Author: Growlithops

Astrophytum coahuilense x ornatum, 5 days old

More Astrophytum coahuilense x ornatum seedlings have germinated. The oldest ones now look like little pink hearts. The grow light bulbs are a tiny bit too strong for cactus seedlings, but the redness here is still within the normal range. At least they aren’t stretching for light, which is arguably worse.

So far I have only seen mold on a couple of seeds and it’s especially visible when I use the macro lens for my phone. I’m keeping an eye on that, because I don’t want it to spread to the healthy seedlings. I’ve managed to keep it down to a minimum by washing the seeds in hydrogen peroxide before I tried to germinate them. I make sure to vent the little greenhouse I keep them in, by taking the lid off for half an hour each day, too.

Bear paws with nail polish

My Cotyledon tomentosa is gorgeous right now. I leave my balcony glass panes completely open right now, so every plant out there get direct sunlight pretty much all day. Even the strong midday sun. So far none of my plants have gotten sunburned.
This plant gets the cutest red leaf tips in summer if you provide enough sunlight. I used to think I bought an all-green variety when I first came across one, but it just needed even more light.

Aloe vera for days

This Aloe vera just keeps growing. The pot is 40 cm in diameter and just big enough to fit the giant plant. Even though it lives on my balcony in winter and summer, it hasn’t flowered for me yet. Right now it gets direct sun most of the day.

I may have to prune some of the bottom leaves in the near future. I can’t turn the pot or properly open and close my glass panels because the biggest leaves take up so much space. If I do get a sun burn, I have enough aloe vera gel, I think.

Hoya kerrii update

It hasn’t been that long since I took a picture of my Hoya kerrii. I last wrote about it in May. I just wanted to show you what suddenly happened 3 weeks ago. The vines actually started growing – and they’re growing fast! I’m making a makeshift trellis out of flower sticks because the vines don’t bend without breaking. This must mean that I finally found the one spot in my apartment that is bright enough, have enough humidity and is warm enough for this fussy plant. Unfortunately this spot is in my “nursery room” for sick plants, which is a room, I rarely spend time in. It’s too dark for my camera, too, so I had to move it into my living room for this shot.

Astrophytum coahuilense x ornatum germination!

My experiment was a success! The seeds are viable and the first one germinated today, 5 days after sowing. Pretty much all cactus seedlings look like this when they first germinate, so it’s still way too early to tell if they’re a hybrid of my Astrophytum coahuilense and ornatum. It will probably be at least 4-5 months, maybe even a year before you can properly spot the difference between these hybrids and “purebred” ornatum or coahuilense.

First, let’s just see if they actually survive the tiny seedling stage.

Gymnocalycium mihanovichii flowers!

The flowers on my Gymnocalycium mihanovichii look like cotton candy 🌸 This time the cactus grew a whopping 10 flower buds and today 4 of them bloomed at the same time. I didn’t have to race home to see the flowers fully open, either, because the weather was fantastic today. Usually, this one only decides to bloom on cloudy days while I’m at work, so they start to close up much earlier in the day.

My Astrophytum ornatum grew seeds!

I haven’t checked on the Astrophytum ornatum for a few days, so I only just noticed that its seed pod popped open and the seeds were almost spilling out. I didn’t want to harvest them too early, so I just left the pod on the plant and forgot about it. Now they’re definitely ready to be planted!

The seeds are supposed to be a hybrid of Astrophytum ornatum and Astrophytum coahuilense, but I’m not sure how that works or if this hybrid has a name. Coahuilense x Ornatum maybe? I don’t know, the seedlings may just all end up looking like regular Astroptytum ornatum when they’re older.

I washed the seeds in 3% hydrogen peroxide for a few minutes and planted them all at once. If the seeds are fertile, they should germinate very soon!

Surprise Amorphophallus konjac baby

I was just going to log the growth of my Amorphophallus konjac sprout, but I had a surprise waiting for me today. While making dinner, I checked on my Pilea and noticed some odd leaves poking out of the soil. They didn’t look like normal Pilea growth at all. I thought it was a weed at first, but the spotted stem gave it away. Somehow my Amorphophallus konjac bulb made a baby and put it in the soil with the Pilea I keep in the kitchen. What most likely happened was that I dug out my Amorphophallus in winter, kept the soil and ended up using it to repot my Pilea. The baby bulb was less than 1 cm in diameter, so I never noticed it before it very suddenly sprouted in a random potted plant.
The last picture is the baby next to its mom. It’s very small and super cute!

Edit (2 days later): I found another Amorphophallus baby in my Pilea! I guess those Leca balls weren’t Leca at all.