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Cacti and Succulents: Blooming Mesembs

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smashedcactus

smashedcactus
Cannelton, IN
(Zone 6b)

October 4, 2012
5:33 PM

Post #9296129

These are the first ones that I've been able to keep alive for more than a year. And they are blooming, Yeah!!! The yellow one I bought this year. Hopefully I can keep it alive, too.
Gary

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tommyr2006
Poughkeepsie, NY

October 4, 2012
6:38 PM

Post #9296172

Congrats! I bought a Lithops last fall in bloom. This year it pushed new leaves. It doesn't look anywhere near done yet though.
48flash
Mesa, AZ
(Zone 9b)

October 5, 2012
8:54 AM

Post #9296551

I tip my hat to you Smashed. I can't keep plants like these alive long enough to get them home from the nursery, let alone long enough to bloom. Yours look super; congrats on a job well done!!

smashedcactus

smashedcactus
Cannelton, IN
(Zone 6b)

October 5, 2012
4:47 PM

Post #9296914

Thanks, Tommy, Flash. I guess I've had these longer than I thought. Here is a pictue of one blooming last year. I'm getting old and forgetful,LOL.

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NancySLAZ

NancySLAZ
Sun Lakes, AZ
(Zone 9a)

October 5, 2012
8:28 PM

Post #9297087

I'm with Flash. I can not keep these plants alive at all. Job well done and you have more blooms coming along too! Love them!
newtonsthirdlaw
Arlington, TX

October 8, 2012
3:43 PM

Post #9299910

Not a mesemb but from the same part of the world. This Avonia never puts out more than 1-3 flowers at a time. Do you think it needs a little fertilizer?
C

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NancySLAZ

NancySLAZ
Sun Lakes, AZ
(Zone 9a)

October 8, 2012
4:18 PM

Post #9299942

I had one like that Cheryl and it died after it bloomed ones. I haven't the slightest idea how to care for them! I think it is great you keep it going and blooming at all.
perkoschilefarm
Ben Wheeler, TX

October 16, 2012
11:44 AM

Post #9307143

Hey Cheryl? Maybe you could offer it one of those big yellow bananas! Hehe.
newtonsthirdlaw
Arlington, TX

October 16, 2012
1:13 PM

Post #9307238

LOL that seems to be my staging area for indoor plant pics. It does give an idea of size.
I grow it indoors all year under lights. I water pretty sparingly and it has done ok for a few years now. I just wish it had a few more flowers at a time.
C
perkoschilefarm
Ben Wheeler, TX

October 16, 2012
1:21 PM

Post #9307247

Here be my Lithop that got chomped on over the summer.

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helenchild
Decatur, GA

October 17, 2012
6:04 AM

Post #9307781

lol chilefarm, I was thinking the same thing about the bananas.
I too am impressed Gary with your skill on keeping these plants alive and blooming.
Helen

smashedcactus

smashedcactus
Cannelton, IN
(Zone 6b)

October 17, 2012
6:19 PM

Post #9308395

Seeing the bananas in the background made it look like they were in a bowl of corn flakes, LOL.
Thanks again for your comments on my lithops. they are about half their original size, but they survived. They'll get a little more water next year.
newtonsthirdlaw
Arlington, TX

October 17, 2012
6:28 PM

Post #9308405

Over the years that area has drawn a lot of comments. Once for me taking pics of a sink full of dishes. Several times about the wine bottles in the background and now the nanners. It happens to be the nearest counter to the back door with a little natural light so its always the backdrop. Maybe I should start staging a little better or paint some faces on those bananas.
I lost all but one of my lithops ( I had over a dozen). I forgot and left them in too much sun and cooked them all. I haven't ordered anymore as I am still in mourning. Perhaps a glass or two of wine and a nice ripe banana will make me feel better. I know washing the dishes won't!
Is that a gibbeum in the first pic?














perkoschilefarm
Ben Wheeler, TX

October 17, 2012
7:16 PM

Post #9308451

That's strange C cause my one pot of Lithops I let grow out in full sun all summer long until I saw something eating on it. I looked at where they are native and determined that the summer here would suit it just fine until it gets to cold. I leave mine outside all but 5 months which is only cause I do not want them to freeze and become mush. I had tried growing it under my grow lights and had poor looking Lithops bodies until I moved them outside. Who knows why some make it and some don't and for all I know mine could fade away next summer.
newtonsthirdlaw
Arlington, TX

