Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Let's Just Call them "Cactus" or My Mail Order Frenzy

I have several indoor succulents that are members of Asclepiadaceae.

They are more commonly thought of as plants of the Milkweed family, as they have white sap. Plants in this group can be perennials, shrubs, trees and are more commonly leafless stemmed succulents.

It's these leafless stemmed succulents that have given me my latest plant collecting addiction. Specifically, the genera Huernia, Stepelia and Orbea. These little guys generally have "starfish" shaped flowers that often smell like death (carrion) and attract flies to pollinate them.

I have had several Stepelia and a Huernia for more than ten years and it is always fun when they bloom.

Stepelia (aka Mr. Stinky)

Huernia procumbens
Unknown Huernia hybrid
Recently, I joined a FaceBook group called "Asclepiadaceae" and have been enjoying all the daily pictures the members post. 

All these amazing pictures, got me revved up to try to grow a few more plants in this group. 

I don't often see these plants for sale in local nurseries and often if I do they are unlabeled so you really have no way of knowing what they are. Many of the plants in this group look identical when not in flower.

Thanks to a recommendation and a quick internet search, I located a grower (http://miles2go.com/). 

I studied the website and picked out what I wanted, placed my order and crossed my fingers.

Christmas in June!
H. guttata v. reticulata ready to plant.
I picked out a bunch, the most expensive being $5. Most of them were all $4, which I think is reasonable for a cactus. They came quicker than expected, each individually wrapped in a box with packing peanuts.

When the box arrived at work, I opened it and looked at everything. Each little plant survived quite well.

I did however want to get them planted and settled in right away. I planned on clay pots for my new kids as they are prone to rot if kept too wet. I quick trip to Freddies and I was set with pots, saucers and soil.


All potted up!

Since it was a nice day, I potted everything outside in a store bought cactus mix with some additional pumice added to help keep them on the drier/quick draining side. 

They got watered after being situated in their new home in the window. Hopefully it wont be too long before I see some new blooms!

In their new home!

Some older plants too.
H. 'See A Doctor'


  1. They look like FUN ! and getting a box of plants in the post is the best . Does that mean you have to keep plenty of flies in the house for them ? I hope not :)

    1. It was very fun to receive them and even better that I was really happy with what I got. Mail ordering plants can sometimes be disappointing.

  2. What a fun collection! If I had more light or a greenhouse I would have more succulents.

    1. The ones I have had for a long time seem happy with light through the windows, so I'm going to give a few more a try. Fingers crossed!