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Sunday, August 15, 2010

Echeveria Domingo, Echeveria Subrigida Fire and Ice , Agapanthus Winterdwarf and updates on aloe polyphylla and sempervivums

Echeveria Domingo
Here is a spectacular new succulent in the nurseries now. The  photo doesn't  quite capture how frosty it looks in the flesh-- almost as pale as  the very demanding Dudleyeas. This one is about 12" across.

Echeveria Subrigida 'Fire and Ice'
Here's Fire and Ice --- it can grow to twice this size . This one is about 15". Both these hybrids were grown by Native Sons ( whose website is an education in itself. Anything you see on the site it can be ordered through a local nursery on the Central Coast.

Hhere is the latest blooming  hybrid  agapantha to date- Winterdwarf  (about the same size as Peter Pan) --- but with even later blooms.. Anything to extend the agapantha season!. Not only is Winterdwarf  beautiful, unthirsty, easy care (to no care) but the butterflies love it. Sulphurs, White and Skippers are feeding on it now.

Update on sempervivums. Don't be fooled into thinking these guys  are as undemanding in our climate as most succulents. Though used in roof gardens all over N. Europe, in So Cal they need at least weekly water, otherwise they start reproducing and dying off.

Update on aloe polyphlla (Orb Cactus, Spiral Cactus,).This aloe takes the cake for temperamental. I've seen it grown to 14" across in the nurseries, and from the looks of the leaves they are growing it under shade cloth??......but caring for it  at home is  a real challenge.  Let it dry out completely between waterings, don't water the crown, and keep your fingers crossed.After a year, mine is alive but sulky. Haven't tried it yet under shade cloth. Just moved it.Spiral Aloes can spiral either left or right. The maddened collector naturally needs both.

 This site has beautiful Spiral Aloes  with great photographs. I'd be in heaven if I could get my waif to look like these  pictures! The site also suggests watering aloe polypylla  about as  much as you would a cymbidium  then gives authoritative directions for the potting mix. Might try re-potting  with orchid bark in the mix. Stay tuned.


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