Couple of recent acquisitions!!!

bsmith717(6)December 17, 2012

Went to Home Depot today to get something UN-plant related and found these pretties. The TC was just (what seemed like to me) to be too good of a deal to pass up at $6.97. It lost all of its bloom buds but hopefully it will send some more out.

This was an Ebay purchase and was ~$7 (I have another piece the same size that came with it but gave it to a buddy at work, the same guy that gave me my first Euphorbia!). I also have a little Crassula Argentea cv "Hobbit" coming that should be here hopefully tomorrow. :)

The seller called this a "money Jade"... In their pics on the bay, it has red tips. Hopefully with some light (after being in a box for 3-4 days now) it will color back up.

This is not a C or S but still I love it and was misplaced to where it looked to be $3.98. When I checked out the lady said it was $10 and I told her that's not what the sign said so an employee and I went over to the plant section so I could show her. Then she gave me a piece of paper with the SKU# and wrote $3.98 and initialed it, SCORE!!!

Finally here is my office I have tried to make as "home like" as possible! :)

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emerald1951 all the plants and I really like the hubcap on the wall....good finds....good growing.....linda

    Bookmark   December 17, 2012 at 9:22PM
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What a great bunch of beautiful plants and such a nice warm setting. Nice!

What is in the fish tank? It looks like plants. I like it.
Who's that pretty girl in the wedding gown. She is beautiful.
You also have some very interesting plants with personalities.


    Bookmark   December 17, 2012 at 9:23PM
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Thank you two for the kind compliments.

Emerald- The hubcap was off of a 1993 Mercury Grand Marquis we took in during "cash for clunkers" the summer of 09'. It had 400,000 miles on in and was affectionately referred to as "Great White" as it was white. I took it back to my service department and had the exhaust taken off after the manifolds and would drive it all over the place while at work to get a pack of ciggs, get some food or just to take a spin so I'm sure you can imagine the ridiculous amounts of noise she let loose and this hubcap is all I have left of her. She will be missed. Finally, 3+ years later, I finally ordered a clock movement kit off eBay and installed it. I love it and am very happy you noticed. :)

Meyermike- In the smaller tank it is filled with rare cryptocoryne species and Crystal Red/Black shrimp. The larger one is rarer stemmed plants but no fauna as I inject far too much co2 into the water for any to live. I came from the aquatic side of our hobby before this more recent addiction.

That beautiful woman is my wife, Bridie. We have been married 6 years but have been together since my Junior (her Senior) year of high school which was 13 years ago! Its hard to believe sometimes. ;)

I really like my plants and am very much looking to add more to the collection! :)

    Bookmark   December 17, 2012 at 9:55PM
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Nice discount for an Aechmea it will be very happy and a very good office plant... You can probably get a named cultivator in the bromeliad forum. I think the one in your pic pups at end of it's growing cycle.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 1:21AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Hey there, it's Linda, Mike, and Wes! :-)

Bsmith, I can't tell if your "Money Jade" is Crassula ovata or some very similar Crassula....
however, I noticed what look like flower buds in there! Score!


    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 2:49AM
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silentsurfer(6A OH)

Nice scores!
now thats a cozy work environment, sure beats the cab of my truck lol
...would luv to see another shot of the ficus, if possible !? :)
[perk] ..and are those cuttings of it rooting there too maybe?

    Bookmark   December 19, 2012 at 9:07PM
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Surfer- I'm sending some shots to my photobucket account now and will post them up as soon as I get home (30-45 minutes. ;)

    Bookmark   December 19, 2012 at 9:36PM
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Here are the Ficus pics. A bit of background. My wife and I purchased it at Walgreens about 4 years ago to put in our first home while it was listed to sell. Plants really help! The house sold in a day (not to credit the Ficus but who knows...). Then I brought it to my office. At the old office there were no windows and soon the small tree was completely bald. That's right not even one single leaf! SO I trimmed it and put it right next to a window with nice indirect light and within a months there were buds everywhere. Its been at work ever since then and I think it looks great and the trunk had so much personality. Its actually the unofficial mascot of my dealership, The Fighting Ficus!!!

This is an offspring I gave a buddy at work. I took a nice branch (5" or so) took off all but 3 leaves then put it in a cup of water. After a month or so when the roots started looking nice it was planted. It has grown amazingly fast IMO!

