Thursday, March 27, 2014

Outdoor things

I unexpectedly had the day off yesterday, so I decided to dedicate myself to tidying up my outdoor plants. That's mostly my cactus and succulent collection, but I also rearranged some carnivores (including moving my VFT and a small D. capensis outside, making a bit of room under my lights). It was great! I love spending a day out with my plants.

The best part of my day was putting together a display shelf for my cacti and succulents. Too many of them had been sitting the ground, too low to be appreciated and all cluttered. But now things are looking a lot nicer!

My cactus and succulent collection displayed on a new outdoor shelf.
The cinderblocks and 2x4 shelf was pretty inexpensive for how much of a difference it made in my backyard.
Cacti and agaves really look nice with some backlighting. Here are a few highlights from my collection.

Agave tequilana 'Sunrise', Agave parryi var. huachucensis, Cleistocactus tupizensis
Agave tequilana 'Sunrise' (along with – from left – Cleistocactus tupizensis, Agave parryi var. huachucensis, Opuntia subulata monstrose), and a mixed African succulent planting..
Unidentified Mammillaria with magenta blossoms
Unidentified Mammillaria – the first blooms since I've had it.
Stenocactus crispatus in bloom.
Stenocactus crispatus, looking even more fabulous than usual.
An assortment of succulents in my collection.
Clockwise from back left: Euphorbia trigona, Kalanchoe eriophylla, Agave americana, Agave 'Joe Hoak', Crassula 'Moonglow', mixed Haworthia/Gasteria planter, Agave schidigera 'Shira Ito no Ohi'
I also tidied up the old display stand that my roommates made for me back in November. No more plants just abandoned on the ground!

My old plant stand still full of plants.
Much like my lights, I remember when this plant stand seemed to have a lot of extra space.
In the background are my outdoor carnivores. Their digs aren't quite as fancy, but hopefully I'll be able to address that lack soon enough.

My outdoor carnivore collection.
My outdoor carnivore collection is a bit slim!
These round trays are pretty inefficient in terms of water loss, but they'll have to do until I can purpose-build some more ideal trays. The green pots contain Sarracenia rhizomes I received as part of a trade a month or so ago. They haven't put out any new growth, but I'm willing to chalk that up to shipping stress. I've heard that Sarracenia can be a bit touchy after having been divided and shipped and then potted. Just gotta keep 'em wet. The other plants look pretty decent though.

Sarracenia purpurea outdoors.
S. purpurea, with new growth coloring up much more quickly in full sunlight. I took the occasion to give it a slightly bigger pot as well.
Drosera capensis outside.
The pioneering D. capensis.
Dionaea muscipula (Venus flytrap) outside.
Hopefully my VFT will also color up nicely. I feel like it could also afford a repotting.
Pretty fun use of a day off, I think.

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