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December Succulent Blooms

December Succulent Blooms


echeveria flowersHappy Holidays Succulent Lovers! You may have noticed that Fat Plants has been very quiet over the last two months, no free succulent contests, no scary succulent stories, nothing. There is a good reason for this disappearance. The holiday gift of choice this year seemed to be succulent cuttings and succulent terrariums. I am not complaining in the least bit, but it was definitely a challenge and a lot of work for one lady, a cat and a three year old. At least I was able to sneak out and get some photos of some of my December succulent blooms to share with you.

IMG_2459This particular echeveria flower raceme has amazed me the most this December. I accidentally snipped this stem when it was only a few inches tall back in September. At the time I was not quite sure if it was a pup or a raceme of flowers – it was that new.
Feeling terrible I let it callous over, dipped it in some clonex and stuck it in the ground. Only today I realized that this bloom, now over a foot in the air, belongs to that little stem.  It is also the home of a cute little spider.


graptoveriamoonglowGraptoveria Moonglow

Another favorite of mine (do I say that about every plant?) is the graptoveria moonglow. Look at the gorgeous yellow blooms I have spread throughout the nursery. We will soon have gorgeous graptoveria moonglow plants for sale on Amazon with Prime shipping.

Gorgeous pale mint green fleshy leaves with a hint of pink on the edges. It does almost glow in a succulent garden. This little guy also pushes out tons of pups!


Pachyveria Moonstone

December Succulent Blooms
Pachyveria moonstone flower

Echeveria and hybrid echeveria flowers are stunning and their beauty lasts for well over a month.
This gorgeous pink flower belongs to a pachyveria moonstone. There are several other types of echeveria’s in the planter, as you see in the photo, (the bloom belongs to the rosette behind the green echeveria elegans). This pinkish, fleshy rosette is often included in our 25 piece cutting package.

December Succulent Blooms
Pachyveria moonstone

This is the first year I have had these flowering in my home yard and I am falling in love. In the shade their fat leaves turn into an almost lilac color over a glowing white and in the sun they get bright pink edges. Very easy to propagate and a great succulent to add some color to your planters.


Cotyledon Flowers

December succulent bloomscotyledon tomentosa_2Sometimes referred to as bear paws, this cotyledon tomentosa finally opened its large, fuzzy bloom. This succulent has round, hairy leaves and feels like velvet. In the shade the leaves of this little plant turn a dark green. Those with more sunlight turn a bright lemony green.


crassulatomthumbflowers2
crassula tom thumb flowers
crassula mesembryanthemoides
crassula mesembryanthemoides

I love crassula perforata, string of buttons, Tom Thumb or ‘lil boxes’ as the kids next door say. They are even more stunning when they are in bloom. They shoot off 12 to 18 inch racemes full of tiny little white and yellow flowers.

This photo was as close as my camera would let me go without switching lenses.

Similar to the tiny pink flowers on a crassula falcata, the crassula mesembryanthemoides has tiny clusters of pink and yellow blooms. That just started opening in the nursery. I hope you enjoy our December succulent blooms as much as I do.


Announcements

sunburst4inch_clipped_rev_1A new Free Succulent Contest will be announced the first week of January. Three lucky succulent addicts will win a gorgeous Aeonium sunburst hybrid plant in a four inch pot.

Check out some of our new products for sale on Amazon.

Succulent Winners for September

Succulent Winners for September


succulent winnersThank you everyone who shared their favorite cactus and succulent photos on our Facebook page for the September Free Succulent contest.  Three people were chosen by random draw as the Succulent Winners for the month this morning.  Winners are listed below as well as on Facebook.  Albeit not as humorous as previous contests, it gives me great pleasure every time I virtually meet a person who adores these strange little (and big) plants as much as I do.  It also reminds me that I am not alone in the world of succulent addiction; there are thousands of us out there!

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Drumroll please………….

The photo above shows the three prizes that will be shipped tomorrow to:

Amber Tellez

Ali Walter

Diane Bakken Collins


Congrats to our winners! I will be in touch to get your shipping addresses soon. Thank you again for entering our monthly contests. Stay tuned for the rules and prizes for the October Free Succulent Contest!

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Until next time enjoy the succulent flowers of the day – all discovered in the nursery this morning!

echeveriaflower flower adromischus cristatus flowersHave a succulent weekend!

Plant Whisperer

 

Succulents and Spiders

Succulents and Spiders


 

succulents and spidersWho says that slinging succulents is not a dangerous job! Succulents and spiders are plentiful at Fat Plants! As I was packaging orders I took a break to admire the flower I just noticed from an echeveria runyonii that I have growing on my palm tree. As I leaned in to get a better view I felt that awesome feeling of walking through a spider web, however this was more like a 50 pound fishing line!

