Above is my humble haworthia collection. As you can see, my favorites are the ones with windows 🙂

I’m always on the look out for different varieties. I have gotten them at local garden centers, big box stores, our local botanic garden store, and even IKEA. It was no different at the Long Beach Cactus and succulent society show and sale. It was a small marketplace with local sellers and collectors, so unfortunately most stands did not take credit card, and I had only $5 in cash…so sad

I somehow managed to buy two plants…


This is, from Left to Right, Haworthia pygmea and Haworthia magnifica var paradoxa. There were others, but I couldn’t afford it…haha. Hopefully I will run into these varieties again. I think the H. pygmea will be more attractive when it greens up a little, so we can see the textures a bit better. It doesn’t help that its against the crushed lava rock, which is the same color.

Succulents is such a heterogeneous group and the plant’s are often not even very related to each other. It is definitely a great example of convergent evolution. What’s your favorite succulent genus?



Another repotting adventure

Masd. Huayna Picchu (vietchiana x princeps orange) Photo from lehuaorchids.com

I don’t have a picture of my own of this flower, but the above is what it looks like. (picture is borrowed from lehuaorchids.com). I saw the blooms nice and fresh at Orchid Fever, but I did not buy it. I met this florist there who maintains other people’s display areas, and when they go out of bloom, she has nowhere to put them. She offered them to me when the flowers started getting wonky about a month later, likely because it was only maintained once a week and there wasn’t enough humidity in the house. I really didn’t think she would follow through, but she did!

Anyway, I let the wonky flowers finish up, and I’ve finally got around to repotting it. Unfortunately it was another promix battle.


This is as far as I got, and then I gave up. I left some of it in there. As you can see, Masdevallia roots are pretty shallow. They like to grow on the surface of the substrate.

It’s still pretty cool in the Los Angeles area right now, but I foresee it becoming warm suddenly. I’m pretty sure this guy will not like it, considering his parentage. So I decided to pot it into a clay pot, to take advantage of evaporative cooling. I’ve never potted an orchid directly into clay before, so we will see if it will be a difficult repot. I heard, though, from somwhere (aka take this with a grain of salt) that Masdevallia roots aren’t as sticky as others.


As you can see, it is a pretty large variety of masdevalia. I have also heard (take that salt out again) that the cooler growing varieties also tend to have large leaves and flowers. I potted this guy up in fine bark and sphagnum (60/40) and then topped off with sphagnum. I put sphagnum at the bottom of the pot to stop the bark from falling out. I think the drainage will be okay as it’s in ta clay pot, which is porous, and Masdevallias like it moist.



So this is the finished product after I’ve watered the media down. The pot quickly picked up moisture from the inside after I brought it in. My tentative plan is to water it from below when to keep the pot moist when it gets hot. I usually mist the top everyday to keep the humidity up. I find that the masdevallia leaves have trouble getting out of the sheaths (or sarongs?) when it’s not moist enough.

Any tips on the Masdies in clay pots?

Southern California Spring Garden Show: Part III, the rest of the orchids

Iwanagara Appleblossom, unknown variety

Look! I got an Iwanagara Appleblossom! It is quite and impressive plant, and actually probably due for a repotting, but I will wait for some new growth before I do it. I have been wanting one of these to see what the hullabaloo is about, but unwilling to pay for a full grown plant+obscene shipping. But now I have one!, it does have a citrisy smell, and it’s pretty  pungent in the afternoon hours.

This is the second half of the orchid haul from the Southern California Flower show.  And take a look at the first half too!

Vanda (Varakorn x merillii) “Carmela”

Something else, I have been itching to try is a Vanda, but they all seemed to get so big. As you know, LA apartment living is not one might term spacious. At the show I got this mini,  V (Varakorn x merrillii) “Carmela”, that was already established in a bit with large grade media. She actually does have a mild fragrance. We will see how this one goes. She is living in the shade outside.


Encyclia Boricana x bractescens. This guy was one of the first I saw at the show, and I could not leave without it. As you might know, I recent fell in love with Encyclia cordigera, and this is like the more delicate version. It is also very fragrant in the afternoon, but the smells as delicate as it looks. I love the fat little pseudobulbs.


