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We hope you’ll enjoy each month’s selections as much as we enjoy sending them out to you.
Please note that plants may appear a bit frazzled when you receive them. This is normal, and they should perk up within a couple of weeks when following the care instructions provided in this blog post.
This month’s featured plants are Delosperma Echinatum aka Pickle Plant, Nepenthes Miranda aka Pitcher Plant, and Tillandsia Xerographica Air Plant.
This month’s featured crystal is Kambaba Jasper.
How long does it take for plants to recover from shipping?
Your plant has been shipped in a completely dark box, potentially for days, so tread lightly when you receive it. Wait at least 2 weeks before repotting your houseplant. It’ll give your plant some time to adjust “out of the box” and regain some strength. It’s perfectly OK if your plant loses a few leaves in the process.
Delosperma Echinatum aka Pickle Plant
The Delosperma Echinatum is commonly known as a Pickle Plant or Pickle Cactus. This unusual-looking succulent grows leaves that look like little pickles! The leaves are covered with small white hairs that make it look like a cactus, but unlike a cactus, these don’t prick but are soft to the touch. Making this plant even cuter!
The Delosperma Echinatum is considered non-toxic and safe to grow at home around your cats or dogs. Even though they are not poisonous, these “pickles” are not meant to be eaten like regular pickles made from cucumbers.
Native to dry mountains and desert areas of South Africa, these low-growing succulents like lots of sun, infrequent watering, and low humidity.
Pickle plants like lots of light. They do best in a bright, sunny window with a few hours of morning sun and bright indirect light the rest of the day. Your pickle plant can grow in partial shade, but if it gets too little light, it will grow leggy and stretch out, reaching to get more light. Avoid too much direct sunlight. Dry, brown spots on the leaves can be a sign of sunburn. Move your plant further away from the light, or put a sheer curtain between your plant and the window.
Pick containers with drainage holes and use well-draining cactus and succulent soil with 50% to 70% mineral grit such as coarse sand, pumice, or perlite.
Overwatering is the most common problem in pickle plant care. To prevent overwatering, let the soil dry out completely between waterings. In their native habitat, these succulents go through long dry spells followed by heavy rainfall. The pickle plant stores water in its leaves to get through those dry periods. This means no need for frequent watering.
The best way to know when it is time to water is to check the soil. Stick your finger one to two inches below the surface of the soil. If it feels moist, don’t water but wait one or two days and check again. If the soil feels dry, go ahead and give it a generous soak. If in doubt, don’t water yet. Underwatering is better than overwatering. Watering too often will lead to root rot. Too little water could lead to some leaf shriveling but is easily fixed with a thorough watering. Allow all excess water to drain out of the bottom of the pot. Make sure the pot has drainage holes on the bottom. Without those, excess water has no way to get out and will drown the roots. Water sparingly in winter. Water it just enough to make sure the leaves don’t shrivel up completely.
Temperature and Humidity
Part of your care for a pickle plant includes providing the right temperature. A range between 0 to 40°F is ideal for your succulent. This range is a bit lower than the temperature requirements for other species of succulents. If you’re living in colder areas, this plant is an excellent choice.
When it comes to humidity, nothing is much required by the pickle plant. It will thrive in an average room humidity so there’s no need for misting. In fact, it’s better to keep the plant away from excess moisture. It loves to dwell in a dry environment. So, let it be that way. It pays to monitor your Delosperma Echinatum humidity from time to time. High humidity can be dangerous to your succulents. It can cause stem and root rot because of excess moisture. Remember that this plant has storage of water in the form of its fleshy leaves.
Pickle plants do well even in nutrient-deficient soil. Even when you don’t fertilize regularly, it will remain healthy and thriving. But if in case your plant needs a little boost, go ahead and apply fertilizer. Feed once a month with diluted fertilizer during the spring and summer seasons. But make sure to do this in moderation. Although a steady supply of nutrients is beneficial, their heavy concentration can cause toxicity.
Pruning Delosperma Echinatum isn’t really required. You can just let the foliage grow and spread naturally. If there are dead and rotten stems, remove them right away. They might cause the spread of certain diseases to other parts. Once the plant gets really thick, you may cut off some of its mature stems. This is a form of thinning out to give the plant enough air circulation and light penetration.