October 17, 2012
7:23 PM

Post #9308462

Small pots can over heat pretty quickly in the intense sun. In habitat they are nearly completely buried if pics are to be believed. I have had the same thing happen with cacti in small pots in full sun.
C

Baja_Costero

Baja_Costero
Baja California
Mexico
(Zone 11)

October 17, 2012
8:28 PM

Post #9308505

For what it's worth, plants in the ground seem much better able to handle lots of sun. That may relate to the roots not getting so warm. My preferred solution for sunburned container plants these days (space allowing) is to stick them in the ground somewhere. Even if they get more exposure, they're much better able to handle it. Within a few months they can perk up from a total stall and start growing again. That's something to bear in mind if your plants are going though a seasonal migration anyway (like Gary's garden for example).

Very few mesemb flowers around here at the moment. They tend to come during the winter and spring, after it's rained a few times and the plants are more pumped up about life. The garden variety ice plants anyway. Never grown Lithops, love the flowers.
helenchild
Decatur, GA

November 6, 2012
4:39 AM

Post #9325835

Lo and behold.. my truly 'last attempt' is enjoying s/h and light in the basement and produced a beautiful little flower. I am enjoying every moment.

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perkoschilefarm
Ben Wheeler, TX

November 6, 2012
11:51 AM

Post #9326174

Congrats for your bloomer in sintered clay balls.

NancySLAZ

NancySLAZ
Sun Lakes, AZ
(Zone 9a)

November 6, 2012
12:34 PM

Post #9326216

How neat, Helen! Wish I could get them to live and bloom!

smashedcactus

smashedcactus
Cannelton, IN
(Zone 6b)

November 6, 2012
3:42 PM

Post #9326401

Congrats, Helen.
newtonsthirdlaw
Arlington, TX

November 17, 2012
12:42 PM

Post #9335612

These baby toes didn't do too well this summer but it survived and since its been inside under lights is making a couple flowers. Last year it flowered outside in the fall and had a quite a few blooms.
C

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newtonsthirdlaw
Arlington, TX

November 17, 2012
12:44 PM

Post #9335615

It's hard to tell but the flowers are a pale pinkish/orange.

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NancySLAZ

NancySLAZ
Sun Lakes, AZ
(Zone 9a)

November 17, 2012
1:53 PM

Post #9335645

Yesterday at Lowe's I picked up a Fenestraria and it has a bud. I hope it opens. I have killed these before, but I'm not giving up. I have it under my lights now and will be really careful of watering.
I also got a Pleiospilos nelii 'Royal flush' that will be a challenge for me.

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newtonsthirdlaw
Arlington, TX

November 17, 2012
1:56 PM

Post #9335648

I have some of the "normal" color variation ple. that I have kept alive but the purple ones always turn to mush.

NancySLAZ

NancySLAZ
Sun Lakes, AZ
(Zone 9a)

November 17, 2012
2:19 PM

Post #9335665

Oh, Oh! Maybe I'll just never water it!!! There is a guy in my garden club who grows lithops like crazy. I just can't figure it out. He has his outside with shade cloth in summer. He said they don't get water unless it rains. It doesn't rain much here in Phoenix. The photos are just some of his plants on Feb. 12, 2012.

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newtonsthirdlaw
Arlington, TX

November 17, 2012
2:36 PM

Post #9335688

Those are all his plants? I am going to try mine outside next summer in a shadier spot to see how they do. What are summer highs like in his area? Also what are night time temps like?
C

NancySLAZ

NancySLAZ
Sun Lakes, AZ
(Zone 9a)

November 17, 2012
3:23 PM

Post #9335724

Yes, all his and he has more too. He lives in the Phoenix area so the summer highs go to 110 and higher at times for days in a row. Winter highs are 70s and 80s. The nights are usually 40's in the winter (some are frosty though so frost cloth is necessary) and nights in July and Aug. often don't go below low 90's.
newtonsthirdlaw
Arlington, TX

November 17, 2012
4:51 PM

Post #9335774

Then he needs to teach me how to grow those! My summers are similar. The difference is mine have to come in for winter.

