We are fond of referring to succulents as the ultimate easy-care plants but many species can suffer serious damage or death if exposed to elements they aren’t predisposed to tolerate.
The Propagator: Altman Plants Blog
Posted on October 21 2019
Posted on October 18 2019
While you may have seized the chance to admire a panda at a zoo, here’s a cute-as-can-be, touch-friendly “panda” of which you can get a really up-close peek … at your home. Every day.
Kalanchoe tomentosa, aka panda plant, is a succulent with long oval-shaped leaves that are densely covered in fuzzy felt. Kind of like a cat’s ears.
Posted on October 4 2019
Autumn has arrived at last. It feels good to be a succulent geek right about now, especially if you have a bunch of plants exiting summer dormancy. Nothing like looking forward to seeing your aeoniums, your senecios, your sempervivums, get a little wild in wintertime. Of course, for those in colder areas, that festival of life will have to be held indoors, in a space blessed with light.
Posted on August 30 2019
Beginners, black thumbs & back-to-school shoppers, this fleshy, fun, chill group is especially for you.
Succulents have a rep for being waterwise, easy-care, easy-to-love plants. While all are easy to love, some are certainly easier to have looking their best than others.
The plants below are among the more kick-back, neglect-friendly succulents. Lovable living personalities for windowsills, sunny bedrooms, patios, kitchens, gardens, and other plant-worthy spaces.
Posted on July 22 2019
We’re daydreaming about an endless summer day on a secluded beach. Gentle waves lapping near our feet. Seabirds carrying on delightful conversation. A pod of dolphins frolicking just beyond the surf.
Enticing aromas emanating from the grill. Sunscreen dutifully lathered on. And an umbrella placed to shade our succulent friends from afternoon rays. In this perfect world, our succulents are definitely coming with.
Posted on July 1 2019
The mimicry plants known as mesembs are the thespians of the succulent world, mind-blowingly adaptable actors often accustomed to harsh, sun-blasted habitats that receive only a few inches of rain a year. They grow in coarse sand with just their translucent tops showing, enabling sunlight to reach the interior of each plant. The rest is underground, which minimizes exposure to extreme elements.
Posted on June 25 2019
Cascading succulents should be on anyone’s list for living home & patio decor.
Gardeners often focus on planting things in the ground or in pots that rest well below eye level, yet there is a wide (tall?) world of verdant, pendant possibility that lives above us in the form of hanging plants.
Particular varieties thrive from lofty perches, succulent plants such as string of bananas and Sedum ‘Burrito’. It’s enough to make one hungry! Hanging succulents also excel as “spiller” plants in dish gardens. It’s really hard to imagine potting more than one or two planters without having at least one. They do especially well in bright (but not necessarily super bright) kitchens, sun rooms, and other living spaces, making them some of the best succulents to treat as houseplants.
Posted on June 20 2019
We plant obsessives may not have as much room to garden as our parents and grandparents did. The millennials among us, especially, are said to be sticking to tighter quarters these days — condos, apartments, small houses very close to their neighbors’ small houses. If that is more or less on the money, it’s no wonder that mini succulents seem to be all the rage. They fit in so many spaces, in all manner of planters, from funky novelty ones (so many that it’s hard to pick an example…children’s cowboy boots! toy cars!!) to classic planter bowls stuffed with a dozen or more. While there doesn’t seem to be any published standard for what constitutes a “mini succulent,” we generally go with plants in 2″ or smaller pots. Cuttings count as well, unless we’re talking about, say, a 2′ “sprig” from a 10′ landscape cactus or something.
Posted on June 14 2019
At Altman Plants, we happily trace our history back more than 40 years ago to the backyard of two cactus & succulent geeks (you can probably guess their last name), but we know well that this incredible journey has not been one embarked on alone. There’s no 40-some years of collecting, growing, and selling unique, weird, and not-so-weird plants without there being plenty of others right there with us. Customers and fellow plant fanatics, from nationwide retailers at the tip of everyone’s tongue to Main Street plant shops that help form the backbone of their communities.
