My friend, Amy, is a succulent gardener and while I was there on a visit, she gave me cuttings from several of her plants with instructions not to plant them for a couple of weeks. If you put them in the ground too soon, the stems rot and the cutting dies. Who knew?! They came home in my carry-on bag, carefully protected in cake pans with some crushed newspaper padding.
Due to Amy’s inspiration, last year I planted succulents in pots on the deck by our pool. Steve likes them because they don’t drop stuff that ends up in the skimmers. I like them because they are so interesting to look at. Most of my plants did well, some did not and now I know—bad dirt.
We visited the Ruth Bancroft Garden… I’ve never seen so many succulents in one place. It was fabulous! (I’ll show more pictures from the garden tomorrow.) I learned at the succulent garden to mix little rocks (pumice if you can get it) evenly with potting soil. Sand holds too much water, as does straight potting soil.
Two weeks ago I re-potted all of my succulents with potting soil. They got rained on and I thought that was a good thing until I checked them yesterday morning—they were all sitting in wet dirt, more than a week after the rain. Sigh. So I went on a hunt for pumice and ended up buying two 5-gallon buckets of very small granite gravel (the next size up from decomposed granite). I re-potted my succulents, again. Here are some of them…
Adding rock to the dirt makes the whole pot heavier! So heavy that I decided not to touch the big aloe on the left. It appears to be happy as it is and I’m going to wait and break it apart in the fall.
Here’s a question: Do any of you know what this plant is?
One of Steve’s colleagues moved away a couple of years ago and couldn’t take this with him. I love it and have managed to keep it alive but the leaves are a bit yellow and it looks like it needs something I’m not giving it. The leaves are stiff, almost woody. If you look at the base of the plant you can see the ‘trunk’. It’s sort of like a palm, but not. Right now, it’s in regular potting soil… I didn’t want to mess with it without knowing what it is. Thank you in advance for any help with this one :-).
Update: Many thanks to Lisa who suggested that it could be a Cardboard Palm. After googling (I do love to google) I think she’s right… it’s a zamia furfuracea. I think it’s OK in the potting soil I have it in, I think I’m not over-watering it. It might want some palm food. But the thing I found out that makes me wonder if I should find this plant a new home is this:
“All parts of the plant are poisonous to animals and humans. The toxicity causes liver and kidney failure, as well as eventual paralysis. Dehydration sets in very quickly. No treatment for the poisoning is currently known.”
Amanda, if you are reading this, I wonder if you and Keith might want to give this plant a home. It was Jason’s, and it is in a lovely square pot…