Plant ID forum: Gastonis-bonneiri

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Name: Jean
Prairieville, LA (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier The WITWIT Badge Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Moonhowl
Feb 10, 2013 4:01 PM CST
I received a plantlet from a grower IDed as Kalanchoe Gastonis-bonnieri., (Donkey ear). I was told it would form a roseate approximately 1.5 to 2 ft tall and would bloom after just a couple years. I have had this plant since 2004 and this year, it bloomed for the first time. The leaf size and markings look correct as do the blooms, but the plant is about 4 ft tall and now, since blooming is putting out new leaves at the base of each old leaf. I was told the mother plant would die after blooming, but this one doesn't seem to know that. Can anyone help me figure out who this plant is?
this is the plant in September
Thumb of 2013-02-10/Moonhowl/2a661b

a leaf close up
Thumb of 2013-02-10/Moonhowl/fc322c
Name: Jean
Prairieville, LA (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier The WITWIT Badge Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Moonhowl
Feb 10, 2013 4:15 PM CST
This is the plant today

Thumb of 2013-02-10/Moonhowl/de3588

Thumb of 2013-02-10/Moonhowl/ee5fa6


these are the blooms

Thumb of 2013-02-10/Moonhowl/ae6656



Name: Janet Super Sleuth
Near Lincoln UK
Charter ATP Member Organic Gardener Garden Photography Bee Lover Dragonflies Cat Lover
Butterflies Birds Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Spiders!
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JRsbugs
Feb 10, 2013 6:15 PM CST
Looks correct for gastonis-bonnieri to me. Have you fed it on steroids? Hilarious! Is the 4 feet including the flower stem? Plants don't always behave as people say, I don't know if it's supposed to die but if it is maybe it needs to live a little longer to reproduce.

http://www.mgonlinestore.com/KGastonis/

smgrowers say the mother plant "declines" after flowering.

http://www.smgrowers.com/products/plants/plantdisplay.asp?pl...



Name: Jean
Prairieville, LA (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier The WITWIT Badge Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Moonhowl
Feb 10, 2013 10:04 PM CST
Hi Janet. Thanks for the confirmation of ID.

The plant, from ground to the tip of the blooms is 55 inches tall. The plant from ground to the top leaf is 35 inches. The trunk, at the base is just a hair over 1 inch around. Since the G-B is in a window box with crassulas and haworthias, the only fertilizer they get is a bit of osmocote 2-3 times a year.

It is on the south side with an eave above it. It gets morning sun til about noon, and then good bright light the rest of the day. It has not gotten any winter protection this year and we have had night temps drop to 30 degrees for a few hours maybe 4 or 5 times. Various growers offer different hardiness zone info, with most saying hardy in zone 10 and above. I am in zone 9a.

When the plantlets get about 4 inches tall, the leaf starts to die back, but two tiny leaves form at the leaf node. It has put about 18-20 plantlets thus far and still has 4 or 5 more in various sizes still attached to leaves. This started at the bottom of the plant and just recently the lowest set of new leaves are sending out small stems which are starting to bloom also. I have read a number of sites about the decline of the mother plant after blooming, but have found no info on it putting out new leaves and multiple bloom spikes. It started forming buds in November and the original spikes still have a few buds yet to open.

I was not sure if I should cut the main spike off when the blooms are spent to benefit the new growth, or just what to do with it. I have found no info on pruning or care beyond the usual soil, light and water requirements, so wondered if I should do anything. I really thought it might be like a century plant....bloom after a number of years and then die. None of my other Bryophyllums bloom and die, so just a bit at a loss as to what to do with this one.

Name: Janet Super Sleuth
Near Lincoln UK
Charter ATP Member Organic Gardener Garden Photography Bee Lover Dragonflies Cat Lover
Butterflies Birds Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Spiders!
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JRsbugs
Feb 11, 2013 5:35 AM CST
I think the plant height wouldn't include the flower stem, and being under eaves it could have been drawn up a bit more. Being next to the house will give it some cold protection too, heat is absorbed by walls and radiated back. Zones can be flexible according to micro climates, and zones reflect minimum temperatures rather than actual climatic conditions. The food you give it could be encouraging all the extra flowering stems.

I wouldn't cut the main stem, it might be a food source for the young growth. I think what comes out the ground should go back in the form of dieback, that could also apply to the plant dying back and providing food for the young growths. Watch it and see, if the main stem eventually starts to die back then that would be the time to give it the chop. Otherwise, while it's looking good leave it and enjoy, you are lucky to be able to grow such a plant. Smiling

Name: Jean
Prairieville, LA (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier The WITWIT Badge Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Moonhowl
Feb 11, 2013 9:39 AM CST
Thanks for the advice Janet. I tip my hat to you. I am going to just let Nature take its course with this plant. Heaven knows I have enough "replacements" for it. Thumbs up I planted a couple of the babies behind the Phaius orchids...think that will make a nice show at some point.

I have worked on creating a few micro-climates around the yard....think it is succeeding as none of the gingers died back this year....of course i may have created a monster there nodding I consider myself quite lucky when things thrive in my garden and do this well.

Again, Thanks much for the help.

Jean/Moon

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