Karen, the Carruanthus peersii I named after my late Aunt, is, well, peculiar.

I think that would make my Aunt happy, actually.

Sometimes it’s easy for me to think that all succulents need the same basic care, and that they act basically the same. Give them a sunny window, don’t give them much water, they’ll be fine. I’ve probably written essentially that on this very blog.

But it’s not true, they can be quite varied.

My Huernia, for example, hated the sunny kitchen windowsill, as the sun burned its leaves. It’s much happier in the shade.

My little Kalanchoe drinks a LOT of water for supposedly being drought-tolerant.

And now the Carruanthus is doing her own thing.

Let’s see if you can spot the weird. Here’s the first flower bud on September 2nd, in the morning:

And then late in the afternoon:

On the morning of September 11th, the first flower was fading, and the other was set to open:

Then late in the afternoon, it opened:

The flowers are in direct sun from about 11am on, but they don’t open until late in the day. Here’s what the flower looked like a couple of days ago around 3:30pm:

Then 4:15pm:

And then 6pm:

I think it’s a little peculiar that the plant takes all day to open the flower. Then the flower is only open for about three hours before closing again and starting the whole process over the next day.

Don’t you think that’s weird?

If I were a flower, I’d want to be out and open all dang day. Like, “Hey Bees, I’m over here,” or “Look at me, World.”

Anyway.

So the first flower lasted 9 days, the second lasted 7 days.

The plant has been getting a little bit of water, every few days, all summer long, as she sits on my kitchen windowsill. But now that it’s September, she’s going to get moved to a shady spot far away from me. The less attention I give her, the better her chances of surviving the winter without me accidentally overwatering her.

One thing most succulents have in common is that it is very easy to overwater them – they can practically die overnight from too much water. Especially in September, when most houseplants slow way down on their water intake. Even indoor plants sense the change in season, so they begin to shut down. Until the heaters come on later in the fall, and then they will begin drinking again.

I did a little research on the Carruanthus, and one site said that in their native ecosystem, they prefer shade. Hence the move to a shady spot. I’ll see which she prefers.

One another site, I learned that they can self-pollinate. I didn’t realize that when I snipped off the first spent blossom, but I will leave the other on the plant to see if it produces a seed. Not that I really need any more seeds…

I’ll miss having those cheerful flowers greeting me each morning on the kitchen windowsill. But it’s in the plant’s best interest to be somewhat neglected over the winter.

Oh, the things I do for plants!

I’ll be back manana, hope to see you here.

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