Monday, September 14, 2015

In a Vase on Monday: More Succulents!

We had another horrific heatwave all last week, or maybe it just felt horrific because we've had one too many of these events within the past 2 months.  After temperatures in the upper 90sF (35-37C), Sunday finally brought a little relief with a high of 88F (31C).  There were still pink Eustoma grandiflorum to be picked but even I'm getting tired of them, pretty as they may be, so I tried another succulent arrangement.

Thoughtful guy that he is, my husband had picked up wire in the gauge recommended by on-line sources for use in succulent arrangements the last time he visited the hardware store so I didn't have to make do with wire hangers this time

I clipped a wide assortment of succulents, many of which I can't identify.  I keep fairly good records of the plants I put in the garden but succulent sellers are notorious for offering plants without labels or, worse yet, with labels that say "Asst Succulents."  The sheer number of hybrids on the market probably contributes to the confusion.

"Assorted succulents" from my garden

My arrangement included the succulents shown here, some of which I can't identify.  Proceeding clockwise from the upper left: grayish Graptopetalum paraguayense, shown with an unidentified Crassula with light pink flowers and Crassula radicans; Aeonium arboreum, shown with the variegated form of Portulacaria afra; a deep teal-colored succulent I've tried and failed to identify (and which the seller was unable to identify at time of purchase); what may be xGraptosedum 'Vera Higgins'; Graptosedum 'California Sunset'; and Senecio vitalis 'Serpent' (Included but not highlighted are Rhipsalis ewaldiana and a no ID succulent)


I put the arrangement together using the same technique I showed in my prior succulent vase post (which you can view here), although I wired only those cuttings with short stems and/or particularly heavy heads.  The vase's basin is dry.  Like my prior arrangement, this one looks different from each side.  I placed it on the dining table where it can be viewed from all angles.



As it turned out, I'd clipped succulents I didn't use in this arrangement so I put together a bouquet of leftovers, using my onyx vase.

As the stone vase sweats when filled with water, using succulent cuttings that need no water works well

Key ingredients in this arrangement included Aeonium 'Kiwi' and Sedum nussbaumerianum with Graptosedum 'California Sunset'  (Included but not highlighted here were Aptenia cordifolia, Senecio vitalis and Rhipsalis ewaldiana)


The stone vase is currently sitting in the front entryway.

At least this heavy vase won't fly off the table when the front door is opened during our afternoon high winds as another vase recently did


The succulent arrangement I created 2 weeks ago didn't look too bad but some of the plant cuttings were a little frayed about the edges and, as I needed the white vase, I took it apart.

Photo taken immediately prior to dismantling of the vase


About two-thirds of the cuttings were tucked into the garden.  I tossed cuttings of the Oscularia deltoides and Aeonium arboreum as I already have enough of both to start a small nursery.

I removed desiccated leaves and wires prior to planting the cuttings.  Many of these, like the one shown here, were already producing tiny roots.


Visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden, the host of the "In a Vase on Monday" meme, to see what she and other gardeners have put together this week.


All material © 2012-2015 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

35 comments:

  1. Hi Kris, I love your succulent arrangement as much as the first one! I couldn't be believe reading that your pink Eustoma is still blooming. I want that plant to badly for my garden next year! It is also very astounding to me that the succulents from your arrangement two weeks ago produced already some roots, they are really tough little survivors.
    Well, it is a little cooler here in San Diego inland today and I have some time this morning, so I can't wait to get out and garden after what feels like after ages of time have past.
    Christina

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    1. Christina, I saw some Eustoma (usually sold under the common name, Lisianthus) in an Orange county garden center a couple of weeks ago but my experience is that the double-flowered forms I favor usually arrive in spring. This year, I found small plants in 6-packs before they showed up in flower in 4-inch pots so it's worth looking for them in the 6-packs in April/May. The small plants are much more vigorous than those I bought in larger sizes later on.

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  2. I really like these succulent arrangements. The white vase is a perfect choice. I wish I had a sense of abundance and could actually pick some of my stems. Maybe one day...

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    1. Succulents grow far more easily in my climate than I expect they do in yours, Emily. They reproduce here like the proverbial rabbit.

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  3. Kris your talent for arranging is really marvelous and my what a work of art with this big arrangement...the stone vase is a favorite of mine with the lovely colors that work perfectly with the succulents. ANd then being able to plant them is an added bonus to have even more....I hope your heat breaks soon. Ours finally did with much needed rain although I suspect you need the rain more than we did.

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    1. Today was the first comfortable day we've had in over a week, Donna. Our high temperature was 84F. Rain is a long shot and it won't be much if it comes - the current prediction is 0.10 inches over 2 days so the "Godzilla" El Nino isn't here yet.

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  4. what a wonderful arrangement and a reminder on how to propagate succulents - thank you

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  5. That looks like quite a bit of work but it is so beautiful. You did such a nice job.

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    1. The only tricky bit is wiring the larger succulent heads. It's easy to stab oneself with that wire as its pushed through the dense stems.