And one thats a couple months old.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2012 at 11:22PM
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paul_(z5 MI)

I'd be sorely tempted to remove the taller ficus in that pot (the one with the brown trunk" and pot that up separately leaving only the short grey trunked one. The trunk on the short one has a lot of character.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2012 at 4:56PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Hi BS717 (sorry, don't know your name),

Nice looking plants all, terrific looking ficus work you've done there.

Just an FYI on the Aloe on the left (& perhaps the one on the right too, can't see enough to tell). That's a very peaty looking mix which will not be good for the Aloe, likely will harden off & become difficult to water.

I'd switch them to another mix, like Cactus & Succulent mix w/ extra perlite, otherwise expect problems.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2012 at 5:51PM
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Paul- Actually that is only one Ficus. That's why I live it, the trunk is just loaded with character. Ill take closer up shots tomorrow when I'm back at work.

PG- my name is Brandon, so now you know. ;)

I don't like the mix especially well either. Though I do and have been growing in it for a few years and have had no problems with plants suffering, it is only miracle grow cactus/violet/citrus mix. I have recently started adding some aquatic plant tank substrate made by ADA (Aqua Design Amano) Ammazonia, which is a fired peat substance that lowers the pH nicely and gives the soul better drainage qualities.

Actually today I picked up some miracle grow "organic potting mix" as we'll as miracle grow perlite. This is my first foray with pearlite and any suggestions on its use or mix suggestions in general would be greatly appreciated!

    Bookmark   December 20, 2012 at 7:58PM
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Alright so here is the cool Gollum Jade I ordered off eBay! It was packed wonderfully and looked as if I just took it off the shelf of a store and brought it home when I unpacked it all. There's even a little pup sprouting! I re-potted it in my mix after opening it too.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2012 at 8:54PM
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silentsurfer(6A OH)

hey Brandon
Thanks so much for the Ficus pics, and sharing the 'story' behind it all,,,
very interesting, ive been kinda house shopping myself and ive noticed many listings adorned as you describe,, certainly doesnt detract any appeal in my eyes hehe

I agree the trunk has great 'personality', i like the pot its in as well, nice match,,
is the secondary plant an offshoot then? ..interesting that the 2 have dissimilar bark colors,,

Ive a similar Ficus (ive always believed its an F. retusa, 'tiger-bark' ficus?) from whence ive started several cuttings myself over the yrs, tho ive yet to try striking any in plain water (i'll have to try that) im curious, of the one you rooted in water, was it in sunlight at that time? ,subdued, indirect,, if you recall pls?

I Have found these to be one of the most resilient plants in my collection.
I luv its willingness to be propagated,, and tolerance for neglect,,,

this is the 2nd mention ive heard of plant acquisitions from Walgreens, i had no idea,,, particularly for such an 'oddball' 'houseplant', man, your plant-scoring-prowess goes way back! lol im curious now, & theres one right-around-the-corner here, hmm,, hehe

..funny, I believe i have a pot quite similar to your blue one there, looking for an inhabitant,,,,

srry to get so off-top;ic, but im kind of a ficus fan,,
sometimes while garnering newer plants we might tend to forget about our old 'soldiers',, Thanks for reminding me of mine,, And sharing yours! i really like it a lot.

btw ive an possible ID for the 'hairy' succulent in post #1 (yellow pot) in case you were wondering (and if its labeled correctly)

did you intend to root the money jades in water?? ..or are they just callusing up still?
so, did 'hobbit' arrive yet? [edit] oops!! (again) nice score! w/Bonus (pup) lol (you peeped back whilst i was uploading pics) hehe
cheers :)

parent retusa

retusa starts

blue pot

Anacampseros rufescens

    Bookmark   December 20, 2012 at 9:42PM
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You know I never really gave a second thought to the different colored barks. I always just thought that the grayer piece was much older and that's what the bark turned to as it matured. Much like ash trees a hanging bark texture/color as they age. Ill really have to give it a thorough inspection. Perhaps a graft point if these are grafted???

Actually come to think of it when I bought the plant the personality was actually completely buried undr the dirt or perhaps a tiny bit was showing. That's it.

No worries getting off topic I'm notorious for that as I always treat threads as a conversation and let my fingers flow with the minds thoughts!

Your Ficus' are great! I really like the large leaves on the retusas.

I really don't even know what kind of ficus mine is actually. Just thought it was a regular old Ficus.

