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This sedum delivers a hot storm of color

Would you care to make a statement … in your garden? On your patio? You’d be hard-pressed to make a quiet one by slotting in Sedum adolphi Firestorm™. More like a searing proclamation — in prime condition (lots of light), the leaf margins scream out as if they’re sear marks. Orange-red ones. The middle is golden yellow to greenish yellow. Clusters of star-shaped white flowers burst forth seasonally.

This striking selection of golden sedum is an incredibly versatile rangy color accent in succulent landscapes, borders and along pathways, or for spilling forth out of planters.

In the linked video below, our succulent tamer Tom plays up this fiery character’s ability to light up a temperate landscape in a mass planting. Firestorm is hardy to 32 degrees Fahrenheit, but protecting it from frost may prevent possible scarring.

Because of its bright hues, this sedum excels as a loud accent in all manner of dish garden combos. We find ourselves going back to the well with this one time and time again.

You can find Sedum adolphi Firestorm at shopaltmanplants.com (retail) or the Cactus Shop (wholesale).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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If an echeveria were a jeweled lizard

If you admire reptilian motifs but can do without slithering or hissing, then you ought to consider giving Echeveria purpusorum a spot in your garden or new planter. Or scale up and sprinkle several here and there. We imagine it would pass muster, with its enticing, irregular reddish-brown spots, particularly on the outside of the short, pointy leaves. More of a finely mottled pattern graces the inside. Leaf color will be some form of green, punctuated by red margins. Check out those dynamite flowers.

In the linked video below, our succulent wrangler Tom notes that this windowsill-ready echeveria lacks a common name. If you come up with one, we’d love to hear it!

You can find Echeveria purpusorum at shopaltmanplants.com (retail) or the Cactus Shop (wholesale).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A petite purple people charmer for your windowsill & patio

 Sometimes fabulous prizes come in small packages. This is particularly true with succulents. Take Anacampseros rufescens (sand rose), a diminutive cutie that’s ideal in a windowsill pot or as a dish garden accent. But that’s not all! In a garden, over time, it will spread to become a miniature ground cover of green-purple rosettes, with white hairs along the stems adding a nice contrast.

While the plant is suitable for a partially shady area, its olive green leaves will turn purple to reddish-brown in bright light. The fetching flowers will win your heart with their pink to pinkish-purple petals. Keep yours long enough and you might even notice a caudex (plump stem) form.

In the linked video below, our succulent whisperer Tom talks about this fleshy wonder from South Africa being a delightful fit for a bright sill or nook.

You can find Anacampseros rufescens at shopaltmanplants.com (retail) or the Cactus Shop (wholesale).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Looking for some awesome succulent videos?

Looking for some awesome succulent videos? Head on over to our retail page, shopaltmanplants.com, to find hours of succulent videos to get lost in. From succulent care to DIY projects, we cover it all. See you there!

 

 

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A purple people charmer on a windowsill

Anacampseros rufescens (aka sand rose) is a small succulent from South Africa. Its slowly creeping stems cluster freely to form mats, becoming a small area ground-cover in time, each rosette about 4″ tall and wide. It also makes an excellent potted windowsill plant. Single flowers arise on 3″ to 4” stems above the leaves and are pink to rose-purple, 3/4″ wide, and resemble flattened Portulaca flowers; they open in late afternoon, closing every night. A. rufescens grows best with full sun to partial shade and ample airflow, with a well-drained soil mix. 

Look for Anacampseros rufescens at our retail shop or wholesale shop.

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Befriend this mutant jade plant character

 We have an incredible summer blockbuster for you. Instead of some silly popcorn movie, though, we’re talking about a succulent full of freakish star power. It’s pretty much a given that the mention of Crassula ovata ‘Gollum’ is going to elicit a “my precious” response from someone. Some geek. (Like us.) Sorry, non-“Lord of the Rings”-fan gardeners. Unlike the Gollum character himself, though, it’s a rather cheery, desirable form. A super bonsai candidate. If you’ve seen this monstrose jade plant form while out and about, or have one yourself, you’ll probably agree.

The jade plant is a popular subject for bonsai training due to the inherent gnarly character of the thickened trunk and the ease with which it can be pruned and trained. In the case of ‘Gollum’, the red-tipped “fingers” are an added plus to create an interesting bonsai plant, around 1′ to 3′ tall and 1′ to 2′ wide.. … “Bright green leaves with ring-like red margins to rule them all!!!” … Sorry; it’s finally out of our system.

The leaves, unlike the flattened leaves of regular jade, form odd tubular, lime green “fingers”. The tip of the leaf is flared but depressed in the center and often a brilliant, translucent red. It’s excellent as patio plant or landscape plant. Just watch out for filthy hobbitses snooping around to steal your precious backyard fruit and vegetables. (No, we really can’t help ourselves, and we’re far from the biggest Tolkien fans.)

In the video below, our totally-not-filthy succulent whisperer Tom, an upstanding, productive member of society, channels his inner Gollum (no, really) to explain why you should consider making this variety part of your slice of Middle-earth, er, your space. Corral your Crassula ovata ‘Gollum’ at our online retail store, shopaltmanplants.com, or our wholesale store, the Cactus Shop. No need to feed it raw fish either.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A monster jade plant that goes by the name of ‘Gollum’

Crassula ovata ‘Gollum’ is considered to be a monstrose form of the popular jade plant (Crassula ovata). The leaves, unlike the flattened leaves of regular jade, form odd tubular lime-green “fingers”. The tip of the leaf is flared, but depressed in the center and often a brilliant, translucent red. Excellent as patio plant or landscape plant. With its red-tipped fingers atop a thick, gnarly trunk, ‘Gollum” is also a great bonsai subject.

Look for Crassula ovata ‘Gollum’ at our retail shop or wholesale shop.

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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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One small grafted step for cacti: Moon cactus

“Lollipop lollipop / Oh lolli lolli lolli / Lollipop lollipop / Oh lolli lolli lolli / Lollipop lollipop / Oh lolli lolli lolli / Lollipop ‘pop'”

The Chordettes weren’t singing about cacti in the 1958 hit “Lollipop,” but wouldn’t it be funny if they were?

For May, we want to give you a taste of lollipop-look-alike cacti with otherworldly “flavor.” They are brightly colored confections called moon cacti: little spheres of vividness from the genus Gymnocalycium. The challenge with these sweeties is one of chlorophyll, or the lack of it.

Because of this, each one can only survive as a scion — the upper “moon” is grafted onto green Hylocereus rootstock. AKA dragon fruit. The base cactus provides the chemical “fire” necessary for the upper plant to have a chance at life. And to star in our spaces as a filtered-light-friendly, colorful treat.

Below, our cactus whisperer Tom talks about moon cacti’s graft-powered charm. Look for moon cactus at our retail shop or wholesale shop (here and here).

 

 

 

 

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