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Show us your DIY magic for our Holiday Decor Contest

We enjoy sharing our succulent craftiness on social media and the blog, but now we want to see yours! How exactly? Well, we are launching our DIY Holiday Decor Contest. We know there’s an amazingly creative minds and hands out there and we want to highlight and celebrate that talent within our virtual community of plant people.
 
Here’s how to enter. Find us on your favorite social media platform, as long as it’s Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest. Send us a photo, by Dec. 31, showcasing your holiday-style DIY magic with succulents. It can be pretty much any DIY-style holiday-themed project, just as long as it involves succulents. We will be guided by a fairly broad interpretation of what it means to be holiday-themed.
 
So, for example, if you want to create a table centerpiece that will fit nicely at your family’s holiday feast, it need not incorporate a Santa Claus motif to qualify as a holiday centerpiece.
 
The method for entering will vary slightly, depending on which social media channel you choose. 
  • If you’re a Facebooker, simply post a photo to our page, or you can tag us (@altmanplants) in a photo on yours — in that case, be sure to set the post to public so we can see it. 
  • If you’re an Instagrammer, use the hashtag #altmanholidaycontest.
  • Should you be a master pinner, you can enter via Pinterest by using that same hashtag, #altmanholidaycontest, in your pin. 

There is no limit on entries. 

The grand prize: Altman Plants’ trio of 3.5″ rosette succulents in birch-style wraps

 

The winner will receive our three-pack of 3.5″ rosette succulents in birch-style wraps.

If you’re short on succulents at the moment but have a great DIY decor idea, we’ve lowered the minimum order for free shipping at shopaltmanplants.com to $50.

Whether it’s a wreath, succulent tree or centerpiece, or ornaments — or something completely different — we can’t wait to see it! Don’t hold back! Team Altman member Lee sure didn’t with his succulent Christmas tree. And no #fakesies! Happy DIYing!

 
 

 

 

 

 

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Give the gift of succulents

Can you believe the holidays are all but here? Good news for you: Succulents make super gifts for the favorite people in your life. These living treasures add gratifying, dramatic, year-round cheer and they do so without the need for batteries or USB cables or WiFi integration. And they don’t hit you up for attention during the holiday rush.
Our holiday collections (here & here) make gift giving simple, including succulents that arrive with their own cozy display “wrapping paper” — some in birch-style pot wraps, some in Grinch-inspired wraps. They’ll work splendidly as gifts and as living holiday decorations. And when the holidays end, remove the wraps and enjoy the plants all year long.
Begin your shopping for #holidaysucculents at our shop. Merry Succulenting!

The festive, Grinch-inspired holiday wrap & one of the birch-style wraps. View our entire Holiday Wrap Collection.

We sure wouldn’t mind coming downstairs to find succulents such as Aloe ‘Christmas Sleigh’ and Aloe ‘Blizzard’ under the tree. View our Holiday Collection.

Quirky varieties such as Kalanchoe tomentosa ‘Chocolate Soldier’, in the birch-style wrap, may delight the youngsters in your life and turn them on to succulents.

Sedeveria ‘Blue Elf’ blushing with excitement. Our collection of three rosette succulents in the birch-style wrap.

 

 

 

 

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Succulent ‘whatdunits’ — varieties with mysterious plant parents or origins

If you’ve been following along with us this month in our email dispatches (sign up here), you know that we’ve been preoccupied by botanical intrigue, particularly as it pertains to how certain succulents came to be. Below you will see some favorites  for which answers are at least foggy-ish regarding which plants, precisely, were crossed to create them. Or where they fit into a particular species. Maybe native habitat is unknown. Or maybe nature had a moment of quirkiness and engineered an intriguing “sport.” Why? Because reasons, perhaps. Maybe it’s better to just say “cool plants.”

Most of the photographed plants below can be had at shopaltmanplants.com (retail) or the Cactus Shop (wholesale).

They are the Echeveria minima hybrid in the golden chalice, Graptoveria ‘Moonglow’, Graptosedum ‘Ghosty’, Echeveria ‘FO-42’, Kalanchoe tomentosa ‘Teddy Bear’, Sedum ‘Burrito’, Echeveria ‘Perle von Nurnberg’, and Sedum ‘Golden Glow’ (in the pot with Sedum adolphii, Sedeveria ‘Lilac Mist’, and Aloe ‘Delta Dawn’.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Echeveria ‘FO-42’, another succulent uncertainty

In our previous post, we delved into the “parental” uncertainty that’s part of the history of Echeveria ‘Perle von Nurnberg’, a very beautiful and quite popular hybrid. This time, we have another rosette-style succulent, Echeveria ‘FO-42’, for which there have been questions regarding what it is exactly and where it fits within the genus Echeveria.

