Aeonium ‘Kiwi’ more commonly known as Kiwi Aeonium. This succulent grows quickly. It is very vibrant and colorful. When it has a little bit of sun, the leaves in the center are yellow and then darken into green towards the outside of the rosette. The edges of the leaves can be pink or red. This succulent adds beautiful colors to the garden all year. Sometime in late summer they can produce yellow flowers.
Aeoniums do not like dry or hot weather. They may go into dormancy in summer and may not require any water unless it is very dry conditions. Sometimes when it is extremely hot, their leaves might curl to prevent water loss. Growing them in moist shade seems to keep them happy in the summer time. Their growth season happens to be winter to spring. When temperatures are cool and damp. Only water them when their soil has dried out during wintertime. It’s the same with all succulents; they do not like their roots sitting in wet soil. It will cause root rot.
Remember to use fast draining soil. Buy a succulent and cactus soil or create your own fast drain soil. If you have regular potting soil, then just amend it. You can add sand, gravel and perlite to make the soil drain faster.
The best way to propagate the Kiwi Aeonium is by stem cuttings. 3 – 6 inches is the best size for the cuttings. Allow the cutting to calluses over then place in soil. In a few weeks the cutting will grow roots. Be patient. Each cutting takes its own time to root. They can also be propagated by seeds or even by division. Allow the new plants to form a root system before you add them to the garden. I would grow them in a shady area until they produce several sets of leaves. Then acclimate them to full sun. If you don’t they will burn from being in the shade.
Senecio Caposus is commonly known as Silver Coral.. This succulent is native to South Africa. It forms cobweb like rosettes of long silver leaves. The leaves are crowded and are almost banana shaped The young leaves have a bright silver felt like coating that seems to shed as they grow older and uncover a green leaf underneath. It reminds me of a snake or lizard shedding their skin. The silver coating serves to reflect the sunlight. It helps prevent overheating and burning.
It can grow and form large mats like a ground cover when growing in its natural habitat. They are great in rock gardens. The flowers are bright yellow and look like little daisies.
Same as all succulents they like porous soil with adequate drainage. They prefer full sun or the light shade of other plants. Only water when Soil is dry to the touch. They need less water in the winter months and protected from the frost.
They are best propagated from stem cuttings. They can be taken at any time of the year. But they seem to root faster when taken in spring or summer. They need to be dried out completely before being planted in well-drained soil. Rooting should start showing in 4-6 weeks.
Borage plant is also known as Star Flower. It is an edible herb. The plant flourishes in sunny areas. It is native and grows wild in the Mediterranean. It re-seeds and creates little Borage plants everywhere. This plant can become invasive. I didn’t know this when I first started growing Borage.
It has a hollow stem with bristly hairs on the surface. The herb has broad oval-shaped, dark green fuzzy leaves. The borage plant has a cucumber aroma and taste. The deep blue flower has five pedals, which resembles a star. This adorable blue, star shaped flower grows in clusters. The plant can grow to be 3 ft tall and can spread out to be 3 ft wide as I have learned. It is cultivated and used widely throughout Europe for its healing properties.
The best time to harvest the young tender leaves is when the flower buds begin to appear. The young tender leaves can be used in salads. The older leaves can be used as greens. Like you would use spinach. As the plant begins to age, the leaves become tougher. They also become much more fuzzy and begin to taste bitter. I personally like to use the flowers in ice cubes and salads.
There are a lot of health benefits that this plant offers. The leaves, flower and oil are all used for medicinal purposes. Drying this herb will lose its effect. The leaves and flowers are used fresh.
I was shopping at a grocery store one day and I came across this cute bright green stick looking plant. It had no name and it was just sitting in soggy soil. It was so water logged. I looked at the price and it was like 6.99 for a 2 inch green stick in a water logged pot that may or may not already have root rot. I thought if it does live its going to be a cool looking plant. If it doesnt live I just wasted 7 dollars. And for 7 dollars I could get a much bigger succulent from some where else. I am not going to buy that for such an outrageous price. It is a 2 inch succulent that is almost dead. I sat it back down and continued my shopping. I was headed to the register with a basket full of groceries. And that little green stick went through my head. I thought if I do not take it. It will for sure die. So I turned my basket around and headed to that little succulent. I picked it up and put it into my basket and headed to the check out counter.
Once I got home the first thing I did was transplant that little guy. I put it into dry soil. I did not water it after I transplanted it. It was so water logged I knew it could use some drying out time. I took it out and placed it with all of my other small succulents on my patio. It is an area that only gets morning sunlight. It seemed like forever before anything changed with that little green stick. Then one day I noticed new growth and it was this yellow color. It was so cute.
I was on Facebook and one day someone in one of my many plant groups posted a photo of this bright red/orange stick plant. I was so excited to see it because mine looked just like it. But mine was green. I commented on the photo and asked the name of their plant. They told me Fire Stick Cactus. I responded with a picture of my green stick plant and asked if our plants were the same. Some people said yes and others said No. A heated debate about the Fire Stick cactus broke out with a couple plant people.
What I learned through that Facebook post that day was the Fire Stick Cactus turns that bright red/orange color when they are in full sun. So I slowly started putting my little green stick cactus into more sunnier areas until I thought it was ready to go into full sun. My little green stick plant slowly turned bright red/orange through the course of a couple months in full sun. Some succulents turn bright beautiful colors just like the Fire Stick Cactus does. They just need to be stressed out by the sun.
