Monday, March 22, 2010

TOUGH DECISIONS

Last November the hanging basket of graptopetalum was breathing a sigh of relief having made it through a wretchedly hot dry summer. It really liked the dry part. Unfortunately the worst was yet to come. Frigid cold followed by wet.
Left outside all winter the stems began to rot and disease spread down the stems until it reached the leaf rosettes. At this point I began to cut off the best of the rosettes and, after a day of drying, set them in a bed of pumice. As rot continued to spread down the remaining stems I realized that more drastic measures needed to be taken.
Yesterday I made the decision to pull everything out and redo the whole basket. The remaining rosettes were hung out to dry in the mesh potting shed bench.

The rosettes planted in the pumice have all rooted. Pumice is the most incredible medium for rooting.

It may take time for the planter to retain its former glory but these little plants are tough when it comes to surviving the hardships of a Texas climate. They root from leaves which are left to dry out on the ground, quickly forming miniature rosettes of leaves.

11 comments:

  1. I know nothing about succulents, but those look really nice. I'm glad they seem to be responding to your emergency measures.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The cardinals have eaten mine too quickly to have some to regenerate. My sister-in-law grew pots of them to hang on the fence for the birds every winter. Do they not eat yours?

    ReplyDelete
  3. I just wanted to let you know that my husband and I are in the process of redoing our back yard.... and I have often looked at your blog for inspiration. We replaced all of our grass (ummm.... weeds?) with decomposed granite and large landscape beds. We've planted the foundation plants and next week, I plan to add the fun colorful stuff. (Hopefully, we're done with all the Dallas snow storms!) Your garden is beyond beautiful!
    -karin

    ReplyDelete
  4. wow, I didn't know that they also root from just the leaves. Do any of the other succulents do that (like aloes)?

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'm glad you were able to save some. They are so pretty.
    Yet another plant for my wish list.

    ReplyDelete
  6. This is fascinating. They'll recover quickly, i know. But where do you get the pumice? I want to try this.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'm with Linda - I want to know more about pumice and where you get it and what you use it for. Never tried it. You're a good plant mom. BTW - my first Wine Cup bloom opened today - it must have overheard you when you were here on Saturday!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Anon- I have never seen the birds on the plant. Wonder what they would find tasty.
    Hi Karin- Thanks for visiting my blog and for those kind words. Good for you- removing the grass but watch out for all and sundry to move into your decomposed granite. It's a favorite place for seeds to grow. Good luck with your spring planting.
    Katina- Many succulents root from leaves including the Christmas cactus, sedums, kalanchoes, ice plants, euphorbias. I don't think aloes would but they usually produce plants from the roots.
    Patchwork. I bought one plant about 8 years ago and from that I had massive areas growing in the ground- until this winter. It spreads very rapidly.
    Linda and Diana- The bags of pumice I purchased in Arizona. It is wonderful fro rooting. I think I remember seeing in the Cactus and succulent society pamphlet that they order in pumice. I wish I had more because I am nearly out. Wish I had picked up more this winter.

    ReplyDelete
  9. This is one of my favourite succulents, but in this climate you need a nice dry conservatory to grow it. It's good to see how great it can get in the right climate. Good luck - I'm sure you did the right thing to stop the rot.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I hope they make it. It's one of those plants we should all have. I know I have plenty.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Something, birds or deer, ate all my succulents! Beautiful pictures of your graptopetalum. Do you call them ghost plant or mother of pearl? I am so glad I found your blog. I look forward to visiting again.

    ReplyDelete