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And in the right-hand corner, the winter-growing caudiciforms pose for a photo. Left to right: Dudleya candida, Pachycormus discolor, Pachypodium namaquanum, Tylecodon paniculatus, Fouquieria columnaris. All receive day-long sun (SW exposure) and water about every week (2,3,5) or every 2 weeks (1,4) this time of year.
Sally, it sure is nice to be able to give them that exposure now while they're most active. I think they're all sun-loving plants. And they do seem to really respond to the rain.
Yeah, the Dudleya is pretty extreme. I have no idea why it's flowering right now (months early), but no complaints. I must confess there are a few aphids in among those flower buds. Some of the flowering Crassulaceae (eg. Aeonium, Echeveria, Dudleya) sure do bring on the bugs.
The left hand corner is home to a group of cactus-like Euphorbias. They are not doing too much right now.
I think side growth is normal for those little twiggy branches on the cirio. When they're new, coming from the top of the plant, they might shoot more upwards. But they also sprout from other places as well (eg. toward the base of old branches), and the direction can be pretty random. My plant has never been pruned. One day I might remove the older branches that no longer leaf out.
These plants seem to bonsai in containers, to various degrees depending on how they are treated and how big the container is. So if you're going for a fat, stumpy look, that's how to get it. But these are giant trees when their roots have a chance to run.