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Hello from West Oxon

Posted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:01 pm
by KeithG
I've joined the forum because I want to find out more about growing succulents (and cacti) in real life and there is substitute for the experience of people in the real world. So I suspect that I'll be more of a leach here than I will be of help (unless you want to know about Salvia and tender exotics).

I don't have a "high-brow" collection, just easily available plants from a local garden centre that carries a good range although I suspect that a good few are incorrectly named. I'm building up a fair Echeveria and Aloe collection, mostly because I find them quite cold tolerant. Somewhat against my better judgement I am also getting rather interested in Kalanchoe.

As I hinted at earlier my main interest is Salvia and tender plants as well as less common hardy plants.So here are a few of my favourite non forum plants from the past few years.

ImageSalvia atrocyanea by longk48, on Flickr

ImageSalvia discolor by longk48, on Flickr

ImageCantua buxifolia by longk48, on Flickr

ImageTacca chantrieri - Bat Flower by longk48, on Flickr

ImageSwainsona formosa by longk48, on Flickr

Re: Hello from West Oxon

Posted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 7:51 am
by rodsmith
Welcome to the forum, Keith. You've got some choice exotic plants, judging by the excellent photos. Do you grow many of them in the open?

Re: Hello from West Oxon

Posted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 10:25 am
by KeithG
rodsmith wrote:Welcome to the forum, Keith. You've got some choice exotic plants, judging by the excellent photos. Do you grow many of them in the open?

Thank you for the welcome. I should have said that I tend to grow most of my stuff from seed in my intro.

In answer to your question;

Salvia atrocyanea is in the ground. Although it is basically hardy given good drainage I start a couple of new plants off every year to overwinter frost free just in case. Invariably they end up being given away as being a tuberous Salvia they need potting up if kept in a pot and winter space is an issue.

Salvia discolor has to be kept frost free. Blooms quite merrily outdoors from the last spring frost to first of the autumn frosts though.

Cantua buxifolia is fully hardy here in the Cotswolds but it is pointless treating it that way as it blooms on last years growth. I gave it away a couple of years ago as I found it impossible to keep RSM off of it when in geowth, even outdoors.

Tacca chantrieri was grown in the conservatory as it was easier to give it the shade, heat and bonkers humidity to get it into bloom. I gave it away when I moved as it was five feet across and I no longer had a conservatory.
ImageTacca chantrieri - Bat Flower by longk48, on Flickr

The Swainsona was in the greenhouse until it got too big............
ImageSwainsona formosa by longk48, on Flickr

Re: Hello from West Oxon

Posted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 1:22 pm
by BrianMc
Welcome to the forum Keith.
You have grown some lovely plants.
I’m particularly glad you posted the Tacca, it’s amazing. I came across this in a seed catalogue just the other day and was tempted to give it a go. Luckily, for me I read you post and can now make the judgement call that it wouldn’t fit in with my collection, either space or requirements. I’ll just admire the pictures.

Good to hear you are getting in to Echeveria and Aloe.
Just a word of warning, not all Aloes are so cold tolerant. Just be careful when acquiring new plants. Species from Madagascar and African continent nearer the equator can be very cold intolerant.

Re: Hello from West Oxon

Posted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:01 pm
by JaneO
Hi,
Your Swainsona Formosa has the most amazing flowers! Gorgeous photos of extraordinary plants. Great growing.

Re: Hello from West Oxon

Posted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:47 pm
by Paul in Essex
Hi Keith - you'll find one or two familiar named refugees from gardening fora on here, me included. :)

Re: Hello from West Oxon

Posted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 6:06 pm
by KeithG
Once again, thank you for the welcomes.

BrianMc wrote:Welcome to the forum Keith.
You have grown some lovely plants.
I’m particularly glad you posted the Tacca, it’s amazing. I came across this in a seed catalogue just the other day and was tempted to give it a go. Luckily, for me I read you post and can now make the judgement call that it wouldn’t fit in with my collection, either space or requirements. I’ll just admire the pictures.

The thing about growing Tacca from seed is that it needs to be fresh seed. I found good seed from an Australian vendor on fleabay.

BrianMc wrote:Good to hear you are getting in to Echeveria and Aloe.
Just a word of warning, not all Aloes are so cold tolerant. Just be careful when acquiring new plants. Species from Madagascar and African continent nearer the equator can be very cold intolerant.
Apart from A.striatula I treat them all the same at first - dry in a frost free greenhouse. If they can't handle that then they never get to the point of producing offsets to try in sheltered spots outdoors.

JaneO wrote:Hi,
Your Swainsona Formosa has the most amazing flowers! Gorgeous photos of extraordinary plants. Great growing.
Thank you! It takes a little effort but the results do justify it.

Paul in Essex wrote:Hi Keith - you'll find one or two familiar named refugees from gardening fora on here, me included. :)

Clocked you - the one that I think of as Puya man on another forum!

Hello from West Oxon

Posted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 6:58 pm
by Ali Baba
Swainsona formosa is a lovely plant and that is a very well grown specimen . It has a reputation for being very tricky in cultivation in the UK. I have grown it once many years ago, the flowers always attract admiration! Your photo makes me want to have another go [emoji3]


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Re: Hello from West Oxon

Posted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 7:39 pm
by KeithG
Ali Baba wrote:Swainsona formosa is a lovely plant and that is a very well grown specimen . It has a reputation for being very tricky in cultivation in the UK. I have grown it once many years ago, the flowers always attract admiration! Your photo makes me want to have another go [emoji3]


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Thank you!
I think that it's the same as many plants - once you've worked it out it's not that difficult. Time to give it another go maybe?
This years growing "projects" for me include Musschia wollastonii and Ferraria.