Thursday, July 31, 2014

My favorite plant this week: x Graptoveria 'Fred Ives'

As I seem to be fixated on succulents this week, it's only appropriate that I feature a succulent as my favorite plant of the week.  Since planting a new succulent bed last weekend, I've had my eyes open for succulents elsewhere in my garden that I might use to provide cuttings to fill in some of the bed's empty spaces.  I quickly fixated on x Graptoveria 'Fred Ives,' a hybrid mix of Graptopetalum paraguayense and Echeveria gibbiflora.  I've got 'Fred Ives' in at least 4 pots, as well as my backyard border.

A single rosette in the decorative pot I picked up at the Spring Garden Show at South Coast Plaza 

2 rosettes in a pot marking the transition from the side yard to the backyard

A clump of 'Fred Ives' in the backyard border



After looking into 'Fred Ives' parentage, I realized that I also have the parent plants in my garden.

This Graptopetalum paraguayense was part of a 6-pack I planted in my new succulent border

I believe this is an Echeveria gibbiflora, although it didn't have a label when I purchased it



I love the various hues 'Fred Ives' takes on based under different growing conditions.  It can handle anything from full sun to partial shade.  In semi-shady spots, like the one occupied by the pot in the picture at the top of the post, grayish-green and turquoise tones dominate but, in sunnier settings, like those shown in the second and third photos, pinkish-bronze tones appear.

Most of my plants are between 6 and 8 inches (15-20 cm) tall but one, in a large pot receiving morning shade and afternoon sun, is more than a foot (30.5 cm) tall and wide.




I discovered that this plant had produced an elongated stem that reached down behind the pot.  It detached easily when I tugged it upward.  Even by succulent standards, the plant has a reputation for easy reproduction.  The piece I removed already had lots of hairy pink roots.




I was more surprised to find a tiny plant developing on a shriveled leaf that had fallen off the plant in the backyard border.




The succulent flowers too.  My largest plant produced sprays of small yellow flowers on long stems earlier this year.

The flowers are shown in this picture taken in late April



Like most succulents, it's drought-tolerant, although some on-line sources claim that it grows faster with extra water.  It's said to handle over-watering well, which allows it to be combined with plants with greater water needs, as in the case of the plant in my backyard border.  According to San Marcos Growers, it tolerates low temperatures in the 25-30F (-3.9 to -1C) range.

x Graptoveria 'Fred Ives,' a native of Mexico, is my contribution to the favorite plants meme hosted by Loree of danger garden.


All material © 2012-2014 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

15 comments:

  1. What a great plant! It's cool the way it takes on so many different colors. In the April view it's purple/lavender. Love!

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    1. Yes, it has the most amazing color range. I actually think it looks best in partial shade, where the purple and turquoise tones dominate.

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  2. Fred is a beauty, and so are his parents! I see so many beautiful graptoverias on nursery visits, it's so easy to get into them. Every time I get tempted...

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    1. I know you'd have to haul them under cover during the winter but maybe you could try just one...

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  3. This plant is a fav of mine too, although of course I can't leave it in the ground over winter. That last image is a knock-out!

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    1. It occurred to me that those flowers would make a great little bouquet but I resisted - they last so much longer when attached to the plant.

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  4. Absolutely stunning!! I love it in each of its various colours.

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    1. The color variations are what makes it special, Amy.

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  5. Great choice, I have one in a pot too, I think I should do with succulents and sempervirens but they need to be on their own as i don't think they mix well with the other plants I have.

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    1. One of mine is in a border with plants (e.g. Carex, Bulbine) that receive regular, albeit not heavy, irrigation. The Graptoveria seems to tolerate more water than some succulents but I suspect your winters may get too cold - a pot will allow you to protect it.

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  6. Love it! Do you have a baby you could sell/trade me? Sandiwarner@icloud.com

    Thanks, sandy

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    1. As I'm strapped for succulents to fill a new bed, I've planted out all my available Graptoveria cuttings, Sandy, but the plant can be found pretty easily in many nurseries selling succulents.

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  7. I just adore handsome, handsome Fred!

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    1. I do too! Unlike some succulents that look worse as they age, it looks better. It's like the George Clooney of plants!

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  8. I love succulents and have a few but they are not for the winter we have...at least not many that I love.

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