Category: Succulents

Plants: April 2020

The backyard is still a hot mess, but I guess that topic is probably best relegated to a post of its own. My pachypodium saundersii compacta is coming out of hibernation now that it’s warming up (it literally went from a temperate 70 to 80 to 90+…). I kind of want to repot it, but I have heard that since it grows well in compact situations, not to overpot it. Most of our small to medium sized pots however are being used by other plants so it will probably just stay where it is for the time being.

I don’t have a picture, but I think my lithops got a bit sunburned this past week. I normally keep them under an overhang on one side of the house to make sure they are kept out of any rain that we have and also don’t get too much direct sunlight (this side of the house gets direct sun in the morning but is kept shaded during the afternoon heat). Because it has been super overcast in March and early April, I moved them to a different table to make sure they got enough sun. I had forgotten to move them back to their normal spot during the heatwave.

We have finally kinda sorta started a vegetable/herb garden in the form of planting food waste from stuff that we get at the grocery store to see if it will actually grow. The garlic and green onions are growing well so far, not too sure about the ginger as it hasn’t broken soil yet. I still need to weed and till the plot of land that I had set aside for a proper vegetable garden, but that project is going to require several trips to a hardware store/nursery (and now is not a great time to be doing that) so we’ll have to make due with what we have laying around the yard.

Here is a blurry pic of spider bro who gets MVP for eating and warding off all of the stupid aphids that were infesting some of the plants on this table. The cobwebs are a little unsightly but I, for one, welcome our arachnid guests so long as they are outside of the house.

Update on the Neglected Lithops

My shipment of pumice and potting supplies finally came in. I am in the process of re-potting the Mesembs into a grittier mixture. The soil mixture that they are currently in is too dense and was mixed with perlite, which had all but floated to the top of the pot and blown away.

I had re-potted the lithops mentioned in my previous entry to survey any damage that resulted from the unseasonal amount of rain and rabbit munching. To my fortune, they do not appear to be as bad off as I had originally thought. Both the roots and plant body on the larger leaves look to be okay (no rot, fuzzy root growths, no mushy spots). One of the leaf sets looks dubious. But then again, they have looked dubious for over a year (pretty sure they are slow dying).

I am very very surprised that my lithops survived the rabbit apocalypse as the damage was quite severe. On a plus side, the new growths look healthy and are undamaged. Since I had left my plants out in the rain, their growth cycle is a little fucked up. Consequently, I cannot pot them with the new lithops that I had purchased last weekend. So for now (and probably ever), they will live in their own little pot.

I really need to find a relatively sunny rain sheltered place for all of my plants. We have a patio, but it’s a little too shady. I like working in the garden after work when it is light and not shitty outside, but in about 5 months, that’s probably going to change. Maybe build a plant thing? I would love to put some of my plants in a window but all sunny windows in the house are cat windows…

Succulents: June 2019

Happy June everyone! Although literally no one visits this site, I am trying to get into the habit of updating this site more than once every year. I have made a few recent acquisitions + It’s been literally over two years since I last posted a plant update so hey, that’s a good place to begin. A combination of severe neglect and an unseasonal amount of rainfall here in Southern California has left a number of my more finicky succulents in a poor state. Most of them are fine, but some of my favorite plants (lithops and fenestraria are a little worse for wear).

Luckily, my husband had pointed out that our local succulent society had a show and sale this weekend, so I did manage to pick up a few new plants (as pictured in the featured image). My next project, now that the rain has (hopefully?) stopped is to clean up and work on my succulent gardening area in the backyard.

Here is my lithop pot. I had neglected to move them under the overhang during the like, 5 storms that we have had this year. Some of the leaves are in the process of growing new leaves that look like they may be okay, but I haven’t had a chance to check on the status of their roots (going to repot them into faster draining soil).

Additionally, the backyard rabbits seem to love munching on the lithops for whatever reason. As such, I have learned that they need to live on one of the succulent tables that isn’t rabbit prone and isn’t undearneath the stupid california pepper tree that rains shit all over my plants.