That blue pot is my buddies baby I gave him off mine. I just put the twig with 3-4 leaves in water and sit it in a clear glass right next to a window and changed the water every few days. After only a few days you can see the riot buds popping up all over the place.

My buddies is actually one of those two piece pots where you can put water in the outer portion. I really haven't found a good use for a pot like that yet. We just water his like a normal pot.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2012 at 10:29PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Sweet little 'Hobbit' (not 'Gollum') you have there! Nice color.

You must have missed my previous comment on your 'Money Jade'....are those buds on the cuttings?


    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 10:23AM
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Whoops, sorry Josh and thanks for the proper ID on the Hobbit!

And I did miss the bloom comment. Im not good with these Jades yet but looking at the pix ill post below, I think ill have a bloom here shortly. Is that strange?

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 1:07PM
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Now onto the Ficus bark! I think that the difference in appearance is due to the age of the bark. What do you think?

Im just really glad it was like this before I got it. I have no idea how one would get the trunk to look like that.

Also, does anyone have an ID for the type of Ficus this is?

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 1:11PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Sorry but that mix is not going to be good for succulents, (including the Jades), I can't believe no one is commenting. It's too finely particled is likely to clog up (looks sandy too).

Not trying to bust your chops, but nice plants need to have good drainage.

Pls. do not use peat, similar problems will occur including hardening & difficulty re-wetting. We tend to avoid MG products as they often have built in fertilizer &/or wetting agents, neither of which we desire & fertilizer should be controlled by the grower, not the soil.

Organic potting mix may sound great, but perhaps for outdoor plants & or vegetable gardens. It's not want succulents want or need, too rich for them.

Perhaps search around here for a few threads about mix & you'll see what I mean.

While you may not have had problems yet, sounds like you've been lucky. The components you've mentioned will eventually cause problems, especially for the Jades (many here can confirm this is true) sorry.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 2:42PM
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regarding your ficus -

I see a metal "pin" there - was it there when you bought this ficus or did you put it there to secure the plant?

The roots are very interesting - looks like one can put a rock in there and have a bonsai-style/roots over the rock (I am not sure of exact name for this style...Al would surely know and create a great bonsai too!).

You should post it on container gardening forum. You may get a proper ID there too.

This post was edited by rina_ on Fri, Dec 21, 12 at 14:45

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 2:42PM
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Rina I put the hook/pin in the pot to secure the tree.

PG, Ill do some research on a mix and get all of them repotted ASAP. Thank you!

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 2:54PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Well pls. don't go overboard on this, I didn't say repot ALL the plants, I said the left Aloe in particular & likely the Jades.

Pls. don't do them all now, as unless you know what you're doing, re-potting in December could be problematic on its own.

Otherwise, you're very welcome & you have some lovely plants, enjoy!

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 3:10PM
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Maybe I won't do anything since all of my plants have been doing great. Who knows.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 5:22PM
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So anyone know the ID of my Ficus?

I guess another reason im somewhat trepadacious about repotting (in spring) my plants is that I have grown quite accustom to the charichter of this MG mix im using. If I were to switch to a "gritty mix" I assume I would need to water with added ferts at 1/2 strength. I have never fertilized my plants in any way than by using osmocote (or the like) balls that slowly release nutrients over a few months. Also because I have had nothing but success with the current mix im using, except for a brand new Euphorbia Granicola which I attribute its demise to me simply over watering as the trigona (ruby red) I had gotten at the same time was sucking up all the water I was giving it and growing at a break neck pace almost as soon as I dirtied its roots (potted it)!

So the old saying, if it aint broke... keeps popping up into my head.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2012 at 1:43AM
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I agree with you on one thing, old sayings are old, but as they are for a better part or sometimes out dated is the reason why they are old.

If your not convinced:
Imagine someone saying and showing you there results before and after they switched from MG soil and got better growing results from the switch for there plants by using a custom mix.

I might say I'm stubborn and dont mind waiting that long BUT why would I wait so long insisting that I fear the better ?

