I bought a large Madagascarian Uncarina grandidieri specimen which is finally beginning to leaf out. Have any of you tried growing this beautiful species in a colder climate? The growing season is short here (from end of April to first of September), and the summer weather in is quite changeable: Now we are experiencing pretty cold weather with temperatures barely reaching 60-65 F! But two weeks ago we hit 85 F.
I picked up U. decaryi about a month ago down in LA. My plant is just a little sprout compared to yours. Everything I have found on it, points to grandideri as the care is similar.
We also live in a similar climatic zone, with ocean currents coming down from the artic, and winds across the ocean on to land, creating a moist temperate climate. Complete with long cloudy periods in the winter, and summers that get warmer but don't heat too high.
Mine has been outside since I returned, and seems to be adusting. It has held small leaves through the transport, and we shall see. I say we compare notes.
Uncarina decaryi? Was it expensive? I have seen some seedlings (4-8 inches tall) for about 20 USD each.
It has rained on and off for the past week here - and with pretty low temperatures. So, I am keeping the plant inside - at least until the rain stops. There is no point in soaking the soil, when the plant has no feeder roots yet.
Yes, let us compare notes. I would definitely get my hands on a U. decaryi.:-)
I have not measured mine, but its on the order of 8-9 inches tall, and it was $10. I got it at the Huntington Garden Spring Sale about a month ago. Most everything there was pretty close to retail prices.
And I posted about it in the forum right after I got home, unfortunately it garnered no responses.
It has been outside here. My notes on it say that it is good to 25F and should be given abundant water when growing, with none when dormant. So I just let the rain of the last few weeks wash over it, and most of my other plants (Adeniums went inside due to temps in the mid-40s), too. So far I seem to only have one succulent loss: Hoodopsis triebneri, which I had 3 pots of, and only one died.
As to the decaryi, I will take a photo and post it tomorrow.
So, is your U. decaryi growing nicely?
My large U. grandidieri has the first small leaves now - unfortunately only on one of the two branches. The other branch has a crack/cavity going through to the centre of the branch but it doesn't look dead to me. Hopefully, I will soon see some swellings on it...
Mine has been out on the deck growing nicely since the weather has moderated since the last week of June. Prior to this, it spent the previous month somewhat dormant, possibly from being bare rooted for travel and repotted at home in mid May.
The leaves have gotten bigger, and the plant seems to be actively growing finally. It appears to like 70F before starting to grow, so I think I will keep it inside until the end of June or so around here.
At this point there appears to be only one trunk without branches, but heck, its 12 inches tall!
What happened to the promised photo?;-)
After hitting 85 F in the weekend, my U. grandidieri is going through a growth spurt. I've put it in full sun, so the temperature in the spot would soon rise to 110-120 F by midday. It's even branching out further down the trunk.:-) I nearly thought it would stay in semi-dormancy for the rest of the growing season...
OK, ok! I forgot to upload them. It is totally nuts around here right now. I just repotted my U. decaryi as I started thinking it was seeming to be in a dinky pot. So I did, and it was perfect timing. After unpotting it, I saw the roots which were running down the sides had not reached bottom and did not need to be disturbed for repotting.
So I just popped it in the new pot, and have been letting it sit a couple of days, just to be safe.
A neat thing, AnalogDog.:-) Looks quite like U. grandidieri. Are the leaves pubescent like U. grandidieri?
I wonder at what age U. decaryi begins to flower...
By that, you mean slightly hairy? Very short hairs, felty? Yes, they are.
Just thought I would update this thread with the report that my U. decaryii is now leafless and has been for 1-2 months, and is getting just a bit of water every couple of weeks. The trunk is firm and it appears to be doing well.
Analogdog, I have one about the same size as yours. It is now sitting bare root in my potting shed and I am hopeing it will dry out and survive. I made the mistake of watering it after it dropped it's leaves (along with other plants) and it almost immediatly developed a soft spot on the base. When I unpotted it some of the roots were mushy. I cut them off. The rest seem to be remaining firm. I have hopes that I can repot it soon. Or maybe I will lose it. If so it was clearly my own fault. Just wasn't paying attention. The hobby grower I bought it from told me to cut down the trunk to encourage the caudex to grow plumper.
I just started watering mine. Once a week until the spring comes, which is probably June in these parts. It is now leafing out, with little 1/2 inch leaves forming a little mop top. Looking pretty auspicious for 2009.
The weekly watering has had 2 deaths already an Echiveria and a little Adenium. It's just nature's way of giving me some room in the collection.
I lost 2 adeniums as well
1 I hated
1 was a graft of my own
fine 1 week sopping goo the next
c'est la vie!
The dormancy is over - my U. grandidieri is starting to leaf out as well.:-)
Btw, in late August, first of September last year, mine had two flower buds which unfortunately aborted. However, with the growing season already beginning now, I am hoping to see flowers sometime during the summer.
I have been watering mine for about a month now, and its got some small leaves. Nights are about 45-50F so I just moved it outside to get a little sun and rain in a protected area on my deck. I am not seeing any flower buds, but until you mentioned it would not have considered it. Maybe it should come back inside.....
Rob, the U. grandidieri dropped the two flower buds.:-( But four more are developing on leafless stems, and I'm hoping for even more in June.
Growth has been really slow but the past week, I've been moving the plant outside on sunny days (and inside again on nights). I think, it has finally begun growing for real. It definitely needs lots of sun and warmth to grow.
Its been pretty warm here right now, and I moved mine outside about 2 weeks ago. I got a bit of leaf damage from the sun's intensity but all seems good.
What are you doing to get flower buds? Winter water? Fertilizer?
I guess, it all depends on plant size - and climate. My other small U. grandidieri doesn't get flowers buds. The large U. grandidieri in one of the green houses in the Botanical Garden nearby blooms profusely each year!
I water my largest plant 1-2 times a week in the growing season depending on the weather. I use a cactus fertilizer with low N-number once a week. Both plants are kept almost dry from October until March/April (they only get a monthly drop of water to make sure that the feeder roots don't dry up).
Btw, I recently found out that Uncarina cuttings are quite easy to root using bottom heat. I have an U. turicana cutting leafing out now...
My whole collection attempts to mutiny every winter as I continue to not water at all from October to April, and my plants suffer. I really need to learn to be a better desert plant keeper. Makes sense that even the desert is not as arid as a pot in the house.
It takes time to become an expert growing such plants (not that I am an expert). I have lost many beautiful plants due to rot but at the same time, I have learned a great deal about culture, do's and don'ts.
The U. grandidieri dropped another bud today - still two larger left (with tiny visible petals). We have some warmer weather coming this weekend (75-77 F), so this should definitely speed things up.
Beautiful and wondrous, thanks for sharing with us, Martin!
I have enjoyed following this thread and comparing with my U. grandidieri. I thought I would show you my plant. It has grown nicely but no flowers. I was wilting regularily so I just repotted it. Some of the leaves look a little worn.
Congratulations Martin on your bloom.
Nice little fellow! Remember to water it frequently when it's actively growing.
Mine is really pushing leaves and more flower buds now.
What a nice plant! Mine is simiar sized, but getting a slow start.