Sunday, March 30, 2008

MOTHER OF THOUSANDS: Bryophyllum daigremontianum

Donna, do you remember this little guy? He was a "bonus" when I bought my varigated Bear Paw plant, a tiny little seedling that I was sure to pot with the very same Bear Paw plant. Anyway, at first we thought that he was going to be a baby Bear Paw, because of the jiggy-jaggy edges, but he always seemed to look a little like something else. And where was his fur? I've noticed on my lastest "freebies," i.e. the baby Chocolate Soldiers, that they are fuzzy from conception, so I'm certain this is an entirely different plant all together.

What's interesting, is the plant that I think it's going to be is one that is on my wish list, and one that I'll be able to share with everyone, commonly known as the "Mother of Thousands." What made me think that this was it was something I noticed on the edge of two of the inside leaves; there appears to be something growing on the tips of them, like a little baby plant. This really surprised me, and so knowing that my camera is a great magnifying glass of sorts, I took a ton of pictures until I got the perfect one to show you. Please click the picture above to enlarge and take a good look at the "bump" growing on the middle top leaf. Doesn't it look like a little plant starting to grow? There's one growing on the leaf exactly across from it too! Okay, so I poked around a bit, and here's a picture of the plant, a Bryophyllum daigremontianum, plus a link to the website, in a language I do not understand, but the pictures are worth a thousand words:

Doesn't it look a lot like my plant??? It's really tripping me out! I believe mine is a varigated version also. I will keep my eye on this little baby and keep you posted as to it's growth. Here's a couple more pictures including one of it next to my dirty little varigated Bear Paw that it came with.
Rats, I just read this article, and realize that maybe I should rid myself of this poisonous plant. Darn it, and it's so cool looking. It explains a lot that it landed in another planter and made it's way to my home, sneaky little devil. Is there a way to maintain it without having millions of babies?

SURPRISE!!! New Growths Abound!

I stumbled upon something today. (I'm glad something good is happening, because I've been sick for days now, and I need something exciting to happen!). Anyway, I was poking around my plants and I found a surprise! Two broken pieces of Chocolate Soldier leaves have been laying in this pot for weeks. I thought I could see some fuzzy new green growth on the edges of them, and sure enough, there were new babies growing on the ends of them! I read how easy these guys, succulents, multiply, but I didn't think I'd be luck enough to experience it myself. Here's some closeups of the little guys, (I hope I didn't mess them up by picking them up to look a them, but who could resist it?):
As you can see from above and below, these leaves were broken up, not even clean cut from the plant. One of the leaves only had half of it remaining, but they are little survivors!
So this, of course, provoked me to do some poking around. I found another shocking surprise! Guinevere has babies! See the little "rosettes" growing along the edge of a leaf that had fallen off? I can't believe it:
So then I looked around and found some more suckers growing. The one on the left is a plant that I haven't listed yet. It has tiny leaves, and little white flowers. I don't have the name right now, but I'll be sure to find out. One of its tiny leaves fell to the dirt and then started a new baby, plus a baby Jelly Bean plant grows next to a shriveled "Momma" leaf. You know how those Jelly Bean plants LOVE to reproduce.
I'll keep poking around my garden and see what else I can find. In the mean time, I pulled off some leaves of some plants I'd really love duplicates of, but of course they'll probably never grow 'cause I want them to!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

KIWI: Crassulaceae Aeonium

Isn't this the most beautiful crassulaceae you've ever seen? I love it! This beauty is called "Kiwi" and comes from the crassulaceae family and is from the aenonium genus. You can read more about it on Dave's Garden website. I picked it up at the California Cactus Center in Pasadena, California. I'm going to have to get some more of these and ship one off to my Mom. She'd really love it! I have had it a little over a month now. It's really gotten yellow over the last week or so, and it's starting to grow more, which is great! I love all the different shades of colors. You can't be sad looking at this beauty!

Look Who's Got WHISKERS!

My little devil is all grown up from when I wrote about him on March 15th, and it clear we've got a baby cactus here! Isn't he cute? I started growing him on March 2nd, so he's almost a month old. Here's two more little guys, a different kind of cactus with whiskers and I think possibly a conophylum, both of them are the same age as my little devil:

Cuttings From Donna's Garden

Okay Donna, I'm ready for some more clippings! Check out how good they are doing, especially the Echeveria and the String of Buttons, or whatever it's called, (please correct me Donna). The Echeveria that you gave me is doing better than any that I bought. These sit in my kitchen window sill, which happens to be a happy place for my plants. They really thrive there. To bad it's not bigger!

WOW! Look at the growth on our Staplia:

I cannot believe how much the new arms have grown on our Staplia plant since I last wrote about it on March 15th! When I came back from my Mom's I was surprised by the changes since only a week since I left. This guy should have three good size arms by the end of the growing season. I wonder if we'll be blessed with a stinky flower too? Remember these are the plants whose flowers attract flys...ewww!

