Saturday, August 15, 2020

Gravity always wins

The flower stalk of the Agave parrasana along the sidewalk is now close to 7 ft. tall. Impressive for sure, but that's not the focus of this post. Instead, look at the aloe to the left of the agave:


That's the real news. At some point in the last few days, gravity finally won out and caused the top-heavy Aloe ferox to topple over. Even though its leaves had become fairly desiccated in recent weeks, it was still a big guy. 

For comparison, here's a photo from mid-March 2020 when this Aloe ferox was in bloom and the leaves were fat and juicy:


Why did it fall over now? I don't have the faintest idea. Yes, it had been leaning towards the sidewalk, its stem semi-horizontal instead of vertical. But if it was going to topple, why didn't it do it in the spring when the head was much heavier and the soil softer?
Fortunately, there wasn't anything in front of the aloe so nothing got damaged.
It's 103°F outside as I'm writing this and the last thing I want to do is haul away a heavy aloe, but I will have to tackle it at some point. 

Right now, the plan is to rehome the Aloe ferox (any takers within driving distance?) and replace it with the Aloe globuligemma × marlothii I moved in early May (see below). But that's something that will have to wait for fall. If it were transplanted now, in this heat, it would most likely go into shock.

Aloe globuligemma × marlothii

Moral of the story: None, really, except that plants are never predictable. And that's fine by me. It's the element of the unexpected that keeps gardening interesting.


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8 comments:

  1. I'm curious what you'll discover when you get in there to pull it out.

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    1. Me too! It's been too hot to do anything other than stand there in bewilderment.

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  2. Like Loree, I'm wondering if something happened below ground but I wouldn't be going outside to check it out in that heat either. We hovered near 100F yesterday but managed to remain in the upper 90s. The forecasters are predicting worse over the next few days. The temperature at my brother's place in the San Fernando Valley hit 112F yesterday.

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    1. It's too hot to do much of anything. Can't stop thinking of 130°F in Death Valley. Now THAT is kind of cool, in a perverse way. I was in Death Valley in July of 1986 when it was above 120°F--in a little Renault without AC. I was young and foolish then. Now I'm only foolish.

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  3. That's a shame. if you had just a few extra feet of space you could leave it in place.

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    1. For sure! But as Hoover Boo pointed out below, Aloe ferox isn't the most beautiful aloe I could plant in this spot.

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  4. Behead and re-root? Though I think the globuligemma × marlothii is 20 times more attractive. Ferox isn't the most interesting tree Aloe. Not that ferox is uninteresting, just not as interesting as others.

    Once upon a time my beautiful burly 6' dichotoma fell over from root rot. Didn't know enough then to build it a sturdy support to re-root it. Regretted, still.

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    1. I agree 100%!

      I can only imagine how tall your dichotoma might be now!

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