Saturday morning I hit the road and drove for two and a half hours to Cleveland for the Midwest Cactus and Succulent Society Show and Plant Sale.
This was the first year that they advertised the show on Facebook — and considering the fact that I live several hours away but had about six different people send me the link to it — I think that they might have underestimated the “Facebook effect” on the sale. The doors opened at 10, and when I got there at 12:45 they estimated that they’d already had over 5,000 people. The tables were populated mostly with specimens that were offsets and propagations from the private collectors, and already a lot of the tables were thinning out. The tables themselves were hard to get to, because the line to pay for plants from the sale stretched around and back through the room.
While the tables were already pretty picked over, I did find a few things to make the trip worthwhile. Most of the rarer types of items that I had hoped for were probably already snatched up in the first few hours. More on that in a minute.
By the time that I made it through the line to check out, I was able to drop things in the car and circle back to the show. By this point most of the items in the sale were cleared out, and the crowd had thinned out enough to chat with folks a little bit. There wasn’t too many things on exhibition that were exceptionally rare, but there were some beautiful rare varieties of some things that were nice to look at.
Some lovely haworthias.
Some lovely nice haworthias.
A lovely variegated haworthia reinwardtii.
Lots of aloes and haworthias in bloom.
The variegated haworthia and a large variegated haworthia cooperi in the background.
Another attempt to capture the variegated haworthia cooperi.
What looks like a haworthia truncata maughanii.
Three gigantic lithops – one of them already splitting with two heads.
Haworthia variegated “Grey Ghost.”
The last item in the photos, the Haworthia Grey Ghost, I managed to match the seller at the exhibition with the seller in the sale and went on a hunt to see if I could find a propagation from it. I was fortunate and think I managed to succeed, with this little one.
This was my haul:
Haworthia Retusa – probably the healthiest looking specimen I managed to pick up. It’s a little more plain than I normally would go for with my collection, but it looked so appealing I had to pick it up.
Two small offsets of a haworthia truncata x maughanii.
Haworthia Venosa – it was the first plant I picked up at the sale. It was well rooted, but it shows signs of some serious damage on the leaves; sunburn spots, etc. The veining pattern on the leaves shows a lot of potential for a beautiful plant, but was in sadder shape than I normally would pick up. I had a hard enough time finding haworthias at the sale that when I found the first one I picked it up mostly because I was determined that I wasn’t going to leave empty handed.
Finally, on my last trip through, I found this small offset that I HOPE is from the variegated plant I saw earlier in the show. Like the Venosa, it was in a bit of sad shape – it showed several broken leaves, but after seeing the potential of the adult plant, and with the low price tag, I figured it was worth a try.
However, the next day when I went to repot my new acquisitions – I was startled and sad to find this:
I couldn’t tell if this was a cutting or an offset that had failed to root, or possibly it had rooted but had rotted out. The bottom of the plant was basically sitting on the soil (which was a very peaty mix), and was a little spotty brown.
My long shot just got longer, but I wasn’t giving up yet. I cleaned it up the best I could, made a small pot that was heavily perlite/pumice mix, dusted the bottom with rooting hormone, and let it sit for a few hours. Then I spritzed it gently to rinse off the hormone powder, pat dried it, put it back on the pumice mix and set it on a heating mat overnight.
Today, in just under 24 hours when I went to check on the cutting, I was delighted to find this:
That little pale nubbin by my thumb was certainly not there yesterday… and gives me hope that I may yet pull this one back to life!