Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Pachypodium Succulentum In Flower

I really shouldn't surprised that my Pachypodium Succulentum started flowering in December. Last year, if I remember correctly, it flowered in winter as well. However I had basically been putting this plant through the motions of getting it to go into dormancy. It didn't get any water since mid November and I was almost ready to put it in a cooler spot. But just in time for Christmas it has decided to bloom with its candy striped flowers. In the end I am glad I decided to prune them in early spring.

So far there are just two branches in bud, so it won't make much of a show piece, still there are plenty more flowers to come.

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Monday, 10 December 2012

Crassula ´Gollum´

Just in time for the release of The Hobbit, I scored this little Crassula ´Gollum´. Now I will admit I was a bit snobby over these rather ubiquitous Jade plants but this variety is really rather cool looking. It ticks all the boxes that I like, namely a succulent that grows to look like a little tree. The curled leaves look appropriately alien.

As you can see the plant is covered with water stains so I will shower it with some rain water soon. Also rather likable is the fact that this came nice and cheap. There are three plants to the pot which makes it about 70 cents per plant. Come spring I will divide them and pot them up separately  because I want to stress the ´tree´ aspect and not the ´bushy´ look. Apparently these are really really hard to kill and quite the growers when they are happy. I imagine a large specimen of this plant is quite impressive.

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Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Mealybugs Nooooo!

The Pachypodium Bispinosum I bought some time ago has not been particularly happy. I noticed some time ago that the caudex was feeling a bit soft but wasn´t sure if it was rot or dehydration. After inspection yesterday I saw the whole plant was covered in mealybugs and it was time for action.

So now I have a soft trunked and mealy bug infested plant that is obviously not happy. Time to try and remove the bugs. I rinsed the plant with some soapy tepid water which removed most of the bugs but not all of them. I removed the plant from its pot and saw there were very few roots, especially in relation with the upper branches.

So I decided to give the plant a haircut. I removed the three big branches and with it most of the mealybugs. I made sure to remove all remaining bugs from the plant. Now it is going to dry out a for a couple of days and I am going to force it to hibernate by keeping it cooler and dryer. I don´t think there is rot in in the caudex and the caudex if fat enough to handle some drought. Hopefully this plant will start growing a healthy root system again in spring so it can support the new branches. I will be spending more time on bug patrol from now on. I would normally prune pachypodium at the beginning of the growing season and not the end but in this case I think it is wiser to take direct action.

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Sunday, 2 December 2012

Birthday Presents

My cousin generously gifted me with a garden centre gift card for my birthday (thanks Su!). So I went and checked out the bargains. There were a lot of orchids on sale now they are almost finished blooming. I was very tempted by some huge (I mean HUGE) pots of Oncidium and Brassia hybrids but I ended up choosing a Zygopetalum since I don't have that one yet. Besides even though it is in a normal sized orchid pot it is stuffed with bulbs so will be repotted into a slightly larger pot come spring. Usually these are quite expensive at this garden centre but since it is almost done flowering it was on the sale table. I have seen pictures of Zygopetalum with a lot of blue in the flowers which this one unfortunately doesn't have but it still is a pretty cool flower.

This is Nepenthes 'Bloody Mary' which I had in my vivarium but which unfortunately died. But I liked the plant so much that I bought this nice large specimen. I might divide this eventually and try it again in the vivarium but for now its main task is to look pretty and to catch any escaped fruit flies.

Finally I also bought a NOID little cactus for the sole reason that I thought it would look great in macro shots. Edit: I think I have IDed it as Ferocactus Macrodiscus

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