Cactus and Tender Succulents forum: Hardy succulents for outdoor pot culture

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Name: Josh Segoviano
El paso (Zone 8b)
Overgrown_suncity
Jul 19, 2017 7:36 PM CST
Planning on doing two large container planting based off of succulents (preferably not cacti) that can survive zone 8 in a sheltered spot
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL ๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒทโš˜๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒป (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Jul 20, 2017 2:13 PM CST
That sounds like fun! I'm in the same zone, by number, yours is probably a bit more dry of a climate. I have a discussion about the plants in my always-outside mini gardens in the mini gardening forum. Link to discussion:
The thread "Plants for mini gardens" in Miniature Gardening forum

Hardiness is hard to find for a lot of plants, because temps aren't the only factor, as it sounds like you already know. You can search the database here for "advanced characteristics." I did a search for Z8b and choose cacti/succulent type plants and got 28 results. There are many more plants than that, that you could possibly use, but I hope it gets you off to an interesting start!:
https://garden.org/plants/sear...
๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚ - SMILE! -โ˜บ๐Ÿ˜Žโ˜ปโ˜ฎ๐Ÿ‘ŒโœŒโˆžโ˜ฏ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿพ
The less I interfere, the more balance mother nature provides.
๐Ÿ‘’๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐Ÿก๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿโฆโง ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒฝโ€โ˜€๐ŸŒบ
โ˜•๐Ÿ‘“ The only way to succeed is to try.
[Last edited by purpleinopp - Jul 20, 2017 2:14 PM (+)]
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Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Jul 20, 2017 2:57 PM CST

Moderator

Interesting, Tiffany! I learned something there. And some of my plants are actually a little hardy. Smiling Oscularia is one I like a lot.

I'm pretty sure the Furcraea should be crossed off the list, for what it's worth. I will tweak that entry when I get a chance. I don't think any of those are cold hardy (two sources I would trust on an internet search). Furcraeas are tropical plants, known for their sensitivity to cold.
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Jul 20, 2017 2:59 PM (+)]
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Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL ๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒทโš˜๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒป (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Jul 20, 2017 3:56 PM CST
I was thrilled to learn this too, when I realized it was completely ridiculous to even think seriously about bringing my mini garden inside for winter. I told the plants I'm sorry & figured they'd all die, but about half did not!

I don't feel comfortable making a hardiness declaration until 3+ winters have passed. The bulk of my always-outside succulents have been through 4 winters, protected from direct rain but not the temp fluctuations. I don't water during the colder spells.

Never had a Furcraea... Lithops surprised me the most.
๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚ - SMILE! -โ˜บ๐Ÿ˜Žโ˜ปโ˜ฎ๐Ÿ‘ŒโœŒโˆžโ˜ฏ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿพ
The less I interfere, the more balance mother nature provides.
๐Ÿ‘’๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐Ÿก๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿโฆโง ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒฝโ€โ˜€๐ŸŒบ
โ˜•๐Ÿ‘“ The only way to succeed is to try.

OldCactus
Jul 26, 2017 10:56 PM CST
There are an emmense number of cacti that can survive winter temps around 40F. African succulents with reversed seasons can be a problem due to the light.
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL ๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒทโš˜๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒป (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Jul 27, 2017 8:05 AM CST
Hi Old! Where I am, average low for the colder months is right about freezing. It can get much colder. After living through 10 of them, there doesn't seem to be an "average" winter here.

The coldest temps I remember since making the mini garden were mid-teens.
๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚ - SMILE! -โ˜บ๐Ÿ˜Žโ˜ปโ˜ฎ๐Ÿ‘ŒโœŒโˆžโ˜ฏ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿพ
The less I interfere, the more balance mother nature provides.
๐Ÿ‘’๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐Ÿก๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿโฆโง ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒฝโ€โ˜€๐ŸŒบ
โ˜•๐Ÿ‘“ The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Jul 27, 2017 10:48 AM CST

Moderator

OldCactus said:African succulents with reversed seasons can be a problem due to the light.


