One more from Slovenia

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One more from Slovenia

Post by illustrator on Mon Aug 09, 2010 5:28 pm

Hi everyone,

OK, I live in Slovenia, but I am actually from the Netherlands. Not that this matters much. After reconstructing our 90 year old house, we had a bare patch in front or it. Since it has quite a slope we made two terraces and the edge of the upper one is a natural choise for Sempervivum. So I bought a variety of no-name semps, from a variety of shops and garden centres.

In the meantime I was thinking about a new direction of my plant (and animal) hobby and started to concentrate on wild forms of species which are endangered in nature. And some species which are related to endangered ones. And some which are just nice. First my "oldest plant love", African violets, of which I grow a wild form for some 20 years now and got several more from some very kind people. But African violets are not made for sunny windows, so Stapeliads appeared (crazy plants ... with crazily beattifull flowers which smell horribly crazy, or at least some do). I have 2 aquariums, and in these a wide variety of plants made place for Cryptocoryne (and the fish for a larger group of Ameca splendens, which is also endangered in nature).

Next, I turned my atention once more to Sempervivum. The next planned step is to gradually replace most no-named ones with wild forms of known origin. S. pittonii and S. w. juvanii are kind of the natural choises in my part of the world. But I have to learn a lot about these plants and I am only just starting. Already clear is that I will not aim for a big collection (who does at the start?). In stead I want to obtain some known-origin clones of a variety of central- and West European species (fewer of the East Balkans) and aim to grow these long-term. And the "obtaining" should not go to the cost of the remaining natural populations. Probably this means just buying some from other list-members :-)

On a personal side: I am 40, married, father of a son, biologist, but work as animal keeper in a ZOO.

Paul

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Re: One more from Slovenia

Post by Chromaphyo on Tue Aug 10, 2010 4:53 pm

Welcome Illustrator.

Ameca splendens is a curious and beautiful species.
I breed some killifishes Very Happy

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Re: One more from Slovenia

Post by illustrator on Sat Oct 02, 2010 5:33 am

I will use this topic to write a small blog on what happens in my collection, untill my new homepage will be ready to show online. The homepage will be about my whole hobby, growing various plants and breeding some animals, much is already written but I have to start the chapter on semps from 0.

So, to start this "mini-blog": right now I have some 20 no-name cultivars and 15 species, most with locality data. I recently moved the no-name ones to some smaller corners where I grow them for decoration, while I concentrate on the "wild" species. I bought most of these species only recently, and they are still recovering from transport (the package in which they arrived was horribly bumped). As i already indicated, i bought both juvanii and pittonii, and ironically these give also most worries. Of juvanii I got 2 rosettes - but the largest one rotted in the terrible rainy weather after i planted it. I think that it was only slightly damaged when I got it and it might have done OK in more experienced hands. pittonii is attacked by small white slugs (fortunately my village is still free of the Iberian red slugs that spread over europe with lightning speed). I haven't determined if the slugs are only removing leaves that already started to rot or attack healthy ones as well. Will have to see what the future brings.

The "easy" species like globifera and tectorum are doing great, even though they were equally shaken during transport. murtal was just rosettes without roots upon arrival, but seems settled in well.

A calcareum rosette is losing the outer leaves, maybe still normal or maybe it means that it will die as well.

I guess that I should have protected some of the plants against the heavy and continuous rain so soon after replanting, but this would have meant that they would also recieve less of the scarce sunlight in the last 2 months.

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Re: One more from Slovenia

Post by illustrator on Sat Feb 12, 2011 9:08 pm

I have been silent because there was snow over here. Actually most of my semps are still covered by snow. But I am worried, because before the snow there was rain, rain and more rain. The plants which I bought in august didn't really get a chance to recover before winter, so I expect heavy losses in the coming months. Hope it won't be all bad ... (I moved my only Rosularia to an outdoor windowsill pot just before winter and this seems to have been excellent: it's growing slowly, even now. It receives a tiny bit of snow every now and then and maybe once a month I water it a bit, when I remember to look at it. Very tempting to try some semps in the same way later this year.)

