I AM on crack, and I finally need a fix

chaparralgirl(Sonoran Desert (CA))September 3, 2012

I can finally keep myself away no longer.

For those who were wondering where in the heck I disappeared to, the short version is that I found I was getting obsessive about being on here, and it was taking time away from other things that I really needed to focus on. So I made myself stay away. This place has been kinda like my heroin fix. On top of that, I was completely embarrassed that I managed to hang on to the cacti sunglasses for some 3 months, and that was just more motivation for me to not show my face. I owe everyone who's participated in that a great big apology. I am very sorry for holding up the gardenhood of the traveling cactus sunglasses. I just plum-forgot I still had them.

In any case, I appear to be here now (although I can't vouch for how often I'll be checking in, since the fall semester has started), and I've missed everyone terribly.

I've had an ok summer, I guess. I've slowed down considerably on my plant-collecting, as I've pretty much run out of places to put new plants. I've also been suffering a fair number of fatalities that've had me pouting something awful. Some of my favorite plants, despite my attention and care, just couldn't tolerate the desert heat. I had tried acclimating them slowly, and the ones I did put outside, I did so because I was concerned they weren't getting enough light in the south-facing window (the sun being directly overhead, and thus not really shining directly in through the window). As it turns out, it would seem that the vast majority of my plants really should just stay inside where it's more temperate. When the weather begins to cool (it ranges 100-115 out here in the daytime), I'll see about letting some of them stay out. In a separate post, I'll share pictures of the fatalities I still have (some I've already laid to rest in the compost pile).

Again, not sure just how "back" I am; but it's good to see everyone, and I hope I won't find the need to disappear again like that.


Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ctreeteac(Zone 8b; rain-spewing Oregon)

Yay, Jessica! (Nooo, on the plants.)

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 6:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

As you know, these forums are the best enablers!
Glad to see you back.


    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 7:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Well, I don't really know what to say except welcome back if you're glad to be back. What became of the glass pls? Have you mailed them on to the next person?

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 8:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
chaparralgirl(Sonoran Desert (CA))

I am glad to be back, PG. It was hard for me to exercise enough self-discipline to not log on and start posting pictures of plants and asking questions about plant care. Susan, you're dead on. This place is chocolate to my cravings.

I did mail the glasses on; I couldn't figure out who was next in line for them, and I was too embarrassed to ask Rosemarie, so I just sent them to Greg (hijole).

Hi, Colleen! How are the monstrous Aeoniums doing? :)


    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 9:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
hijole(9 Sunny California)

Hey C/G, No worries and welcome back to the garden, Yeah you're right I did receive them and I passed them onto Greenman (Josh) and the last I heard he sent them on to someone else.

So it sounds like you pretty muched Kicked the habit for a few months and started to get withdrawls and ran back to the garden connection, Hahaha...

Well I think everyone else is still hooked here and a couple more have been sucked in too so get your gloves on and start planting away.

The agave you sent my way is looking good and healthy how about the one I sent your way did you ever plant it durring your dry spell?


    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 11:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
chaparralgirl(Sonoran Desert (CA))

Greg: Sadly, the agave you sent me has not survived. I don't know what I did or didn't do to take proper care of it, but the desert heat and sun ultimately did it in. In fact, I've lost ALL of my agaves, except for one - one I bought from a nursery.

This is another reason why I've slowed down on collecting more plants. I don't want to take them home only to have them die.


    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 12:05AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ctreeteac(Zone 8b; rain-spewing Oregon)

Oh, golly. I hate to think what else you've lost...please not the Haws and the Aeoniums?

The Aeoniums are doing great, no fear. Nothing lost! Everything's getting ready to wake up for the growing season. You've missed about 2,000 pictures. ;)

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 12:40AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
chaparralgirl(Sonoran Desert (CA))

Teatree: Oh, no, the Aeoniums and Haws are doing just fine. :) All of my Haws are indoors, and the Aeoniums that I do have outside remain in the shade. I've been very fortunate with them. The only one that seems to be doing not-so-great is the Kiwi-not-a-Kiwi.

