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Category Archives: Garden Blog

Summer Centerpiece: Succulent Wine Bottle Planter

Display gorgeous greenery in your home or patio by repurposing an old wine bottle into a succulent planter. Fill it with a variety of your favorite succulents that are both easy to maintain and care for.

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Natural-Born Soil Mates

Who says succulents can’t have a long-lasting companionship with non-succulent plants? We’ve compiled tips and tricks to create a perfect, cohesive garden or container that gives you the ability to bring added color, height, and texture into play when pairing both succulents and non-succulents together. Who knew opposites would attract?

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Food for Thought… and Well-Being

Article written by Bob Reidmuller, Altman Plants
Published as part of the Altman Plants Monthly newsletter April 2015Click Here to Subscribe

Many years back a friend of mine was given a gorgeous Tillandsia as a gift. Likely based on the misinformation usually attached to Tillandsias as being “air plants” and not needing anything but a place to hang out, she asked the grower that gave it to her “Do I have to feed it?”. He very succinctly replied, “Do you eat?”. The point was made – all living things need nourishment in one way, shape or form.

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Aeoniums – Cool Plants for Cooler Times

Article written by Bob Reidmuller, Altman Plants
Published as part of the Altman Plants Monthly newsletter March 2015Click Here to Subscribe

From fall until late spring, when most succulents are in a state of dormancy, Aeoniums, native primarily to the Canary Islands, are marching to a different drummer. They are summer dormant and the cooler months in mild climate areas are their time to shine. With the myriad of succulents that all offer incredible beauty and interest, it is the Aeonium that usually gets the most gasps of awe when seen for the first time.

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Wintering over Cacti and Succulents Indoors

Article written by Bob Reidmuller, Altman Plants
Published as part of the Altman Plants Monthly newsletter February 2015Click Here to Subscribe

♫ Baby It’s Cold Outside ♫

Winter has hit with a vengeance even taking a crack at some of our Southern California growing grounds. 6”-8” of snow covering about 800 acres of landscape plants in Riverside county and snow flurries at the main office in north San Diego county – That’s just wrong! This only happens about every 40 years or so. We should be good now until about 2055.

While many of our veteran Cactus Shop customers in the more inclement parts of the country know the drill on wintering over these gems for the freezing months, we have a lot of “newbies” that might be a bit perplexed on what to do. Hopefully this quick refresher course will get all of you (and the plants) through the worst of winter, and be helpful info to pass on to your customers as well.

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Euphorbia tirucalli ‘Firesticks’ with Tom Jesch

The “Super Hero of Color Stress” Euphorbia tirucalli variety ‘Firesticks’ a.k.a. ‘Sticks on Fire’
An easy to grow succulent for areas that stay above freezing, ‘Firesticks’ is colorful all year but come the winter stress period it explodes like no other. It will glow almost fluorescent in shades of pink, coral, green, red and orange. Be sure to check out the video!

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GPN Magazine: Amazing Succulents

Overlooked for so long, these resilient plants are rapidly gaining popularity for their beauty and durability.

During the last 10 years, we have seen a steadily increasing interest in a relatively unknown group of plants. These are the succulents, those tenacious plants that, as a result of evolving to live in harsh environments in arid areas, have developed strategies for “state of the art” drought tolerance. Succulents are very resilient and adaptable, making them long lasting and durable plants in the garden. What is surprising is that these wonders of nature were overlooked for so long, but that is rapidly changing.

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Euphorbia Chat

Euphorbia Chat – remember, all cacti are succulents, but not all succulents are cacti!

Euphorbias are a large part of the unusual Cactus Shop offerings with bizarre shapes, colors, and sizes from small to enormous. Many people don’t realize that they are one of Mother Nature’s incredible evolution and adaptation stories. Millions of years ago in the New World, cacti were filling a harsh, inhospitable niche in the landscape where barely anything else could survive.

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The genus Kalanchoes is comprised of many unusual and appealing plants, encompassing various leaf shapes, colors, and textures. The native habitat of the Kalanchoes extends from south of the Sahara desert in South Africa, and includes Madagascar. Kalanchoes are part of the large succulent family Crassulaceae, which also includes Echeverias, Aeoniums, and Sedums.

One group of Kalanchoes (also known as Bryophyllums) has a charming characteristic of producing baby “plantlets” along the edges of the leaves. In time, these plantlets fall from the “parent” plant, rooting in the soil to produce new plants. Included in this group are Kalanchoe tubiflora (“Chandelier Plant”}, with dark purplish speckled tubular leaves and fluted reddish flowers in January. Others of this group include Kalanchoe daigremontianum (“Mother of Thousands”), and Kalanchoe fedtschenkoi variegata ‘Aurora Borealis’, with beautiful bluish scalloped leaves that are variegated with white and pink.

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Jellybeans and Showy Snowcrops

Sedums are amongst the most forgiving plants that exist. These rugged plants will grow in the poorest sandy soils, in rocky crags, on rotted wood or just about anywhere. Sedums are generally very drought tolerant, heat tolerant, cold tolerant, and will grow in shade to full sun. Native habitats include Korea, China, Siberia, Japan, the Himalayas, Europe and the Americas.

Sedums comprise a very large, diverse and colorful genus of the family Crassulaceae, and are tenacious rock scramblers, often clinging to the steep faces of mountains.

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