‘FO-42’ refers to Mexican naturalist Felipe Otero (its discoverer) and the accession number — the number given to collected plant material in order of acquisition. You may also see it referred to as Echeveria setosa ‘FO-42’. At Altman Plants, we recognize its setosa-like qualities, but we generally wait for a plant to be formally described (and scientifically accepted) before we refer to it by that name.

As the plant description on our wholesale succulent shop says, “This particular form of Echeveria setosa has not yet been formally described, as it has not yet been established that this is a form of a species, and of which species, and that it is not a hybrid. At the time that this plant is formally described, it will be named. … Flowers are the distinctive “candy corn” flowers of the Echeveria setosa complex; bright yellow and reddish-orange bicolors.”

Yes, from the appearance of the flower, it does seem to be a form of E. setosa, which is a species that can be quite variable. And the hairiness! E. setosa var. ciliata has rounded leaves and fine velvet texture, whereas E. setosa var. setosa has pointed leaves with hairs that are longer and more bristle-like. Then there has always been conjecture over the many assumed forms, such as deminuta and rundelii.

The International Crassulaceae Network website notes,via British succulent expert Roy Mottram, that Otero gave the same accession number for E. setosa var. deminuta and E. setosa var. minor, suggesting that these “three varieties in fact might belong to only one very variable species.” Mottram reports that all of these variants can occur from the same batch of seedlings.

If they all have the same number, it is possible Otero discovered them all the same day and did not want to give them separate numbers until he knew how many forms or varieties he really had. If Mottram has had all three forms occur from the same seed batch, then it is possible that they are the same but very variable within the same form and vary possibly due to hybridization over the years within the colony, or that some of the material that he used to generate this seed was itself a hybrid of two forms of E. setosa ‘FO-42’. Under certain circumstances, a seedling that is genetically different from the parent can so closely resemble the parent visually that it can be mistaken for the parent, in which case all three forms might manifest, and possibly others as well (go, recessive genes!).

Whatever you call it, the blue foliage color, hairy texture and candy corn flowers make ‘FO-42’ a winner on a windowsill or patio, or in a rock garden. Look for it at shopaltmanplants.com (retail) or the Cactus Shop (wholesale).

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A ‘Perle’ of All Time Elegance

June finds us swooning over one of our succulent besties — Echeveria ‘Perle von Nurnberg’. For this post we’ll mark PVN’s heritage of sorts (well, its breeder’s) by adding the umlaut: Echeveria ‘Perle von Nürnberg’. An amazing abundance of shiny hybrids have followed since ‘Perle’ arrived in the 1930s, but there’s a reason why it was a must-include in our Succulents All Time Favorites Collection on Amazon.

OK, several. First, there’s intriguing mystery surrounding the plant’s Echeveria parentage. As one dives deeper into the succulent world, opportunities arise to venture down rabbit holes, many of them dealing with genetics. Plant parents. Also, in the case of ‘Perle’, not one but two German plant mavens get credit for the plant’s creation. We’re in the camp that understands it was horticulturist and breeder Alfred Gräser who created this fabulous hybrid.

The story goes that Gräser came up with ‘Perle’ in the 1930s by crossing Echeveria gibbiflora ‘Metallica’ (no, not that Metallica) with Echeveria potosina. Today, E. potosina is widely considered to be a synonym of E. elegans. No more than a variation. Next, there’s uncertainty about what was or is the true ‘Metallica’. And it very well may be that neither ‘Perle’ parent was a true species. Hybrids, both of them! The International Crassulaceae Network credits Gräser himself for that revelation.

The ICN site has some more illuminating deets about the plant’s history, such as that right from the beginning of its introduction, “three slightly different forms … were propagated and distributed: a form with steel-blue leaves, a form with reddish leaves, and a form with silvery-gray leaves. This explains why the flowers do not resemble E. gibbiflora flowers.”

This is all fascinating stuff and reason for us to become even bigger succulent nerds, but it ultimately comes down to simple plant love — waking up in the morning or coming home from work and scurrying out to the patio or garden to see the swoon-worthy colors and symmetry. Did the buds open? Any new pups? On that note, we admire PVN’s out-of-this-world purple-pink highlights that pop from the powdery pale grayish-brown backdrop.

In the video below, our succulent whisperer Tom talks about pairing this impeccably elegant rosette star with other echeverias of contrasting shades.

Echeveria ‘Perle von Nürnberg’ is available on our retail succulent store (shopaltmanplants.com) or wholesale store (cactusshop.com). PVN is also part of some of our collections on Amazon.

 

 

 

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Echeveria ‘Perle von Nurnberg’: A succulent of stunning elegance

While new succulent hybrids pop up seemingly every day, Echeveria ‘Perle von Nurnberg’ has stood the test of time with stunning grace — well the 80-some years since it was created. The pink highlights bring us back every time. Listen to our succulent whisperer Tom Jesch talk about this beyond lovely rosette stunner.

Look for Echeveria ‘Perle von Nurnberg’ at our retail shop or wholesale shop

 

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