Surviving Minnesota Winter

Desert Plants, Day 370

plants DIY

370 days in: Here is an update on my beloved mesembs! The Minnesota winter was not kind to them. Even my intense sun lamp, which probably made the local authorities think I was growing other plants, was not enough to spare the more delicate individuals.

That isn't to say there wasn't success, though! By the two week point, each pot was teaming with tiny green pixels. An average of 25 sprouts per pot had me feeling pretty good!

The aucampiae are well known for being sturdy troopers, so I'm not surprised that they did the best. I love the subtle variation in color between survivors! The dark reddish brown one in the back is my personal favorite. Although I suspect that the bright sherbet orange dude is on his way out...

On the left side of the survivors image you can see a small plant in the new-leaf-emerging stage, discarding the perpendicular older leaves as the more strongly pigmented new leaves push through. They only have one pair of leaves at any given time! Ultra efficient survival mechanism for desert living.

lithops baby fenestraria baby

Lithops (mix - mostly aucampiae) - The Glorious Sprouting at 14 days (Left) 365 days (Right)

Fenestraria Survivor (365 days)
Out of 31 Fenestraria sprouts, this is the lone survivor. I can at least live with the comfort that it is happy and plump long after the rest have perished.

Conophytum angelicae and Conophytum subfenestratum Knersvlakte (the green and red plastic bowls) did not fare so well. They bravely sprouted, and then steadfastly remained miniature green jellybeans for 10 months, then gave up the goat.

So, while this was not a raging success, I learned a lot. Mostly that desert plants don't love the northern climes. But I've bonded with these guys- if they can make it through the long winter with some semblance of life, SO CAN I.

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