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Re: One more from Slovenia

Post by I'm the 1 on Sun Feb 13, 2011 5:57 am

Illustrator, don't worry! Semps have done just fine since November .... Me myself have no loses since than! cheers

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Re: One more from Slovenia

Post by illustrator on Tue Apr 05, 2011 7:44 pm

With the smell of dead amphibians (on roads) still fresh in my memory, it is now clearly springtime. The surviving plants are growing and finally recovering of what i did to them last fall. Most are OK, but my most prized ones are suffering. arachnoideum may not recover, but this is an opportunity to replace it with a clone of known origin (I have a lost-origin arachnoideum now). Pittonii, mmm, don't know if it will make it: rosettes are very tiny now. calcareum might be a lost case. wulfenii is badly damaged (not by the weather, more like mechanical damage of some animal stepping on it). So to summarize, about 1/3 of what I bought last summer really has problems or is lost and the others are OK. Not as bad as I feared.

Next is to think about how to continue. I am not happy about the soil, because it keeps moisture too much. I don't want to replant, but could replace a handful of soil for any new plants.

p.s. Rosularia is both suffering from sunburns and ... flowering!

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Re: One more from Slovenia

Post by illustrator on Sun May 15, 2011 8:08 pm

I toured through Europe last week. For job (and it was fun as well), but I practically passed Carlo de Wilde's nursery. I could't resist. So I wrote an email to ask if the nursery was open. No reply. Since I was so close, I decided to just try. It was hard to find: dense vegetation practically covered the roadside-plate. And it was closed; no-one there. There were several telephone numbers indicated at the fence. My first call was answered by a lady who didn't know any nursery (did I dial the number wrong?). The second call was answered by Carlo himself, who informed me that he was at a plant-fair in the South of Germany and he doesn't sell at the nursery anymore. Pity, because a stop at his famous nursery and an opportunity to obtain some semps was something I had looked foreward to for a long time.

I drove on to make my job-related visits and still bought a few semps at a large garden centre in the Netherlands, before returning to Slovenia. Job-wise the tour was a success. Plant-wise: I didn't find time to visit other nurseries and well ... got a few semps with (in my opinion) not entirely certain identifications and lost-localities. Better luck next time Very Happy

In order to avoid such disapointment for other forum-members, I added a note in the list of nurseries/sellers on this forum. And maybe I should add: in case some nursery doesn't answer email: I suggest calling before driving!

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Re: One more from Slovenia

Post by I'm the 1 on Mon May 16, 2011 7:07 am

Hm, you could have avoided the dissapointment if you would look carefully to his web page ... or asked me. There is no indication that he is selling small amounts of plants directly from the nursery. He is ell known to visit fairs across the Europe and the best way to buy plants from his nursery is to order in winter.

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Re: One more from Slovenia

Post by illustrator on Tue May 17, 2011 5:59 am

Of course, and it is entirely my foult.

On the positive side: in my garden both clones of pittonii are recovering from last years rainy fall!

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Re: One more from Slovenia

Post by illustrator on Sat May 21, 2011 5:37 pm

Renata wrote:Hm, you could have avoided the dissapointment if you would look carefully to his web page

I re-checked what I read before and in the Dutch version it clearly states that plants can be bought by mailorder, at fairs and at the nursery! It does not give opening hours, that's true. Anyway, now I know and it no longer matters.

What matters more is to find our when and where there are plant fairs ...

The more my plants recover from last fall's rainy days, the more my enthousiasm increases! It's a great joy to discover the differences between species and varieties myself Very Happy

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Re: One more from Slovenia

Post by illustrator on Sat May 21, 2011 5:48 pm

illustrator wrote:
Renata wrote:Hm, you could have avoided the dissapointment if you would look carefully to his web page

I re-checked what I read before and in the Dutch version it clearly states that plants can be bought by mailorder, at fairs and at the nursery! It does not give opening hours, that's true. Anyway, now I know and it no longer matters.

What matters more is to find our when and where there are plant fairs ...

The more my plants recover from last fall's rainy days, the more my enthousiasm increases! It's a great joy to discover the differences between species and varieties myself Very Happy

Between lost-label semps at a local florist's shop i found a pot full of small- and medium sized Orostachys spinosa today. I have the species for some 2 years already, but it was doing poorly at first. Last fall I replanted the last remaining rosette to a pot with mainly sand + a bit of potting soil. Now that it is spring this rosette is looking better and better. I decided to buy today's pot (for 1.80 Eur!) and added the plants to the one I already had. Very likely it is the same clone anyway, I am curious if it will keep improving/surviving.

