Ask a Question forum: Different Mother of Thousands Babies

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Name: Jasmine
Greenville, NY (Zone 5a)
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Jas84
Nov 29, 2017 2:40 PM CST
Hello- I have a Mother of Thousands Kalancho plant which has been providing me with babies since I got her. The first few "litters" she had were planted into both terra cotta pots and galvanized metal pots with holes drilled into the bottom. I thought the babies were doing quite well, although they seemed to be taking awhile to grow. They are all lumped up together in these pots, since Mama Kalancho has produced way more babies than I have room for (not sure if that's relevant, but could be). I've had some of the babies for about 4 months now and some for about 3 weeks. The 4 month olds are growing at different rates- some are maybe an inch and a half tall while others have barely grown a stem, hence the slow growers comment. Then about three weeks ago, when she had another litter to plant, I put them into a plastic nursery pot from another plant which was repotted. The three week olds have completely taken off- they are growing tall and green with thick stems. The older ones, though, are still very little, they are more of a brownish red color with the same markings as the mom (which the greener ones don't really have yet). So I basically have two main questions: the 1st is- why on earth are they growing at such different rates and why do they look like completely different plants? It doesn't make any sense as to why the newer ones are growing sooo much faster and greener. The second question is- a lot of the older (4ish month olds) have very thin, brittle and weak stems. Where the top leaves tend to make them fall over, break the stem and then die. I don't know what to do differently to help them get stronger so I don't keep losing them. I will attach pics- the first picture is an example of how different they look. The plastic pot on the left has the newer babies, about 3 weeks old. The terra cotta pot on the right has the older babies (about 4 months old). You can see how very different they are- in size, color, strength and overall appearance. The next pic is just a close up of the newest litter and the third pic is a close up of the older ones. (I know that the pot of older babies has other succulent babies in the very middle, I'm not talking about those). Any help or advice would be very much appreciated. I'd like to give many of these guys out as gifts, but the older babies seem too unhealthy and too little to use for that. I'm not sure how this is possible or where I may have gone wrong. Thank you so much
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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
Nov 29, 2017 3:11 PM CST
Are the slow growers in the galvanized pot? Zinc poisoning maybe - zinc is toxic in large doses.

What did you use for potting soil? Have you used any fertilizer?

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Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Nov 29, 2017 3:25 PM CST
Zinc issues notwithstanding, the greener ones look like they have gotten less light, in either amount or intensity.
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Name: Jasmine
Greenville, NY (Zone 5a)
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Jas84
Nov 30, 2017 2:12 PM CST
Well, there's are only four babies in the galvanized pot. It's a tiny pot. The rest are in terra cotta and homemade clay pots, the slow growers that is. I used a combination of coconut coir, organic potting mix and perlite to plant them all in. I haven't used any fertilizer, I never use that with babies. And as far as light goes, I can see what you're saying but both of those pots are in the same window, receiving exactly the same amount of light. Do you think it has to do with the mother plant? That maybe she produced weak babies for the first few months I had her, and then her last batch were just stronger? I don't know if that's possible, but it's the only difference I can think of
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Nov 30, 2017 2:17 PM CST
My only new thought is maybe something is leaching out of the clay body of your home made and terra cotta pots. Transplant a few into plastic pots and see if they perk up.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

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