The gift plant

GreenPhase(8OR)November 12, 2012

Ledebouria socialis is awesome. period.

I've wanted one since I knew about them, that's why I was so excited to find a few tucked on a shelf in a large local nursery. The one I bought was overflowing with bulbs and I divided them right when I got home. That was a month ago... I started with 9 leafy offsets and 7-8 "buds". Now I have another offset and 3 more buds. One of the reasons I think they're so cool is because of how confident they seem. The scrawniest bulb with only two leaves and one little root is already growing a brand new bulb! Another reason is room to experiment or give, as long as you make sure you keep a few healthy for future growth you can try things that you wouldn't necessarily do if you only had one plant... or you can just give them away! I plan on gifting a couple to plant enthusiasts close to me this holiday season :)

With all the excess plants I made a couple cheap pseudobonsai...

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GreenPhase(8OR)

Kind of forgot the point in all that...
They're strange little plants that are easy and would make a great gift to a plant lover, if you can find the plant! Also a great plant to do "plant projects" with.
If you don't have much to say in the way of Ledebouria,
What plants do you commonly propagate and gift?

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 11:51PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

That's so cute in the cockle shell! You apparently make an excellent and timely point. I was recently given one of these. It's really growing on me, hahaha!

The plants I have that grow fast enough to share often are...
Tradescantia zebrina (wandering Jew,)
Callisia fragrans,
heart-leaf Philo,
Strobilanthes dyerianus (Persian shield,)
one particular cane Begonia I think is called 'Castaway,' Dracaena marginata,
Sansevieria trifasciata,
plain green spider plant.
And the star of the whole show - Coleus!!

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 9:15AM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

This is one of the most common plants I give away - probably gifted this plant to at least 15-20 people in the last year or so. This is the only plant I've found that seems to do better in the 5:1:1 mix than in the gritty mix, for an unknown reason that doesn't have anything to do with water retention. The plant should be treated like you treat your succulents and prefers a very fast-draining, well-aerated soil. If you're growing it for the blooms, you'll prolly be underwhelmed, but the spotted foliage of the (commonly) leopard lily is nice. It also likes low fertility levels and appreciates a fertilizer that has little or no urea as its N source.

jades
mini jades
echeveria
aeonium
several ficus species
maples
schefflera
serissa
santolina
eugenia
luma
are a few of the plants I most often propagate, along with a long list of temperate deciduous trees and evergreens.
I propagate a LOT of material expressly to give away, especially to bonsai pals - most of it is either woody or a succulent. I don't have a lot of interest in herbaceous houseplants, but I do buy & grow some of the ones that often give people the most problems, just so I'm familiar with their growth habits and so I know I can get them to perform well for me. I like a challenge.

Al

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 10:01AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

I really like this little plant, indeed.
The leaves are fantastic, and even if mine never blooms I'll be content with the foliage.
Al was kind enough to send one to me a while back, along with an Aeonium that is picking up speed
now that we're going into Autumn/Winter. I'll probably propagate the Aeonium for a friend who
has become enamored of them :-)

My most common propagations are Jades, with Portulacaria being a close second.
After that, the classic Wandering Jew, and then Hoya and Trident Maple.

Josh

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 10:28AM
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summersunlight(5b)

Ledebouria is great. I divided mine a while back and sent some divisions to a friend as his first houseplant. It's rewarding to see how fast ledebouria grows and makes offsets. I'll be offering a lot of it for trade on these boards in the spring.
The only thing you need to be careful about with it is that apparently it can be very toxic to pets if they eat it. Someone on another website posted that their cat ate it, developed renal failure and died.
When I sent the divisions out I made sure that my friend knew that so he can be cautious about putting it where animals can't get to it.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 1:50PM
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birdsnblooms

Green...what a great idea growing Ledebouria in a shell.
How often do you water?

I attempted growing Ledebourias in teeny containers, but new bulbs continued growing. How can bulb growth be prevented? Or is it impossible? My intentions were to grow as a fat plant. One solo plant.

If family/friends enjoy plants, Ledebourias in a shell are great gift plants..Good idea. Toni

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 2:24PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Oops, upon further inspection, that's not a cockle shell. Some kind of left coast bivalve...

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 3:12PM
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GreenPhase(8OR)

Purple,
Thank you so much for the heads up about the Persian Shield! I had one on the front porch that had gotten fairly sized over the summer and I was sad about letting it go in the first frost... Now I have it divided up and in some water for now. It was just about to go too!

summersunshine,
Do you have a different Ledebouria than mine? cause socialis has a few varying types and other species are so cool! I am pretty hooked on them right now and would love some other kinds!

hopefulauthor,
Thanks! and I haven't quite gotten the watering down, and with winter I'll need to change the frequency again, so... But right now several days after it dries completely, maybe once a week. I have no idea how to slow it down, they do get a little wider at the base though, the mother plant is just under an inch in diameter.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 9:54PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

That's cool! In a nice sunny windowsill, they should stay sufficiently lively to be replanted next spring. I've already started that and Coleus too. Plan to get into it heavily tomorrow. Sigh!

