Category: Gardening

Happy surprises – Haworthia Attenuata ‘Alba’

I know I am a bit too much of a helicopter plant parent, and my succulents would probably benefit from more neglect.

But I love the occasional happy surprises that come from periodically handling each individual plant and checking on its progress – for instance, spotting the first signs of a new offset forming on one of your favorites — such as this week’s happy discovery was a new offset forming on one of my rooted haworthia cuttings, the variegated haworthia attenuata ‘Alba’.

Are you able to spot it in the first picture?

Skipping the Plant Show and Spring 2017 Seed Orders

#succulents #propagation Side swipe for more pictures!

A post shared by Todd Huss (@beliquits) on

This past weekend was the big Midwest Cactus and Succulent Show and Sale in Cleveland, and due to some inclement weather, I opted to not get up super early on a Saturday morning and drive two hours there and back this year.  I wasn’t entirely ready to brave the roads, and I knew from the prior year that if you weren’t there early, things would get pretty picked over– even though last year, I think the massive turn out caught the event organizers by surprise and I knew (as I have a Facebook friend from the group that runs the show) that this year they were a lot more prepared.

Still, though, from the sounds of it – the crowd was so huge that the space they were holding the show in couldn’t accomodate everyone, and many folks had to wait outside for their turn just to enter the building.  The stories didn’t make me regret my decision to stay home too terribly much.  (Although I’ve seen a few pictures of plants from the sale that gave me slight pangs of regret.  Just not enough regret.)

So try to stop myself from focusing on my FOMO, I spent some time… (more…)

Leaf propagations that go nowhere

The irritation that comes with a leaf that sends roots through your entire propagation tray but never puts out new vegetative growth.  Times up! You’re evicted. It’s fine to start making room for the spring seed trays. You had all winter to get your act together.

Echevaria Nodulosa are notorious for this for me. I’ve heard some people swear that you can’t propagate then from leaves, and I have pictures to prove you can, it’s just going to take a lot of attempts and rejects like this guy.

Snap crackle pop

Yes, I listen to my plants when I water them. I get laughed at for it, but here’s why:

You might hear the occasional snap crackle pop sounds when you add water to the pot. It’s actually a pretty good sign because it means there’s good aeration in the soil. You’re hearing water fill in all those nooks and crannies and drive the air out. When I choose to give a pot a good soak, I usually plug the drainage hole with my thumb, fill the pot with water to the brim and listen for the sound of the crackling to slow down. Then you can remove the plug and let the water drain out. Is the water drains out it will pull fresh air down into the soil in its wake.

Snake Plant – Cuttings Repot

One of my very early posts on this blog was about starting a bunch of plant cuttings in fall/winter, including my first attempt to propagate a snake plant.  Sansevieria are not overly expensive house plants to buy as full adult pots, and they’re pretty resistant to whatever bad behaviors you throw at them — plus they’re near the top of NASA’s list of “air purifying house plants” so they’re good to have around.  But these cuttings are taken from a family heirloom plant of my partner that has somewhat sentimental value, and it’s always good to have a backup of a plant in case disaster strikes.  And if your experiment goes better than expected, well…. then you have little personally made gifts!

This experiment is a little over a year in, developing quite nicely, but lately I’ve had an itch to repot them.  I had to consult a gardening friend to see if he agreed it was a good idea, and that I wasn’t just inventing a weekend project.  (When I get stressed, I tend to go on a repotting spree, ripping things out of pots on some flimsy excuse.)  What bothered me most about this pot is how shallow the soil was and how low the plants were sitting in the pot, which decreased the amount of light they receive.  I originally planted them shallow so there was better drainage while the leaves rooted and they wouldn’t be sitting quite so long in damp soil, but now that it’s winter the original leaf cuttings are below the edge of the pot and it won’t be receiving as much light.  Now, given that it’s winter they are likely mostly dormant, so maybe that won’t matter so much – but the original leaf cuttings were also starting to look a little funky to me, and the new sprouts are dwarfing the original cuttings enough I figured they could stand to be separated.

From a side view, the original cuttings are barely even visible: