Botanic Garden Haul


I got a few items from the trip to the South Coast Botanic Gardens. The plants are apparently mostly donated from members. There are some interesting plants there not widely available, which was as surprising as how affordable they were. However, they could be in better shape. The succulents had a mild case of scale that I picked off of them.

botanic garden
Left: NOID Cym, Den Kingianum (purple flower); Upper Right: Haworthia cymbidiformis; Lower Right: Aloe deltoideodontata var fallax

I bought 2 succulents: Haworthia cymbidiformis and Aloe deltoideodontata var Fallax. I think I have a thing for windows. They were $5 a pot, which is not a bad price for these unusual finds. I don’t know what possessed me to do so, but tugged on the clump of Haworthia to see how firmly it was attached to the soil, and i turns out it wasn’t attached at all. I could lift the whole thing out off the soil. There were nice big rhizomes, but no good roots were noted. In addition to this dilemma, it was kind of a concave shape under the clump. I was a little confused about how to pot it, and in the end I mounded the soil up a little and pressed the clump firmly into it.

Haworthia cymbidiformis

When I went to repot the aloe, the roots were also in kind of bad shape and the aloe babies came apart easily. The lower leaves of the larger piece were a little soft, so I pulled them off. I wonder if it was over watered at some point. I think it will sit in more shade for a while until it can root properly.


As for the orchids, the Dendrobium kingianum was only $8, and it was a healthy specimen. There were plentiful roots. The only thing a little annoying is, one of the canes grew sideways and it makes this weird bend in the the pot before growing up right, and the canes grew in a way where the base were not in the same level, which made repotting kind of annoying.


Den kingianum

The NOID cymbidium is interesting because it’s quite petite and it has an interesting flower shape. It has a ton of back bulbs, but only a few with leaves on it, which is probably why it was only $12. The leaves also had some damage to them. Who knows when it was last repotted. I will repot it after the flowers are done. I don’t see any new growth starting yet.20160324_165212


I guess these are kind of rescues, right?



Monday Clinic Field Trip


Our clinic went on a group field trip for some team happiness building. We were disappointed our clinic leader wasn’t there because she got called away for less fun business. We missed you, Dr. Berkowitz! We went to the South Coast Botanic Gardens. It’s a good time of the year because the flowers are all starting to bloom, and it was a very nice day out.


Currently, they have a special Legos exhibit, so there were garden themed Lego sculptures around the park

Some spring flowers…



Of special interest, the succulent garden…



Overall, it was a fun time. Although it was disappointing that the greenhouse closed at 3, 2 hours before the gardens closed, so we didn’t get to go in. After you get past the front part of the garden, there are lots of paths, but it isn’t as vibrant. I also wish they would label more plants and have more learning stations.

However, something I really enjoyed while there was the gift shop/plant shop. I will talk about that in the next post. In a few weeks, they will be hosting a succulent show and sale, so I will be back then.

I heard the Huntington Gardens are awesome. Someday I will make it out there, but it’s kind of expensive…


I Hate Promix

NOID Lycaste hybrid

This weekend, our local Armstrong’s Garden Center had a new shipment of orchids. They had paphs, miltonias, zygos, dendrobium nobiles, giant cattlyas, and this beauty, NOID lycaste hydrid It’s a 4 bulb division and 2 new growths. The flower is a little beat up, but there’s one more bud waiting to bloom.

It was jammed into promix and the plastic pot was cracked because it was so root bound. So, I decided to repot ASAP. I hope the bud doesn’t blast…



OMG, I HATE PROMIX. It is soooo hard to get off the roots. I’m happy to see so many roots and new tips and so on, but man, was this a pain in the ass. I sprayed it down with the kitchen faucet…buckets later and trips down starts with muddy water, all of those roots were finally cleaned off.

I’m so bad, I took another trip back to the garden center and I discovered the Paphiopedilums, “bulldog hybrids” that I don’t have yet, tucked in next to the giant cattlyas. They were so sad. They were potted in what looked like mostly peat moss and dry as a bone. The blooms didn’t look great. I asked for a discount for a bloomless one (but has a new fan coming out) and they gave me 50% off

Luckily, Paphs don’t have a very extensive root system, so the peat moss came right off.

my new babies all potted up

Hopefully the bud will be okay. I potted both in kiwi bark mix (has perlite and small pieces of lava rock) and chopped sphagnum moss, and then topped with sphagnum.

Any good finds in unexpected places for you?

Succulent Updates

Senecio radicans

Things have been happening with succulents, but I’ve not gotten around to talk about them. So here’s a mish mash of stuff…

Lookit that cute Senecio radicans (string of bananas) flower. Senecio flowers are all very similar. It’s a bunch of small flowers and a surprising about of different colors. The plant has grown out of the pot already since I got it a few weeks ago.

Speaking of Senecios, I think I like them a lot. I purchased a trailing jade, Senecio jacobsenii, which is not a jade at all. It turns a very shade nice purple when it gets enough sun. I think I like the windows a lot of them have and the trailing quality. But then again, there’s Senecio stapeliformis, which sticks straight up.

Senecio jacobsenii
Senecio stapeliformis

The trailing jade will probably be repotted this weekend. At first I was surprised to find out the trailing jade was a senecio, but on one side of the leaves has a stereotypical Senecio window. Can you see it?





On other news, I found this Crassula mesenbryanthemoides invading the next pot over…shame on you.


My Haworthia truncata is putting up a really long flower stalk. It has actually no fallen over and started up again. But at the time I took the picture, it looked like this…


And lastly, I got some new cacti, and repotted them. That Opuntia microdasys alba was a vicious one. I only touched it lightly and I had like 20 teeny tiny thorns stuck to my finger. The other is a Chamaelobivia ‘Rose Quartz’ that is about to flower.



Whatย are some genera of succulents that you like to collect?

Repotting Some Orchids


Sophronitis cernua


As I said in my SB Orchid show haul post, the roots looked a little questionable on the Sophronitis cernua I bought. And it was true; the roots that were in the pot were mostly dead, but there’s a few left, which is good. As Wade’s Greenhourse mentioned, they are supposed to do better mounted, so I decided to mount this one on a piece of wood. It has been a few days and an eye on the largest grown seems to be swelling a little…or maybe I’m just imagining it. My husband was excited to use his new rotary tool to drill the hole into the wood.


Also this week, I decided to repot my Phaleanopsis Samera (Phal violacea x Phal bellina). I got it from Hausermann’s, and it came with a larger plant and two smaller ones in a 3 in pot. I wanted to repot it because the large plant was shading one of the smaller ones.



Unlike the sophronitis, the roots were excellent on the Phals. Upon inspection, they were all growing new root tips. Hausermann’s always has super healthy plants, and they are pretty affordable.

Here are the finished products…

The smallest baby was mounted. This is the one that was shaded.
Group shot of the Phal Sameras

I guess we will see which ones will do best!


Carnivorous Plants Waking Up

Sarracenia leucophylla, first pitcher of the season

Spring is here! and the temperate plants are waking up. My first Sarracenia leucophylla pitcher just opened. I say that as if I’ve grown these forever, but this is going to be my first season…Every excited ๐Ÿ™‚


Down in the front of the pot, the surprizome (mystery rhizomes) from California Carnivores is also starting to eek out it’s first pitchers. I didn’t think they would come in so big. I probably should have used a bigger pot, but oh well.

This weekend, I found little a Sarracenia scarlet belle seedlings at home depot, all dried up in plastic boxes. I picked one that was still alive looking. It was a deal, though, at $5, if it lives. I think it will, Sarracenias seem to be pretty hardy plants.


I like how the sarracenia on the box lookes nothing like the one in the box, and it’s labeled cobra lilly, which, I think, is usually referring to Darlingtonia californica. It does say “Sarracenia” on the back though.

I repotted in a slightly bigger pot. The peat moss in the original pot was so dry it was in a clump too small for the pot…

Sarracenia scarlet belle

On another note, my Pinguiculas are happy. My Pinguicula ibarrae is making a new bud. I’m so proud of myself!

Pinguicula ibarrae

The buds my Pinguicula emarginata x jaumavensis came with are flowering…

Pinguicula emarginata x jaumavensis


I love Pinguicula flowers; they are so delicate. I also appreciate that they like to flower ๐Ÿ™‚ Meanwhile, my teeny weeny Pinguicula laueana is growing. I didn’t think it would come in so small, and I was kind of scared of killing it since I was a beginner.

Pinguicula laueana


I am also expecting my first Drosera capensis flower stalk is also in development.

Drosera capensis var narrow leaf


Any California Carnivore suprizomes appearing in your garden yet?