From the Digest

Plant Care

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New Aloe Hybrid: Aloe ‘Bokeh’

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By Hammy Sorkin – When I noticed two separate Aloe hybrids blooming at the same time in late 2021, I got a botanically perverted idea. With a sterilized paintbrush, I took pollen from the flowers of one and transferred it onto stigmas of the other. The resulting plant was named “Bokeh” after the photography technique of using a blurred background. The plant displays unique characteristics for aloes. …

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Free-Root-Run Raised Beds for Cacti and Succulents

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Part 2: Building a Raised Bed – By J. Eric Driskill – In this article, I will explain how to build your own raised bed, beginning with a smaller bed. My guess is after you see the results the first year, you will be expanding yours before you start putting plants in there the second year. Your first task is to find the ideal location for your bed. You can do a lot of research …

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Free-Root-Run Raised Beds for Cacti and Succulents

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Part 1: The Science Behind It – By J. Eric Driskill – I have consistently used a raised bed after I saw such amazing growth results for so many plants. I know a raised bed works, but biology, botany and horticulture articles discuss how differences in container size, including raised beds, affect plant growth. Data in these articles can broadly apply to any plants, including succulents. …

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A Starting Place – Intellectual Curiosity

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By Jason Chretien – While not formally surveyed, I have found that many people who grow plants as a hobby are naturally curious. Thinking about plant growing with a beginner’s mind is about being curious, open to innovative ideas, eager to learn – not based on preconceived notions or prior knowledge, but approaching what we do with a sense of wonder. …

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Coddling Your Plants Through an Arctic Winter

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By Mike Hellmann – There are a few key points to remember when preparing to limp your plants through the winter. First is to grow them well to become healthy over the summer so they are better able to overcome the long, punishing season indoors. Second is remembering the fact that you want your plants dormant (except for winter growers) during their stay indoors. …

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‘Live’ March Meeting Features Repotting

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After a two-year hiatus, in-person HSCSS club meetings resumed in March with Mike Hellmann and Don Lesmeister sharing the basics of succulent repotting. Hellmann started the demo with a small fockea that was outgrowing its pot. Two euphorbias, two gasterias and a clumping cactus were also repotted for various reasons. Two of the succulents were raised to highlight plant form. …

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I Wish I Knew Then What I Know Now

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By Eric Driskill – When I heard about and joined the Henry Shaw Cactus and Succulent Society, I wasn’t new to growing and collecting cacti, but I had no idea how little I knew. Joining our local society, I was immediately amazed that there were even a couple of other people who enjoyed these plants enough to collect them, much less join or participate in a “society.” …

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September 2021 Program and More

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By Mike Hellmann – Now that the end of summer is here, it would be an understatement to say the past 18 months have been rough. No matter who you are or where you live, you’ve been affected by this global pandemic. The silver lining for most of us is that we’ve had our plants on which to focus, distract us and relieve stresses. For this program, several members will share their winter care tips to help you transition your plants into dormancy. …

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