Tuesday, February 2, 2016

A few new plants (early February 2016)

Admittedly, this is not the best time of year to get new plants. It is, after all, still winter—even here in California. But for reasons that are no doubt part physiological and part psychological I tend to go stir-crazy in late January/early February, wanting nothing more than to work in the garden.

What usually helps tide me over is getting a few new plants. And that’s exactly what I’ve been doing over the last few weeks—all without leaving the house. What did we ever do before the Internet?

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The thrills of opening a package with plants inside

My first new acquisition is Euphorbia tirucalli ‘Sticks on Fire’. Actually, it’s a bunch of cuttings I got from somebody in Southern California who was trimming the plant in their yard. Euphorbia tirucalli is not hardy here in Davis so it’ll live in a pot (maybe a red one). I do love the way it colors up in the sun.

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The next group of three were plants I won in the raffle at the January meeting of the Sacramento Cactus & Succulent Society.

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LEFT: Candle plant (Senecio articulatus)  RIGHT: ×Pachyveria cultivar (intergeneric hybrid between a Pachyphytum and Echeveria, not sure which and the label didn’t provide any info)

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Old Man of the Andes cactus (Oreocereus trollii). It’s a hairy old man alright…

I also ordered four plants from Arid Lands in Tucson, AZ. As with all mail-order plants from Arid Lands, they arrived bare root, i.e. without soil. I stuck them in small pots filled with succulent mix and placed on a heat mat to encourage the formation of new roots.(I turn the heat mat and light on in the morning and off at night.)

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LEFT TO RIGHT, STARTING AT 7 O’CLOCK: Agave albopilosa, Sansevieria pinguicula, Aloe comosa, Aloe dhufarensis

Aloe dhufarensis is a striking aloe from the Saudi Arabian peninsula (not from Africa, like most aloes). It forms a rosette of very pale leaves up to 24 inches across. I first saw it at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, AZ and have been looking for it ever since. According to reports, it can take temperatures as low as 20°F, which makes it one of the hardier aloes out there.

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Sansevieria pinguicula

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Agave albopilosa

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Euphorbia tirucalli ‘Sticks on Fire’ joined the Arid Lands plants on the heat mat (rearranged since I took this photo)

Have you bought any plants yet this year?

15 comments:

  1. Thats nice to see the second day of Feb! The heat mat is a good idea...

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    1. The heat mat makes a big difference. I bet the aloes will have new roots after 7-10 days.

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  2. The Aloe dhufarensis is doing surprisingly well here--I have it right next to the street so it can get maximum heat. I read they are very sensitive to overwatering when small, so be careful in that respect. Another albiopilosa? Oooh!

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    1. Great to know about Aloe dhufarensis. It's such a beautiful (and hardy!) species, I don't understand why it is so rare?

      Agave albopilosa: I'm trialing one outside (hardy so far) and wanted a backup, just in case.

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  3. Oh, pickles, I got this from my mom and have given some to my granddaughter. I hope it does as well for you up there as it does for us down here. It only has leaves part of the year.

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    1. Pickles? That's a funny name for it. I bet in Southern California it's the ultimate pass-along plant, much like jade plant.

      Here in Davis it needs protection in the winter but should thrive in the summer sun.

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  4. Oh that Sansevieria pinguicula...want!

    Have I bought any new plants this year? Who, me?
    (http://plantlust.com/blog/2016/02/its-getting-kinda-ferny-around-here/)

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    1. This Sansevieria pinguicula only was $15. It's much larger than I had expected.

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  5. You're giving your newbies lots of tender loving care! It's not so difficult to plant in January and February down here. I'm not sure there's been a month in which I wasn't planting something but plant availability in the local nurseries is low at this time of year, which keeps my buying in check (sort of).

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    1. I wouldn't hesitate planting leafy stuff outside. I just don't want small succulents sitting in soil that is wet for prolonged periods of time. I still haven't figured out how long El Niño will stick around...

      Nursery stock: I know what you mean. Not much happening here either. Hopefully in another month.

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  6. It's too cold, wet and miserable in PDX right now for me to think of getting anything new. My solarium space is crammed to the max and the porch is full too. I've got to wait until I can put some of this stuff outside.
    But I sure would like too!

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    1. Portland has been slammed with rain since December. Even if the rain stopped now it would take a while for things to dry out, I imagine...

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    2. I am so devoted to my Senecio articulatus. I've had it for maybe 10 years or do, and it lives inside next to the west facing slider. I'm thinking I will give it a summer vacation outside in the shade this year-under close supervision-I would be seriously agitated if I lost it after all this time.

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    3. Kathy, that's great to know. It's my first Senecio articulatus. How large is yours?

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