LACSS show and sale haul and mini succulent update

Haworthia truncata var lime green

It’s amazing how much money you can spend in a mere hour walking around a succulent/cactus show. Unlike orchid shows, it is so easy to impulse buy because prices are usually quite affordable unless you are in search for a rare collectible. And of course, I had my eye out for haworthias. Above is Haworthia truncata var lime green . I love the green contrasts with the windows.

Left above: Haworthia retusa var chocolate; Left below: Hawothia cymbidiformis variegated; Right above: Haworthia truncata var lime green; Right below: Haworthia “Hurricane” 

Above are the haworthias I purchased on this shopping spree. Haworthia retusa “chocolate” was one of the ones I had to forgo at the Long Beach show because I had no cash, but now I have one! I already have 2 varieties of H. cymbidiformis, but this Haworthia cymbidiformis variegated was so cute. Hopefully the pups will stay true, it is already making a couple weeny pups hidden under the leaves. And the last one is certainly an interesting looking one, Haworthia “hurricane,” unknown parents.

Left: King Ferdinand Agave; Middle: Rebutia kupperiana; Right: Euphobia Obesa

I did get some other interesting things. During the south bay show, I bought a Agave Victoriae-Reginae, as I was on the look out for the unique white markings. Unbeknownst to me, she has some close relatives/varieties, like this Agave fernandi-regis.

When I became interested in succulents, I was not very interested in Cacti because they seemed to all look the same, and you don’t seem to have the satisfaction of watching them grow because they are so slow. But after seeing cactus flowers, I was hooked. Rebutia are particularly floriferous. This little Rebutia kupperiana had so many buds on it. It soon flowered later in the week…

Rebutia kupperiana

Isn’t she beautiful?

The last plant is Euphobia obesa, which is apparently slow growing and flowers are not showy, but it does have wonderful markings on it.

Since we are on the subject, plants that I already own are growing slowly and surely too!

Remember my cactus garden?

My Echinopsis domino has been blooming, 2 flowes so far, and the last should be blooming tonight. Blooms are extremely large for the size of the plant, but they only last about 12 hours. they will start overnight, and hang around in the morning, but by afternoon, it will be gone. As you can see from the plant, these giant blooms really take a lot of energy out of the plant.



in the same pot, this Echinocereus reichenbachii also bloomed for me. I bought it at the south coast cactus show. It was a very delicate but vibrant pink.

cactus bloom

And lastly, my NoID stapelia is working slowly but surely on it’s flower. I wonder what it will turn out to look like…


Can you find the little bud?

succulents sometimes grow so slowly that you often don’t notice, but they do! When you look back on your old photos, you will find the fruits of your hard work!

whiteghost growth
Haworthia “white ghost”

I bought this Haworthia “White Ghost” at the south coast show.

What has been blooming in your garden?






May Orchid buds

Top Left: NOID phal; Top Right: Masd. Angel Tears; Bottom Left: NOID Miltoniopsis; Bottom Right: (Supersuk ‘Eureka’ AM/AOSxRaisin Pie ‘Hsinying’) x self; RIght: NOID Den Phal

All my winter blooms have been slowly wrapping up, but the nice thing about owning different kinds of orchids is the next flush of blooms are slowly developing. I would have to say that watching them spike and bloom is more exciting then the ensuing weeks of flowering, not to say that is not pleasant as well. It is especially exciting when the spike is the first you’ve nurtured yourself 🙂

Neofinetia falcata var Fugaku Left, spike with developing buds, Right: different growth, but the spike started looking like that. 

In addition to the above, the neofinetias are also getting ready to spike. This is my first year with them, so I wasn’t sure if the growths were new keikis or spikes. What I found was they start out like tiny babies, but they turn out to be spikes!

What kinds of orchids are blooming at your house?




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

I don’t have a picture of my own of this flower, but the above is what it looks like. (picture is borrowed from 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 🙂