Posted on May 29 2019
Ah, summertime. It’s almost here. If you’re hunting for ideas on what to plant from the succulent & cactus world, we’re here to help. You may know from magazine photos, or from Instagram, or from your own garden that the sheer number of plants to choose from can be overwhelming. So many good ones!
As the largest grower of succulents & cacti in the world, we at Altman Plants know this all too well. Below we present five succulents of summer that sing in temperate gardens or year-round in pots.
Posted on April 12 2019
Whether a gift for the person who’s been there for you from the very beginning or something peaceful to herald the awakening of spring, we have you taken care of this season
Mom dropped us some juicy hints. Imagine being wrapped in warm, comforting hugs, like the ones from Mom herself. The cuties in our Love Grows Rosette Succulent Collection arrive in wood-design-wrapped 2.5″ pots. Their larger cousins live in lovingly stickered 3.5″ digs. Both come with an Altman-designed to/from card.
Posted on April 5 2019
“We just survived winter and you wanna gush about an echeveria named ‘Arctic Ice’?” You betcha! This opalescent white beauty will freeze you and other succulent seekers in their tracks…in the best possible way, like the sight of a fluffy arctic fox would.
While no fluff ball, the hen-and-chicks standout — one of our newer patented hybrids — produces concentric, snowball-esque rosettes in lovely mounding style. Its luminous white foliage is liable to throw off soft undertones of icy blue or soft, light purple, depending on factors such as lighting.
Posted on January 29 2019
We recently posted a photo to our Instagram of a cute-as-can-be trio of Echeveria derenbergii, a species lovingly referred to as the “painted lady” echeveria. Painted lady is a quick-to-clump hen-and-chicks species from Mexico that forms small rosettes of triangular green or green-blue leaves with pointed tips. It bears a clear resemblance to another lovely “lady,” the succulent enthusiast favorite Echeveria ‘Lola’, introduced decades ago by famed hybridizer Dick Wright. There’s a reason for that, which we will get to shortly (have a guess as to what that is?). Someone commented on our post that she had thought these three little echeverias were ‘Lola’. Which prompted us to look at a whole bunch of photos of the two plants and do some reading and querying. The comment was totally understandable. There are so many species, hybrids and clones out in the collective “wild” of the nursery trade and hobbyist culture. Pretty much all of us are bound to get confused or unsure from time to time, especially when trying to make definitive IDs from photos.
Posted on January 18 2019
Like your special someone, succulents really are something else. Let your love grow this Valentine’s Day season with our Valentine’s Day Rosette Succulent Collection. These living treats are even sweeter than candy hearts or chocolate and they last a whole lot longer.
Each two-pack ordered comes with a specially designed to/from card — we’re aiming to make this a piece of cake for ya! Varieties vary, in that enticing, ooh-I-can’t-wait-to-see way. Check out both styles, in 2.5″ or 3.5″ sizes.
Posted on January 11 2019
As spring weather approaches in some areas, a cool and dreary winter trudges on in others. It is hard to put on our creative gardening cap when the front yard remains dormant and lifeless.
Have no fear! Spruce up your home and decorate indoors with succulents.
Posted on January 4 2019
We’re keeping the holiday spirit alive into the new year by going with balloons — balloon cactus, that is. This gorgeous globular bluish-green species is native to southern Brazil and other select South American locales. The view from above is spot on: pale yellow spines radiate from the rusty gold middle atop and down the center of the attractive ribs.
Flowers appear spring to summer, even into fall, providing a yummy pop of yellow on yellow. This one is relatively indoor friendly — a single stem can reach 6 inches in diameter, but over time, clumps may spread to 2 feet or more across.
