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Let's (finally) talk about Graptopetalum Amethystinum and her hybrids

I'm huge fan of round and chubby succulent, in fact Amethystinum is the reason I started to look into mineral substrates as the alternative to normal soil + perlite.  I have my first pink chubby back in late 2018 and she was rescued from local market. I wasn't sure if she is even Amethystinum as she lost the farina as well as the pink tone. The colour slowly came back but I couldn't figure out how to make her fat!

Anyway after years of research and growing them myself, I am now proud mum of 11 (probably the most I've collected on one cultivar) as I am simply obssesed with Amethystinum and it took me years to train them to be and remain chubby throughout the years. P/s: I am just having a hard time to let go which is why I don't even order them from my supplier as I would end up keeping them instead of selling them. 

Presumably you have experience stressing succulents if not you should read my other blog but this is specifically about Amethystinum. 

Graptopetalum Amethystinum is also known as Lavender Pebbles or 桃蛋 (in Chinese), is originated from Mexico which means they are more likely be able to tolerate high heat, full sun but dry environment. I find them actually hardy and very suitable grow throughout the whole year although I still keep them in my polytunnel during winter (well all my succulents are in polytunnel as I can't be bothered to deal with the rain). 

 

Most Asian blogs recommend using full mineral substrates with no soil at all, in fact in Japan, they seem to use pure Akadama, Kyodama and Kanuma, turns out Amethystinum loves soil with high porosity, the concept is to allow the water pass through immediately so that they are trained to root better and store them into the leaves; that's how you keep them plump. I only water them when they are severely dehydrated like the bottom two layers of leaves are very soft. 

 

As Amethystinum is a Mexican beauty therefore they love the sun more than others and it seems they could tolerate upto 30 degrees under the hot sun during summer and surprisingly still survive after leaving them completely expose even at around 1 degree. 

So I guess everyone is quite curious on how to train them round and chubby?

Key 1:

More more more sun and less less less water.

Autumn is here as I am writing this blog which means the sun is getting more precious every day; just bring them out for sun whenever it's possible and have them stay dry too; morning dew is perfectly fine as that would dissipate when the sun is out. Again only water them when they severely dry otherwise the leaves won't be round. I realised that those facing direct sun everyday tend to have the glowing pink whilst the rest will tend to be more of blushy pink. 

Key 2

Good rooting system.

They must established good rooting system prior to the training. Once they are rooted you can start training them to face more sun and water less.

 

Key 3

100% mineral substrates with no compost or anything that might potentially retain the moisture is a big no no. I am using my own potting mix from here 

The whole point is allow Amethystinum to root better and absorb as much water as possible and store it on the leaves, hence chubby leaves. 

Key 4

Air circulation must be GOOD and large drainage hole.

I couldn't stress how important that is especially for Amethystinum. I find them super large drainage hole definitely helps too as it allows the soil dries quicker. 

Key 5 

Embrace the weather ...kind of except rain 

Amethystinum is actually more hardy than you think, they seems to enjoy quite extreme weather like the summer heat with good air circulation and windy weather but waterproof. They are actually quite pink during summer but starting to lose the pink tone as we are getting less sun these days. 

 Mel's Tips:

  • You can only train them to be super round and chubby from new growth and ideally start from very young plant. I find the existing one is little hit and miss when it comes to training them to be round although they are quite chubby.
  • Also if start from leaves propagation would have higher chances of being round too.
  • Sun plays extremely important part here, they need as much sun as possible to form more round leaves (although less watering); provided they have thick layer of farina otherwise they would be scotched 
  • although we are starting to get less sun but it's ok as the low temperature would reduce chance of stretching. Most of my Amethystinums still remain round and chubby as long as I reduce my water frequency to once or twice a month during winter.
  • unless you are planning to hybridize your amethystinum, I would not suggest letting them bloom during spring/ summer as that might jeopardize your hardwork of keeping them round and chubby. If you do decide letting them to bloom, just make sure you do fertilise them before, during and after bloom.
  • the more round and chubby the more likely your Amethystinum would need some support otherwise yours might end up like mine.. but I kinda like it too. 

 

My very first Amethystinum from local nursery back in 2017?

 

 

Anyway here are some of the Amethystinum hybrids, let's see how many do you have:

 Graptoveria Opalina - Amethystinum x Opalina by Robert Grim 

Graptoveria Atol - Tolimanensis x Amethystinum by Air Magic Nursery

 

Graptoveria Margaret Rose - Amethystinum x Lilacina by Bob Grim

 

Graptoveria Ahelley - Amethystinum x Shelley by Hwaga Nursery

 

Graptoveria Amesis - Amethystinum x Reglensis by Hwaga Nursery

 

Graptoveria Amenova - Amethystinum x Strictiflora Nova? by Air Magic Nursery

 

Graptoveria Avant-Garde by Air Magic Nursery 

 

Graptoveria Lala - Laui x Amethystinum

 

Graptoveria Orange Sherbet - Amethystinum x Zaragosa  by Air Magic Nursery

Graptoveria Matilda (maybe Chihuahuaensis x Amethystinum?) by Air Magic Nursery 

Graptoveria Omega Queen by Air Magic Nursery 

 

Graptoveria Mipa by Air Magic Nursery 

Graptoveria Pink Rosa by Hwaga Nursery 

 

Graptoveria Torres - Amethystinum x Pulidonis- by Hwaga Nursery 

 

 

Graptosedum Miul - Clavatum x Amethystinum by Air Magic Nursery 

Graptophytum Bianco - Amethystinum x Baby Finger? by Air Magic Nursery

 

Graptophytum Pelota - Amethystinum x Oviferum by Hwaga Nursery 

 

 

Graptophytum Royal Pretty - Amethystinum x Oviferum by Air Magic Nursery 

 

 

Graptoveria Topsy Debbi aka Lilac Spoon- Topsy Turvy x Debbi. So techinically she's quarter Amethystinum

 

  • Graptoveria Debbi by Glass & Foster. Ps turns out I do have Debbi Cristata and they are hiding somewhere on the shelf 
  • Graptopetalum Victor Kane aka Kew Marble aka Frank Reinelt - Amethystinum x Paraguayense .
  • Graptoveria Amethorum - Amethystinum x Purposum by Charles Uhl
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    Hope you enjoy this blog as I have been dragging to write this.. 

    2 comments

    • I think the one you got from a local nursery might actually be Pachyphytum Oviferum ‘Rubra’ (which would explain the lack of farina too) 😁

      Jack
    • Will you write a blog post about the hybrids of pachyphytum oviferum? I love these posts about the different hybrids.

      holly

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