Sunday, November 20, 2011

Succulents, Pebble Trays and Butterflies

Graptopetalum paraguayense or Ghost Plant,
a native of Mexico,succulent plant with rosettes of gray leaves.

Tatyana asked about my succulent plants in the greenhouse after I posted this photo with Ghost Plant peeking from the left:

She wanted to know about growing them indoors.
I bring Graptopetalum in because squirrels or birds tend to nibble
the succulent leaves in a dry winter.

I spent time today making pebble trays to increase
humidity around some of the plants. I oiled
the tins with some olive oil to help prevent rust.

When I started making pics to show the pebble trays,
succulents and butterflies got into the picture.
A Gulf Fritillary nectars on newly potted Pentas posed in front of a Kalanchoe.

It was warm today and butterflies flew in and out easily.
There were two kinds of skippers too and the usual bees.
The Kalanchoe is forming buds. Two rooted cuttings are closer
to bloom than the big plant. Kalanchoe is cold tender.

At the next tray a Cloudless Sulphur was nectaring on a newly blooming Duranta cutting.
This tray also holds amaryllis bulbs coming on for Christmas.

Leaves of Graptopetalum are brittle and
many get knocked off. I save every one.

A tiny root forms at the broken end.
Soon a tiny rosette of leaves appear.

   Drop the leaves into any pot with a spot of bare
soil. Later I'll gather them into a pot of their own.

The last tray has a rooted Gardenia and some Pentas.
Rooted Pentas commence blooming, no matter how tiny.
Chlorophytum babies are all over. I save them the same
as Graptopetalum leaves.

Secrets of a Seedscatterer        


  1. This is a very interesting post. I don't do anything to speak of inside so it is all very new to me. You are really getting the full benefit of the greenhouse!

    I have been looking at them online....

  2. Glenda, have I mentioned what I actually grow in the house? I have a huge Peace Lily spathiphyllum, a heliconia, an areca palm, an orchid in a glass cylinder that I despair of ever bringing back to bloom but it has a new leaf, a bird's nest fern and 3 containers of narcissus bulbs I'm forcing in the room we call the 'porch.'

  3. I have graptopetalum, too, and I leave it outside all year long. It has always done well in a mild winter. Last year was a true test, though. It survived through temps in the teens and covered with snow for a few days. I was a little worried about it, but it survived! I have a very small green house, but I don't heat it, so really the only protection it would have received was from the snow sitting on it. I am thinking about getting a small heater for my greenhouse since I lost so much last year.

  4. Love that Ghost Plant! But I am especially impressed with the butterflies flying in and out. I bet they think they've found a small paradise island of blooms!

  5. My ghost plant stays out year round.....your greenhouse looks good!

  6. I just bought a new white pentas today. I bought several last year, but none have done nearly as well as the ones I have grown from cuttings of my brother's. I think I have the same graptopetallum too, and that was grown from a cutting from a friend. It's so much more satisfying to propagate them yourself and then there is the added bonus that they remind you of the person you got them from.

  7. I don't have much luck with indoor plants since they usually need more humidity than a Air-conditioned house can provide. Like your pebble tray idea. It is interesting to see how you root those dropped leaves of ghost plants.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  8. I love the Graptopetalum and just as you, save all the leaves. They are cold hearty for me (26F) so that makes them a valuable plant in my yard ;)

  9. Deeply ashamed, my Kalanchoe is nearly dead. MUST move it and water it.

  10. Peace lilies make the perfect houseplants. Peace lily or Spathiphuyllum can survive low light and does not take require much care.


I look forward to comments and questions and lively discussion of gardening and related ideas.