Starting with Succulents

There are a number of articles from my old personal blog that I want to salvage and one of them is a write up on my first cacti, Fuji and Eiji. I was immensely proud of and cared so much for them–probably a little too much. Eiji didn’t survive rotting roots and Fuji…well, it got a little out of hand and we had to let him go. Both cacti now reside in my memory rendering the good write up but a ghost of Fuji and Eiji’s past, so I thought it best to make a new article on succulents. The question is how I should start without any.

A short trip to Baguio gave me an opportunity to start with succulents again and I got my hands on these lovelies:

cactus, rose echeveria, x pachyveria
Akira (彰), Kurama (蔵馬)、Niou (仁王)

The first three succulents I got are Akira, Kurama and Niou. The cacti, Akira, is now a permanent resident of my office table. It has become my excuse to ascend stairs and complete my daily step target (8,000 steps) in search for a well-lit place (where else but our rooftop). Kurama, whose moniker was that of Yu Yu Hakusho character, bears resemblance to a clump of roses, is really pretty. I had a hard time thinking whether the last plant must be named Niou or Akira. In fact I went to and fro deciding only to be affected by one factor:彰(あきら)has those strokes that remind me of cactus ribs, hence, my decision. Also Niou seems to be more fitting for this one as Niou from Prince of Tennis has hair that “defies gravity ” as how my best friend puts it.

echeveria peacokii
Byakuran (白蘭)

The newest addition to the growing population of plant-life is Byakuran. I love how the color reminds me of the anime character’s hair. See below:

Byakuran
Byakuran

It’s probably for the best that I keep the aloe vera plant I got unnamed. Harvesting the plant while saying, “I’m going to cut you now, *insert name*” seems a sign of sadistic tendencies. I opt for this plant for various reasons including the gel’s benefits and its oxygen production.

I have come across a number of Youtube videos and articles on succulent care and here is what I gathered:

  • Avoid overwatering. It’s best to wait for the soil to dry before watering succulents again as opposed to the general instruction ‘water them every other day.’ Succulents tend to drown and their roots rot easily.
  • Let them get enough sunlight. In general, succulents need about 6 hours of sunlight. Aloe vera does not need that much and may probably burn due to too much exposure.
  • Know their type. Careful consideration of their types is a big help to determine how to care for them better.

It is fascinating how even watering succulents varies from one type to another. Learning about my plants has opened many doors for my growing curiosity. What made me even more curious is whether they would help alleviate the effects of global warming–who am I kidding! But who knows…maybe one cactus at a time?

Update 190518: I received another succulent from Vibal Group in commemoration of my first anniversary working there (how sweet!). I named it Roku ( 六 ) which means 6th in Japanese.

PS: Any university has a botany class so I deemed it necessary to have one in this blog.

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