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Re: One more from Slovenia

Post by illustrator on Sun Jun 12, 2011 9:28 am

I thought i had a cool idea for an avatar but once I made it, it reminded me of those poor cactusses with glued (or pinned) eyes and other clheap kitchy decorations. Anyway, i'll leave it a while as is.

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Re: One more from Slovenia

Post by illustrator on Mon Aug 29, 2011 12:05 pm

Since my last post some things happened in my collection: firstly, and most exitingly, I got some plants from a friend: These are semps which were 40 years ago collected in what was then Yugoslavia, nameless, without exact locality (probably Macedonia/Serbia), but very nice small plants indeed!

Over the last months I re-planted most of my semps from "between the weeds in the garden" to pots. It is now easier to move them around when needed. The pots are the old-fashioned clay ones, which drain much easier than plastic pots (and they also look better). The only problem is that I bought all these pots available in middle Slovenia and supplies are irregular here :-) I have a few empty pots stored, for in case I see something interesting which I want to buy, but my collection shouldn't grow too fast, otherwise I'll run out of pots (I have about 55 species/varieties/cultivars now).

I arranged the pots in such a way that no 2 Jobibarba are next to each other: in case a plantlet rolls of the thin stolon it cannot accidentally end up in a pot with a similar plant.

I labelled most of my no-name cultivars. Each one got a number so I can keep track of where and when I obtained them. My plant now either have a name (when I got them as named/identified plants and I have no indication that the name is wrong) or a number (all other plants). Probably, when I get more of the same species, I will have to give some both a name and a number (like "tectorum #5"), but for now my collection is small and this is not yet nessesary.

We had a serious drought here, which is, I think, very good for the re-planted plants: all wounds could close before any starts to rot. After some weeks of "keeping them dry" I decided to water the semps, they soak up a lot and now start to look good again! (I don't dare to wait for rain with these replanted plants because they need to recover before winter ...)

Amazingly, S. pittonii is still doing well! It is in the full sun, next to other plants. I think that in winter I will move it away from "possible snow". Also Orostachys is doing well. Rosularia is in a place where it gets only some morning sun and it is almost exploding, growing so nicely and fast!

And finally, I spend my holidays in the Julian Alps, where I photographed S. tectorum on a new locality. I did not collect any because it's a protected species but also, because the particular population is not endangered by factors like vegetation succession so there is no immediate need for ex-situ conservation. They don't look different from others which I saw in the Julian Alps either. One day, I hope to be able to start a legal reference-collection of Slovenian semps - I feel that illegal collecting now would possibly block any future legal possibilities. Like I can not really ask for any kind of permit if I become known as a person who illegally collects ...

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Re: One more from Slovenia

Post by illustrator on Sat Sep 10, 2011 11:45 am





This is how most of my collection looks now. There are some more plants, spread out in the garden.

Replanting turned out to be very good for my plants: they are all growing and look much better than before!

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Re: One more from Slovenia

Post by illustrator on Wed May 30, 2012 6:51 pm

Time for an update: my collection is growing steadily, but I made a big change which is not so very visible from the number of pots: I replaced most of the lost-label plants by plants which are at least identified to species level, and quite some of these have locality data as well. I had/have no named cultivars. I guess this is the next big step in seriously growing semps.

I make one exeption: I am collecting anything which looks like S. pittonii, including lost-label lookalikes. I have now 2 pittonii clones from Erwin Geiger, one from Martin Haberer, one lookalike from a local flower shop and one from Slovene grower Adamič (#56). Of course several of these could be the same clone from a different grower, or they could by hybrids. I suppose that if they flower I can put out some certain hybrids, and with the rest I will never know for sure.

And: S. juvanii has the first tiny offests!

Furthermore I replaced the ugly plastic labels by bamboo ones, it is too early to tell how long these last.

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Re: One more from Slovenia

Post by illustrator on Wed Sep 12, 2012 6:14 pm

It goes all very well now. the warm, dry summer has been good and now that it is finally raining, the plants seem to inflate and stretch with the long-expected moisture.

I have no problems with either pittonii or juvanii. I added pittonii-lookalikes from local supermarkets (!) and a certain pittonii-clone from another collector. And I started to expand my collection with old cultivars, especially ones from before 1950.

Bamboo-labels colour dark greyish in time. Only writing on names is risky, have to scratch or burn them in.

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Re: One more from Slovenia

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