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Category Archives: Garden Blog

It’s a succulent sunrise: Anacampseros telephiastrum variegata

Kind of like a sunrise, or glittering jewels, this adorable little succulent lights up any nook or dish garden with a ravishing mix of pink, green, and creamy ivory or yellow. We’re pretty sure it’s not the sunrise the Eagles first sang about in 1973. Anyway, Anacampseros telephiastrum variegata, aka Anacampseros telephiastrum ‘Variegata’, aka Anacampseros ‘Sunrise’, makes a fine container specimen, clustering over time to form a dense mat and maybe, just maybe, trail over the edge. This slow-grower may also form, again with time, a caudex at its base. The pink flowers arrive in summer, waiting until afternoon to come out and closing back up around sunset. Contrasting against the foliage are filament-like white hairs.

The plant requires porous soil that drains quickly and it should be protected from frost. Unless you are in a temperate coastal or coastal-adjacent location, it’s probably best to keep this one in a dish garden or well-protected nook or cranny. Speaking of dish gardens, we have some choice pairing recs for any planter glittering with sunrise’s brilliant lanceolate leaves. There are several green or greenish echeverias that should pair well, varieties such as Echeveria ‘Lime n’ Chile’, E. ‘Cris’, E. ‘Haagaena’, E. ‘Irish Mint’…you get the idea. Sunrise with Senecio radicans (string of bananas) or Senecio rowleyanus (string of pearls) looks absolutely bonkers, in the best possible way.

Getting back on the Echeveria train, but not the green car, we also recommend E. ‘Chroma’ (those rose-pink hues would get along swimmingly) and E. ‘Black Prince’ (darker the better). Or pair it with something sporting a darker shade/hint of pink or red, like Gymnocalycium mihanovichii var. friedrichii. A black or dark burgundy aeonium amid a sea of sunrise would seem guaranteed to be a fabulous sight.

In the video below, our very own succulent whisperer Tom Jesch talks about this Anacampseros beauty’s variegated charms.

Look for Anacampseros telephiastrum variegata at our retail shop or wholesale shop.

 

 

 

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Unleash your succulent spirit indoors

As spring weather approaches in some areas, a cool and dreary winter trudges on in others. It is hard to put on our creative gardening cap when the front yard remains dormant and lifeless.

Have no fear! Spruce up your home and decorate indoors with succulents.

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Light up your space with some juicy ‘Aurora’ sedum beans

Thanks to its darling little round leaves, Sedum rubrotinctum is affectionately known by monikers that may stir up one’s appetite, namely pork and beans and jelly bean plant. The cultivar ‘Aurora’ adds a dimension that has us looking skyward rather than to our bellies. As we understand it, this especially pink and cream version of S. rubrotinctum is named for the dazzling natural light show known as the aurora borealis (northern lights) or aurora australis (southern lights).

This ground-cover form doesn’t much reach for the sky itself, staying to around 6 inches high, but it will spread to 2 to 3 feet wide. ‘Aurora’ roots easily from wherever a stem touches the ground or from fallen leaves, giving you a gorgeous jelly bean mat of pink, light green, cream and apricot. Yellowish white flowers pop in summer.

In the video below, our succulent whisperer Tom Jesch talks up this low-growing spreader’s frosty, atmospheric colors. It just so happens that March is a popular period for aurora hunters, if they don’t already live in aurora-friendly places, to make their way to northern latitude destinations in countries such as Canada, Finland and Iceland for a peek at the northern lights. That’s if they’re fortunate, as it’s kinda hard to see that wondrous wash of color through persistent snowfall or cloud cover. That’s at least partly why communities make weeks or a whole month out of it by staging activities and festivals, like the monthlong Snowking’s Winter Festival in Yellowknife, Canada, 62 degrees north of the equatorial plane.

Look for Sedum rubrotinctum ‘Aurora’ at our retail shop or wholesale shop.

Photo by Frank Olson

 


 

 

 

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Garnish your garden with Echeveria ‘Lime n’ Chile’

Many of us enjoy a lime or lemon wedge with select tasty beverages, so why not enhance the look and liveliness of our succulent-adorned spaces in a similar spirit?

We heartily endorse Echeveria ‘Lime n’ Chile’ for this role. It forms frosty lime-green rosettes of chunky leaves, the tips of which may turn a spicy pink-red, and sends up coral & gold flowers. When clustered, this Altman Plants original hybrid provides quite the flower show, as each rosette can develop four to five inflorescences. Sometimes the leaves are slightly variegated, exhibiting a stippled appearance.

It looks especially saucy when paired with plants that play off its greenery. We particularly like a couple of green-tinged “players” from the genus Anacampseros for this role: A. telephiastrum variegata (sunrise) and A. rufescens. You may succulents in the coral-pink-red realm thriving at home that would go smashingly with it, like Graptosedum ‘California Sunset’ or rainbow hedgehog cactus. There are also fine candidates in the Aloe domain, such as dwarf hybrids A. ‘Delta Dawn’ and A. ‘Pink Blush’. Picking up and/or complementing the green foliage via a container will work to great effect too.

In the video below, succulent whisperer Tom touts this lime-green echeveria’s penchant for producing chicks.

Look for Echeveria ‘Lime n’ Chile’ at our retail shop or wholesale shop.


 

 

 

 

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More than just Copiapoa cacti in Chile

In November, Altman Plants succulent plant development mgr. Kelly Griffin and his wife, Denise, traveled to Chile for a week of marveling at Copiapoa cacti., but they also enjoyed seeing wildlife as well as non-cactus flora. With that in mind, please enjoy the decidedly non-cactus photo essay below. Read part one of Kelly’s travelogue here and part two here.

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Copiapoa cacti in Chile: location, location, location

Editor’s note: In November, Altman Plants succulent plant development mgr. Kelly Griffin and his wife, Denise, traveled to Chile for a week of marveling at Copiapoa cacti. They also took in non-plant sights, admired the wildlife and, of course, indulged in the food, if not exclusively Chilean cuisine. They also toured the San José mine, where 33 miners in 2010 endured more than two months of being trapped 2,300 feet underground. This is the second of a two-part series. Read the first installment (days one through four) here.

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Chile offers cornucopia of Copiapoa cacti

Editor’s note: In November, Altman Plants succulent plant development mgr. Kelly Griffin and his wife, Denise, traveled to Chile to, more or less, see as many Copiapoa cacti as possible in a week’s time. They also took in non-cactus sights, admired the wildlife and, of course, indulged in the food, if not always Chilean cuisine. They were also fortunate to get a surprise private tour of the San José mine, where 33 miners in 2010 endured more than two months of being trapped 2,300 feet underground. This is the first of a two-part series.

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Tiger jaws you can touch without losing a hand

“Hear me roar,” we might imagine this succulent to say if it possessed vocal cords.

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A menu loaded with succulents, from small plates to party platters

Last week in this space, we got a little playful, a bit wild even, in talking about succulents with animal-inspired names, from Crassula ‘Calico Kitten’ to zebra plant (Haworthia spp.).

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Adopt a zebra … plant for your windowsill

It’s December and ooh baby isn’t it cold outside? Maybe even snow on the ground? That doesn’t mean you’re shut out from succulent planting until spring, though. We happen to be rather fond of a species that can not only live happily indoors year-round but also weather the dim tones of winter just fine: Haworthia fasciata, better known as zebra plant.

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