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 10:59PM
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flowerpottipper

I love ledebouria socialis, I hope to get one some day. Right now I have the Very close family member Ledebouria luteola, they both look alike but mine has shorter leaves and more green (atleast that's what I've observed through pictures) but it still has those leopard spots. I seperated 5 bulbs into their own tiny pots, I know one of them is going to my mother.

I havent had much luck propagating, just the basics like spider babies, pothos, and purple velvet plant...but everyone seems to have those plants already or are really easy to find and cheap to buy , so they're no fun...I really want to propagate the fun plants, plants that are more harder to find....like I have a ton of pregnant onion babies, but none of them will root...they just sit their...

I have a small round terrarium type thing (it's actually a fruit keeper, it's see-through and has holes on the bottom) and I keep small cuttings of just about everything in it...right now I have one adult red earth star and 4 babies (hoping to root the babies), some Thankgiving cuttings, peperomia prostrata and dischidia ruscifolia and Pilea 'aquamarine' cuttings, african violet leaves, and watermelon peperomia leaves to hopefully root and grow new plantlets...all these are meant for sharing if they would root.....well actually most have rooted but they just sit there doing nothing...collecting dust...

-FPT

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 3:21AM
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birdsnblooms

Green. When soil dries give it a drink..Because your Ledebouria is in a shell, it'll take more water than if potted. But, soil needs to dry first.

My oldest Led flowers in winter, so they don't go completely dormant, 'like many other bulbs.'

Ledebouria leaves don't die back.. It's evergreen.

One Ebay seller has cute, little plants in shells..I don't know how, but she drills holes on either side of shells, then inserts wire through the holes so plant can hang. The top of wire is bent, similar to clothing hanger.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 12:10PM
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GreenPhase(8OR)

FPT,
I couldn't find a good picture of a luteola, could you post one? And where did you get it!? I'm not very experienced with propagation; all of my attempts are ongoing projects. Like my monstera and my kalanchoe, and the one I just started... But those red earth stars sound pretty! I haven't gotten into bromeliads... yet...

hopefulauthor,
I just try to make sure there isn't any water at the bottom, and it's just that I heard that they slowdown in the winter and don't need as much water. Hanging shells sound more functional than round soil filled ones on a flat surface! lol, I'll probably spill one of them before next week!

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 8:19PM
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flowerpottipper

Greenphase-

I ordered it at Aridlands nursery, I was gonna get Ledebouria socialis, but they only had 3inch pots of them and I wanted a bigger, more established plant, and these two look so much alike, so I decided to get the 6inch pot of these (I would of ordered both but I didnt have enough on my card at that moment lol)-

Here is one of them that was seperated-

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 2:59AM
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greenlarry(UK 8/9)

Very cool, want one!

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 5:36AM
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GreenPhase(8OR)

Thank you so much FlowerPotTipper! I ordered a couple different kinds. If you're interested, plants on that site are also listed under the name Scilla. I ordered one of them; they're almost the same thing. And you're right; they do look similar enough to not need one more than the other.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 11:39PM
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birdsnblooms

GreenPhase..I agree soil has to dry..definately, otherwise it can rot.
How much soil is inside the shell? A couple Tablespoons?

A woman/seller on Ebay places small plants in shells. The shell has a metal wire hanger. A few years ago, I bought a variegated Dischidia/Ant Plant in the hanging shell. Her prices are very reasonable.

Anyway, The shell was on the front door 'glass'..used a suction cup hook.
One day dh left the house, slammed the door..there went the shell and plant..lol. The shell cracked in several pieces. If the floor had carpet, it might not have cracked, but the floor is ceramic tiles.

FPT..please keep us posted whether or not your Ledebouria will grow as a single plant without side bulbs. Also, how large the bulb gets.
Wonder if mom would die if side bulbs were constantly removed.

Good luck. Toni

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 12:41PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

If anyone wants one of these plants (Ledebouria socialis) - just let me know - I have at least a dozen I can easily spare.

Toni - the tendency for this plant to form offset bulbs is obligate, which means it's programmed into its genetic make-up, so it's always going to express that behavior as it reaches sexual maturity. I've never tried repeatedly removing the offsets and seeing how large the bulb will get, but if you have something like a plant with a large caudex in the back of your mind, I think the result of that would be pretty disappointing, but I am not positive about that - just a guess. It might be kind of like trying to grow tulip bulbs or daffodils extra large by removing their offsets. Probably the most significant difference between those plants in that regard is the L socialis tends to want to grow at the surface, where it's easy for us to see what's going on.

Al

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 2:46PM
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