Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Amazing aeonium acceleration

In early October I created a new succulent bed in our backyard. While I also planted a few smaller agaves, echeverias and kalanchoes, this strip is dominated by aeoniums. Being winter growers, these Canary Island natives have added an amazing amount of girth in the last nine weeks. Compare the photos below to see the difference!

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Right side of the new succulent bed now

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Same view in early October

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Left side of the new succulent bed now

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Same view in early October

Next photo: The largest rosette of Aeonium ‘Sunburst’ is a full foot across now. The clump of Aeonium arboreum on the right hasn’t grown as much but the rosettes, closed in the summer and early fall while the plant was dormant, have opened up completely and turned a rich green.

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Aeonium decorum ‘Sunburst’ (the largest rosette is now 12” across), Aeonium arboreum

Next photo: This aeonium, Aeonium arboreum var. rubrolineatum, has had the biggest growth spurt. Just six inches across in October, it now has a diameter of 16 inches. Amazing!

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Agave xylonacantha ‘Frostbite’, Aeonium arboreum var. rubrolineatum (now 16” across), Echeveria × ‘Imbricata’, Agave × ‘Mateo’

Aeoniums are wimps when it comes the cold. So far I haven’t had to cover them because we haven’t had a single night below freezing yet. (We came close last night; our weather station logged a low of 32.8°F in the backyard.) But I’ve retrieved my frost blankets from storage so I’ll be ready when the time comes.

6 comments:

  1. That's just crazy! I've often wondered what I'm missing out on by not being able to give these plants what they want for maximum happiness, now I know!

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    1. They'd be happier in, say, Berkeley or San Francisco, but I'm hoping I'll be able to keep them happy here as well.

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  2. Those aeoniums are definitely enjoying their free root run!

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    1. In my experience, aeoniums do great in a pot but it appears they do even better in the ground. No surprise :-).

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  3. I hope you had your frost blankets out last night kiddo! The growth looks awesome and I would hate to see them suffer! But I know how you love them so I can see you out there with a portable heater! LOL

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    1. I do cover them at night. The lows have been around freezing but we haven't had any hard frost or anything. Knock on wood.

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