Just off the top of my head, here's what I've lost:

- Echeveria 'Perle von Nurnberg' x1 (out of 2)
- Echeveria mazarine
- Echeveria pulvinata
- Echeveria 'Topsy Turvy' x1 (out of 2)
- Cotelydon 'Pig Ears'
- Echeveria 'Lola'
- Crassula ovata (a whole crapload)
- Kalanchoe fedchtenkoi x2
- Sedum rubrotinctum (all of my rootings, and most of my mature plant)
- Graptoveria sp. x2 (out of 3)
- Euphorbia millii 'Lemon Drop'
- Sedum spurium 'Tricolor'
- Dudley candida 'Chalk Rose'
- Echeveria 'Dondo'
- Fenestraria aurantiaca 'Baby Toes'
- Cotyledon ladismithiensis variegata 'Bear's Paw'
- Faucaria sp.
- Crassula trigona
- Pachypodium lamerei 'Madagascar Palm'
- that Pachyveria-looking thing, Colleen, that you and I struggled so hard to ID (in fact, most or all of the plants that I bought when I bought that one)

And these are only the ones I can remember and/or identify. (Some of them didn't come with tags.) There are others that I laid to rest a while back and didn't log that I'd lost them.

Here are some that are very clearly on their way out:

- Crassula arborensces 'Silver Dollar Jade'
- Beaucarnia recurvata 'Ponytail Palm'
- Adromischus maculatus 'Calico Hearts'
- Sempervivum 'Hen & Chicks'
- Aeonium 'Kiwi-wait-no-it's-not'

WOW. I've never made a list, so I didn't realize just now many I've lost! I'm gonna go cry now.

I really want to continue to keep plants, and to collect more, but the way our home is set up doesn't allow for much natural light at all (probably to keep the place cooler in summer), so many of my plants end up etoiling. (That's why I put so many of them outside.) When it cools off, it'll be much more hospitable for keeping them outdoors; but then it'll get too cold to keep them out there. I just don't have room or adequate sunlight to keep them ALL indoors. *sigh*

Seriously. Wow. I'm just stunned by that list of casualties. I'm gonna go pout now.


    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 11:13AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ctreeteac(Zone 8b; rain-spewing Oregon)

Oh no, Dudleya candida too. A dream plant there for me, though I don't know how rare Dudleya are for you guys over there. But Pachyveria-ish I still have (everything you've given I still have), and I'll keep one growing for you...for the time you finally are able to move elsewhere?

I'm just praying for a mild winter this year, as last year was actually mild and I'm afraid this winter is coming for my plants, jaws open wide.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 12:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


I hope knowing that you're where we all have been, one time or another (or accumulated), allows you to shed a lesser tear. FWIW, Crassulaceae, for the most part, would have a tough time with those conditions, so maybe concentrating on some other line of succulent plants might be more rewarding.


The wild apples still haven't yet been eaten by the bears, but that time's a comin'. Fall's been in the air here for about a week now and I'm making plans to bring in las plantas - ay, pobrecito!

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 1:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
chaparralgirl(Sonoran Desert (CA))

Colleen: I'd love to move back to San Diego. I've gotten my mother hooked on a few succulents now, and they're doing very well for her. (She's positively fallen in love with E. pulvinata, and while not quite as enamored, she's very fond of her Aeoniums, too.) Maybe I'll just start keeping my plans at her place, instead. :P

As to the Dudleya, I wanna say we actually have native Dudleya growing in San Diego, out in the wild. There's some plant out there that gets labeled "Hen & Chicks," and when I looked it up I wanna say it was identified as Dudleya sp. I could be wrong. It's a protected plant, however - otherwise I might try to procure one for you. :)

Jeff: Yeah, I should've known better, and I think part of me did, to be honest. I was just hoping I could slowly acclimate them, keeping them in dappled sunlight and watering just a tad more frequently (since their soil dries out WAY faster than it would indoors). As it turned out, a number of the casualties were from overwatering. I was so paranoid about them drying up in the desert heat that I overcompensated. I do believe that, from now on, all Crassulacaea will remain indoors. I'm still surprised, though, that my Lemon Drop and most of my Agaves succumbed. I would've figured they'd do much better out here.

From here on out, whenever I find Agave pups lying around on campus, they go to you guys. I will not hold on to any for myself. The ones I've lost could've had happy homes in more hospitable climates.

I do have two positives to report, though. My primary P. afra has successfully acclimated to the summer sun (I've seen so many of that beauty all over the place out here, so I knew it could survive if given enough time to acclimate); and my other mature P. afra that I'd thought I'd lost has begun putting out new foliage. Recently, some of that foliage has begun to wither and turn yellow; I'm hoping I can figure out how to bring it back; but I was just so tickled to see the new foliage on what I had written off as dead, it still warms my heart to think about it.


    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 2:05PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ctreeteac(Zone 8b; rain-spewing Oregon)

I just hope it's not a bad winter, if we could be so lucky. If it's mild and we don't have a power outage in the night for which I don't wake up (my fear; the greenhouse heaters), it'll be fine. It's the cats' favorite time of year. Buncha plants to get cat hair on.

