Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Can one have too many succulent plants?

In the last few years, I've greatly expanded my collection of succulent plants.  I'd very few in my former, shady garden but the sunnier, drier garden I inherited with the purchase of our current home 6 years ago seemed to call out for succulents, even before the drought became a significant issue here.  Other than a few Agave attenuata and some ragged Delosperma, this garden had no succulent plants when we moved in but today I can't even venture a guess as to how many succulent genera I have, much less muster a count of the sheer number of plants I've accumulated since our move-in date.  Every time I go to a garden center or nursery, I usually come back with at least one, and often several, succulents.  It's on the verge of becoming an addiction.

So, was it a good idea for me to spend last Saturday morning at the South Bay Cactus & Succulent Society's Show & Sale?  I didn't have any specific purchases in mind.  I went just to look...I admit that I spent most of my time scouring the sale tables but let's start with the show plants, shall we?  Here's a small selection of what was on display:

Among other things, this table featured: Aeonium 'Velour', a crested Euphorbia lactea, Mangave 'Pineapple Express' and Mangave 'Kaleidoscope'

My favorites on this table included: Aloe 'David Verity Hybrid', Hydnophytum formicarum (a plant I also recall admiring at last year's show), and Peperomia kimnachii

The plants that drew my attention on this table included: Cyphostemma juttae x cirrhosum, Echeveria 'Etna', Fockea edulis, and Gastrolea 'Green Ice'.  The second and the fourth aren't all that unusual, but aren't the specimens perfect?

Clockwise from the upper left, other plants I liked included: Agave victoriae-reginae 'Compacta' (another perfect specimen), Echeveria 'Dick Wright Hybrid', Echinocereus triglochidiatus, Lithops aucampiae, Lithops olivacae, and Neochilenia napina


One of my favorite displays involved some relatively ordinary but stylishly displayed succulents:

Through inadvertent eavesdropping, I learned that this contributor is a local TV weather forecaster.  As I recall, I enjoyed some of her creative presentations in prior years too.

This piece featuring Sansevieria and Aeonium haworthii 'Kiwi' was entitled "Lift Off: Fly Me to the Moon"
This one, constructed using noID Aeonium and what I think may be Senecio barbertonicus, was called "The Eagle Has Landed: One Small Step for Man..."




This one, featuring Kalanchoe luciae and noID Tillandsia, was entitled "Succulent Galaxy: Does Anyone Out There Hear Us?"

And finally, this one with Aeonium 'Sunburst' and Euphorbia tirucalli 'Sticks on Fire' was entitled "Houston: We Have a Problem"


The sale areas were packed and just about impossible to photograph.  Here's one display that particularly intrigued me:

EMT Design Studios had numerous succulent displays in both the show and sale areas but I was particularly attracted to these succulent kokedama.  I don't like most kokedama but I liked these and, after-the-fact, regretted that I didn't bring one home with me.


Even though I passed up on the kokedama succulents, I certainly didn't leave empty-handed.  In fact, when my sale was tallied by the cashier, I actually blinked.  Here's my haul:

Back row, left to right: Sedum oxypetalum, Senecio macroglossus, Aeonium nobile, and Aloe cameronii
Middle row: Crassula platyphylla, Rosularia murtagadhensis, noID Echeveria, and Agave macroacantha
Front: Albuca spiralis


Two plants were tucked into pots but the rest found homes in the garden.  Now, if I could just clear out some of that ivy and honeysuckle on the back slope, maybe I could find myself some more room...


All material © 2012-2017 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

28 comments:

  1. Nice purchases. The arrangements are quite well done. The "succulent galaxy" is elegant.

    I skipped our local show/sale this year--I think the answer to your question is in fact "yes", though it takes a while.

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    1. I'm already crowding some of my agaves but my biggest problem is grouping what I have so the mix comes together as a landscape rather than a mish-mash collection.

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    2. Me, too! Trying to move beyond the Personal Botanic Garden phase.

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  2. Very nice! You should look at some of the xMangaves for your garden... I'll bet they like your weather better than mine, and there are so many pretty new hybrids out there!

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    1. I actually have 2 Mangaves, although both are still relatively small. Somewhat to my surprise, the one in the pot had the greatest difficulty with our heavier-than-usual winter rain.