Here's a picture of the growth from two weeks ago:

Mom's New Succulent Garden

I'm so I got my Mom into succulents and then she told her Mom, my Nanny, and she wants to start growing them too! We got these when I was up there visiting. They don't have them at too many garden centers, as it gets very C-O-L-D up there, so you'd have to bring them inside during the winter/spring. We picked up 5 of these at Lowes in Carson City, Nevada, and they come from The Cactus Collection too, same as our local Lowes. I brought my Mom the Bear Paw plant for Easter, and then we picked up Elephant Bush, two Echeverias, a Split-Rock, and Blushing Beauty. My Mom bought the green-blue pot on the left with the three plants in it for herself and I, then we found the rest of the pots around her house. I took a picture of her plants with another one of her new gnomes. I really like this one! She wanted to get me one, but they were out of them at Raleys. She was really bummed out.

My Mom and my Nanny are amazing plant growers, always have been. Our house was always filled with lots of plants. I think that's why I love them so much, but I really haven't had too many plants in my house, only one, since having kids. They were enough to take care of when they were little, but now that they are bigger, I'm getting back into them. My Mom gave me some Creeping Charlie/Swedish Ivy plants and these other very common green ones, but the name fails me. I'm pretty sure it begins with a "P." I'll post some pics of them.

I really love collecting glazed pots. I love the tall yellow-blue-green pot that houses my Mom's echeveria above. I am still thinking it would be fun to attempt making some in a pottery class. I stunk at it in high school, but I'd be more interested in it now.

Friday, March 28, 2008

My New Water/pH/Light Gauge (THANKS MOM!)

My Mom and I went out succulent shopping in her neck-of-the-woods, i.e. Northern Nevada. Needless to say, I didn't find a whole lot of plants there, but they did have some at Lowes, which I'll tell you about later. Anyway, I saw this at Lowe's for only about $8! I wanted it, but my Mom insisted that she had one at home she could give me. She's not into the light/pH gauge part of this, so she said I could have it. She has one like Donna's that tests only the water. I was so excited to take this home! (Click photo above for closeup of the water gauge).

Okay, so I got home yesterday and boy was I tired. (I'm sick; my hubby was sick all week and gave it to me). Anyway, I had to check all my plants, which I did and the crunching sound alone, as I stuck the metal part in the sand told me that my plants were really, really dry. Anyway, the needle didn't move. The only plant that was doing fine was our Staplia plant, that is in a plastic pot! That might be why it's new arms are growing so fast! I spent a really, really long time watering all my plants. That's what I get for buying so many.

Here's a picture of my new water gauge along with some new finds up at my Mom's and a couple of friends who HAD to be in the photo...hee-hee!

So this morning I decided to check my plants with my new water gauge and I was a little disappointed. When I put them in the pots, the gauge said they were dry already! The soil still seemed a little moist to me though! Here's the thing though, when I stuck it into my plants that had plastic pots, they were still showing a bit wet. I'm thinking this may be caused by a couple of things: 1) The plants sucked up the majority of the water as they were extremely over-dry, even wilting quite a bit, and that's what succulents do; their leaves act like little water reservoirs; 2) Terracotta doesn't hold water very well at all, but plastic and glazed pots do; and 3) My water gauge isn't too accurate, meaning I'll have to keep in mind that it only reads true or obvious moisture. Still, I realize that these terracotta pots aren't all they're cracked up to be! I need to move my plants into glazed pots or even plastic pots eventually. Otherwise I will be watering an awful lot during the summer!

BTW...the needle doesn't move a bit when I check out the pH. I'm not sure why, so I'll have to test it out!

Monday, March 24, 2008


Mom's gnome, Sir Frederick! My mom has the gnome bug! She's got a couple others besides this one. She picked this one up at Raley's, which is grocery story chain up here in Northern Nevada. Isn't he spunky and cute?! My Mom's got all sorts of garden creatures. Maybe when we come up in the summer, I'll do a blog on all them! There just starting to get things going on their garden at this point!

Mom's Green House!!

My Mom has one of those cool plastic zip-up green houses! I was so suprised when she showed it to me, because Donna and I were talking about these things. She has her tomatoe plants in it now. They're expecting snow later this week, so I'm wondering how they're going to hold up, as there's no heating in it. Perhaps the sun during the day will steam it up a bit and keep it warm? If you'd like to take a closer look at the green house, just click on the photo.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

On Vacation!

Hey! I'm on vacation and I wanted to write about stuff that had nothing to do with plants, so I started a new blog: Kelly's Not So Glamorous Life. Check it out, if you get the chance!

