Thursday, June 27, 2013

xGraptoveria 'Fred Ives'

Graptoveria 'Fred Ives'
To get the technical info out of the way first, the succulent plants grouped with Graptoveria are intergeneric hybrids between Graptopetalum and Echeveria, so they typically have the spreading habit of the Graptopetalum and the larger rosette form of the Echeveria.This is a hybrid between Graptopetalum paragense and Echeveria gibbiflora. It is similar, though larger than, Graptoveria 'Douglas Huth' syn 'Huth's Pink'. 'Douglas Huth' has more rounded leaves and is smaller with brighter pink leaves.
This is a fast growing large succulent with rosettes up to 20cm across and plant stems reaching up to 20cm high. In dry or poor soils the growth is kept in check though often at the expense of leaf colour which tends to the bronze shades, as seen on the outer leaves of the photo.The specimen in the photo is actually resting on a low wall along the edge of a driveway and is emerging from a carpet of catmint and (unfortunately) weedy pennywort.
I gave up growing this succulent commercially because its rapid growth means it quickly develops a plant stalk way over the edges of the pot and then topples over breaking off half the leaves. I guess you could call this an example of having a short shelf life in which the window of having the plant ready for sale and having it "go off" is narrow. Terrific in the garden however and especially good for beginner growers of succulents or those who garden in pots. After the "show off" period of a tall stem it eventually starts to clump up and forms lots of smaller rosettes around the main stem. As with most succulents, If it does get unwieldy, you can always lop off the stem and stick it back in soil at ground level, after a brief period of letting the stem dry off.

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