The 3,5 year old Astrophytum “seedlings” have grown really big and are already in need of another repotting. They’re starting to touch and I don’t want them to rub up against each other. If they do, they might lose some of their fluffyness and it won’t grow back if that happens.
My 3-year-old Monilaria moniliformis is still very much alive. I realized that I haven’t written about it for quite a while. Right now it’s summer dormant and looks very dead. It will look this way for another 3-4 months.
A little guide on how I keep my Monilaria alive:
I wrote a guide a while ago on how to grow Monilaria from seeds. Read this first if you’re starting there. Good luck!
This is one of the plants I wouldn’t put on a window sill. Partly because it’s downright ugly when it’s dormant, but also because it needs to experience the seasonal changes to be happy. Just like Lithops, it will rely on day length and temperature to know when to grow and when to go dormant. Every fall it will sprout a new set of long green leaves (the iconic bunny ears – which is why this one is also called “bunny ear succulent”) and it will continue to grow and change leaves until spring. It then goes dormant and looks like deep fried unions for 6 months until it grows another set of leaves in fall.
It sounds like the most fussy plant ever, but it’s actually easy to grow. When it reaches adulthood you only need to water (once every 1-2 weeks) when it has green leaves and is actively growing. When it goes dormant you stop watering until it decides to wake up again. It can be hard to judge when to stop watering in spring. Monilaria gradually show signs of going dormant, first by stopping all growth, then it turns yellow and starts drooping. That’s when I stop watering immediately, letting the leaves die off as quickly as possible. If I don’t do this, the plants would stand in water, they can no longer absorb and rot sets in.
My Monilaria don’t always wake up completely on their own. I know it’s safe to water when the temperature outside stays below 10 degrees C. Usually they start to turn slightly more green behind the dead crispy skin, too. After their first watering, they very quickly start to fatten up and the dead skin cracks, revealing a new bulb of green growth. This is followed by a set of cute little leaves, growing from inside the bulb. This should all happen within 1-2 weeks after watering.
I don’t expect mine to flower. Ever. I’ve heard about keeping Monilaria in small pots and making sure they get enough light in winter when it’s actively growing, but that’s not doing it for me. This winter I’ll try feeding them early on in the hope that they build up enough energy to flower before spring sets in.
Two of my date palm seedlings now have two leaves. It’s hard to see, but the one I’m holding just grew a tiny new leaf. They’re very tall and are still growing upwards. I measured the tallest one to be exactly 35 cm.
I’m still watering fairly often, every time the soil goes completely dry.
So I finally chose to repot my 2 year + 7 months old Ibervillea lindheimeri again. I’ve been searching for a low pot like the one it was already in, only slightly bigger. But I haven’t been able to find one at all, so I ended up just potting it in a regular cheap plastic pot. That’s probably for the best because every time I decide to repot, I have to pull on the plant just to get it out, resulting in a few cuts and scrapes on the caudex.
But look at this beast! It’s just about the same size as a heart. Most of the growth happens underneath the soil line. I was hoping to see a little more growth above the soil, though. It’s going to look like a knot of thickened roots instead of the common ball-shape you usually see in caudiciforms.
After I placed my Ibervillea outside a couple of months ago, it immediately went dormant. It’s now inside again and should hopefully wake up and shine soon. I guess this is strictly an indoor plant here in Denmark.
My seed grown Stapelia grandiflora looks fantastic right now! It looks so full and plump after a good watering. The tallest stalk is now 30 cm. Every time they put out another pup, it will grow taller than the stalk it grew from. I wonder when it will reach its max height.
My 3 year (+ 2 months) old Euphorbia obesa kind of grew out of its etiolation and is turning spherical again. It’s growing very quickly (for a succulent) right now. You can see the slight indents on top between the ribs that show how much it has grown during this growth spurt.
Right now it’s just about the size of a small tangerine.
This Pseudolithos is not giving up! It’s not really growing very fast either. I just wanted to show you how nice and cubic it looks at 3 years and 2 months after germination. Like a toad in a trash compactor.
My Lithops seedlings are now barely 4 years old. The few I have left have finally started to grow a little faster. I’ve read that Lithops can flower after somewhere between 3-4 years, but I think mine are still too small. It would be so cool to raise a Lithops from seeds and then see it flower for the first time. This was my original goal with this blog (hence the blog name).
It’s repotting day for my cactus seedlings, Gymnocalycium mihanovichii and Sulcorebutia rauschii. My cactus seedlings and the Sulcorebutia should have been repotted a long time ago, even though they seem to be thriving in their way too small pots.
I chose to keep the three biggest cactus seedlings and send the rest off towards someone who might want to adopt them. All of them have been potted in pure Diatomaceous earth cat litter with no potting soil. That way, they’re easy to repot next time, and there’s very little reason to worry about root rot and overwatering.
Just gotta say.. when you mess with spiny cacti, remember to wear gloves or use a tong. Not just your hands. Let’s just say it’s very difficult and painful to remove broken cactus spines from the soft skin under your nails.
My new plant table is a bit shorter than the old table and it let’s me see my cactus from above. I just realized that my Mammillaria plumosa seedling is so perfectly round. It’s literally just a ball of fluff. The smaller pups on the side just makes it even more adorable.