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Category Archives: Garden Blog

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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Some ‘animal’ succulents worth adopting into the family

Have pets? Do you lovingly refer to them as your fur babies? All the time? Stickers on the car back window? It’s perfectly OK if you do. This is a judgment-free zone. After all, whether they be dogs, cats, birds, iguanas, velociraptors, or all of the above plus pot belly pigs and chickens, they are beloved members of the family. But where do your succulents fit on that pecking order?

Marble hanging out with panda plant kalanchoe, baby burro’s tail sedum, and other succulents.

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Adorn your space with this little jewel of a succulent

Pachyveria ‘Glauca’ is a diminutive but distinctive gem

We succulent lovers sure do live in a golden age of gorgeous variety. Pachyveria ‘Glauca’, aka “little jewel,” is a Pachyphytum × Echeveria mash-up — a cross between two members of the family Crassulaceae.

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