Monday, February 11, 2019

Plant Portraits, gardening on a snowy day

More of this happened outside over the weekend...

So I decided it was time to give the basement prisoners a little love. I've watered and misted the Bromeliads all winter but haven't given the succulents any attention, and they've been down here since October, almost 4 months! It was time to look them over for mealy bugs and give the really thristy ones a little water. Oh, and take a few plant portraits...

Agave victoriae-reginae dwarf variegate 'Golden Princess'

Euphorbia platyclada

A close-up

I bought this little cactus without a label, someone told me once (via comment on the blog) what they thought it was, but I can't remember. (Stenocactus multicostatus)

Cryptanthus trio. I can tell you the cute guy on the bottom lower right is, C. lacerdae 'Menescal'...the others will have to remain nameless, although the one at the top maybe C. 'Opal'...

Nameless little Aeonium. I'm having much better luck overwintering Aeoniums this year, not sure why.

Every year I dig up the Passiflora 'Sunburst' vine and bring it inside. It drops all it's leaves and looks like a dead stick and I forget about it. Then a couple of months later I notice a leaf or two working their way through the other plants and find it's grown a couple of feet before I noticed.

This year it decided it wanted to get up close and cozy with the Agave desmettiana.

Aloe marlothii

Close-up so you can appreciate the spikes.

Agave macroacantha

While I worked I listened to a couple episodes of the In Defense of Plants podcast, one of them called Agave are Awesome with Dr. Jeff Lake. This guy lives in Michigan and is an agave lover. He admitted to not really wanting his agaves to grow, because he'd run out of space. He didn't mind them staying stunted in containers. I've never heard anyone else say this, but I've often thought it.

Agave dasylirioides

My Echinocactus grusonii is doing something kid of odd, which is hard to see in this photo. It's not the symmetrical plant it used to be, it's kind of like it's wanting to split in two. Poor thing is probably tired of the container life.

Fuzzy Opuntia...

Patterned Opuntia...
Pinecone Opuntia...
Kumara plicatilis, formerly Aloe plicatilis

Can't remember the name of this contorted fellow.
The Mangave 'Purple People Eater' were the only plant on which I found an abundance of mealy bugs. Ugh.


And another.

And finally Agave attenuata. When you can't be outside gardening it's nice to have an alternative.

Weather Diary, Feb 10: Hi 38, Low 25/ Precip .14" (rain)

All material © 2009-2019 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.


  1. Indeed, it is nice to have a bit of indoor gardening to do during snowmageddon 2019. Most of your indoor babies look very happy and healthy. Let's hope this white stuff goes away soon so we can, once again, enjoy gardening outside.

  2. Love those Opuntias and how the fuzzy one looks soft enough to pet. Ouch! I expect your Hellebores should quickly recover once the snow disappears. Crazy winter no matter where you live. Just heard they are salting all main city streets here. Being surrounded by lakes the city uses limited salt ,but it is so terribly icy that they are going to do it. First time they will have salted this much since the 1970s.

    1. Ernie O'Byrne, he of the Hellebore Dynasty, commented on a thread on FB saying they would perk up. I dunno, they're still flat...

  3. Such goings-on in your basement: Passiflora hugging Agave (why is it we always fall for the bad boys?) Shooting from above the NOID cactus is brilliant (shows the cunning whorls beneath those dangerous spikes) and LOVE the pinecone opuntia! What do you do about the mealy bugs?

    1. The mealy bugs that I can see get smashed and the plant sprayed with a mix of soap, water, and isopropyl alcohol.

  4. I like the Pinecone Opuntia. Is it really as harmless and smooth as it seems?

    1. There are a few glochids lurking in there, ready to do a little harm.

  5. The cactus you don’t the name of is probably Stenocactus multicostatus, sometimes called the brain cactus

  6. Your basement is clearly an excellent place to spend time and I enjoyed the plant close-ups. I love that patterned Opuntia. I'm sorry your winter woes continue. In what's become a change of pace, we're sunny and clear here today but we remain unusually cold (low 50s).

  7. I enjoyed this visit to your basement, mealy bugs and all. It was almost as therapeutic as a visit to my own greenhouse.

    1. And we didn't even have to trek through the snow!

  8. All shapes and sizes - a great collection and good company on a snowy day.

    1. Very good company. Although my hands look like I played with a kitten all day.

  9. So many wonderful plants! The Euphorbia platyclada is especially intriguing to me.. I may need to find that one.


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