I bought some seeds from this awesome plant last year in April, but only got to plant them last January in the hope that I’ll see them flowering this summer. Mesembryanthemum crystallinum is an edible succulent plant with juicy and salty bubbles covering the leaves.
It’s always fun to watch the odd ones grow in an otherwise normal batch. Apparently Monilaria seedlings can be pretty unpredictable.
Top left pic shows a scary looking seedling with 5 new branches (counted the leaf pairs. Could also be monstrose growth) in a tangled mess. The “fingers” aren’t actually straightening out, so it will look like a green, misshapen hand for a while.
Top right pic shows a seedling with 3 branches. The tiny one in the front is wearing a crown made of webbed leaves. I hope it continues to grow that way.
I love how fat they’re getting. Now there’s a bit of a dead leaf “stem” going on at the base of the plants.
Temperatures hit 35° C behind the glass panels on my balcony on sunny days, and at night it is near freezing (even on nights with -5° C outside). Nothing seems to kill off the Monilarias.
They’re a bit thirsty today, but overall, they’re doing just fine!
They’re getting kind of big, but there’s still lots of room in the pot. I may need to divide them next spring when they’re less thirsty.
The Monilaria seedlings are getting slightly aggressive and rip the old leaves cleanly in half to make room for more growth. I’ve never seen any plant thrive like this!
Two of the bigger seedlings are dividing and spitting out 3 new sets of leaves instead of just one! That happened much earlier than I expected.
I managed to keep the temperature at around 5° C on my closed balcony during frosty nights by preventing draft and moving the greenhouse frame further away from the glass panels. Unless the temperature drops dramatically, they will be able to handle being outside all winter.
Luckily, the Danish winter is more wet than cold.
As soon as I put the Monilaria seedlings “outside” on my closed balcony and let them experience the autumn temperatures (day: 10-12° C, night: 4-5° C), they started growing like nothing I’ve seen before. And they’re so thirsty!
I need to find a way to protect them next week, when the temperature falls below freezing at night.
Looks like the new leaves have an easy time breaking through the old shell.
The third sets of leaves are emerging! That’s why they looked so dry and crusty.