Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Mid-November aloe updates from our garden

With a couple of exceptions, most of my recent posts have focused on other gardens. There's nothing wrong with that, of course, especially considering how special my most recent visits have been (ample proof: Casper's and Daryl's garden, Justin's and Max's gardenKay's garden, Piece of Eden, and Hidden Agave Ranch). 

But after a long summer lull, things are picking up in our own garden. Some developments are me springing into action, others are just nature doing its thing. In the latter category, many aloes are responding to the noticeably cooler nights by taking on reddish and purplish hues. Here are some photos taken over the weekend:

Aloe 'Yemeni Gold' (far left, still green), Aloe excelsa (tomato soup red), Yucca 'Bright Star' (its usual color and obviously not an aloe), and Aloe marlothii (lavender gray)

Aloe excelsa

Aloe marlothii

Aloe marlothii

Aloe marlothii—yes, I'm quite fond of this look

Aloe conifera

Aloe 'Eric the Red' (right), Aloidendron 'Hercules' (far left)

Aloe 'Moonglow', with a vigorous prostrate form of Acacia glaucoptera

Aloe 'Moonglow' pushing new flowers. It's always one of the earliest aloes to flower for me.

A different Aloe 'Moonglow' (I have three clumps), newly flushed, with a much smaller Aloe rubroviolacea which I just planted. I know, the two aloes are much too close together, but my expectation is that 'Moonglow' will continue to grow vertically, leaving room for rubroviolacea to spread out.

On Saturday, I finally completed a project that started when Aloe ferox fell over this summer, leaving a gap that begged to be filled. For a while, I wasn't completely sure what to replace it with, but I finally went with my original choice: the Aloe globuligemma × marlothii that had been growing next to Agave vilmoriniana 'Stained Glass' in the smaller succulent mound in the front garden. I had moved it to an out-of-the-way corner of the front garden but it simply languished there. So here it is in its new—hopefully forever—home:


If you want to know how I moved it, please go to this post. I wrapped it with the same old dog blanket you see in one of the photos in that post and carried it pressed against my body.


Even though the sun is fairly weak at this time of year, I decided to drape some window screen over it to prevent sunburn:



It expect it to change color fairly quickly. My hope is that it will settle in here and finally flower. That would the answer of how much globuligemma is really in this supposed hybrid. If it turns out that it has marlothii-type flowers, I'll declare it to be a straight marlothii. In that case, I'll rehome it because I already have two regular marlothii in the ground nearby and I don't need another one. Plus, there are other candidates for this prize spot waiting in the wings...



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13 comments:

  1. You have the greatest collection of aloes, Gerhard. I think you've made me fall in love with Aloe marlothhii. I wonder if it'd like my back slope? That's probably the only place I could place something that gets that big.

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    1. I think Aloe marlothii would be perfect there. Any large aloe, really! Once you've planted them, they'll need virtually zero care--and not much water.

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  2. I got tired just looking at your hard work of moving a giant aloe again! Too bad about the ferox. Curious to know where the Yemeni Gold came from. It makes quite the contrast. Seeing your success with Moonglow I bought one when I found a good specimen at Home Depot, of all places. Aloes make even winter a time to enjoy.

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  3. My chunk-o-Moonglow is installed nearby A. baileyana purpurea.They match up nicely ! Thanks again, so happy to have one at last. Going to make both a rain cover and a frost cover for it. I am already looking forward to an RBG Aloe bloom visit.

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    1. That's a great combo! I can't wait to see photos when the aloe is in bloom.

      I planted an Aloe rubroviolacea in the spot where the 'Moonglow' had been.

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  4. I like the groundcovering Acacia. Finishes it nicely. I remember a post of yours from the Huntington and how they used succulent groundcovers there quite successfully. It's a nice softer look.

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    1. This acacia is typically shrub but my plant turned out to be the prostrate form, fortunately.

      I try to add as many groundcover-y plants as I can to minimize the amount of bare dirt you see...

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  5. Thank you for posting updates on your aloes... They're beautiful works of Nature!! I've always wondered, though, if the plants in your photos (the ones along the concrete path) are next to a public sidewalk. Down here in coastal SoCal, people have no problem stealing plants from the areas between property fences and sidewalks. So, I'm concerned about selfish folks potentially trying to do that to your precious plants. Wishing you and yours the BEST!!

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    1. Yes, they are next to a public sidewalk. While we've had complaints about plants encroaching into the sidewalk, we've never had a problem with plant theft in the 20+ years we've been in this house. Now that I've said that, it will probably happen :-).

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  6. Enjoyed seeing some of your Aloes. That is a particularly beautiful marlothii with the lavender grey tones. Mine stays stubbornly green. 'Moonglow' is pushing flower stems out here, too. Looking forward to the show.

    K has the shrubbier form of Acacia glaucoptera. The groundcover is quite attractive also, maybe more so. May I trouble you for some seed pods should you ever get any?

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    1. My marlothii changed color in response to the cold. We got close to freezing a couple of weeks ago. You probably stayed way above that.

      I'll be happy to collect seeds off Acacia glaucoptera. Since I need to cut it back a bit, I'll see if I can take cuttings. That would be a faster start.

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