Sunday, March 16, 2008


Man, I'm so annoyed! I watered my plants last night and guess what I found running all over the top of one of them? Little, white, tiny, fast moving mites. I found this pic of one that most resembles my little beasts on the website I have linked to "mites" above. I rinsed my plant and am now in the process of trying to figure out what to do with this small problem, at this point anyway. I did read where someone said you should rinse or wash your plants regularly, recommending dish soap mixed with water for ridding yourself of spider mites. I wish I would have saved the link to that site. I can't find it now, but I'll go through my history and see if I can find it. Anyway, I'm pretty sure it's mites. I also have some of those pesty flies, but I always seem to have that problem. I pulled off all dead foliage and cleaned the plant up a bit. We'll see how it goes. For now, there aren't too many and the only damage I've seen is sort of dried out parts on the plant, sort of rust colored.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

NEW GROWTH!! On Our Asclepiadaceae Stapelia Hirsuta

Here's my hubbies Stapelia! (That sounds sort of nasty, doesn't it?) He picked it out when we went to the California Cactus Center a month or so ago. Anyway, I should give you all the details, but I'm so short on time any more, so I'll just give you it's scientific name: Asclepiadaceae (ass-kle-pee-ad-AY-see-ay) Stapelia (sta-PEL-ee-uh) Hirsuta (her-SOO-tuh), and if you want more info you can visit Dave's Garden, to find out more about it. (Why reinvent the wheel?) Do you see the three arms growing from the side of the arm? I'm so excited! Click on the pic above for a great closeup of the new baby arms, that I noticed just the other day. Here's a pic of the whole plant:

And What About The Conophytum?

So far, I've only got two conophytum that have come up, which is sort of a bummer since I only bought 20 seeds. I think I used them all. I can't remember right now, but still, they only cost two bucks, so I could always get more. Who knows what breeds I've got here. The two biggest on the left hand side and top look very different. I think the one on left looks very different from everything I'm growing. The tiny seedling on the right still has it's seed shell on it's head, so it's hard to know what we've got there. It just recently germinated, so maybe in a couple weeks we'll have a new picture with some real changes!

The Other Two Pots of Lithop Seedlings

I have two round pots of lithops that I'm growing too. Let me see if I can give you a count of how many are growing: Okay, there's 9 in one pot, and about 14 in the other pot. Here's my concerns about these guys: Quite a few are laying on their sides. I'm not sure why this is happening, but it is. I have this urge to push them down into the soil, but I'm going to leave it alone and let nature takes it's course. Fingers crossed, I'll be providing you with some pictures within the next one or two weeks, depending on if there is much change. I've read that this is where it gets real boring, as they take a really long time to grow.

Three Strangers

The title says it all: Three Strangers. These three come from the "mystery" mix too. There's a cool red plant in the upper right hand corner, and then a green plant, that looks sort of like a lithop or maybe a conophylum, and then I think I've got another little devil popping up just above to the left of the green plant. Not sure yet what I have here, but in a week or two I'll post new pics...if they survive that is!

Oh and by the way, I included a sewing pin and penny, to give you some perspective on their size, plus you can click on it to enlarge the photo.

My Little Devil!

Here's my little Devil! That's what he/she looks like anyway! This is the only thing that came up in this post of the secret, bonus mix that he sent me. It can be anything from a cactus to a succulent, and I'm betting this is going to be a cactus, from what I've seen around the internet. This is an okay picture of it, which you can click to enlarge. Again, I've included a penny and a sewing pin to show the size of the little seedling. This one is quite hardy compared to my lithops, and it's much bigger than them too.

Here's another pic that is sort of nice, maybe a little clearer:

Let's See What's in the Square Pot!

Okay, so here's a close up of what's in the square pot that was planted on March 4th. (Be sure to click on it to get a real good close up). Okay, so those are teeny-tiny Lithops. To give you an idea of how teeny-tiny they are, I put a sewing pin that's next to the top two lithops, and a penny. They are smaller than the head of a pin! This is why I had to wait so long to take photos; my camera simply couldn't pick up the little guys.

Here's a picture of all of them:

I forgot to mention another thing I did differently with these than the other six: I put the sand through a strainer so that the sand wasn't as chunky. Another recommendation I decided to follow with the second set. There are about 11 lithops growing in this container. Not too bad of a germination ratio. I think I put in a little over 10 Lithop seeds.

How's My Project Going?

My project is going pretty good, for the most part. I received my packets including a bonus packet of 20 cactus and succulent seeds. That was really cool! I love bonuses. When they said the seeds were tiny, they weren't kidding. They are extremely small. I'll have to get pics to share with you, but just think of a tiny piece of sand, and that'll give you an idea of their size. Really, really small. After planting the seeds, (basically laying them on top of the moist soil and tapping them lightly) I misted the top of them and put them into the Aquarium, creating a sort of greenhouse. (I really want a greenhouse now, and have been reading up on them).

Oh, and I guess I should tell you what I planted, right? In the first two pots, I planted Lithops. In the second row of two I planted Conophylum (which aren't doing so great), and in the last row, I planted the mix, which is revealing some really cool specimens.

Then the waiting game began...tick-tock-tick-tock-tick-tock. I planted the first 6 on March 2nd, and the last one using Lithop seeds in the square container on March 4th. I did this to test out the "actual" instructions that came with my seeds. That is to simply plant them in a pot filled with moistened soil and cover with plastic wrap. Both methods were successful, however I think the aquarium method worked the best, so after about three days, I removed the plastic wrap from the square pot and put it in with the other six. I was getting some transparent, spindly ones. They seem much happier!

So it's been 11 and 13 days respectively for all my plants and in the next post I'll post some great pictures of them.