2014 Plant Purchases--How Did They Do?

TNTT = too new to tell
PITG = planted in the ground   
October 2015 updates in bold

This post records predictable failures and unexpected success, and the "what was I thinking?" missteps of Plant Purchases 2014. 

Aloe alooides  -- small but growing; TNTT  slow but growing
Aloe burhii -- small but growing; TNTT       ditto
Aloe fosteri -- settling into the ground and growing; TNTT  10/14: blooming
Aloe petricola -- small but growing; TNTT  slow but growing
Aloe tomentosa -- small but growing; TNTT  slow but growing
Agave x romanii 'Shadow Dancer' ??  TNTT  some growth; looks good
Agave albopilosa  It's grown almost 2" in width.  Wheee! now at 4"
They've grown.  No, really!  They have!
 photo bot5126_zps77d6b87f.jpg
Agave 'Blue Flame':  grown.  Note to self: plant in the ground.   In ground, growth; looks good.
 photo bot5125_zps29b1916b.jpg
Aloe broomii -- iffy;  what does this Aloe want? Sun?  Shade?  Water? Drought?  I don't know.  It doesn't seem 100% happy. 10/14 large gall mite infestation; died
 photo abot4877_zps6c18406a.jpg
Aloe 'White Fox' -- surviving in the vertical planter.  I'm not sure the vertical planter provides sufficient root space.  Note to self:  inspect the drip irrigation in that thing.  Some plants are happy, some are not.  some growth and several blooms
 photo 0005194_zps4afe0f64.jpg

Aloe 'Rooikappie' -- divided, PITG, and growing, no sign of gall mite yet--I'm ready with systemic, just in case.  10 individual clumps; several flowers, growing well.  pleased!  

Agave gypsophila 'Ivory Curls' still swooning, soooo gorgeous! 
PITG  still swooning.  what a beauty!
 photo bot5103_zps088340a0.jpg
Agave 'Snow Glow': ditto. ditto.
Agave pumila has grown(!).  Only half an inch, but hey, it looks good in its glamorous pot, where it can live for a long, long time because it is so slow.  growing; doing fine.
 photo 0005196_zps0267d25a.jpg  

Alstroemeria 'Rock And Roll'  far exceeded all expectations.  The plant surprise of the year.  Gaudawful gaudy at the garden center, elegant in the ground.  Never would have expected that.  fading away--not enough water?

Anigozanthos 'Christmas Cheer' died before Christmas got here.  I think it will be a plant I admire in other people's gardens.  

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi 'Woods Compact'  I killed it, darn it, by not checking to make sure its dripper was properly dripping.  I carefully set up and placed a dripper for it and then didn't twist the thing to make sure it was actually dripping. 
It was soooo pretty!
Arctostaphylos 'Woods Compact' photo laguna4130_zps53b0c454.jpg
All my fault.  Dude, I am so sorry.  
 photo fatal6997_zpse9dce3e6.jpg Arrrgggh!  

Coprosma 'Pacific Sunset'.  Growing well, love it.  wants to revert to more basic colors;  good growth and vigor
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Coreopsis 'Early Sunrise' -- purchased to accent the yellow edges of Agave desmetiana marginata--and it worked! went kaput due to drought
 photo slow0663_zpsf490534e.jpg
Cotyledon orbiculata var oblonga 'Undulata' -- black aphids attacked, it grew; currently overwhelmed by a rampant Graptoveria 'Fred Ives'.  Note to self: rescue it. alive but not good looking
It's in there somewhere:
 photo 0000fred_zpsa94a2fce.jpg 

Dahlia 'Trader Joe Special'  -- sudden death.  Note to self:  skip TJ Dahlias from now on. 

Digiplexis 'Illumination Flame' --bloomed like crazy from mid-spring until the last day of summer;  now what?  It has mealies, and bare stems...threw it out.  Mealy bug magnet
 photo bot5144_zpsf0f4d7fe.jpg
Echeveria 'Imbricata' variegated  killed it--my fault--maybe.

Echeveria harmsii 'Ruby Slippers'  doing okay-ish.  It was swallowed up by Salvia 'Wendys Wish' all summer.  very slow grower
Welcome back to the light:
 photo bot5145_zpsa7b4098b.jpg
Erigonum rubescens 'Rosy Cushion' -- ???  Not thrilling, so far, but also not dead despite being planted in high summer.   TNTT  bloomed heavily in spring of '15, then died suddenly.
 photo 00bot5160_zpsd680e255.jpg
Fatsia 'Spider Web' -- no webs, darn it!  Not a one.  It's GREEN.  Not cold enough here?!?  Is that why it never got sold in Southern California? got disgusted and thew it out.  my bad.
Furcraea foetida variegated -- TNTT died.

Heuchera (native) -- surviving terrible neglect, shame on me.  Note to self:  plant it! fading away.  not happy here.
 photo 0005199_zps1b6439db.jpg
Hunnemania fumarifolia -- vastly exceeded expectations.  I've been throwing seeds around in hope of more vastly exceeded expectations. Seeded but not a lot, still very pleased with it. 