NancySLAZ

NancySLAZ
Sun Lakes, AZ
(Zone 9a)

November 17, 2012
5:54 PM

Post #9335818

I wouldn't water them at all inside.
newtonsthirdlaw
Arlington, TX

November 17, 2012
7:26 PM

Post #9335898

That might be true for lithops but conos and baby toes can't go all winter without water.

NancySLAZ

NancySLAZ
Sun Lakes, AZ
(Zone 9a)

November 18, 2012
7:02 AM

Post #9336108

Right, I meant the lithops that tend to rot so easily. Of course, I can't get any of them to live for very long to I shouldn't be giving advice!
newtonsthirdlaw
Arlington, TX

November 18, 2012
7:22 AM

Post #9336124

I killed mine with too much sun, which was foolishness on my part. Mine live for a couple years usually. I suspect its not warm enough in the house during the summer. That is why I tried them outside. Next year I will put them out in a bed by burying the pots to see if that helps with controlling over heating.

Baja_Costero

Baja_Costero
Baja California
Mexico
(Zone 11)

November 22, 2012
2:12 PM

Post #9340058

A few mesemb flowers here. First is a Faucaria (a bunch of them are going right now), other two are succulent groundcovers (just starting, despite the lack of rain).

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NancySLAZ

NancySLAZ
Sun Lakes, AZ
(Zone 9a)

November 22, 2012
4:11 PM

Post #9340134

I love them Baja! That's a great Faucaria pot! I just started some from seeds and they are growing well--so far!

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Baja_Costero

Baja_Costero
Baja California
Mexico
(Zone 11)

November 22, 2012
5:07 PM

Post #9340172

Strong work! Faucarias have been super easy for me to start from cuttings, so haven't even considered seed. I set up a group of 6 cuttings about 2-3 weeks ago and half of them are already flowering.

NancySLAZ

NancySLAZ
Sun Lakes, AZ
(Zone 9a)

November 23, 2012
1:59 PM

Post #9340667

I just wish mine would look like yours someday! I have already sold some of them for the benefit of my local Cactus & Succulent Society, but I'm keeping some for me!
48flash
Mesa, AZ
(Zone 9b)

November 23, 2012
6:21 PM

Post #9340830

Lowes had a nice group of lithops for sale today. I took a quick look and then stepped away before they could die and I'd be blamed------I am the grim reaper to these plants

NancySLAZ

NancySLAZ
Sun Lakes, AZ
(Zone 9a)

November 23, 2012
7:41 PM

Post #9340893

Yes, Gary, I got the 2 I am trying again from Lowe's recently. I looked at all the little pots of plants and about 80% of them were echeverias or sedums, 10% mesembs, and the rest plants that will actually grow here pretty easily like aloes (I bought a little Aloe 'Blizzard'). People will fail with so many of these plants and it is not their fault. I don't think that the supplier for these stores here understands plants and the AZ climate. They must be from California or somewhere. The problem is that some people will get discouraged and think they can't grow plants. It is okay if, like me, you know what you are getting, but otherwise, it is just frustrating.
48flash
Mesa, AZ
(Zone 9b)

November 24, 2012
8:39 AM

Post #9341218

Good luck Nancy. I was able to avoid the Sirens Song of the echeverias this time. I still love them but only keep one or two as annuals. When the Desert Rose gets tucked away for winter (per your recommendation) I may put an echeveria in its place for winter. In spring, when the Desert Rose awakens, the echeveria will go bye bye. Fortunately they are inexpensive so I can enjoy them even as annuals.
I just can't bring myself to try Lithops again; I am impressed by those that can grow them but I've just had too much bad luck with them. Maybe I'll try Faucarias; I don't think I have killed any of those yet.
Almost all of Lowes plants are stocked from nurseries in California. The garden department manager allocates space to the suppliers and the suppliers decide what to stock. And yes, the suppliers could care less what lives and dies in AZ. Quite a few of the smaller plants die before they are sold and a few of the large plants are returned to the store by the buyer after the plant dies. The suppliers eat the cost of the losses but the markup and the volume is so high that the suppliers come out on top.

NancySLAZ

NancySLAZ
Sun Lakes, AZ
(Zone 9a)

November 26, 2012
6:53 AM

Post #9342782

Thanks for the info Gary. I figured the store and suppliers make money but they are actually reducing the potential buyers. Many people just get discouraged and stop buying plants when they don't do well for them. It just would seem to be MORE profitable in the long run to provide plants that have a chance of success here.

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