The other day, I noticed a hole in a Graptoveria Fred Ives leaf that was in a small pot up on a shelf, on my screened-in porch. Even though it was rather high up, I looked for snails and didn’t see any. So I started to twist off the boo boo leaf when I felt something cold and soft– it was this darn caterpillar! An Armyworm Moth larva to be precise.
Most of us have checked out #succulents on Instagram and ogled over photos showing the most brilliantly colored rosettes, strange but fascinating lithops and mesembs, and propagating leaves that seem to grow faster and more colorful than anything we’ve seen at home. Sometimes we wonder what we’re doing wrong without considering the location those photos are taken are from climates much more aligned with the elements succulents truly thrive in.
Most seem to originate from southern California, Australia, Korea—not Houston ‘Humidtown’ Texas, that’s for sure. Dry days and cooler nights…if this doesn’t sound familiar then you’re in the same boat as I am. If summer temperatures consistently rise above 90F and +70% humidity, or if it rains everyday for a month, and we think we’re going to get the same results in our succulent gardens as those living in San Diego, we’re going to have a really bad time. That doesn’t mean we can’t have succulents, just not all of them, or at least not without a lot of controls in place that some people don’t want to fool with or pay for like lights, fans, and dehumidifiers.