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  6. Kris, your succulent arrangements are fascinating. The previous one still looked great so it's nice how long-lasting it is (and replantable). The white vase has such great texture, it really seems ideal to hold the succulents. I also like that onyx vase you created. Hope you get some enjoyable weather soon.

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    1. Today's temperature wasn't too bad, Susie - low 80s - but the humidity is still high. If that means we'll get rain, I'll gladly accept the humidity but the rain forecast for our area is pretty trivial (0.10 inches over 2 days).

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  7. What a unique arrangement this week Kris, they're all fabulous!

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    1. Thanks! Gotta do something different when the flower supply is down.

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  8. I wondered if the tall thin one was a handful of French beans at first!! What a variety of shapes and colours of succulents you have and you have put them together so beautifully - mind you, if you have had enough of eustoma things really must be difficult for you... Thanks for still coming up with a vase week after week despite your excessive heat

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    1. I wasn't sure about including that Senecio (the French bean-like succulent) at first but I didn't have anything else to fill the space so I decided to go with it. The Senecio looks better in a garden setting, where it looks rather like sea kelp.

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  9. Your succulent arrangements are delightful, I love how they continue to grow by putting out little roots. Their instinct for survival is so strong. I'm feeling weak just thinking about the temperatures you have been enduring. I do hope you have some respite and rain very soon.

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    1. With heatwave after heatwave, often with no more than a 1-week break in between, you do wear down, Sarah. At least we're lucky to have air conditioning in the house but I go a little stir crazy when I'm confined inside for long periods. It was cooler today but it doesn't appear that summer's on the way out quite yet.

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  10. The succulents make such a varied and fantastic arrangement, I'm in awe of people who can keep them alive, they seem so easy, and I have some that practically live when in potting soil or not, like the Graptopetalum, but when I try to plant Hens and Chicks outdoors, they invariably die. I like both of your arrangements, and it's so cool that they are making roots. I have been really impressed with your Eustoma and thinking of trying to grow them, but I think they are difficult to get started, and doubt they are able to grow up here.

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    1. Sempervivum are hard to grow here too, Hannah - they survive but don't thrive. I've also read that Eustoma are hard to grow from seed. I tried that only once and failed (although I'm far from an expert at growing from seed to begin with). Even here, Eustoma/Lisianthus are usually sold as annuals, although they will carry over into the following year in our mild climate. I find they're easiest to grow from 6-pack starter plants if you can find them in that size.

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  11. As gorgeous as your more standard floral arrangements are, I have to admit I am really stopped in my tracks by these succulent arrangements. I love the colors and how they work with the various vases. Do you suppose if you put floral foam in the vase you could keep the succulents in there for longer at a time (a la those wreaths sold...). I realize that works against the idea of a new bouquet every week but these are so lovely!

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    1. I haven't tried them in floral foam (which for some reason gives me the heebie-jeebies) but a friend did make me a succulent topiary cat years ago using a metal frame stuffed with sphagnum moss. It needed regular water and eventually the succulents outgrow the frame but it does last a surprisingly long time. My topiary cat is sadly in need of restuffing and replanting , however.

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  12. So nice to see your succulent arrangements, we do not have them in the gardens here!

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    1. Succulents are one thing we can grow even in a drought, Anca!

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  13. I had to laugh when I saw you did another succulent vase. I was thinking about your last one today as I walked around the garden making mental notes of all the succulents I've stuck in the ground over the summer, the ones that will need to be removed before frost.

    Anyway, you topped your last creation! I think including the Senecio vitalis 'Serpent' was a stroke of genius and it sets off the other plants perfectly.

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    1. It seems so early to be thinking of winter and frost but I suppose you must. I'm glad you like the Senecio. I was hesitant about including it at first but, like the Aeonium arboreum, I have a LOT of it.

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    2. Thankfully winter/frost are long ways off - but yesterday's weather was grey, cool and misty. Sort of a big alert that summer is heading out the door.

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  14. I'm so sorry that it is still so very hot with you; it has cooled down considerably here with heavy rain and a mud slide at the weekend, everything is beginning to look slighter fresher. The succulents work so well in a vase and great that some of the last ones have begun to root. You asked about the calendar on my post and as I'm not sure you receive replies to blogspot from wordpress, here's the link to the post https://myhesperidesgarden.wordpress.com/2015/01/01/happy-new-year-2015/

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    1. We have rain this morning, Christina! It was glorious to wake up to it (early!) this morning. Last night's local forecast held little hope of measurable rain but we're already up to half an inch, which is a big deal for us and a boon for my rain collection tanks, which I'd emptied during last week's heatwave.

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  15. You may covet my aster, but those succulents are really original and beautiful, and will last so long. You have chosen so many colours, textures, and forms. Such a superb idea for difficult climatic conditions. The vase is really delightful too.

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    1. Thanks Noelle! Still, one can't garden on succulents alone (although sometimes I think I might have to).

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  16. They are very smart looking vases, thanks.

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  17. Hi Kris! It os really interesting to see succulents in a vase. They do look very effective, and it is good to know you can plant them afterwards too. I especially like the tall thin one (Senecio?).

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    1. Yes, that's Senecio vitalis, sometimes called narrow-leaf chalksticks, Cathy.

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