Posted on December 24 2018
This is a tradition-rich and family-heavy time of year for many, with Christmas Day less than a week away & New Year’s Day less than two. There are songs about a sleigh ride and a partridge in a pear tree, toy soldiers as tree ornaments, and pie for dessert. And perhaps a big family game of dominoes. We hear about chestnuts roasting on an open fire, and for some, there might be a blizzard or snowstorm alive outside. Below are succulents that will remind you of this festive season.
Posted on November 30 2018
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.
Posted on November 16 2018
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 #holidaysucculent shopping at our shop. Merry Succulenting!
Posted on November 09 2018
Perhaps you’ve noticed, perhaps not, that football season is well under way, from the Friday night lights of high school ball (already winding down) to Saturday’s rousing collegiate showdowns, to the bruising glitz of the NFL on Sunday. And Monday. Um, Thursday too.
Posted on November 02 2018
A trailing succulent plant with heart-shaped leaves of lemony cream, green and pink? Meow! We are so in. How ’bout you? The crassula (Crassula marginalis rubra ‘Variegata’) we lovingly call calico kitten is an absolute boss of a pendant-minded plant, highly recommended as a way to step up your hanging basket game. The variegated foliage positively leaps off a green hanging backdrop of Sedum ‘Burrito’ and Senecio radicans (string of bananas). Like a frisky, feisty kitty leaving its hind paws for a swipe at an irresistible target of string. Or yarn. Or shoelaces. Calico kitten will also nicely spills over retaining walls, borders and planter bowls.
Posted on October 26 2018
It seems simple enough. Put plant in ground. Water plant when it’s thirsty. Watch plant, and your smiles, grow wider and taller. Hooray for plant!
When it comes to when and how much to water, however, what would seem like an elementary exercise inevitably turns out to be more involved. But don’t fret. You got this; we know it! A good place to start is to water thoroughly when the soil is completely dry to the touch, and not just at the surface but down by the roots. This is especially true for a plant during its active growing season (more on that below). When in doubt, procure a water meter.
Posted on October 19 2018
So you’re skilled with a sewing machine or are an imaginative repurposer of a variety of materials. Yay! And you’re thirsty — hungry! — for a novel costume and willing to spend this entire coming weekend creating it. See? We have you all figured out, heh heh. Well, we happen to be conveniently adept at compiling silly suggestions for DIY projects, yet we’re perfectly content to let others transform them into reality. Our big tip: Use felt. Loads and loads of felt. These theoretically costume-inspiring living treasures are regularly obtainable at shopaltmanplants.com.
Posted on October 11 2018
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.
Posted on September 25 2018
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.
Posted on August 31 2018
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.
Posted on July 20 2018
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.
Posted on June 25 2018
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.”
Posted on June 16 2018
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.
Posted on June 8 2018
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.
Posted on May 4 2018
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.
Posted on Aril 04 2018
Kind of like a sunrise, or glittering jewels, this adorable little succulent lights up any nook or dish garden with a ravishing mix of pink, green, and creamy ivory or yellow. We’re pretty sure it’s not the sunrise the Eagles first sang about in 1973. Anyway, Anacampseros telephiastrum variegata, aka Anacampseros telep...
Posted on April 04 2018
Anacampseros telephiastrum variegata, an adorable little mat-forming succulent, lights up any space or dish garden with a ravishing mix of pink, green, and creamy ivory or yellow. It doesn’t tolerate intense heat or strong, direct sunlight for extended periods of time. Prefers bright, filtered light and temperate clima...
Posted on March 08 2018
As spring weather approaches in some areas, a cool and dreary winter trudges on in others. It is hard to put on our creative gardening cap when the front yard remains dormant and lifeless. Have no fear! Spruce up your home and decorate indoors with succulents. Succulents have a unique shape, size, and texture in compar...
Posted on March 02 2018
Thanks to its darling little round leaves, Sedum rubrotinctum is affectionately known by monikers that may stir up one’s appetite, namely pork and beans and jelly bean plant. The cultivar ‘Aurora’ adds a dimension that has us looking skyward rather than to our bellies. As we understand it, this especially pink and crea...
