Friday, March 14, 2014

Adenium Goes "Spring" Again

My adenium obesum has started to grow flower buds again.

Yes, yes, I know. We've been through this before. It grows several buds and then throws off all but one or two of them.


Adenium obesum flower buds on March 14, 2014

But still, you have to admit that this is not "a flower"... this is more like a whole flower bouquet!


Adenium obesum flower buds on March 14, 2014

AND this is the first spring my adenium spends in the Lechuza pot - a pot where the plant can take as much water as it needs from the reservoir at the bottom. Plus there is still some long term fertilizer in the soil, both of which is supposed to be very good for adeniums.

So... here's to hope!


Adenium obesum flower buds on March 14, 2014

Friday, October 25, 2013

My First Pleiospilos Flower?

One of the first plants I have ever sown (in 2007) was a Pleiospilos nelii. Well, actually there were several nelii but I kept only two of them (as far as I remember now - there might be more hidden somewhere on my window sills).

Every year when they start to grow new leaves I hope that it's going to be a flower but each time it's "just" leaves.

This time I'm hoping again, but this time I think I have better chances. Just as it is with Lithops, you can see a slight difference between a new pair of leaves - which takes up almost all of the plant's width - and a flower bud. The latter looks like the tip of a little tongue the plant is squeezing through the fissure in the leaves.
And that is exactly what (I hope) I'm seeing here.

What do you think?


Close-up of Pleiospilos nelii fissure on October 25, 2013


Close-up of Pleiospilos nelii fissure on October 25, 2013


Pleiospilos nelii developing what looks like a flower bud (on October 25, 2013)


Edit (Dec 3, 2013):
No, it's just another pair of leaves again... Maybe better luck next time! ;)

Yellow Faucaria Beauties

My Faucaria tigrina is flowering again, and whether the flowers are open, or closed... this is one beautiful plant.


Closed Faucaria tigrina flower on October 25, 2013


Closed Faucaria tigrina flower on October 25, 2013


Closed Faucaria tigrina flower on October 25, 2013


Closed Faucaria tigrina flower on October 25, 2013


Closed Faucaria tigrina flower on October 25, 2013

(Yes, this is the same flower! The pink tips are on the outside of the flowers petals and it seems to depend a lot on the angle at which you're looking at them whether they seem this pink or not.)


Faucaria tigrina flower on October 22, 2013


Faucaria tigrina flower on October 22, 2013


Faucaria tigrina flower on October 22, 2013


Faucaria tigrina flower on October 22, 2013

(Btw, these are all iPhone photos taken with the Olloclip macro clip-on lense.)

This Year's Lithops Flowers

A few of my Lithops marmorata (and one julii) are flowering:


Lithops marmorata flower on October 22, 2013


Lithops marmorata flower on October 22, 2013


Lithops marmorata flower on October 22, 2013


Lithops marmorata flower on October 22, 2013


Lithops marmorata flower on October 22, 2013


And of course I've been playing "bee" again...


Lithops marmorata (left) and julii (right) cross pollinated (October 22, 2013)

I have put julii pollen onto three marmorata flowers and the pollen of one of the marmorata onto the julii flower.
I already have julii x marmorata seeds (and seedlings) but this has worked so well that I really want to try it again (especially in the other direction, getting seeds from a marmorata seed pod).

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Too Much Water For Lithops

What happens when you water Lithops too much? I've read about it, heard that they can burst open, but it has never happened to any of my Lithops before.

Well, there's a first time for everything.


Lithops julii with dry fissure on October 17, 2013


Lithops julii with fresh fissure on October 17, 2013


Lithops julii with fissures on its side from too much water (October 17, 2013)

By now the second fissure (the right one in the picture above) has opened up a lot further (it actually looks quite alarming) but the surface has also dried up. Luckily they will grow a new pair of leaves now anyway and these wounds will soon be forgotten.
But looking at this, I can understand how "too much water" can easily equal "Lithops death". Just imagine all the germs and infections that could have entered my dear little plant through this huge gap!


Lithops julii with big, dried up fissure on its side (October 24, 2013)

But even though they've suffered a little, giving up is never an option for Lithops! Today I discovered this:

Lithops julii flower bud on injured plant on October 24, 2013

So I hope that this little trooper will survive these wounds and will just continue with a new pair of leaves next year... as if nothing ever happened.
I sure have learned when NOT to water my Lithops.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Death Of A Lithops

We went on a holiday last week and I had done something reckless a week before that: I had sowed Adenium obesum seeds which were germinating happily a day or two before we'd leave.
I couldn't possibly leave my babies at home, so I decided to pack them and take them along so I'd be able to care for them during the week we'd be away.

So far so good, the adenium babies survived with no problems.
In addition, however, I decided to take two pots of Lithops with me. We were visiting our 90 year old grandma who had never seen Lithops in her life and was very interested. So I took a pot of Lithops julii and my Lithops mix with me to show it to her.

Both survived the day in the box nicely and as far as I could see they were only a bit thirsty two days later. So I watered them and I thought I'd do them some good and put them outside into the sun for a couple of hours.

Apparently that was a mistake.

When we were back home I found that the Lithops mix looked a bit pale whereas the Lithops julii showed no difference.
A day or so later I realized that I have obviously killed some Lithops from my mix. I guess by putting them out into the midday sun when they had only been used to the morning sun, filtered through a window (the julii had at least been used to midday and afternoon sun at my south facing window).
But it might also have been the transport that killed them, I'm not sure.

The interesting thing is that they start to rot away from the bottom sides, not from the tops that have been exposed to the sun.

This is the full extent of the damage. I'll have to wait and see how many of them will survive.
Most of the ones you see here have turned squishy and soft or have dried up completely within two or three days.


Lithops turning pale and soft (first stage)


Soft Lithops slowly caving in (second stage)


Further caving in of soft Lithops (third stage)


Almost completely dry and crumpled up Lithops (fourth stage)


Dried and crumpled up Lithops (fifth/final stage)

The following two pictures show how the rot starts at the bottom or at the sides, while the tops of the Lithops remain okay for a while.




So, whether it was the direct sun or the transport with its vibrations and almost a day without fresh air or light, I don't know.
But I do know that I'll be a lot more careful with my Lithops from now on.

They may appear sturdy and strong, but they can be quite sensible to all sorts of changes and "mistreatments".


Edit (9/15/2013):
I just buried two of the four Lithops julii that I took with me in the second pot. They had started to rot and get mouldy from the bottom up and I could just take their heads right off.
I'm more and more convinced that it was the transport rather than the sun that killed them.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Lithops Julii Seed Capsule Video

I have wanted to make a time lapse video of this for a while now. Today I finally had the opportunity.
Unfortunately the capsule did not contain any seeds but it shows the opening and closing mechanism nicely.
The frames jump a little at some points, but I still think it's a nice view.

This whole thing happened over 80 minutes, I took a picture every 15 seconds.
The opening happens quite quickly but the seed capsule takes its time to close itself again.