I followed the string 20 feet across the patio to one of the several  podocarpus in the nursery and look what I found:  An orb-weaver the size of a very large snail and her nest! I enjoy spiders as much as I enjoy root canals and snakes but I faced my fears to get a few photos for you. Yes, they are harmless, but seriously-who likes to be surprised by a hairy creature with 3 inch legs, 8 eyes and a web as tough as a bug net! This is not my first nor will it be my last to-close-for-comfort moments with a spider but it reminds me again that succulents are not only attractive to humans and it is always best to wear gloves when you are working in your garden.


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Succulents and SpidersOn a pleasant note, this is the first flower I have seen from this echeveria ‘topsy-turvy’ and I have had him for 3 years!

Don’t forget to enter the FREE SUCCULENT contest for September! We will be giving away 3 ten packs of awesome cactus and succulent cuttings at the end of the month! Enter for free here.

Aristaloe

Aristaloe


AristaloeI learn something everyday when it comes to succulents. While clearing out the non-HOA approved succulents from my front yard I came across this hidden gem, a gorgeous Aristaloe, or torch aloe. Under a large crassula ovata bush he hid, and probably has been there for years. I love finding what was once a little piece of succulent that I tossed on the ground years before grown into something spectacular!
Researching this little guy I discovered that he is an Aristaloe. This is a new monotypic species, meaning that it is the sole species. When I first found him I was sure that he was some kind of haworthia, or Aloe haworthioides, but as usual I was corrected by Tony from Texas Aloe Growers. Thank you Tony!!!

aristaloeThis succulent is fantastic! Its green leaves are surprisingly soft to the touch with raised white dots. It grows in clumps and its pups can be easily removed for propagation. Coral colored blooms emerged from ling spiky stems that this aloe shoots off mid-summer. This aloe does wonderfully indoors and out and clearly he was happy living in the shade of the crassula.



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aristaloeThe aristaloe can handle temperatures to 44 degrees F and is happiest in well-draining medium. From my research he does well growing on the tops of mountains! I have placed him in a crystal candy dish with sempervivums, plectranthus, sedum and a variety of other beauties that will soon outgrow this dish. We have 3 gorgeous 5″X5″ crystal candy dishes full of gorgeous succulent plants and cuttings available in our succulent store, only one has an aristaloe! Enjoy this dish for several months and then create several new planters as they outgrow their home.

SucculentsFor more information on the aristaloe:

Wikipedia gives a great background on the Aloe aristata.

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Kalanchoe blossfeldiana

Kalanchoe blossfeldiana


kalanchoe blossfeldianaKalanchoe blossfeldiana is a popular succulent native to Madagascar, and sometimes referred to as the christmas kalanchoe or florist kalanchoe. It is glabrous, which in botany means has a feature that is smooth and glossy.  This kalanchoe has compact clusters of leaves and forms heads of tubular flowers that have numerous, up to 50 on some, flower buds per stem. Our kalanchoe blossfeldiana bloom in the late fall and into early winter.

kalanchoe blossfeldianaKalanchoe blossfeldiana seems to be the happiest with at least four hours of sunlight per day and as most succulents, living in a well-draining medium. They prefer cooler temperatures and but do not like it when it the temperature is under 50 degrees F. This succulent does well indoors and outdoors, however we do not recommend planting in a place where it gets bright direct sun all day.

Mokalanchoe blossfeldianast florists toss out this plant after it blooms, however proper pruning can make your kalanchoe bloom several times per year. Pruning encourages more branches with eventually leads to more flowers. To make your Kalanchoe blossfeldiana bloom it needs 13 to 14 hours of darkness per day. We have noticed that new buds began to form in roughly 30 to 40 days but we have also experienced kalanchoe that have retired from blooming completely. Several new plants we have propagated from these retired kalanchoes do flower after about a years time.

We use this kalanchoe often to make living succulent wreaths and in other projects. We have enjoyed red, yellow, white, purplish-pink, pink and orange flowers from our various blossfeldianas.

kalanchoe blossfeldianakalanchoe blossfeldianakalanchoe blossfeldianakalanchoe blossfeldiana

 Don’t forget to enter the August Free Succulent contest!

Kalanchoe Luciae or Kalanchoe Thyrsiflora

Kalanchoe Luciae or Kalanchoe Thyrsiflora


 

Kalanchoe Luciae or Kalanchoe Thyrsiflora
Kalanchoe Thyrsiflora

As I was doing my research on the paddle plant, which I have always called Kalanchoe thyrsiflora, I realized that I actually have two types of paddle plants growing in my gardens. With so many other people making the same mistake and publishing it online, it can be confusing. I found a great article from San Marcos Growers explaining the difference. So, is it Kalanchoe Luciae or Kalanchoe Thyrsiflora?

