plus is to watch ALL of the Marvel MCU movies as a family. As part of that experience, some of the characters in the MCU have become family favorites. One of those is Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy. The Bird (now) has some Groot shirts and even a little magnet shoulder-sitting Groot that she'll wear around . But, when I think about all of the kids, the one that has the MOST interest in nature and plants and gardening (with me) is the Bird. So, I'm thinking that is part of the draw to Groot: he's organic and is plant-based. For Christmas, we came across this set of Groot planters on Etsy and knew that she'd love them. There are four in the total set, but you can buy just one. Note: there are A LOT of 3D-printe
It was just a few days ago that I posted a photo of some of the buds that had emerged on our Christmas Cactus and today that very cactus has the first bud that has opened and is VERY tropical-looking. The flower is white/(very) pale pink flower petals with a bright pink stalk that has emerged. (Is that the stamen? The pistil?). I'll be watching to see how these die back and if they need to be removed. In the photo below, you can see a few of the other buds that are growing up and out. The one on the far left is about to open while the others continue to get larger. I watered this thing in early this morning, but have to get read up on how much water it wants now that it is flowering.
In addition to the five Amaryllis bulbs that we bought and planted last week , we also came home with a Christmas Cactus. This was picked out and planted by the KotBTs - as he has a love of cactus (thanks, Preston Playz ). We haven't had one of these before, but have come across them just about every holiday season. But, is it a cactus? The answer is *kinda*. At least according to the Farmer's Almanac : Unlike other cacti, the Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera x buckleyi) and its relatives don't live in hot, arid environments such as deserts or plains. In fact, these epiphytic succulents are native to the tropical rainforests of southern Brazil, where they grow on tree branches and soak up the high humidity, dappled sunlight, and warm temperatures. The bottom line: Don't treat a Christmas cactus like it's a run-of-the-mill cactus or succulent. They can't take the same sort of sunny, dry conditions that other cacti can. It's important to water these cacti
In our indoor container garden collection, we have a few succulents that we've picked up over the years including the Burro's Tail that I bought home from the office and (just last week) began the process of planting some cuttings. Upstairs, in the sunniest spot, we also have a container of Firesticks Cactus that I planted in 2018 . I managed to drag that Firesticks outside last Summer and then back in before Fall and it seems to have thrived the past year or two. It is pretty big and likely in need of a new container. But, more on that succulent in a separate post. This is about a new (to us) succulent that I picked up recently at Home Depot. It was a $3.98 2.5" plastic nursery pot that has these plump, crinkle-ended leaves/lobes. For now, I decided to just leave the Key Lime Pie succulent in the plastic nursery pot and stuck it inside a larger, terra cotta container that doesn't (currently) have a hole punched out of the bottom, but appears to be able to have
Like a lot of you guys, the year of working-from-home caused me to have a little work plant casualty. On the ledge at the Aon Center, I was keeping a couple of pots/containers of a Burro's Tail succulents that when we SUDDENLY decided to just stop going into the office were mostly abandoned. The last time that I posted about them was at the end of October 2018 here on the blog . Well, thanks to our office services team, one of those containers somehow survived the Spring and Summer, so when I ventured into the office in Fall of 2020, I was able to bring one of them home and nurse it along this Winter. I mostly neglected it the past four months, giving it occasional water. And, here's what it looks like now: The container that I have on hand is the very one that I started with cuttings from the parent succulent that I was given by a co-worker who was leaving . If you look at the bottom of the green bin that this container is sitting in, you can see a bunch of lobes of th
On Friday, I posted a description and a photo of a columnar tree that was being introduced as "new" by the Growing Place Nursery near us. It was a columnar cultivar of a Baldcypress called Lindsey's Skyward . In that post, I mentioned that the tree was on a list of 'new for this season' plants. There were a few other things that caught my eye on that list including a succulent. It is striking because of the form - and the name: Praying Hands. Here's how they bill it on the Growing Place's site: Quite interesting isn't it? I can see this being a really lovely container succulent. Love that they call out how it looks like an artichoke, right? Walter's Garden has more details including how it is relatively fast growing and is a cross of Agave . This past Fall, I added a hosta with the same name - Praying Hands - to our yard . And, yes... I made mistake in buying ONLY one of them . Thanks for reminding me.
It was just a little bit over a year ago that I last posted a photo of my office succulent - a Burro's tail - that I keep on the ledge by my window in the Aon Center. That photo is here . And here's the post from August of 2016 - just over two years ago - that shows it in its youth . Tracking the changes over the years shows the growth of not just the main plant, but you'll also notice in this year's version, a series of other growths. As for the primary pot, you can compare last year to this year and see that it is still going strong with a few long shoots and a full pot. But, you'll also note two other experiments. The first is the container on the far left that shows a bunch of new cuttings that I took from the main plant and put in a smaller pot. They have taken off and begun to make their own 'tails' as it were. Also, in the center of the photo, you'll see a clear plastic cup that I've tossed some succulent bits in that broke off th
Over the weekend, I did something that I don't normally do: I went to the Home Depot. As you guys know...I'm a Menards guy. But, with Spring right around the corner, I wanted to see what the Home Depot was up to. In particular, the store on Butterfield in Downers Grove has a really good garden center and both the plant quality and the care given to them far surpasses the stuff and care at Menards. The garden center was just getting booted up. They had some trees (I'll post about one of them soon), but most of the perennials and annuals were still not in stock. Too cold. After poking around, we wandered into the indoor greenhouse section and found some of their succulents - and one jumped out at me. It is this Pencil Cactus, which happens to be a "Firesticks" variety. That means, the new growth/tips are orange/red. Look at this example to see what I'm talking about in terms of color . Natalie was in Arizona earlier this year and she shared a
Back in August of 2016 (14 months ago), I posted a photo of my office succulent . You should go look at that photo here to get a sense for the growth. Above, you see a photo of what it looks like today. It has gone, literally, berzerk. This started from some cuttings of a co-worker's succulent and now has clearly outgrown it's pot. Not to mention the soil has likely outlived its useful life, right? I'm going to bring in a few little pots and some succulent soil and see if I can again replicate the success I had with cuttings on this original version to grow a few more. If you look closely, you'll see that there are quite a few little buds on the main stems that I can cleave off and use to start entirely new plants, I think.
Going to document this here on the blog, so I can track the changes with this succulent that is perched on top of the hvac unit in my office on the 64th floor. This didn't start as *my* succulent. Nope. Someone on my team had one of these plants at her desk, but it wasn't getting much light. So...she moved it to my ledge. Having a bit of history with cultivating succulents from cut ends, I gave it a shot. Cut off four little guys and planted them in their own pot. I paid attention to keeping them wet and after a bit, they took off. Now the four main plants are huge and gangly. They're laying over the sides of the little pot and even throwing off their own little buds near the base that are, just PRIME for cutting and replanting. I spy four of five that I could cleve off and transplant to keep the succulent mojo going. Off to Menards I go for a few little pots and some dirt.