Tom Karwin, On Gardening | Mexican succulent crops – Santa Cruz Sentinel

Treatment for your backyard

Today’s column seems on Xmas Eve, a joyous event for Monterey Bay spot people who observe Christ’s start or share very good will for all the world’s people, and each.

Our subsequent column will look on New Year’s Eve, one more momentous party for all who have celebrated—or tolerated—2021’s encounters and who are anticipating 2022 with optimism.

The transition to a new calendar year resonates with all gardener’s emphasis on the foreseeable future: on the lookout ahead to the coming yr is an integral component of savoring the continuing cycle of the seasons.

With that believed, we return to our seasonally suitable sequence of overviews of garden crops from summer season-dry (or Mediterranean) climate locations.

Nowadays, we concentrate on succulent crops from Mexico. Which is the household of quite a few backyard garden-worthy succulent plants. We hasten to restate the position that plants associate with favorable expanding problems, instead than political boundaries, so “succulent vegetation from Mexico” could incorporate plants from the United States’ southernmost areas, as properly as Central The united states, South America’s northernmost areas, and the islands in the Caribbean Sea.

Even though these areas include up to a pretty substantial area, they are not the household of all succulent crops, which produce in the world’s other areas that have durations of limited dampness. In addition to the broadly described Mexico area, South Africa is the residence of quite a few succulent crops. We will concentration on that succulent location in an future column.

Succulent plants have progressed to retail outlet dampness in their leaves, stems, or roots to endure throughout seasonal dry intervals. They have designed within just a number of distinct genera. The Cactus plant relatives (Cactaceae) consists of quite a few succulent crops, and properly-informed gardeners fully grasp that when all cacti are succulents, all succulents are not cacti.

Previous weekend, the Monterey Bay Location Cactus and Succulent Society conducted its annual auction of succulent crops, as element of its getaway festivities. Members furnished large-good quality crops for the auction, and both obtained a share of the auction cost or waived a share and donated all the proceeds for the reward of the host Modern society.

The auction bundled plants from Mexico and South Africa, too lots of to summarize here. I was captivated to two exciting Mexican Agaves, in unique. Master more about these crops by exploring the net for their botanical names.

Lucky Crown Century Plant (Agave potatorum ‘Kissho Kan’). I presently have an A. potatorum, with a mildly variegated rosette leaf construction, but the auctioned cultivar had much more prominently variegated leaves, delicate silver-blue to blue eco-friendly, bordered in creamy white. Gorgeous, but I was out-bid.

White Hair Agave (Agave albopilosa). This quite scarce Agave was uncovered on a virtually vertical cliff in the Mexican condition Muevo Leon. A compact plant, it develops little white tufts of hair-like fibers at the suggestions of narrow, green upturned leaves. It tends not to deliver offsets, so gradual propagation by seeds considerably limits its availability, compared to other Agaves. This charming plant experienced a reserve worth of $100. I didn’t participate in the bidding.

The 3rd auction plant of be aware was a South African Conophytum (particular identify unidentified). This genus includes in excess of 100 species, and has several kind-relevant widespread names: Button Plant, Cone Plant, Waterblasies (Drinking water Blisters), Dumplings, Residing Pebbles, and so on. These are dwarf, cluster-forming crops in superior need by collectors, quite a few in Asia. They are threatened with extinction owing to mining and poaching from the wild for the black marketplace. At the community auction, this pretty smaller plant attracted a final bid of $585.

Collectors—and growers—of distinctive succulent plants built this annual auction a good achievement for the Monterey Bay Place Cactus & Succulent Culture.

Here are a few of the plants in my modest selection, chosen to propose the vary of plant sorts of succulent crops from Mexico. These plants are valued for their leaf styles and hues, unique dimensions, and the variety of in general types in the landscape. They also flower, some seasonally and some only immediately after several a long time of improvement. Agaves generally are monocarpic, this means that they flower once, then die, while propagating as a result of offsets.

Cream Spike Agave (Agave applanata ‘Cream Spike’). A tiny plant with olive green leaves with product-colored edges and dark brown spines. This plant makes offsets readily, and sooner or later varieties a colony of crops of varied measurements.

Blue Lechuguilla (Agave funkiana ‘Fatal Attraction’). This plant has lengthy, variegated leaves, resembling the well-liked A. lopantha ‘Quadricolor’, which has additional pronounced variegation. It grows two ft superior and 3 toes large and generates ton of offsets to share.

Golden Barrel Cactus (Echinocactus grusonii). This plant, endangered in the wild, is one particular of the most well-known cacti in cultivation. It is valued as an architectural accent plant for up to date back garden structure. It has a formidable array of highly decorative gold-colored spines. I have two times relocated 5 of these plants in my garden. This was an effortless endeavor simply because the plants have small root mass and can be wrapped in an aged towel for safe managing.

Echeveria ‘Perle von Nurnberg’. This interesting plantforms a rosette of leaves that are a pale grayish brown with pink highlights and have a white powdery dusting termed “pruinose.” A hybrid of E. gibbiflora ‘Metallica’ ×E. elegans, it grows to just 1 foot by 1 foot.

Our Lord’s Candle (Hesperoyucca whipplei). A dense rosette -forming plant with extensive silver-ray leaves, rising to 4 toes tall and 5 feet throughout. When it reaches maturity in about 10 years, it promptly sends up a spike up to 12 feet in peak, with white to purplish flowers. Worthy of ready for!

Mangave x ‘Bloodspot’. Managaves are popular, freshly released series of hybrid vegetation designed by combining Agaves with their botanical relations, Manfredas. They typically have noticed leaves. This cultivar grows one particular foot substantial and up to two ft extensive.

Progress your gardening awareness

The University Backyard garden Organization Aid Network has introduced its series of recorded webinars on strategies to make a university yard productive. Verify out these free assets by checking out and clicking on “webinars.”

The American Horticultural Society has released a new virtual speaker series, showcasing winners of the AHS’s Wonderful American Gardeners Awards. The impending webinar will be introduced at 7:00 p.m. EST on Thursday, January 27, 2022, featuring Michael Balick. Dr. Balick, vice president for botanical science at the New York Botanical Garden, will work with indigenous cultures to document plant diversity, preserve awareness about classic works by using for plants, and support communities sustainably control their means. His most new project focuses on the tropical Pacific Islands in Micronesia and Melanesia. For information and to sign-up for this payment-based party, search to and research for “webinars.”

Enrich your gardening times

The wonderful wide range of Mexico’s succulent vegetation, and their effortless cultivation, tempts a specialised selection of picked genera. They are also straightforward for pals to share offsets, creating it fulfilling and cheap to to add vegetation to the garden and to construct a assortment.

Appreciate your garden!

Tom Karwin is earlier president of Mates of the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum, Monterey Bay Region Cactus & Suclent Culture, and Monterey Bay Iris Society, and a Life span UC Master Gardener (Licensed 1999–2009). He is now a board member and backyard mentor for the Santa Cruz Hostel Modern society. To view day-to-day images from his backyard garden, To lookup an archive of past On Gardening columns, and garden coaching details, stop by Get in touch with him with comments or queries at

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