Nepenthes Miranda aka Pitcher Plant
A result of Nepenthes Maxima and Nepenthes Northiana, Nepenthes Miranda is known for its colorful, 15-inch pitchers. These tropical pitcher plants also produce yellow brown flowers and are ideal for beginners because they grow easily. If you want to try your hand with carnivorous plants, Nepenthes Miranda is a very good place to start.
Nepenthes Miranda are not toxic to dogs or cats. It is possible for them to cause minor stomach irritation but they will not cause any long-term effects.
Loves it humid and warm, definitely above 50°F at night. Mist them regularly to keep them happy, water often but don’t let them get soggy. Once a year a mature plant might need a pick-me-up, feed with diluted orchid feed.
Nepenthes Miranda requires full, indirect light. Do not expose the plant directly to the sun, but do not completely cover it either. If your Nepenthes is on a hanging basket outdoors, look for a brightly lit spot. Do not place the basket under the sun but somewhere the light can still reach it. Do the same with potted plants. Find a spot with full but indirect light. Usually, the best place is a windowsill, preferably facing south. If you are using grow lights, follow the setup instructions. Leave the light on 10-14 hours a day if you are substituting it for natural light. Whether you opt for natural or artificial light, always make sure the plant is never exposed directly to the source. Doing so could result in overheating and literally burn its leaves and pitchers. Move the plant under shade if you notice dry, empty pitchers or cracked leaves.
An orchid mix is ideal, with chunks of bark, sphagnum moss or coir to let air to the roots and drain away water fast.
Nepenthes Miranda needs moist but not waterlogged soil. Use only purified or distilled water and spray freely all over its leaves. Do not fill its pitchers with liquid. Do not use the tray method unless it is scorching hot. While Nepenthes Miranda needs a lot of water, the tray method might be too much. Moist soil is a must for this plant, but too much could cause serious damage. As long as the temperature is within the ideal range, you should water from the top with a spray bottle. That should be enough to keep the plant healthy. You may use the tray method if the temperature is always around 90 degrees and up. Pour an inch of water in the container and let the pot sit in it. If the plant responds well, continue it.
Temperature and Humidity
They do best with daytime temperatures in the 70-80°F with a 10° drop at night. Do not allow the temperature to fall below 60°F though. They prefer a humidity of 60% or more. If you cannot achieve a high humidity, mist the plant as needed paying special attention to developing tendrils and pitchers.
Do not add fertilizer or compost to the soil. Just keep it moist and allow water to drain.
If your pitcher plant blooms, you should prune off the blossoms of a pitcher plant when they wilt, just as you deadhead* other plants. This type of pitcher plant pruning is easy. You simply use a pair of garden scissors to cut off the stalk of the bloom at its base. If your pitcher plant has yellow or brown foliage, that part of the plant is dead. Trimming a pitcher plant to remove dead foliage is not difficult. You simply snip off the dead leaf at the point where it meets the stem of the plant.
*Deadheading is the gardening term used for the removal of faded or dead flowers from plants. Deadheading is generally done both to maintain a plant’s appearance and to improve its overall performance.
Tillandsia Xerographica Air Plant
Tillandsia Xerographica is a slow-growing, xerophytic epiphyte and the only air plant that can grow over 3 feet in size, which is why they are known as the King of air plants. They feature thick and wide silver-gray to light green leaves (about 2 inches wide) that narrows and curve towards the ends and have rosettes that can reach up to 8 to 24 inches long and 20 to 35 inches in diameter.
Air plants are not toxic to dogs, cats, and other animals. However, it would be best if you kept your tillandsias out of their reach because these plants have sharp and pointed leaves, and they do pose a potential choking hazard. So, while your pets may not die due to toxicity, they may still choke.
Like most air plants, Tillandsia Xerographica is low maintenance. It is also more drought tolerant and can endure more direct sunlight than most species of Tillandsia. However, bright and indirect light is best. When it comes to watering, Xerographica have the ability to pull moisture from the air around them. This means that they can adapt well when removed from the humidity they are accustomed to – but, these plants still require regular watering.
