Thursday, December 16, 2010

Random plant event: Echeveria coccinea buds of some kind

I'm not quite sure what's going on here.

When I got this plant (as unrooted cuttings), it had some flowers still on it: they were solid red and fairly close to the stems, not on tall stalks like some Echeverias get. So there's the possibility that these are flower buds in progress. It could also just be branching, making these stem buds, not flower buds. It might be a while before I find out, because I'm scared to water it now. It's on a (south-facing) windowsill in the plant room, which gets cold, and I'm afraid that after a couple cold, wet nights it will up and die on me. So I don't water, but the lack of water might be why the plant's not growing, too. You see how complicated it all is.

I'm fairly certain I'll find out what's going on sooner or later, and my money's on flowers. Which would be -- for an Echeveria in my care -- fairly miraculous.


Tom said...

Those are flower buds! I can never get one to stay alive 10 minutes, let alone long enough to bloom, bravo to you sir!

CelticRose said...

It's got buds and the leaves look plump enough, so I'd say it's happy. Don't worry about it. :)

Since it's cold where you are, I wouldn't water it unless it looks like it's drying up. It's far more likely to die from rot than from lack of water.

NotSoAngryRedHead said...

I'm voting flower buds as well. I'd have sworn it was a Kalanchoe from the picture.

Tom said...

CelticRose do you happen to also be on Cactiguide?

Sentient Meat said...

Yup, those are the buds! Mine are at the same stage. E coccinea has flower stalks which are only slightly modified stems (often bearing normal leaves), and the flowers are flush against the stem. (This is in contrast to many echeveria, which bear flowers on specialized stalks which rise up from the main plant like antennae, bearing tiny leaves called scales.)

If these stems retain their vigor after blooming, you can even take them as cuttings and re-root them. If they are weak after blooming, merely prune them back and discard.

I grew this plant pot-bound and starved for many years. It never bloomed. Then I discovered E coccinea prefers SOME fertilizer and root room, and now she's a solid performer, putting on a nice December show of red flowers. (I understand that some people think red is too gaudy for a tasteful garden, but I'm a sucker for it, particularly against the luster of this plant's setose green leaves.)

I like growing multiple stems per pot. They send their flower stems up simultaneously in a kind of parallel, slow-motion dance.

CelticRose said...

@Tom: Yep, that's me. :) What's your handle over there?

Tom said...

CelticRose - I'm Tom2643