Nice. That's one of the few non-succulents I installed in the public garden. We had some rain yesterday, could be the last of the season. In a couple of months the Dudleyas will slow way down. I'm thinking the big blue one will end up in the ground, so as to keep going strong. The main question is where. It was essentially rootless when I received it, now I believe it can fend for itself.
Do Strelitzias grow wild around where you live, LT? I just read they are from South Africa.
The blushing medusa just got an upgrade (one size up). Here she is without any accoutrement and then seated in her new home. There's a short bit (few mm) of naked caudex above the root ball. I filled the gap around it with top dressing, so the arms are all laying on a cushion of pumice. Not the easiest job but pretty bulletproof in the end.
Pleased to see fruit develop from Euphorbia flowers I hand-pollinated back in February. There's a total of 8 like the one on the lower right. Dad paused for a while but will soon be back in flower, just in time for another round with the paintbrush.
I love the aloes too and also the medusa. My Aloe dorotheae has been inside for 3 days at the Central AZ Cactus & Succulent Show and it has turned all green already. Boo hoo, I miss the red. I need to get it back outside so it looks like this again.
Baja, love the symmetry of the aloe on the second photo. Looks familiar, but can't think of the name? Also, great job on the Euphorbia repot. Nice plant! I like how it looks like the "branches" are cascading downward.
Nancy, one of my fav aloes! Nice healthy one! Yep, get 'er back out in the sun ASAP!
The big blue Dudleya ended up in the ground next to a Pachyveria. Second photo shows the plant with a final layer of coir around it. Eventually that will settle down and sink in, and the color will be bleached by the sun to a dull brown.
Here's some seed I collected from four winter flowering aloes (open pollination). Left to right: A. marlothii, lutescens, "Cynthia Giddy", arborescens. The lutescens fruit was invaded by some bug and most of the seeds inside were eaten, but the ones that were left were all quite large. The arborescens seeds are noticeably smaller (well, in real life anyway) and much more numerous. I collected a lifetime supply from the top third of the inflorescence (which works out timewise to when the lutescens next to it started flowering, but before the other two were really going). Otherwise the paternity is up for grabs.
So I guess you will sowing seeds? Like the Dudleya.
My A. cryptopoda is flowering for the first time (about 16 years) and it is the yellow, so it is actually the old wikensii v lutea - very pleased. The flower head sat in 80km/h ocean winds for a few day and it seems to have coped very well - this is great news for me. Some of the other aloes with less compact flowers just blow away in this type of wind.
Another reason I like the aloe is that it's quite robust for its size, with a "pumped up" look even when it's grown fairly dry. Unlike other aloes that burn through their lower leaves, it tends to hold on to what it's got.
There are a few different clones out there, Dean, so you know. It's probably a good idea to offer sun protection (ideally filtered light) to young plants, keep them on the green side for a while. Then once they reach a decent size you can play freely with the color.
I put a few offsets in the ground when I potted up the one in the container. Since then they have been running in parallel and there are some differences. Even though I water the landscape plants considerably less often and they receive essentially day-long blazing BC sun, they still hold on to a little bit of green, especially in the winter and spring. Makes sense I guess that a containerized plant would color up more than the one in the ground.
The local Ferocactus in flower (just opening up) and bud (red sepals!). Both are rescue plants. First one has been in my care for about 6 months. Second one just graduated to the ground after 15 months.
Yes! I couldn't understand as a kid why my dad's face would fill with something like rage at this delicate little plant with the white flowers. Very well adapted to semi-arid circumstances and extremely hard to eradicate once established. Maybe it's not the garden-eating tyrant in your conditions that it can be elsewhere. Fortunate!
All things considered, there are worse weeds in the garden. I seek and destroy two spiny ones on a regular basis. One is a tumbleweed-generating thing that grows very quickly from seed. The other is a vicious shrub that keeps coming back from the roots, but not necessarily in the same place.
1. Aloe aristata. Bunch of 'em going right now. As usual the flowers open before the inflorescence is fully formed (see branch in bud).
2. Oscularia deltoides with a few visitors.
3. Aloe brevifolia in profile.
I have several different echeveria plants that are about to bloom and I would like to cross pollinate them so that I may produce and collect some seeds so that I may start my own plants. Any direction to get me started would be wonderful. my fear is that some of the hybrids that I have are sterile. I also have several that are not hybrids
Do you mean how-to direction? I haven't gotten too involved with breeding, though I've attempted to cross-pollinate a few of my plants.
I always hear that small, cheap paintbrushes are the best tool for the job. In fact, some dedicated breeders keep little cups attached to their growing benches at 6-foot intervals so that a small paintbrush is always within arm's reach. I never seem to have small paintbrushes so I've frayed fine the end of clothesline and diddled the flowers with that. I intend to buy small paintbrushes soon.
I've never pollinated Echeverias, but have been successful with other plants. A little scrappy paintbrush works great. Ideally a contrasting color of bristle to the pollen you're trying to collect. Timing is key, on both ends. Nature's pollinators may do their thing if the plants are together, nothing wrong with an open hybrid. I was reading a Mexican paper about this (the second Google result on Echeveria pollination) and hand pollination of E. gibbiflora, presumably by people who know what they're doing, only gave around 50% more fruit and seed than just letting the hummingbirds take care of business.
As for harvest time, I think you just have to watch for fruit and wait for it to mature in the days to weeks after you pollinate a plant. This requires some attention while you're observing the process and getting to know your plants. The seed is very fine, collect it carefully. Some Echeverias are notoriously hesitant to set seed, so it may take a few attempts. Better to cast a wide net your first time around.
Pilbeam includes some notes about propagation in his Echeveria book. Echeveria seeds may take weeks or months to germinate, so be patient on that front, but otherwise he says they don't require anything special beyond the usual setup for succulents (enclosed moist chamber until they make true leaves).