Sarcochilus are so much cuter in person than in pictures. I think it is because they don’t look very showy, but in person the details come out; delicate little flowers, fragrant, and such a compact plant (perfect for apartment growing). It also helps that it was only $15, I debated whether not to get it as I was 6 orchids in, but in the end I did. This plant was marked as “Sarcochilis falcata”, but I think it is mislabeled because Sarcochilus falcatus does not have the pink/red speckles. Also, I didn’t notice until I got home, but the older fan had some crown rot that is now dried, but the large fan is very healthy. It will still lend energy to the plant as a whole when it decides to make babies.

Have you found orchids on your wishlist at shows lately?


Southern California Spring Garden Show: Part II, the Japanese Orchids


There was a ton of orchids at the flower show, many at reasonable prices. I think that is what creates the danger zone. If an orchid is very expensive, I would just admire, but hardly tempted to buy it. But when orchids are 10-20 bucks, it adds up pretty quickly.

A quick tip: Perhaps I am just shameless, but if you pick out multiple orchids from a stall, and you as for a discount, they might give you one.

My new Japanese additions from Seed Engei:

Since getting my last little neofinetia, “Kinroukaku,” a tiger stripe type, from them, I have been looking forward to getting another variegated neofinetia. After all, we can enjoy the foliage all year round.

Neofinetia falcata “Fugaku”

I ended up with this nice piece of Neofinetia (Vanda) falcata “Fugaku,” which has variagated leaf margins. How beautiful is that. This one also has little pink root tips.

Something else, i was looking to purchase was a Dendrobium moniliforme. The last time I saw them, they were not in leaf, so they weren’t very attractive. But I did a little research when I got home, and again, the foliage totally got me. I think I enjoy the foliage on this little guy more than I will the flowers…

Dendrobium moniliforme “Benikida” 

Dendrobium moniliforme “Benkida”is a petite little plant with variegated green and cream leaves with streaks of pink in the middle. New growth has already started, so I missed the flowers, but I was told that flowers would be white. Apparently all the variegated ones tend to be white. I repotted this little guy as I did with all of these Japanese orchids into a modified kokedama style, which I talked about in a different post, because I didn’t like the idea of a giant ball of sphagnum. Indeed, it was bone dry on the outside, but the inside was actually still moist…which is why I dislike it. You can’t tell if you need to water or not. This little lump was actually 3 separate pieces. I thought for a few seconds of dividing and experimenting, but I just don’t have enough space for that. It has 4 new growths coming up now.

Last, but not least…

sedirea japonica
Sedirea japonica

As you may remember, I bought a little dwarf type of Sedirea japonica on my last orchid binge, “Manmaru.” It is doing decently well, and it’s putting out tons of greenery, but no sign of a spike. So when I saw she had these all in flower at very affordable prices, I couldn’t help myself but get myself one 🙂 The flowers are very fragrant.

Actually this is a good representation of what Seed Engei, who specializes in Japanese orchids, sells. The 3 main types they sell are a large variety of neofinetias, and a smaller but good variety of Den moniliforme and a few variations of Sedirea japonica. On their website, it looks like they also have some Japanese cymbidiums. They do not list all of their orchids for sale on their website, but if you ever get a change to see them in person, it is totally worth it.

That’s less than half way for the orchids, I think I will continue on in one other post 🙂

Southern California Spring Garden Show: Part I


The Southern CA garden show was done at the South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa. So basically, it was just a mall full of plants!!! –>which I found even harder to manage the wallet than the Santa Barbara Orchid Show because it also included other plants I loved. There was tons of orchids and succulents and even some carnivorous plants. There were cool specialty niches that I have not broken into yet like epiphyllums (orchid cactus), african violets, irises, pelargoniums, and a variety of outdoor garden shrumbs and annuals.

As you can see, I may have spent a lot, but I also showed a lot of restraint 😉


Here we go…I guess we can ease into the bulk of the purchases, the orchids…


Here is a stick I bought…actually a plumaria cutting, Plumaria “Guillot Sunset“. I’ve been wanting to try one after watching videos about them on youtube :/ I know, peer pressure. But they are usually so expensive all rooted and potted. This one stall at the show was selling a whole 8 feet of them (you can see it above in the first picture) from 6-20 dollars! Most of them in the 6-10 dollar range. So that was a score. It is not sitting in a plastic bag with moist peat…home it will root soon.



I also spotted some haworthias, and i picked up 2 (I had to limit myself somewhere D:). These are (top) Haworthia decipiens and (bottom) Haworthia tessellata. Look at those awesome windows. I love haworthias.

Probably too many pictures already. I will do the orchids in the next post.