I am curious about this. How does it work?
Name: Ed
Central ,NJ (Zone 6b)
Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener Sempervivums Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1
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herrwood
Jul 28, 2017 6:05 AM CST
I'm in zone 6b so I deal with more cold temps then you. Sempervivum will have not problem with the cold one of my favorites.
I left most of my Sedum plants out last year and most did survive but it was a warm winter, most are border line or should be in a warmer zone to be out in the real cold.
However I find plants are adaptable and some will adapt to a colder then rated zone and of then again some don't.
If you like to experiment you could bring a few cuttings in for the winter to replace the ones that failed the experiment of pushing the suggested zone.
Plants are like that little ray of sunshine on a rainy day.
Name: Kristi
east Texas pineywoods (Zone 8a)
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pod
Jul 28, 2017 9:21 AM CST
I've found many succulents will overwinter in the ground in my zone 8 a. If frozen, they will even come back from the established root system.

I think the problem with this plan would be "containers". The roots in a container are more vulnerable to freezing temps and the plants may not prove as durable in containers as they would be established in ground.
Be content moving inch by inch because, by days end, the inches, will add up to feet and yards.

Fulfilling ambitious objectives is usually done one step at a time.
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL ๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒทโš˜๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒป (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Nov 22, 2017 8:41 AM CST
Ed, you could probably fill your yard with hardy species and varieties of Sedum. The hardy ones are some of the most hardy garden plants around. I'd love to see your Semps!

Kristi, I've found that too the past few mild winters. I've left a lot more established-since-March roots of plants in ground for winter. If they can survive as herbaceous perennials, that's wonderful. Especially Kalanchoe blossfeldiana, which has produced the more gorgeous new growth the past couple summers. In the fall I "shop" around the yard for the cream of the crop of stems & cut them to pot up for bloom enjoyment.

As far as containers, I built a non-mortar brick wall on the west side of this 2nd mini garden assembled in spring 2015, and around the other one on the east side of my house, which is the first one I made in spring 2013. If it's a rough winter, at least the bricks will warm when the sun hits them.
Thumb of 2017-11-22/purpleinopp/69ffcb

I love the element of surprise and months of anticipation about being able to declare things either dead or alive. Fast-growing succulents lend lots of material for countless experiments.
๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚ - SMILE! -โ˜บ๐Ÿ˜Žโ˜ปโ˜ฎ๐Ÿ‘ŒโœŒโˆžโ˜ฏ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿพ
The less I interfere, the more balance mother nature provides.
๐Ÿ‘’๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐Ÿก๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿโฆโง ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒฝโ€โ˜€๐ŸŒบ
โ˜•๐Ÿ‘“ The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Ken
East S.F. Bay Area (Zone 9a)
Region: California
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CaliFlowers
Nov 22, 2017 2:54 PM CST
Baja_Costero said:

I am curious about this. How does it work?


@Baja_Costero

I'm in a "pretty good" location for many of the South African cool season growers, while SoCal is ideal. Since they're in active growth when the days are shortest and the sun is low in the sky, an open southern exposure is almost essential in order to get good sturdy growth. When shadedโ€”common when grown in residential settingsโ€”they tend toward weak, soft growth, making them susceptible to disease.

Most of my winter-growing collection consists of bulbs from the Cape region, but I also have a good assortment of Haworthia as well as a few Dioscorea elephantipes, Othonna and Tylecodon. The Haworthia appreciate afternoon shade, especially if they're going to be left in place year-round, but the others prefer full sun.

On the whole they do well for me with a little care in staging, but can be challenged by excessive rainfall and just a little too much cold, which is why they're quite a bit happier in places like San Diego and Vista, CA.

The Dioscorea have surprised me the most. I grew them from seed around 2003 and kept them under lights in the garage because I thought they were too tender to go outside. They would go into and out of dormancy when they felt like it. After a few years they were around 1.5" in diameter and just starting to show traces of fissuring, and the tangle of vines moved me to put them outside against a south wall near/under some deciduous fruit trees. They settled right into a winter growth cycle, the only time I water them is when I splash them with liquid fertilizer a couple of times during growth. They sent wiry vines 6' up into the trees and outgrew their 4" tree bands quickly. I moved them to tall 6" square pots, where they've been for several years. They've now rooted into the ground and are splitting those pots. The caudexes are 8" high and wide, with deep faceting. I highly recommend these for outdoor culture in a similar or warmer Mediterranean climate.

Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Nov 22, 2017 3:36 PM CST

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Our climate is like San Diego or Vista but cooler in the summer and drier overall (10-11 inches). Given that advantage, I give my succulents as much light as they can handle. Which is usually day-long sun, when they're in the ground. Or a south-facing location in containers. Sunlight helps warm pots up on cooler days and dries out the soil so there's less risk of overwatering.

I agree, this is the time of year when sunlight is often in short supply where there are big trees and walls and buildings blocking it. The plants can't help but behave differently with 10 times less light. That's why I generally don't allow them to go there. Smiling

Not to wander too far off-topic, I would love to see pictures of your plants, especially the Dioscorea and Tylecodon.

Here's a trio of summer-deciduous succulents doing their thing in the public garden last November... they're not quite as photogenic in early June. Smiling The Tylecodons have been flowering and I have baby seedlings growing out.

Thumb of 2017-11-22/Baja_Costero/7a4cee Thumb of 2017-11-22/Baja_Costero/56e93a Thumb of 2017-11-22/Baja_Costero/d35161
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Nov 22, 2017 3:50 PM (+)]
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Name: Ken
East S.F. Bay Area (Zone 9a)
Region: California
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CaliFlowers
Nov 23, 2017 5:18 PM CST
Here's a couple I could get decent shots of.

Tylecodon pearsonii in 4.5" terracotta
Thumb of 2017-11-23/CaliFlowers/cd30e7

Dioscorea elephantipes. The pocket knife is 4" long.
Thumb of 2017-11-23/CaliFlowers/a75d8a

Originally, I cut the bottom out of a 6" square pot and set it inside a 1-gallon round pot in order to get the height I wanted. The caudex has had its way with it since then.


Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL ๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒทโš˜๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒป (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Feb 7, 2018 9:40 AM CST
Apparently some succulents can come back from being completely limp and feeling mushy.

This Graptopetalum has regained turgidity and is still growing new branches at the base, and the tip seems to have stabilized after losing about half of its' older leaves. They turned black. It looks like there are 2 inflorescences forming, not just 1, and a 2nd "head." That's amazing, it survived literally being frozen solid for 2 days, and many nights below freezing after that, including the roots. The only thing I could do was not water in advance of the really cold temps, which has been my plan for succulents in winter, inside or out.
Thumb of 2018-02-07/purpleinopp/9339fb
Thumb of 2018-02-07/purpleinopp/d74d68

So happy! I love that plant & it this will be the first time it's bloomed, assuming it is OK and does complete its' mission.

And as if things weren't already weird enough, Lithops still seems OK. Yes, they're leaning, but they were before it got cold. The subject of what to do with them will probably be broached soon in a separate discussion.
Thumb of 2018-02-07/purpleinopp/f89421

Graptosedum, Sedeveria, & Sedum kimnachii are huge winners, and a couple tiny Sempervivum or Jovibarba (not sure what they are) but Haworthia - not so much. I'm not totally sure the Haworthia didn't just die of thirst. It was so cold for so long, I didn't water at all for a few weeks.
Thumb of 2018-02-07/purpleinopp/d5ef86 Thumb of 2018-02-07/purpleinopp/2f120e

Of course I took pics right after watering. (Yes, it was warm at the time. :+) )

๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚ - SMILE! -โ˜บ๐Ÿ˜Žโ˜ปโ˜ฎ๐Ÿ‘ŒโœŒโˆžโ˜ฏ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿพ
The less I interfere, the more balance mother nature provides.
๐Ÿ‘’๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐Ÿก๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿโฆโง ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒฝโ€โ˜€๐ŸŒบ
โ˜•๐Ÿ‘“ The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL ๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒทโš˜๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒป (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
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purpleinopp
Feb 18, 2018 8:03 AM CST
Graptosedum preparing to bloom after being completely frozen:
Thumb of 2018-02-18/purpleinopp/0ac913
Thumb of 2018-02-18/purpleinopp/ce1713

Graptopetalum, same thing:
Thumb of 2018-02-18/purpleinopp/507bd0
Thumb of 2018-02-18/purpleinopp/e4dabd

๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚ - SMILE! -โ˜บ๐Ÿ˜Žโ˜ปโ˜ฎ๐Ÿ‘ŒโœŒโˆžโ˜ฏ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿพ
The less I interfere, the more balance mother nature provides.
๐Ÿ‘’๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐Ÿก๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿโฆโง ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒฝโ€โ˜€๐ŸŒบ
โ˜•๐Ÿ‘“ The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Kristi
east Texas pineywoods (Zone 8a)
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pod
Feb 18, 2018 8:23 AM CST
When you say 'completely frozen'... How cold? How long?
Be content moving inch by inch because, by days end, the inches, will add up to feet and yards.

