The New Class


Have you ever had one of those weeks that (for whatever reason) feels more stressful than it should?  This was definitely one of those… ending with a follow up with a doctor’s appointment on Friday.  I decided, since my doctor’s appointment was close to lunch, to stop in at the local Home Depot by his office.  To my delight, I was greeted with this:diptic-1000101972.jpg

Two rack shelves and three tables of succulents, fresh in this week.  It was a nice showing considering how disappointing their selection had been.

I’m somewhat embarassed to say I spent probably my whole lunch hour pickig through the selection, debating if I was ready or interested in taking on something like an aeonium, etc… before finely settling on just five little pots.

I thought this would sate my desire to leave the house on a field trip on Saturday, but it didn’t – one of the labels I found interesting I later looked up online and then kicked myself for not bringing home with me instead of one of the impulse additions that I now regretted.  I decided to run to the location near my house Saturday morning (they had a few new things, nowhere near as many and not what I was looking for), so made my way back to the first location to pick up what I had missed… in addition to a stop at Menard’s for a few plastic plant trays and more blocks of condensed coconut coir.  This week was, after all, the marker of TEN WEEKS UNTIL LAST FROST DATE where I live, so in the next two weeks it’s time to start sowing things indoors.

I spent Saturday afternoon cleaning of the roots (to the best of my ability), and planned to pot up on Sunday.  A few surprises greeted me though, like this — which meant the pot selection I had in storage was either too small, or too big, to accomodate additional growth on the new guys without leaving a lot of unused soil (which is a no no with succulents).  I needed to restock groceries anyway, so a surprise trip to the craft store for some new pots was in order.

Happy surprises – this echeveria had a new rosette forming off the roots underneath the soil line!

In addition, I wanted to start some delphinium seeds, and also decided to try separating these two echevaria seedlings – big enough that untangling them was already problematic, small enough that I don’t know how they’ll handle the transplant.  I think I did okay, time will tell.

Before – in a peaty plastic starter cup, with the big guy starting to crowd out and deform the little one…
After – (hopefully) happily repotted in a peaty version of gritty mix.

The big guys – new additions – ended up in a variety of sizes.  Here they are!

The new class.

Left to right:

  1. Echevaria “Neon Breakers” -an unusual hybrid that grabbed my attention in the store but looks enough like a decorative cabbage that I’m wondering what I was thinking;
  2. Echevaria ramillette, with four flower stalks – one of the few succulents I’ve purchased specifically for the flowers;
  3. Echevaria murasanii – a reddish fuzzy variety that had the surprise rosette starting and looks like the existing rosette might be splitting or double headed;
  4. In the back, a large (What I hope) Gasteria-haworthia hybrid, labelled as just “Haworthia variety” and may be Gasterhaworthia “Rosava”.  It might also be a Gaster-Aloe, which would be disappointing; a common gasteralow named “Flow” looks very similar.
  5. Then, Echevaria “Chroma” – a relatively new hyrbid variety with the potential for intense colorful variegation; and
  6. Echevaria Purpusorum, a slow growing pointed variety that is reminiscent of a haworthia shape.

After I got everything into pots, I cleaned up my temporary station at the kitchen table and decided it was time to organize my shelves a little bit.

Making a mess is part of the process.  There may or may not be additional bags and bins on the floor around my chair.

I’ve split my new grow shelves so the main shelf is the evening (or cloudy day) light station for adult plants; the shelf under it started taking seedlings and dishes where I was propagating leaves.  A few of the first ones I did in reused individual pots, then moved up to reused food containers, and the last few are just sort of scattered on various plates waiting to callous and start showing roots.  There were enough I was afraid I’d lose track of what is what, so I added to the chaos with sticky notes… and decided I needed to organize before it spun further out of control.  A lot of succulent enthusiasts resort to just having a large tray of soil they throw leaves or cuttings on until things take, and I decided one large area might work better… as long as I labelled it.


Succulent propagation station on the left – perennials seed starting on the right.


My bottom two shelves are currently storage… bins full of media (coconut coir, diatamaceous earth, gritty mix, peat, etc…), extra pots and containers for things, and items for seed starting – trays, heat mats, thermostats, etc.

Outside of that, one of my haworthia cooperi truncata today had small white flecks on it… which had me worried that I had an infestation of some sort, such as scale.  Most of them seemed to dissolve/scrape off, and I’m currently thinking it might be salt deposits left from guttation.  I tried to clean it off the best I could with a mix of water, hydrogen peroxide, and a diluted anti-fungal; but given that this is the one that I had left in a peat mix, I think it might be taking too much water and also too much fertilization from the miracle grow potting soil.  I’ll flush it out tomorrow with distilled water (it’s due for watering anyway) and we’ll see if the spots come back.  I’ve chosen not to sequester it for the time being (given that it came up suddenly and is just this one plant so far, which seems odd if it’s an infestation since all the plants are pretty close together frequently), so hopefully I’m correct.


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