Grevillea 'Austraflora Fanfare' -- TNTT  killed the original with insufficient water;  replacement is doing well.
Grevillea 'Moonlight' -- exceeded expectations great plant, non stop flowering, fast growing.
 photo bot5074_zps01d619fd.jpg
Iochroma 'Purple Queen' -- four inches (10 cm) to ten feet (3 m) in six months.  big and happy despite drought; hummingbirds feed on the flowers

Lavender given away at the Portland Fling: establishing, pleased so far because although there are no flowers yet, the foliage is very fragrant.    never bloomed;  died suddenly

Leucadendron salignum 'Blush' --slow, but apparently good.  Unperturbed about being planted in July. growing well, great plant
Leucadendron how-could-I-forget-the-cultivar? ditto. growing well, great plant.  prune to increase bushy-ness;  stems make great cut decoration.
 photo abot4876_zps00e22a72.jpg
Leucospermum Yellow Bird: more growth than I expected, and hasn't died, even though it is a Proteaceae. Growing like a weed.  Its 5' across as of 10/15
It's that undistinguished green blob at the top left:
 photo 00bot5157_zpsd2eb1b8e.jpg
Lotus jacobaeus:  I still don't have a clue how to take care of this uncommon plant, but it is growing, and has bloomed, and I'm becoming enamored of it.  nice plant but dainty, needs frequent water
 photo rose4059a_zpsbc7f1adb.jpg
Magnolia stellata 'Royal Star' I bought because it was 75% off.... TNTT; still alive.  lots of beautiful fragrant flowers spring 2015.  very slow growing.
Ozothamnus 'Silver Cape' -- sudden death due to heat wave.  Native to New Zealand sand dunes, so it likely doesn't love heat, as I discovered...
 photo zz2099_zpsca57c844.jpg
I prefer to remember it likes this:
Ozothamnus 'Silver Cape photo Natasha4829_zps5c00e68c.jpg 
Rosa 'Ascot' --a German rose and therefore wrong for So Cal?; very few flowers the whole year; shoveled 1 of 2 plants due to root gall.  Must move the survivor--it wants to be a climber.  Not a single flower in 2015.
Too much of this...
 photo bot5146_zps19ef1241.jpg
...not enough of these:
 photo ascot0501_zps0a147990.jpg 
Salvia 'Blast' -- so-so, so far.  still meh
Salvia pulchella x involucrata  finally got a few (gorgeous) flowers of an intense saturated deep magenta.  All is forgiven. struggled in drought;  dumped it. 
Salvia 'Love and Wishes' superior color to the superb 'Wendys Wish', growing just as well.  gorgeous color; like it.
'Wendy' on the left, 'Love' on the right:
 photo 0005208_zps3871d340.jpg
Selenicereus anthonyanus --enough growth to satisfy;  TNTT grew a new leaf
 photo bot5124_zpsb03b5e02.jpg
Stachys 'Bello Grigio' -- sudden death, darn it!  It was so beautiful.
It was fabulous until it wasn't.  got two more spring of '15, and they both died, too.  
 photo aimee1473_zps68910c73.jpg
Stapelia  TNTT  growing, has flower buds 10/15
Tillandsia xerographica -- serious plant crush still in progress; TNTT loved it, killed it, damn it.   
 photo 0000xero5213_zpsef52c62e.jpg 
Trichostemna lanata -- uhhh...hasn't died, and it did bloom...grew quite a bit, bloomed for several months.  no complaints.

There you have it.  Some exceeded expectations, some failed, on many the judgement is yet to come.  

I bought a lot of plants this year.  There is much more to gardening than buying plants--all too easy to forget when encountering the Thrill Of The New.   


  1. I never thought to keep track of the plants that I buy. I really should journal it this next year...

    A coreopsis similar to 'Early Sunrise' was one of the first plants I ever purchased. Long gone now, but I really should get these back into the mix!

    1. I think in the long run it will be helpful, and it will be fun to someday have a huge Hercules and be able to look back on it when it was in a 1 gallon pot.

      An 'Early Sunrise' was one of the first plants I ever bought also. I still have a piece from the original out front somewhere. Good value for the $. :)

  2. You took the words right out of my mouth "you bought a lot of plants this year!"...thanks for compiling the report, always interesting to see how others purchases do.

    1. In my defense I think most of them were the 4" size--and the 4" size doesn't count, right?

  3. These posts are so helpful, for you, for us. I did see that fatsia a couple times and passed because it looked off somehow -- even when thriving in the PNW it can be mistaken for a spider mites infestation. Speaking of mites, I didn't know we were terribly worried about mites..though I have pruned off big chunks of aloe infested with scale in their folds. I prefer Salvia L&W to WW too, and it seems just as much of a grower. Stachys BG did that to me too. And love that selenicereus!

    1. Thank you, D. I wonder if the BG problem was that it had been grown in a big wad of sawdust--wrong culture from the start? Never had long-term success with any Stachys here, though.

  4. You're braver than I to face facts with this kind of review. I do keep a spreadsheet of my purchases, although I'm perpetually behind in entering new purchases, much less updating their status. I'd also have to add a category "KBBR" (killed by blasted raccoons). My most troubling losses were 2 Leucadendron ('Golden Tip' and 'Rising Sun'), both of which died suddenly and, in 1 case, in less than 3 weeks of planting. However, L. 'Blush,' 'Jester' and 'More Silver' are doing fine so far. L. 'Pisa' showed some signs of stress after its move from its former home in a pot into the ground but my fingers remain crossed it adjusts to the change. My Digiplexis are in the same shape as yours and I'm wondering if I should try cutting the main stalks to the ground as Alison of Bonney Lassie did (but I thought I'd wait to see how her experiment turns out).

    1. I'm hoping the analysis will make me a better gardener. Time will tell.

      "KBBR", oh dear. Sorry to hear that. Surely getting rid of your lawn will help?? The neighbors here have big lawns and that is where the Raccoons spend their time.

      I was thinking about cutting down the Digiplexis also--I'm watching Bonney Lassie's experiment, too.

  5. Interesting report...Coreopsis are one of those bullet-proof plants, that just needs to be used well...with that agave you did it. But the Coteledon orbiculata...wow!

    1. I did go rescue the Cotyledon today and planted it elsewhere. I felt really guilty about letting it get covered up by the Graptoveria. Now we are both happier.


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