Posted on March 01 2018
Sedum rubrotinctum ‘Aurora’ is an especially pink cultivar of the stonecrop succulent known as pork and beans or jelly bean plant. This attractive ground-cover form should stay to about 6 inches high but it can spread to about 3 feet, in part because it roots easily from stems and leaves. Look for Sedum rubrotinctum ‘A...
Posted on February 17 2018
Many of us enjoy a lime or lemon wedge with select tasty beverages, so why not enhance the look and liveliness of our succulent-adorned spaces in a similar spirit? We heartily endorse Echeveria 'Lime n' Chile' for this role. It forms frosty lime-green rosettes of chunky leaves, the tips of which may turn a spicy pink-r...
Posted on February 03 2018
In November, Altman Plants succulent plant development mgr. Kelly Griffin and his wife, Denise, traveled to Chile for a week of marveling at Copiapoa cacti., but they also enjoyed seeing wildlife as well as non-cactus flora. With that in mind, please enjoy the decidedly non-cactus photo essay below. Read part one of Ke...
Posted on January 31 2018
Echeveria ‘Lime n’ Chile’ is an Altman Plants original hybrid that forms rosettes of chunky lime-green leaves and produces a veritable bouquet of tangerine/gold flowers. Look for Echeveria ‘Lime n’ Chile’ on our retail shop or wholesale shop. The post Add zest, spice with Echeveria ‘Lime n’ Chile’ appeared first on Alt...
Posted on January 29 2018
Editor's note: In November, Altman Plants succulent plant development mgr. Kelly Griffin and his wife, Denise, traveled to Chile for a week of marveling at Copiapoa cacti. They also took in non-plant sights, admired the wildlife and, of course, indulged in the food, if not exclusively Chilean cuisine. They also toured...
Posted on January 20 2018
Editor's note: In November, Altman Plants succulent plant development mgr. Kelly Griffin and his wife, Denise, traveled to Chile to, more or less, see as many Copiapoa cacti as possible in a week's time. They also took in non-cactus sights, admired the wildlife and, of course, indulged in the food, if not always Chilea...
Posted on January 03 2018
Faucaria tigrina (tiger jaws), a native of South Africa, is a clump-forming succulent with thick, fleshy, triangular green leaves that are lined with soft, recurved teeth. Watch our tiger jaws whisperer Tom get up-close and personal with this striking plant. Look for Faucaria tigrina at our retail shop or wholesale sho...
Posted on January 05 2018
"Hear me roar," we might imagine this succulent to say if it possessed vocal cords. Fabulously clump-forming and nearly stemless, Faucaria tigrina gets its common name from the thick, soft-teeth-lined, grayish-green leaves that give the appearance of open jaws. Of course, those aren't the teeth we have in mind when we...
Posted on December 22 2017
Last week in this space, we got a little playful, a bit wild even, in talking about succulents with animal-inspired names, from Crassula ‘Calico Kitten’ to zebra plant (Haworthia spp.). At the risk of being called birdbrains or accused of monkeying around too much, we can’t help but presume it’s only a natural progression to move this topic of names to the realm of food. Especially during the time of year when our faces are ever so close to all matters of yummy dishes and treats.
Posted on December 15 2017
It’s December and ooh baby isn’t it cold outside? Maybe even snow on the ground? That doesn’t mean you’re shut out from succulent planting until spring, though. We happen to be rather fond of a species that can not only live happily indoors year-round but also weather the dim tones of winter just fine: Haworthia fasciata, better known as zebra plant.
Posted on December 02 2017
Have pets? Do you lovingly refer to them as your fur babies? All the time? Stickers on the car back window? It’s perfectly OK if you do. This is a judgment-free zone. After all, whether they be dogs, cats, birds, iguanas, velociraptors, or all of the above plus pot belly pigs and chickens, they are beloved members of the family. But where do your succulents fit on that pecking order?
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