Just take a boatload of pictures while the plants still look nice, Jeff, before they come in. My personal request.

Dudleya out in the wild. Must be a pretty sight. Must respect the protected plants, and I suppose you probably wouldn't want to be jailed up.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 4:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Jessica, welcome back!

It's ok to take a break. I disappear from time to time as well. I understand why you backed off, we were all starting to share more and more personal info and it was getting a little heavy for me. I ducked out for a few weeks at that point too but, like you, I need my fix. I'm glad that lots of us know each other better but I think I prefer our conversations to be mostly of the botanical persuasion.

To be fair, this is coming from a guy who plans to cancel his facebook account.

Sorry to hear about your plants but guess what! Now you have room for even better plants! Maybe you should just grow Haworthias inside and Agaves outside. There's never-ending variety in those and you won't have to mourn as many losses.

Again, coming from a guy who doesn't have to think about that stuff, so...

Anyway, welcome home.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 5:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
chaparralgirl(Sonoran Desert (CA))

Ryan: Actually, the sharing of personal info didn't bother me. It was the fact that I was spending much more time here than studying or doing my homework, or taking care of household chores, etc. At some point, I realized I needed to step away from the computer. :) But I am very glad to be back now; thank you for the homecoming. :)

Ah, Facebook. Yeah, it can suck you right in, and you end up selling your soul to the online network universe. Takes a certain type of character to be able to break away from that. Me, I just don't log in for a few days if I need some time away from it.

I'm trying to be really good and not buy anymore new plants for a while - partly because money is tight, and partly because I'm afraid I'll only end up killing whatever I bring home. I made an exception a few weeks ago and bought a C. pervianus monstrose cv. and a E. mammillaris 'Corn Cob'. I almost bought a few more plants today, but they were at Petco, where they were ridiculously overpriced and grotesquely overwatered. I would definitely love to add more Haws to my collection; but first, I need to consider where I might put them, since indoor real estate is at a premium. Since I managed to lose all but one Agave, I'm gonna hold off on trying to take care of any more. (I'm keeping a watchful and half-expectant eye on the one Agave I have left.) I think, when I have the money, my next plant purchase will be a big and full P. afra, one that is already acclimated to go outside.


    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 12:14AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
nil13(z21 L.A., CA (Mt. Washington))

Chaparralgirl, if you want P. afra from L.A., i have some 7 foot pigs that are in need of a trim.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 12:38AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
nil13(z21 L.A., CA (Mt. Washington))

Chaparralgirl, if you want P. afra from L.A., i have some 7 foot pigs that are in need of a trim.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 12:42AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
chaparralgirl(Sonoran Desert (CA))

Nil: OMG, 7 feet?? I have to see that! Do you have pictures? I'd love to take some of the cuttings if/when you trim! You must let me know the postage, of course. :)


    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 12:44AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
nil13(z21 L.A., CA (Mt. Washington))

I just ran out and took a crappy pic with my tablet, but here are the bigguns.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 6:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
nil13(z21 L.A., CA (Mt. Washington))

maybe they are more like 8 feet

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 6:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

WOW, and that is P. afra? Looks much taller than even 8'.
I didn't know they grow into a tree, did see lots of pics of P. shrubs. Is that in your garden? And here I am, struggling with little 5-6" one. Rina

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 6:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
nil13(z21 L.A., CA (Mt. Washington))

Well if we are talking about Portulacaria afra, then yeah that's what those are.

It's a little deceiving with regards to height because they are on a fairly steep hillside. But yeah, they are huge. Some of them are mine and some are my neighbor's. They have probably been there for 50 years. They're on a steep, southwest facing slope in Los Angeles. They only get seasonal rainfall for water. Although they have probably sent roots out over to catch the runoff from my propagation efforts.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 7:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
nil13(z21 L.A., CA (Mt. Washington))

so I looked it up and P. afra typically reaches 8-15 feet.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 7:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


Hence the common name 'Elephant Bush', because they're fit for pachydermal shrubbery.


Do they flower for you? They're some great purple haze when they do.

Mine flowered only if I withheld summer water, but they were only 7' or so tall when they finally did.