Kalanchoe Luciae or Kalanchoe Thyrsiflora
Kalanchoe Luciae Flowers

Both succulents are obviously kalanchoes, which are part of the Crassulaceae family. Dave’s Garden has a great introduction to kalanchoe article you should check out. This article will also lead you to the San Marcos Growers link.

Kalanchoe Luciae
Kalanchoe Luciae

I had noticed that several of my paddle plants seemed to be shorter and stalkier, but more importantly, the red on the tops of the paddles is the deep almost burgundy color. The flowers of the luciae are not as fragrant as those of the thyrsiflora. They are also white with yellow tint while the petals of the thyrsiflora are a bright yellow.

The thyrsiflora is covered with a white chalk-like substance that comes off on our hands if you touch it.

We have kalanchoe luciae plants for sale in our store. Starting in 4 inch pots up to one gallon pots. Some of these guys have paddles three feet tall.

Ledebouria socialis

Ledebouria socialis


Ledebouria socialisLedebouria socialis, otherwise known as the purple or silver squill. Gorgeous tiny white flowers emerge from the bulbs all spring and early summer. This variegated succulent grows from a bulb. It is part of the Hyacinthaceae family and native to South Africa. Its tiny flowers appear in the springtime and last through mid summer, at least in San Diego. They appear to be white but are a light purple when examined up close. They are supposed to be grown in full sun but our Ledebouria socialis that are in the shade are thriving just as much as those in the sun.

This succulent needs a bit more water than the average fat plant, but not much. It is hardy to 25 degrees and adapts easily as a houseplant. These gorgeous succulents are available for sale in our succulent store. Get yours while supplies last!

 

Crassula Falcata

Crassula Falcata


Crassula falcata, airplane plant, propeller, plant

AKA Propeller plant, scarlet paintbrush and airplane plant. This odd shaped succulent has blue to green with a hint of silver leaves that sit horizontally and actually do look like airplane propellers. We have been able to propagate these easily by taking cuttings. As with most cuttings it is best to let it callous over for a few days before planting. Crassula falcata is one of our favorite succulent plants.

Stacked crassulas are fun to grow, perfect for xeriscaping or pots and a good conversation piece. Here is a great article from Dave’s Garden for beginners on these delightful succulents.

crassula falcataThis gorgeous fat plant is just coming into bloom in our gardens. They are summer bloomers and this is the first summer that I am seeing these flowers in my garden. Their flowers start as a green ball of tiny buds. As they grow and start to open you could be fooled into thinking you are about to get a pink flower.

 

 

Cresting

What is Cresting?


Cristation, fasciation, cresting or Forma cristata are terms used commonly in botany describing the abnormal development of a plant. Every year at the San Diego Cactus and Succulent Societies plant sale I am always mesmerized by some of the prized crested succulents on display but I never did any research on why this occurs. The best way to describe fasciation or cresting is with photographs. I have purchased several succulents that are “var cristata” in the past but I have never had a seemingly “normal” succulent grow a new head that is crested until just recently.

Cresting aeonium arboreumI have this big wooden box full of fat plants in the brightest area of my garden. There was one large aeonium arboreum that had one extra tall stem that looked out of place so I cut it and started a new plant in 2014. Over the last year the container has really filled in and the new growth that started where I cut the stem became hidden from view.

Recently I cut back all of the plants in this box only to discover that the aeonium I cut had not started several new pups as they usually do, but instead it had what looked like several stems fused into one.
I did not realize that a normal plant could become crested; I just assumed that was a heritable trait. The question now is why. Of all of the aeonium arboretums’ that I have cut in my yard over the years, why have I never seen this occurrence? Why is this particular plant cresting?
Trustworthy Google. It seems that I am not the only confused succulent lover out there. Here is the basic reason I found for why this is happening.

new growth of a normal aeonium is crestingFasciation or cresting, can be caused by many factors and can occur on the tip of the plants stem, the fruit, the root of the plant or the flower. Bacteria, genetics, hormones, fungus and other environmental causes are the primary cause of this phenomenon.

I can’t answer my own question but will continue to research this topic. In the interim if you are interested in reading more about this check out my favorite plant website. Dave’s Garden has a descriptive article on this fascinating mutation that contains several pictures and a detailed explanation of the many reasons this occurs.

Cresting Succulents


Take a look at some of the other cactus and succulents we have that are crested.

cereus hildmannianus
cereus hildmannianus
cresting in cactus
opuntia subulata cristata
Aeonium sunburst var cristata
Aeonium sunburst var cristata

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