The more I researched on this succulent the more interesting things I found out about it. For instance it has a sap that comes out if it is broken. And that sap causes burning irritations if it makes contact with skin. The more I research about it, the more I realize the sap seems to be pretty toxic. I now use gloves when I handle it. Make sure to wash off the sap immediately if it comes into contact with skin. Do not rub eyes or touch any other skin with the hand or hands that contacted the sap. I have also read that our furry companions can become irritated due to the sap as well. Be careful when handling this plant and where you place it.
Succulents are some of the most unique plants I have ever come across. And I want all of them. I understand that is totally a unrealistic desire. But I really do want all of them. I mean I do know it is humanly impossible for me to have every single type of succulent growing on this beautiful planet of ours. But I am going to have as many of them as I can possibly fit in my yard. I collect them from every where that I go. And one day I will eventually have a very large collection of these unique plants that thrive on neglect.
People gift me with cuttings of succulents from where ever their travels have taken them. I just love it when my friends and family come home from visiting some where and they bring back succulent cuttings. I am thankful that they encourage this succulent addiction of mine and share their cuttings with me. Most times I take the cuttings that I get from them and place them all in the same pot. Once they grow in I have beautiful succulent arrangements from their journey.
I can not even go inside of a store and buy soil without purchasing at least one succulent. And lets get real. Who truly makes it out of the store buying just one succulent. I even collect the leaves. Broken pieces. I am that weird girl picking up random leaves off the ground in the local nursery stores. And I know I am not alone with this thing I do. There are thousands of other weird people across the globe picking up succulent leaves from the ground of their local nursery.
If you are like me and just can not get enough of these beautiful plants. Then we have probably joined one of the same succulent groups across Facebook. The groups are the next level with this addiction. My Facebook feed is constantly filled with other peoples succulents. Some of these succulents I would not know even existed if it wasn’t for these amazing groups. And everyone in the groups are so grateful to meet other people who also love succulents as much as they do. There really is so much beauty, knowledge and love being shared in these groups.
I have started mailing plants in the mail. Rolling them up in some tissue and sending them off in a padded envelope or box. This week alone I have already mailed my Mother of Thousands babies to people in ten different states. I now have a P.O. Box so that strangers can send me envelopes and postage and in return I send them tiny plants. The lady working at the post office gave me her number. She wants to start doing succulent trades as well. She doesn’t have the Mother of Thousands plant. But she does have the pink Mother of Millions plant. And I do not have that plant. The line at the post office begins to back up a little as we quickly discuss our shared love of succulents.
Succulents are really gaining in popularity. They seem to be everywhere. They can almost grow in and on everything. I have even seen people wearing them even on their fingernails! Everything could be a potential succulent arrangement. As does many others. If you have a friend or family member who also loves these strange plants that do not like to be over watered. Bring them back a succulent cutting from where ever you go. They will appreciate that you thought of them while you were away.
We had a fire in our back yard a couple weeks ago. It was a pretty scary night. Our back yard plus three of our neighbors were damaged by the fire. We lost 2 sheds, a pool, and a 4×4 truck. Plus all of our tools and belongings that were in the sheds. One of our neighbors lost their whole shed as well. And two other neighbors had some damage to their sheds but they are able to have theirs fixed. Four fence lines were also damaged or completely burned to the ground. It was a very sad scary night for all of us. The neighbors included. Fire is powerful and destructive. The smell and burnt debris that is left behind is awful.
My string of hearts and both of my big beautiful Wandering Jew plants also have severe heat damage. All of my huge sunflower plants died in the fire. A few days before the fire I started to harvest a few of them so thankfully I will have seeds for next years crop. I have been slowly trimming all the damaged leaves off of my plants.
We have put up new fence lines and have removed over 12 tons of burnt derbies from the backyard. There is a blank canvas back there now. And I am excited to create something new from the ashes. I am also very grateful that my family, animals and our house survived that massive fire on Sept 7, 2018
Went on a road trip last week. Drove from California to New Mexico. I love the desert. All the cacti, agave and yuccas that grow wild every where. Looking out and seeing the natural land without the human hand. It is magnificent. The clouds seem to be so close that you might be able to touch them. I will have to say it was a great adventure. I highly recommend a south west desert adventure. Especially if you are a lover of the cactus/succulent world.
I collected so many cool rocks. Some of them have small little crystals growing inside them. They are going to look wonderful in my flower bed. I love to collect rocks from every where I go an add them to my flower beds.
The yuccas are every where. And they have recently flowered and their stalks make wonderful walking sticks. So I cut like 6 stalks. I will post another blog on the process of turning them into walking sticks at a later time.
There is so much that you can collect and turn into amazing little creations. I also collected a couple dead/decayed cacti. They can basically be used in the same way as drift wood. Perfect for some succulent pups to grow up in.
I found some cool driftwood the other day while I was rafting on the river. I collected it and loaded it up on my raft. I just knew they were going to make great succulent displays. I used crushed rose quartz and crushed purple amethyst as well as crystal quartz in each. I tend to use my little pups from my leaf propagations for all my projects with driftwood. I like to watch them grow in. Would love to see what everyone else does with driftwood. Feel free to share photos!
UPDATE: We have used the spray in the kitchen area, and definitely see a difference. The spray is so much nicer than the typical sprays available. Smells better and works as good, I will be making more.
We are testing the theory that orange peels soaked in vinegar for two weeks in a dark cupboard will produce a solution that will eliminate ants. In two weeks you drain, throw out the peels and add water 1:1. If you have a cup of vinegar you add a cup of water then put in a spray bottle. Made ours today and will update in two weeks.