12 January 2011

Winter 2011 Casulaties

I thought I would take a minute to remember those that were lost in the Winter of 2011.

Queen's Tears Bromeliad
I got this, probably from Darren, a couple of years ago.  This photo is from August, but it also bloomed the year before.  I neglected it the winter before, but when I saw this bloom when my sister-in-law was here, I thought it must be fine where it was - I was even planning to put them in our future shade garden.  I haven't inspected my bromeliads (yes, I have/had more), but from what I can tell, they all look dead.

Helianthocereus Trichocereus grandiflorus
I "rescued" this cactus from Lowe's about three years ago.  I was languishing on the clearance shelf in a pot only a tiny bit larger around than itself.  Along with four others,  I potted them together, a small cactus garden, but after a year or so, they seemed crowded and this one seemed to be rotting.  I thought repotting it would help, increasing airflow around it and keeping it dry, but that didn't help.  I had to let it go.

Pachycereus pringlei (left)
Mammillaria pilcayensis (right)
Another rescued cactus, it just couldn't take the cold.  Last winter they were all potted together, and up against the house.
Since then, I had repotted them and moved them a little farther into the yard.  The cold came early this year and I really didn't believe it would last as long as it did.  Unfortunately, I was wrong.

Gymnocalycium mihanovichii var. hibotan
 This is sort of a strange plant - a Frankenplant, if you will.  In this case it is a red ball cactus (Gymnocalcium) grafted onto Hylocereus undatus, a Dragon Fruit plant.  It was never my favorite and after I learned more about it from Darren, I put it aside to give to him, but it died from the cold.  The read Darren's post on Dragon Fruit, click here.

Euphorbia trigona
We got this at a plant swap two or three years ago.  There are usually a couple of mature potted plants that someone will bring that they just don't want anymore.  At this swap, this was one of them.  I think Robin grabbed it, and it spent the next few years on our front porch.  I would bring it in a handful of times between Xmas and Easter, but it was usually fine on the porch.  The sun would heat up the concrete during the day and that would keep the temperature warm enough at night, usually.  That would not happen this winter.  Extreme cold and neglect doomed this plant - and a smaller one like it.  I'll probably get another one when the opportunity arises, like the next plant swap.  I think they're interesting and if I start small, I'll appreciate it more when it gets this big.

Aloe Vera
Another front porch plant that didn't get brought in when it got too cold.  I'm not too upset about this one.  I've divided a number of times and given some away or taken to plants swaps - I know I can get more at the next one in the spring.  Actually, I'm not convinced it's completely dead.  I have a feeling that some of the "leaves" are alive in the center of the plant.  I'll wait until spring and find out.

Euphorbia tirucalli "Fire Sticks"
I got this plant as many smaller plants on sale at Lowe's a few years ago.  I potted them together to make a larger plant, and I subsequently divided it several times to give away as gifts.  It was another front porch plant that lived through last winter with minimal attention.  Maybe I shouldn't have so many tender plants - with the weather becoming so crazy these past couple of years.

You've heard this story before - I got this butterwort plant on clearance from Lowe's - in this case, 48 cents to be exact.  I really didn't have any expectations - I thought I would put in the bog with the other carnivorous plants and hope it liked being there.  And it did.  It thrived until the demise of the bog.  Once that started leaking I had to cut it off from the pond, or risk drying up the pond.  It was only a matter of time before I had to do something with all of the plants.  I repotted the other carnivorous plants and moved them to a temporary home, but the butterwort didn't like the transplant and it got neglected and dried out over the summer.

Stapelia gigante
Last, but not least, is my corpse flower cactus.  I got it from a plant swap several years ago, and it finally bloomed this year.  The flower is supposed to smell like rotting flesh, but I didn't really smell it - maybe I had a cold.  Anyway, we got to see it bloom twice this past summer, but it did not survive the porch this winter.  I'm going to have to rethink next winter - either have a plan and remember to put it into action, or have hardier plants.  I'll probably get more of these plants, and I'll have a plan, but maybe I'll forget when it gets cold.  I'm only human.

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