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  3. I keep buying more too Kris, so don't feel bad ! I lost quite a few plants to rot this winter-even some that were in containers. Love your selection, especially the Senecio !

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    1. That Senecio was probably the best buy I made - I got the plant and the pot for $12!

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  4. Oh! I love the arrangements by your local TV weather forecaster. I was straining to see the detail in each one via the first photo but then you kindly offered close-ups! Nice haul!

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    1. I tried to make out how the succulents were planted by peeking around the back but I couldn't make it out and thought handling the display would be bad form. I'm not sure the plants were in soil.

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  5. I love the succulent Kokedama, I have one that is hard to keep watered, so planting succulents in them is perfect. This looks like a fun show. They had some pristine specimens. The Fockea edulis is intriguing, I have a thing for caudiciform plants.

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    1. I didn't think of asking the kokedama seller how she watered them. She did a really good job of creating the moss balls - so many of those look sloppy to me.

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  6. They certainly are addictive. I started off not even liking them and now I can' t get enough of them. Lucky you being able to grow them outside. My whole collection has to come inside for the winter which is becoming quite a headache. I love your latest haul.

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    1. The succulent addicts in the Pacific Northwest often post on the trials and tribulations of hauling succulent and other cold-sensitive plants in for the winter. I admit that's one gardening chore I'm glad I don't have to worry about.

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  7. I second what Loree said - those were all fabulous! It could be kind of fun to try ones hand at making a succulent kokedama. Another project for another day...

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    1. Since I passed on that kokedama, I've been contemplating trying a DIY project myself but I suspect I'll come across the seller again before I get around to that!

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  8. What a great show and a nice haul. Looks like tons of fun, although I might have gotten stressed worrying about whether to shop first or enjoy the show!

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    1. I usually at least scan the show before doing any shopping, Tim, but, this time, I grabbed a cart before even entering the hall and immediately set about shopping. My friend and I arrived promptly at 9am when the show and sale opened but, by the time we got through check-in to enter the botanic garden, there were already people heading out with plant purchases. No time to wait! I checked the show after we'd made our selections.

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  9. Of course one can not have too many succulent plants! Some cool plants and terrific arrangements at the sale and you brought home a very nice haul!

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    1. I wish I could say that I came prepared with a list of what I "needed" in hand but I didn't, Peter. My purchases were more impulse than careful consideration.

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  10. Wish I had waited for a variegated Senecio - but I so much enjoy the one that grows on the trellis outside our kitchen door, yellow flowers are always a cheerful sunny welcome.

    How do they get the Aeonium into such a perfect even dome? Mine are all gangly legs and elbows.

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    1. I doubt any of my own plants could match the perfection of those submitted for the show, Diana. I think all of those that make the show cut are carefully pampered and protected specimens.

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  11. Kokedama reminds me of the Little Prince on a tiny perfect world with one tree.

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    1. And that's a perfect correlation, Diana!

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  12. Instead of driving south I went to this show too. There were quite a few plants that were hard to pass up -- like Hoov's yellow/green varieg foxtail agave, just a couple for sale for $35. By the time I decided to go for it they were gone. My haul was an Aloe striata crossed with van balenii, Agave xylonacantha, and a yellow/green Euphorbia pseudocactus variegate. The euphorb I selected was removed from my purchase box while I shopped, and when I found the buyer holding it I inquired, trying to keep my voice steady. She swore she got it from the sales table. There was one left, an inferior pricier specimen, but I grabbed it. Oh, the drama at the plant sales! And to answer your question: emphatically no! My problem is a small garden, lack of pots and shelf space.

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    1. I'm glad you made it to the sale. How infuriating that someone lifted your selection! It's a sad commentary but perhaps someone needs to supervise the plant holding area - I think SCBG used to do that during their spring sales. I had someone pluck a selection from my cart at Sperling Nursery years ago but my friend saw it and hounded the woman until she handed it back.

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  13. Viva la succulent! Happy gardening!

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    1. I hope you're enjoying the beauty of spring - in succulent or other forms - too, Christina.

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  14. As far as addictions go, this one really isn't THAT bad... hehe!
    I'd be weak-kneed if I was there. ;)

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