Fulfilling ambitious objectives is usually done one step at a time.
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL ๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒทโš˜๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒป (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
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purpleinopp
Feb 18, 2018 9:52 AM CST
It got really awful on 1/1, with the start of a string of nights in the 20's, wind blowing HARD for days, no sun & barely above freezing during those couple days, then again on the 17th with 2 days of highs around freezing & down to 21 & 18 deg. Both of these episodes were enough to freeze 5-gallon buckets of water into giant ice cubes. Tiny plants in 3" of soil in a raised container were surely just as frozen, and the plants felt dead, mushy, pliable, limp. There were a few breaks in the low temps of being well above freezing, but for about 6-8 weeks, it was frost/freeze every night. Now I see why ghost plant is rated to Z7 on most resources.

Details here, click back to January, it won't let me link directly to that: https://weather.com/weather/mo...
๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚ - SMILE! -โ˜บ๐Ÿ˜Žโ˜ปโ˜ฎ๐Ÿ‘ŒโœŒโˆžโ˜ฏ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿพ
The less I interfere, the more balance mother nature provides.
๐Ÿ‘’๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐Ÿก๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿโฆโง ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒฝโ€โ˜€๐ŸŒบ
โ˜•๐Ÿ‘“ The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Kristi
east Texas pineywoods (Zone 8a)
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pod
Feb 18, 2018 3:15 PM CST
I am so impressed. I would not have thought it would have survived those lows. I am glad they survived.

I may try and leave a few out but don't plan on sacrificing the whole crop. Whistling You are far braver than I would be... Thumbs up
Be content moving inch by inch because, by days end, the inches, will add up to feet and yards.

Fulfilling ambitious objectives is usually done one step at a time.
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL ๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒทโš˜๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒป (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
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purpleinopp
Feb 19, 2018 7:46 AM CST
TY for the kind words but I can't really accept the kudos to bravery. The only reason the mini doesn't come inside for winter is because it's just too big & when watered, it drips out of about 150 holes in the bottom. ;)

I would like to find more plants from these genera, and other similar hybrids with some apparently more hardy Sedum &/or Grapto- genes.
๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚ - SMILE! -โ˜บ๐Ÿ˜Žโ˜ปโ˜ฎ๐Ÿ‘ŒโœŒโˆžโ˜ฏ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿพ
The less I interfere, the more balance mother nature provides.
๐Ÿ‘’๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐Ÿก๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿโฆโง ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒฝโ€โ˜€๐ŸŒบ
โ˜•๐Ÿ‘“ The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL ๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒทโš˜๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒป (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
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purpleinopp
Mar 23, 2018 2:43 PM CST
Everywhere K. blossfeldiana stems/roots were left in the ground for winter, there is new growth.

3 examples:
Thumb of 2018-03-23/purpleinopp/b8cb81
Thumb of 2018-03-23/purpleinopp/6a54ce
Thumb of 2018-03-23/purpleinopp/2db80a

Ledebouria kirkii:


Ground is different from a pot, CW says consider 1 zone lower for a pot. (Some) pots have the ability to be moved though, so one could easily give a movable pot enough shelter to match ones' regular zone, if one has various places to put pots and at least one of them is more sheltered. The cool thing about dormant plants is that they don't need any light, so under a porch, in a shed, under a big pile of leaves are all options for zone-cheating for dormant plants that one might not want to bring all the way into the house.
๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚ - SMILE! -โ˜บ๐Ÿ˜Žโ˜ปโ˜ฎ๐Ÿ‘ŒโœŒโˆžโ˜ฏ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿพ
The less I interfere, the more balance mother nature provides.
๐Ÿ‘’๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐Ÿก๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿโฆโง ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒฝโ€โ˜€๐ŸŒบ
โ˜•๐Ÿ‘“ The only way to succeed is to try.

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