The burro’s tail seems to be happy enough to fill the pot with new growths. Once it grows a little more, I think I will repot it into a larger pot. They are so tricky to work with though, every time I touch it leaves seem to fall off.

Here are the new plants. The baby toes are frithia pulchra, a different type of mesemb than the baby toes pictured in previous posts. They have different watering requirements than the fenestraria so they cannot share a pot. I want to repot the newbies and some of my existing plants, but I am waiting on a shipment of pumice + faster draining potting soil. The blend that I am using now does not drain fast enough (the internet was right, perlite just….floats to the top of the pot. Annoying).

Draw a Thing 6/3/2017: Cacti

My campaign to draw and/or paint a thing once a week kind of turned into draw and/or paint a thing once a year :X. I saw a YouTube video of someone watercoloring cacti and succulents so I thought that I would give it a try. Watercolor consistency ended up being too watery. Also, I think I need more than literally one brush.

Succulents: April 2nd 2017

It is really tempting to water the lithops, but I know that I am not supposed to until the old leaves have completely dried up. No double splits this year unfortunately.

My echeverias were getting munched on and are just starting to recover. The flower stalks as well as some of the leaves were infested with some black aphid. I also ended up moving into a sunnier spot where they won’t get covered in pepper tree crap.

Lots of new leaves popping up on the baby toes.

Succulents: Mid March 2017

I found some succulents (2x lithops and 1x fenestraria) at Ace Hardware the other weekend; We had stopped by to look for a couple of things after watching Beauty and the Beast (really enjoyed it, highly recommended). I had ended up repotting my lithops with the new plants into a one of the terrocotta pots that were discovered in a corner of the yard.


Lithops are supposed to be “living stones” but everyone knows that they are really miniature butts. I am honestly surprised that they are still alive. Unlike the Baby Toes and other finicky plants, the lithops were more or less left outside and ignored for most of the year (I take some of my plants in when it rains to avoid overwatering and rotting).

The original plant came with 4 leaves. Shortly after purchasing it, a rabbit munched on one leaving me with 3. Lithops will flower in the Fall and split in the Spring. At around March every year each leaf will start to split, revealing a brand new leaf underneath. Occasionally 2 new leaves will appear. I was lucky enough to recieve 2 double splits bringing me up to 5 leaves.

At some point, 2 leaves died leaving me with 3. Overwatering is suspected as they were left out in heavy rain (we received a lot of rainfall lately). Since there is still quite a bit of room in the pot, I would love to fill it with other lithops. Unfortunately though, they seem to be hard to find in good condition if at all.

Also, for what it is worth: Never place anything under or near a California Pepper Tree, lest you wish for berries and shit to rain upon all that you love. So messy…

Baby Toes: Part II

Yay my plant is flowering. Unfortunately, the only time that I can see it bloom is on the weekends when we are actually home during the day. Now that the days are getting shorter, it is just dark enough for the flower to be both closed when I leave for work and closed when I get home from work. :/

Fenestraria Aurantiaca (Baby Toes)

I have been looking for this plant on-and-off for a while and had finally found one back in March at one of the San Diego Succulent Society’s sales in Balboa Park. Lowe’s or Home Depot usually has them but they are usually picked over, overwatered, and seem to have a fairly high chance of dying off..

I don’t 100% know how to effectively care for these succulents, but I do know that they are very sensitive to overwatering. I potted them in a mix of cactus/succulent soil and placed them in the full sun. The general idea is to make sure that the soil drains as fast as possible to reduce any possibility of moisture being retained. The rule of thumb that I use is to wait until the soil has been completely dry for a few days before watering and even then to only water very very lightly. It’s fairly warm here in the summer so I end up giving them a splash of water about once a week. I will probably reduce watering when it starts getting colder.

They have gotten a bit bigger and are in the process of budding (and not splitting or keeling over) so I will take that as a good sign.