April & Haworthia seedlings.

Small, unassuming haworthia blossoms.

The arrival of an actual spring means things are starting to wake up and bloom – including plants that are indoors, in the basement. I don’t know how they know, but several of my haworthias all started to send up flower spikes at the same time, which is a rare occurance.  They like to fire off randomly, and never overlap, so I haven’t really had a chance to try my hand at cross pollination… before now.

There are enough flower stalks waving around that they consistently hit me in the face anytime I go to water anything.

I’m sort of taking turns trying to match up the haworthia species out of the limited selection that’s blooming at the same time, but I’m generally taking the approach of trying to pair up plants that I think belong to the same haworthia subspecies.  My main pair would be this haworthia cymbiformis v. planifolia and this haworthia truncata x maughanii.  Neither one is particularly rare species, but the combination could give an interesting windowed hybrid.  It’s a bit hard to tell, but my first attempts at hand pollination seem to have resulted in at least a few seedpods, although I won’t count those chickens until they hatch (and I’ve managed to successfully catch and capture the seeds).  Mostly this server as a fairly good learning experience on hand pollination, and I think I might have figured out some things I was doing in my first attempts that I can hopefully correct next time.


Meanwhile, the seeds that I started several months ago are progressing pretty well.  The main specimens are starting to show some of their true pattern potential, which is good — they’re slow growers, but I’m trying to usher them to adulthood, because right now I need to do a ridiculous rotation through the nursery lights as it’s time to start flats of annual seeds.  Next year I need to plan for the succulent seedlings and propagations to be ready to transition out by the time of the year.  I’m using the disposable plastic beverage cups (with drainage holes melted into the bottom) as mini greenhouses this year.

This weekend I also got around to pulling together some materials I’ve been gathering.  The shelves I set up in the basement have been ridiculously bright, and I don’t really know where exactly one goes about finding mylar sheeting to capture and reflect the light.  So I went with the slightly more DIY option of taking a cheap shower curtain and outfitting it with some reflective foil tape from the home improvement store, strategically placed in rows across the shelves.  Here’s an in-progress stage of the project, as seen from outside (and inside) the shelves.

All the little items I’ve been kicking around indoors I’m trying to wrap up, as I’m already rapidly adding items to the list from the outside yard, and we’re not even past the frost dates yet! What have you all been trying to button up before the weather gets nice?



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