Monday, May 26, 2008

Rescued

Haworthia limifolia variegata

I'm not really a Haworthia fan, but in April I picked up several Haworthia species at a benefit sale held by our local Cactus and Succulent Society. One of the members had been severely burned in a house fire, and had been in a coma for close to eight months. He was an avid Haworthia collector and hybridizer, and his plants went without care in the months he had been hospitalized. Although his collection was located outside, many were scorched from the intense fire. Even some of the plastic pots the plants were in had partially melted. The club decided to hold a benefit sale of his huge collection to help raise money for his astronomical medical costs.

It was very sad to see all those scorched and neglected plants for sale, knowing all the time and effort he had put into them over the years. Many members of the club and the public purchased the plants, which were really cheap because of their obvious neglect and fire damage. I picked up several Haworthia species, mostly to benefit the poor man. I've since spent some time learning about the Haworthia genus. It was amazing that the plants made it through the scorching and eight months without water. Once I got them home and started a watering routine, the plants almost immediately grew new green leaves, and seem to be thriving.

There are hundreds of species in the Haworthia genus. They need light shade, especially in Phoenix, and prefer to be kept dry in the winter months. H. limifolia needs regular watering in summer, but it can be over watered if not careful and can easily suffer from root rot. Even if this happens, the plant can be washed off, and started in fresh soil. There's a good possibility it will re-root. H. limifolia needs protection from frost in winter, but other than that, it can live outdoors all year.

From the tag included with these plants, it appears the previous owner was trying to cross H. limifolia with H. viscosa. He had his own code, so it's impossible to know for sure, but I believe this is good guess. The man is still in a coma after nine months, but I'm sure he would be heartened to know many specimens from his precious collection are being cared for by numerous people across the Phoenix area.

Memorial Day

We Remember

4 comments:

Sue said...

What a nice way for the community to both honor him and raise some money to help.

farmingfriends said...

I am sorry to hear about the gentleman. I am sure he would be pleased to know that his plants are in good care.
Sara from farmingfriends

Julie said...

Oh gosh...this was so great! I often wonder what I would do if something happened to me, as far as my succulents go. Luckily, I have a cousin and a sister-in-law that could care for them, or at least could make arrangements for them. Maybe I should include them in my will. I feel toward them like I do my animals...how else can you feel after all of the love exchanged betweeen us and our plants!

nikkipolani said...

How kind of his friends to pitch in. I hope the sale helped.