September 3, 2012

Repotting Succulents as Summer Ends

THE URN THAT I PLANTED WITH SCRAP SUCCULENT CUTTINGS COLLECTED FROM PLANTS THAT WERE TOSS-AWAY's  AROUND THE GREENHOUSE, HAS FILLED IN NICELY - NOW I CAN EXTRACT EACH CUTTING AND REPOT THEM INTO COMMUNITY POTS OR INDIVIDUAL CONTAINERS FOR A WINTER IN THE GREENHOUSE.
As we swing into autumn, at least meteorologically speaking, many of the potted plants that have spent the summer outdoors, need some attention before being brought back indoors, or back into the greenhouse.. The many succulents and cacti, euphobia, aloe, gasteria, and other succulents need some attentions, particularly the ones which I allows to grow into specimen plants - those mounding, clumping and tight-growing clustering species that form buns and mounds.  These seem to need more attention than other succulents, as they often attract weeds like Oxalis which needs to be frequently pulling out with tweezers, and these plants often need repotting, with fresh soil, and a fresh top dressing of gravel, to help keep the soil surface away from the plant - this discourages rot.



NOT A TRUE SUCCULENT, BUT A BROMELLIAD, ABROMEITIELLA MAKES A BEAUTIFUL PLANTS ONCE MATURE - A FAVORITE OF MINE, AS IT FORMS DENSE MOUNDS AND BUNS IN A POT. THESE YOUNG PLANTS HAVE JUST BEEN POTTED UP. IN A FEW YEARS, THEY WILL LOOK LIKE THIS PLANT BELOW.

A POT OF ABROMEITIELLA WHICH IS ABOUT 5 YEARS OLD, AT 10 or 15, IT WILL LOOK EVEN NICER. IF I CAN KEEP THE SYMMETRICAL FORM CONSISTENT.
 Abromeitiella brevifolia, and other Abromeitiella have now been placed by our friends, the taxonomists into the genus Deuterochohnia, a subfamily of the Tillandsia - yeah, the air plants we all know and love ( yes, these are all bromelliads). All this thanks to DNA analysis, so who are we to disagree - it may be spiny and quite succulent-like, but it is more closely related to the pineapple than a kalanchoe.  I still know the plant as Abromeitiella, which is what my labels will say for at least a while, since I had to master spelling it. Surely, you won't tell anyone.  Now if only I could find some of the other species of Abromeitiella....

A common house plant can look like a rare species if potted well - this Aloe Haworthioides has clumped-up to quickly fill this 5 inch pot. I want to keep the mounded effect uniform, so I am upgrading it to a pot with a slightly wider aspect.
 I have friends, many who are members of the Cactus and Succulent Society, who collect hundreds of species, often within just a single genus of Haworthia and Gasteria, and I am always impressed by the displays they can pull together at our regional cactus and succulent society shows, but I am trying very hard not to get too serious about collecting these plants just yet - after all, I need to save something for my retirement years!  Until now, I just keep a few of each genus, but slowly, the collection is growing.

The same Aloe haworthioides upgraded to a Guy Wolf pot. It's a little deep for such a plant, but I like the look when I assemble many of these clumping succulents together outside for the rest of the summer, and throughout the winter in the greenhouse, where they share a bench.

These seedling Kalanchoe uniflora were found growing on the gravel floor of the greenhouse, where the mother plant was hanging. I could have let them die, but decided to pot a few up to see if they might have crossed with a few of the other hanging Kalanchoe's which were in bloom at the same time. A winter-blooming plant, K. uniflora must be grown in a hanging pot. I will pot these up into a hanging pot sometime in November.

Another clumping succulent, Haworthia cooperi is also in a pot in need of upgrading. I found another Guy Wolff pot so that the entire collection will feel more cohesive when displayed together.

Together, the grouping makes for a long lasting display, either indoors on a sunny windowsill, in the greenhouse, or outside until frost threatens.



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