Compared to their tropical, shade-loving cousins, Xerographica air plants can handle more sunlight exposure as long as you don’t lean them against the glass of a south or west-facing window, or else, you may risk them getting sunburnt. Instead, display them where they can get bright, but indirect, light, like in a room with lots of window space.
If you don’t have many windows available, you can place your Xerographica under a fluorescent light for 12 hours a day to supplement the light it needs. Although they won’t be as bright and colorful compared to exposing them to natural light, it should be enough to keep them alive and healthy.
As with other air plants like Tillandsia Iolanthe and Tillandsia Cyanea, Tillandsia Xerographica doesn’t need soil. It obtains its moisture through the leaves instead of a root system. As it doesn’t require potting, and it doesn’t need transplanting.
People frequently attach smaller air plants to a piece of wood, bark, or another plant. This jumbo air plant gets rather large and may not stay affixed to another object. Instead of attaching it to something else, place the plant in a larger saucer or bowl. You may even place it on a table or desk.
Watering Xerographica couldn’t be any easier! They are native to southern Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, making them very drought tolerant as they are used in very dry and sunny conditions.
Just keep in mind that like any other air plants, Xerographica also has leaves covered in trichomes that help them absorb moisture and minerals and as well as regulate temperature. So, when watering, you need to make sure to water the whole plant and not only its roots by completely submerging all its leaves for about an hour in a bowl of tap water. If you are unsure how to do this, you can follow the procedure below:
Step 1: Turn your plant upside down in a deep bowl.
Step 2: Fill the bowl with tepid or room-temperature water.
Step 3: Let it soak for about 30 minutes to an hour-long or so.
Step 4: Take the plant out and give it a few good shakes while holding it upside down. You will want to make sure to get all excess water out of any crevices to avoid rotting.
Step 5: Place the plant upside down onto a kitchen towel (away from direct sunlight) until it is thoroughly dry.
To make sure that your air plant is always hydrated, do the steps above at least once a week or 2 or more, depending on how dry the air in your home.
Temperature and Humidity
Since Tillandsia Xerographica is considered a tropical plant, warm and dry conditions are the ideal environment in growing them, such as the climates found in the southwest of the United States. This means that the ideal temperature in growing them is between 60° – 80° degrees Fahrenheit, but they can still survive cooler temperatures for as low as 20 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Fertilizing Xerographica is not a very difficult job, nor even an essential one, especially if you are watering it using rainwater or water from an aquarium or pond. Though feeding them every month or quarter would indeed help them thrive, be healthier, get bigger, and promote flowering and pups.
So, if you want to fertilize your air plants, you may use an air plant-specific or a bromeliad fertilizer a few times a year, or even a regular one (a water-soluble houseplant one at 1/4 of the recommended strength).
For application, add the diluted fertilizer to your irrigation water, and the plants are fed and watered at the same time. Do this regardless of whether you water your air plant via misting or by soaking them in water.
Xerographica plants don’t need grooming, but removing dead leaves allows for fresh growth.
The Kambaba Jasper is a sedimentary fossil of prehistoric algae from billions of years ago. It receives its blue-green color and black spots and swirls from the fossilized algae colonies. This means that it is not actually a type of jasper like the ocean jasper at all. The stone is also referred to as Bambamba, Cumbamba, Kambamba, Kabamba and Kabamby.
Believed to bring calming and nurturing energy, helping us to stay grounded and stable. Kambaba Jasper is great for agriculture and soil. It provides beneficial energy for the Earth and plants. It is said to a beneficial addition when doing EFT tapping. It is said to help protect against the effects of electrosmog pollution (man-made EMFs). Kambaba Jasper is said to help with digestion and toxin elimination. It promotes healthy growth when needed.
History & Lore
The ancient stone is a reminder of life in the past, present, and future. It promotes peace, tranquility, and fertility to those who yield its powers. Many people choose to use this stone as a meditation guide as a result of the stone’s deep connection to life.
Origin & Regionality
This unique fossilized stone is found in Madagascar in the west-central Bongolava region. The volcanic stone is over three billion years old and is made up of petrified algae.
The Kambaba Jasper is a naturally occurring stone. It is formed over billions of years, evidenced by the fact that it is fossilized algae and can be dated accordingly.