I personally have never seen adventitious roots on P. afra.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 8:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
nil13(z21 L.A., CA (Mt. Washington))

Oh do they flower and boy do the bees love them. I wasn't talking adventitious roots, probably should have left out that 'over'. lol

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 8:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
chaparralgirl(Sonoran Desert (CA))

Nil: Holy mother-of-thousands, Plant Man! That is GORGEOUS! Oh, I can't tell you how much I'm swooning over that right now! Oh! Oh oh oh! P. afra just makes me all giddy! :)


    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 2:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Stush2049(Pitts., Pa. 6)

Hey Agave Girl, The ones you sent me did very well. Do you want one back? You sent me two of them and they rooted and grew this summer. I have your address. Just let me know.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 4:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
chaparralgirl(Sonoran Desert (CA))

Stush: No, no, please, keep the agaves I sent you. I'd hate to get one back and have it die on me because it's so dang hot out here. I would love to see some pictures of how they're doing, though. :)


    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 8:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
wantonamara Z8 CenTex

What kind of agave did you have. Some really are not good for hot desert and some are great. Agave americana is a water hog. One has to be very selective.I was looking at your list and most of them I would keep in the part shade here in Texas, never in full sun. All echrverioas, faucarias, sedum need protection.. The lameria can put up with the sun but needs twice a week watering. I would look into opuntia, cylindropuntia, octillos and slowly figure out the rest........I kill things all the time.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 11:57PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Stush2049(Pitts., Pa. 6)

I posted before but here they are again and thanks again.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 1:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
rosemariero6(z10 /ss24 So. Calif.)

Just jumping in & out (crazy busy here)...to say, Welcome Back, Jessica. Will try to get back with more words some other time! :)

    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 5:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
wantonamara Z8 CenTex

Here is a list gleened from some guys that live in the VALLEY in arizona and Tucson. These are ones that are sun and heat hardy in Arizona but might need water or might need to be put in the ground. OR they might need sun shade till they have hardened off.
A. asperrima (A. scabra)
A. cerulata
A. chrysantha
A. chrysoglossa
A. colorata
A. deserti
A. desmetiana
A. difformis
A. durangensis
A. filifera ssp. filifera
A. filifera ssp. multifilifera
A. filifera ssp. schidigera
A. franzosini
A. geminiflora
A. gigantensis
A. havardiana
A. lechuguilla
A. lophantha
A. macroacantha
A. marmorata
A. mckelveyana
A. murpheyi
A. 'Nova'
A. ocahui
A. ovatifolia
A. palmeri
A. parrasana
A. parryi
A. pelona
A. salmiana
A. schottii v. treleasei
A. sisalana
A. subsimplex
A. toumeyana
A. victoriae-reginae
A. vilmoriniana
A. vivipara (A. angustifolia)
A. weberi
A. wocomahi
A. zebra
The link below will lead you to a LONG discussion on sun and heat tolersnace of people living in the *******ARID ZONE********. Chapparral Girl. They might have some interesting info of what they do to harden off a plant.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sun hardy agaves

    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 5:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
chaparralgirl(Sonoran Desert (CA))

Wanton: The agaves were A. americana. They were pups from parent plants grown on the campus of my school. They were just gonna get thrown away, so I collected them up to give to anyone who wanted them. I did not realize they were water hogs, though. I'd be willing to bet, then, that's what I did wrong - not enough water. Thanks so much for that list and link. I'll definitely have to check that out.

As to my losses, I had been working really hard to try and keep them out of direct sunlight. When I noticed that the sun's orientation in the sky was shifting as we progressed closer to the end of summer, it was getting harder and harder to keep the plants out of direct sun, so I put up a sun screen curtain thingy.

It's certainly helped to keep the front stoop cooler; but by the time I put it up, most of the damage had already been done. I think they just weren't meant to be in that kind of heat, especially with me freaking out over the heat and overwatering them. When I eventually replace those plants, I'll be sure to keep them indoors during the summer heat and winter cold.

Stush: Yay, the agaves are looking great! I'm so happy they're doing well for you. Alas, I lost the one you sent me a while back. The only agave I have left is this one, bought at a nursery.

I do still have that monstrose you sent, and it seems to be doing just fine. Here's a pic, taken just this past week.

Rosie: Hi, Rosemarie! I know how it is, being super busy. No worries, I'll chat with you when you have some time. :)


    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 6:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
wantonamara Z8 CenTex

OOOPS I meant...... heat tolerance OF AGAVES from info from people .......

    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 11:14PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Hobbit, skinny fingers or Gollum
Okay just brought this off eBay it was labeled as a...
Hamza Nobes
hen and chicks not faring well indoors--- suggestions?
Hi, Even as a child, I usually had hen and chicks outdoors...
Succulent Growing Roots From Stem
Not sure what I should do with my plant! It has been...
Aeonium hybrids from Southern California
these always look great this time of year (their 'happy...
Help! what's wrong with these succulents
They are with me just only for 2 months. Their leaves...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™