If you are looking to grow mesembs or other succulents from seed but are worried that it will be too difficult I recommend Titanopsis primosii. Very easy to germinate and grow on and the young plants bloomed very quickly.
I have been very lazy about blogging lately. I’m not thrilled with the changes to WordPress and Flickr so that is part of the reason. It isn’t difficult to post a single picture though so at the very least I can do that from time to time.
I haven’t had an update on my mesembs in a while so what do you think of this adorable little Muiria hortensae? Supposedly one of the more difficult ones but I had reasonably good luck growing them from seed and still have a few little plants left. Not bad considering they are grown outdoors year round and don’t have optimal conditions or care. This is the nicest of my remaining plants and I was happy to notice that it has split into two plants. Once I buy a house I hope to have space for a small greenhouse and then perhaps my collection of succulents and other little plants will be better protected from the elements.
Be sure to click on the image to enlarge it for a more detailed close up. Muiria is even more adorable up close.
I haven’t really posted any little succulent pics in a while because many of them are dormant during the spring and summer and don’t look like much. After our recent rain storm they are springing back to life so it is time for an update.
All of them are plants that I started from seed except for the Fenestraria. Most of them are in two or three inch pots so that should give you an idea of their size.
Fenestraria rhopalophylla subsp. aurantiaca
Lithops optica ssp. rubra
The last four – Cheiridopsis glomerata, Gibbaeum comptonii, Oophytum oviforme, and Muiria hortenseae were left in their original seedling containers way too long. For little mesembs (especially tricky ones like Muiria and Oophytum) it is a balancing act on potting the plants up into individual pots. Too soon and you may kill them. If you wait too long, however, they become overgrown and their roots are so entwined it is difficult to extricate them from each other without doing damage or even killing some. I had planned on potting them up in September, after returning from a trip back east, but while I was gone the drip irrigation on my nearby container plants had sprung a leak and water was shooting up like a geyser a few times a week. It filled the tray they were in with water so they were soaking for a few days. Not ideal for any succulent! I let them dry out for a bit and then proceeded with potting them up and happily most of them are looking pretty good. The Oophytum are still a bit dodgy but those are tricky plants to begin with. If they fail I’ll try again and be more careful next time.
WordPress just sent me a little note that my blog has just had its two-year anniversary! Kind of crazy how fast time goes by. Here is a little retrospective.
I started designing gardens for my friends at Gardens by Gabriel.
And took road trips to Annie’s Annuals where I had to get creative to fit as many plants as I could into my VW Golf!
and was inspired by the South African Garden at Seaside Gardens in Carpinteria.
But I was happy to be living in the Central Coast where I designed some new gardens…
Which has come a long way in a year!
So thanks for coming along on my horticultural journey the past two years. Hopefully the next two years will be full of even more beautiful gardens.
I had this plan to take photos of my Mesemb seedlings the first of every month so I would have a record of their growth. I was doing well with my project but fell short these past few months. I’ll try to start it up again (but no promises!).
Cheiridopsis glomerata sown 3/11/2012 and badly in need of being pricked out and given their own pots. The problem is I have nowhere to put all those little pots! I am going to remedy that soon though.
Muiria hortenseae also sown a year ago today. To tell the truth I am a little nervous to pot these guys up. They are supposed to be tricky and they are doing so well. I’m afraid if I mess with them they will all drop dead.
Lithops optica var. rubra
Honestly it is a miracle I have kept any Lithops alive a year and a half. I have killed more Lithops than any other mesemb.
Mitrophyllum grande (left) and Monilaria pisiformis
These are also a year old today and have been potted up and growing outside since spring. They went dormant over the summer and I am shocked that they Monilaria survived. They were all just a few millimeters tall when they went dormant and nothing was left but a few wisps of papery dried up husks. But they sprang to life with the fall rains and the one pictured and a few others are already about an inch high. This one even branched already.
The story for Dactylopsis digitata is not as happy. Another tricky one to grow they are not thriving since coming out of dormancy. Their old dead leaves are still clinging to them and they have put on little growth. This is supposedly pretty common. I expect they will just wither away.
Mitrophyllum dissitum however are doing really well. Sown 1/16/11 so almost two years old. This past summer was their first dormancy and I was surprised how huge they had become once the rains started in fall and they started growing again. For a while I was nervous about them because like the Dactylopsis their old dried skins were also clinging to them. But the wet and humidity of a few rainy days in November seemed to do the trick and the old skins washed away.
I think I need to start up some new mesembs and other succulents from seed. They are far more forgiving than regular herbaceous and woody plants so I can go out of town and not worry about them too much. People are always raving about Mesa Garden so maybe I will place an order with them when their 2013 seed list comes out.
So very busy and likely will be for a few more weeks. But some of my Stomatium alboroseum that I showed were in bud the other day opened today for the first time. Just six months from seed to flowers.
I was out checking on my seedlings this morning and another mesemb seedling has a bud.
This is a Stomatium alboroseum and it is only six and a half months old. The seed was sown 1/1/12 right after I moved into my new place. I had no idea they could reach blooming size so quickly. The seedling flat is in full sun all day and the plants are all in little two-inch pots so they are watered almost ever day.
Pretty neat huh? I’m not sure if the flower will open today as it is pretty foggy but I’ll try to get a photo when the bloom opens instead of just in bud.