Wednesday, 28 March 2012

The next generation

I thought it was time for an update on my echeveria adonis blue hybrid.  Last summer the original plant flowered it self to death.  I did a post on it at the time (here), and showed this photo with the first offsets ready to be cut off.

Those three were cut off and when it became obvious the main plant was going to die (or look terrible) I top cut it to force more offsets. 

These all made it through winter without any problems and this second generation of plants are now ready to take over. The bowl contains the stem and offsets form the original plant, with the smaller pots being the offsets I have already removed, 16 plants in total.

I wanted to do something with these plants and had this bowl planted up with various echeverias, including one e. adonis blue.  The plants hadn't filled as hoped and I had planned to re-plant it anyway, so this seemed a good opportunity.

I used 9 of the rooted plants as a start.  As all these are established to some degree, the planter will be placed in a sunny position and once I'm 100% sure there will be no more frosts they will be fed to ensure the plants get a good amount of growth this summer. Hopefully if we actually have a summer, the plants should almost fill the planter and be producing offsets of their own in 6 months time. As you can see there is a good range of colours from blue to green depending on where the plants were over wintered.

Along with the rooted plants, there were a few still attached to the old stem.  Having top cut the original plant, these new plants formed at leaf nodes on the stem.   

In some varieties offsets start to form roots, as is the case here. This makes transplanting them easy, but you have to be careful to ensure you cut them off as close to the stem as possible.  If done carefully your offsets should have some roots which will help with the speed they establish.

Normally it is sensible to let cuttings dry off for a day or so.  If cuttings have some roots, I tend not to bother and just pot them straight away.  Having removed all the dead leaves, plant them with soil up to just below the first leaf, then top up with gravel.  The important thing at this stage is to resist from watering. Leave the plants for a week or so and then break in the watering slowly.  During this time, place the pots out of the sun, so that the plants don't get stressed.

If everything goes according to plan, in a couple of months the plants will have a good set of roots and will be ready for potting on.  These were done at the end of last summer and now have a full set of roots.  You can see that the lower leaves have died off leaving a bit of a trunk.  I don't like this and so use the potting on to plant them a bit deeper.  This will result in plants with the rosettes on the soil and new roots will form from the buried stems. 

All potted up these well rooted plants can be watered a little bit straight away.  I still place them out of the sun for a few days just in case, but they should get straight into growth. 

So my original plant has given my 16 babies to play which is a pretty good parting present. If each of these gives me even half as many I should have one or two spares next year. Now all I need is more space to store all these new plants!

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