Mesembs say Meh to cold

xerophyte_nyc(7)December 31, 2012

Haven't been watered since Hurricane Sandy, and still sitting in the greenhouse while exposed to nightly light frosts, these guys just keep on tickin'.

On a side note, I don't recall ever that I haven't experienced a real freeze this late in the year. Most of my plants are still outdoors exposed to the elements or protected from rain in my greenhouse, without heating. Coldest it's been so far is 30F.

Gibbaeum pilosum

Argyrodermas in bloom

Fenestraria with buds

Fenestraria already blooming

Even Frithia is misbehaving, out of season

Not a mesemb, but this euphorbia behaves the same

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I know you're going to excite at least one Venturan with these specific members of a certain genus, but it's also good to see you back, Mark. If you need cold, I can send you just -4C at 11:25 a.m. today.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2012 at 2:26PM
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Cool pics. How much to you let them shrivel before watering?

    Bookmark   December 31, 2012 at 2:46PM
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chaparralgirl(Sonoran Desert (CA))

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Loooooooooooooooooooooooooooove!!!!!!!!!! I swoon, I swoon!

Oh, how I wish I could keep these guys alive! The last of my stone plants died about a month or so ago - my Easter Egg. I delight in these photos! Thank you for sharing!


    Bookmark   January 1, 2013 at 7:17PM
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They are certainly overdue on watering. I don't normally let them shrivel so much but clearly the occasional drought, intentional or not, is not a bad thing.

Still no hard freeze and it's January!


    Bookmark   January 1, 2013 at 9:49PM
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How do the more cold hardy Mesembs like snow? Some of the Ice plants, as well as some others, survive in theory to zone 5.

Snow insulates from the cold, but then the snow melts. Wet, soggy, and cold.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2013 at 10:00PM
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I have several varieties of Delosperma that do fine outdoors all year. They need a good pruning in the spring right before growth starts. Very extensive but fine root systems.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2013 at 9:12PM
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I don't know much about cold-hardiness but I'm glad your Mesembs shrugged off the cold. They do surprisingly well considering how succulent they are.

It's amazing how much they can shrivel and still come back. If only I could grow a new head.

This post was edited by hanzrobo on Sun, Sep 15, 13 at 12:32

    Bookmark   January 3, 2013 at 11:25AM
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TT, zone 5b MA

x -

You must be getting some freezing temps now...we were at 2F up here this morning! Brrrrrrrrrrrr!

Glad to see that your greenhouse braved Sandy in tact. Happy New Year!


    Bookmark   January 3, 2013 at 8:33PM
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T - 26F this morning, finally a real freeze. It's about time. Aloe polyphylla is still in the ground. 10-day forecast looks to be AOK for them. My immediate microclimate is consistently +5F compared to weather service data.

Re: Superstorm Sandy, I wasn't sure if my greenhouse would survive the winds, so I emptied it out and left all my plants on my deck. In retrospect that was risky - debris or a tree branch could have come flying by from somewhere else and really do damage. Luckily that did not happen to my plants or my home. Wish I could say the same for my neighborhood - tremendous destruction everywhere.

A couple days after the Hurricane there was a Nor'easter which dumped a few inches of wet snow by me. All my succulents got snowed on, except for a few cold sensitive plants that I brought in, like Adenium and some Pachys. I wasn't even home, I stayed with family in Manhattan because we had no power. That snow ruined some tender Cycad leaves, but they will grow a new set next season. That was the last time my mesembs got moisture. The snow melt resulted in a wonderful soaking of the soil.


    Bookmark   January 3, 2013 at 10:39PM
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rosemariero6(z10 /ss24 So. Calif.)

x Mark's the spot! Nice to see your little beauties, even shriveled! Enjoyed the show. =) Glad your plants survived! Sorry for the destruction there.

We had a 37 temp here this morning (was at 7:30, so imagine lower earlier, no cloud cover), which is FREEZING for us, a mile from the beach. Not looking forward to seeing plants turn to mush.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 4:28PM
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x, thanks for the feedback on shriveling. Your pic is an excellent data point for me as to how far mesembs can be allowed to dry out without issues.

We had a couple of small snow storms up here, so far, that dropped about a foot of snow total. The first one started off right near freezing before dropping to -5F, so a layer of ice built up on the roof. When that happens, even though it is a metal roof, the snow and ice build up, until things warm up a bit and then everything releases in a big whoosh! really sounds like a freight train coming off the roof. Here are a few pics.

Looking at the deck. All my plants will be lined up against that wall come summer.

That's almost all ice and weighs a couple hundred pounds. You can see how far away from the house it flew. This is why I don't remove snow from the deck, until everything is down - these things release without warning. I don't know from experience, but suspect it would hurt a lot to have it land on me.

Another view. That's my drive on the left. Off in the distance you can see the Connecticut River and on the other side the Socialist Republic of Vermont.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 9:21AM
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Actually, mesembs like being cold at night as long as they are dry. The SA Karoo is like any other desert where the heat of the day is lost at night. I have mine in a warehouse that gets down to the 40's at night, 80's (when it is sunny) during the day and no moisture. My conophytum, lithops etc. do quite well. They all bloom and are happy, so I agree with you completly.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 10:00AM
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This is really fascinating! I was planning on buying grow lights for my argyroderma for this winter, but now I think I will leave it outside. It doesn't get too too cold here in Baltimore and I could cover it up with half of an empty soda bottle, kind of as a mini greenhouse, to keep out the moisture. How did your mesembs do this spring Xerophyte after being out in the winter? What were the conditions like in your greenhouse throughout the rest of the winter? I know sometimes February can be much worse than December...

And thanks hanzrobo for directing me to this thread :)

    Bookmark   September 15, 2013 at 12:37PM
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