PS thank you for letting me POP that into your head

    Bookmark   December 27, 2012 at 6:42AM
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So changing out my MG with a gritty mix in this situation would be akin to 'an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure...' it seems. ;)

    Bookmark   December 27, 2012 at 11:06AM
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Or at least cutting your MG mix with 50% perlite / pumice would allow the MG to drain properly and for your plants to enjoy long-term health and prosperity.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2012 at 11:18AM
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Laura Robichaud

You won't really understand until you repot a plant that has been planted in MG peat-based mix. When you try to get the mix off the roots, you'll realize how the peat just sticks to the roots like glue.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2012 at 1:00PM
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I actually purchased a bag of pearlite a few weeks ago that I planned on using during spring repotting.

The two things I HATE about MG potting mix.

It seems to shrink when it dries. The soil appears to pull away from the perimiter of the pot it in when it really dries out. I find myself having to 'churn' the soul ever few weeks/watering a with a pen/butter knife/etc in order for the soil to fill the vessel properly.

Second, it is very tedious to get the soil to absorb water when it's dry. I believe that's the case with all peat based soils but its a real pain. I see this as I use repurposed glass candle jars as pots (I drill holes for drainage) so I can clearly see the water, as it pools on the surface, trying to find an avenue from the top to bottom. It's practically impossible to get all of the soil soaked in water and I'm sure that folks using non clear pots are not getting the entire soil mass wet. Since it drains in veins and appears to be saturated by causing water to exit the bottom of the pot into the dish... Or onto your newly cleaned floor...

    Bookmark   December 27, 2012 at 1:50PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Yes, peat is hydrophobic.
That shrinking at the sides of the pot also happens in the root-zone, and that can strangle/choke
roots in the drying peat. But, when wet, peat is also hydrophilic - taking a long time to dry.

I eliminated peat and peat-related issues from my gardening a couple years ago.


This post was edited by greenman28 on Thu, Dec 27, 12 at 14:27

    Bookmark   December 27, 2012 at 2:24PM
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Sounds like a plan-t! :)

    Bookmark   December 27, 2012 at 8:25PM
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A soon to be healthy plan-T too.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2012 at 12:30AM
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Laura Robichaud

Just to give an example...before I was educated here, my daughter gave me a lovely Easter cactus for Mother's Day 2010. I repotted it in MG potting soil. It did ok for a while. Then started on a slow decline. By fall 2011, 3 of the rootings only had the foundation leaves left. The other one had the foundation and one other segment. This October I came on GW to read and find out what I could do for it. I did a total repot in gritty mix. I know it was the wrong time of year, but figured it wasn't going to make it if I didn't try.

It's put on some nice growth since then. It looks like I saved it...with everyone's help here.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2012 at 9:10AM
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Digging this old thread up!

So to catch up...

No mo MG substrate for my cacti/succulents. I got a gritty for them and fert accordingly as needed.

All the plants are doing well other than some etiolation on a couple. Though the tropical bromeliad is no longer. Pups came forth, momma wilted, pups removed as my research led and were replanted to root, then they just kinda languished. A few roots but eventually I needed the pot they were in for something I deemed more important!

The reason I'm actually revving this the ficus bonsai. Pretty sure it was id'd as Benjamina on GW and that was that. But I've had a resurgence in Bonsai culture/husbandry and am now thinking its Retusa.

Calling all ficus aficionado's!

    Bookmark   January 14, 2014 at 10:56PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Hello again,

Good to hear the soil change has worked for you.

For an ID of your Ficus, you need to pls. provide a pic of the ENTIRE plant, the quick refresher I took above, only shows trunk & bits of root, need to see the leaves too.

So really a pic of the whole thing pls. (at least one). I'm sure some folks will try (I will) & maybe w/ luck, Al will pass by & confirm it (he's our resident Ficus man among other things).

    Bookmark   January 15, 2014 at 3:26PM
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Man I suck, can't believe its taken me this long to get some hopefully decent pics for an id!

    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 5:55PM
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Very nice, would like to see a FTS as well. Are you a member of TPT?

    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 6:04PM
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Yes, I was quite active on TPT till about 2.5-3 years ago. FTS, dang, that takes me back!

    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 10:14PM
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What do you have in the fish tanks?

    Bookmark   January 26, 2014 at 7:47PM
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If your talking about fauna then crystal red shrimp. If flora then the list gets a bit longer. Mainly hard to find crypts, a rare sword e."purple knight", and different Anubis and moss varieties.

About the ficus, myself and another member are leaning towards retusa. Are there any definitive traits/characteristics either Benjamina or retusa possess that might lock this I'd up?

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 1:52AM
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