November 2012: what's looking good or bad in your garden?

grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)November 4, 2012

Hi everyone,

I hope you are loving this weather as much as I am. This is one of my favorite times of year in the garden here. It's our "spring" for sure, with tons of new, lusty growth and tons of beautiful fluffy blooms. Of course, not everything looks good, so feel free to share about what's looking good, or not so good, in your garden.

Here's a couple of things looking good in my little garden.

One of several Aloe dorothea. These fun aloes are mostly grown for their pretty rusty orange winter foliage color (you can see it starting to form on the leaf tips--it'll be much brighter in a month or three), but I like the nice autumn flowers too. Here's one of many in my garden with flower buds already coloring up. That's a spineless prickly pear Opuntia in the background (developed by the famous plant hybridizer Luther Burbank as cattle feed in arid regions), along with a silly little poorly placed but happy self-sown hollyhock seedling (I'll work around it). Wilson the tennis ball included to show relative size.

Here's a "Hawaiian" spider plant which makes highly variegated new foliage that turns a darker green as it matures. This was a single plantlet this spring--now it's larger than the parent plant indoors!

Finally, a hibiscus relative, Malvaviscus drummondii, blooming away, with an impossibly huge clump of ageratum behind it.

Your turn!

Take care and happy gardening!

Here is a link that might be useful: Pics, so far, from my garden November 2012

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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

Sheesh, can you believe the forecast for the next few days??? 88 today, 75 tomorrow and 63 on Saturday? Ugh! I don't like cool weather, LOL.

In any case, here are two plants looking good this week, one is a huuuuuuuge flowered Stapelia gigantea blooming on the east side of the house. The blooms are over 10 inches / 24 centimeters across. Afternoon shade keeps them happy.

And here's a rescued Adenium that I purchased when it was completely abused and without any leaves. A simple repotting and some sun and occasional water helped it recover nicely. It's been blooming off and on since July.

What's looking good or awful in your garden? Happy gardening and hold on tight for the weather roller coaster this weekend!


    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 8:14AM
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Please post your adenium care 'recipe'. I've managed to kill two of them - probably too much water at the wrong time. Can you include your adenium soil mix too?


    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 11:14AM
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Raimeiken - z9b - Peoria, AZ

Here's my Canna 'Bird of Paradise' in bloom.

I found a box full of succulent cuttings from work that were going to get thrown out. So I decided to rescue them and re-pot them.

Here's some of my new Tropical fruit trees that I bought.

this one's an Ice Cream Bean tree

Alphonso Mango tree

Lemon Guava tree

Longan tree

late Plumeria blooming

I love the fall weather, it really brings all the colors out of plants.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 2:58PM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

Amazingly beautiful pics and plants, raimeiken! Thanks for taking the time and effort to share them. You really have a wonderful, amazing garden. That red leaf castor bean is amazing. So nice! I've done 'Carmencita' a few times and end up with nice, but tall and lanky things, rather than a nice small tree-ish specimen likes yours. Love it!

All of the other are wonderful too. You got quite a haul with that Box of Succulents! Keep us posted on how they all do for you. I love Aeoniums especially, although mine really struggle in summer when they enter heat-induced semi-dormancy (I move them either indoors for the hottest three months or I move them to full shade outdoors and hardly water them for three months). They always perk up in autumn and look wonderful all during the cooler months. Love everything you showed us!

I too bought an "ice cream bean" plant recently (at the AZ Rare Fruit Grower's autumn sale two weekends ago). I have no idea what I've gotten myself into, LOL. Do you?? I'd love to hear more from you or anyone else who has grown one long term.

aztreelvr, I usually grow my adeniums in unglazed terracotta pots. I use a mix that is 40% Miracle-Gro potting soil (or Pro-Mix potting soil and then 60% pumice (Baker/Berridge usually sell it), plus just a handful of builder's sand. I make sure to put a good inch of pumice at the bottom of the pot before putting the soil in. Other than that, I give them full or 3/4 sun. In summer, when it's HOT they get watered 2-3 times a week, with a blast of water-soluble tomato fertilizer once a month or so. In autumn I water them twice a month (say September and October) and from early November until they re-leaf again in spring I give them ZERO water. None. Nada. Zilch. They're green and leafy and blooming right now, but the shorter, cooler days and lack of water will help force them into dormancy (they'll shed their leaves). Once they have shed their leaves they get no water until leaves start emerging in spring. It's the same routine I give my Pachypodiums and Plumerias too. It's hard for me, so I put them where they're hard to reach/water and where they don't get rain water either. Most of my larger ones have loved this routine for 6 or 7 years now.

Fun updates/discussions, keep them coming.
Happy gardening!

    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 12:57PM
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Pagancat(Phoenix, AZ)

Yep, all of the Adeniums I have killed have been the victims of too much water, water without leaves or too cold and watered.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2012 at 6:24PM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

Blechk, I did not care for the cooler than average temperatures this past weekend! I'm glad to see we're returning to seasonal temps (mid and upper 70's F) for the rest of the week. Yay.

Here are some plants that didn't mind the cooler temps, and they certainly enjoyed the rain my little garden got on Friday night:

Several Matucana madisoniorum cacti in bloom. I just give them afternoon shade and water when DRY to keep them happy. They've been blooming off and on since late spring. Literally several months of sporadic bloom. I'm a fan!

Some 'Vista Bubblegum Pink' petunias going crazy in a pot filled with a dwarf 'Bearss' lime on the patio.

Happy gardening and keep the fun updates coming.
Take care,

Here is a link that might be useful: Pics, so far, from my little garden November 2012

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 6:34PM
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euqruob(Phoenix, AZ)

Kiwanos putting out tons of fruit, finally ripening. My little proto-papaya fruit are probably not going to grow any further this season.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 9:54PM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

Thanks for the update euqruob! Keep us posted!

Here's a contorted orchid cactus, Epiphyllum guatemalense 'Curly' (or E.g. 'monstrosa') that I bought as a single rooted cutting five years ago. It sits in this exact same spot every day of the year outside on the patio. It gets morning sun in winter and bright shade in summer (tennis ball to show size).

'Bambino' a variegated super-dwarf bougainvillea. I bought it early this spring and planted it in this glazed red pot. It's done great in full hot sun all summer, and didn't even miss me when I went to Hawaii for over ten days in May. I just sit it in a saucer with two inches of water and left it on its own. It was fine when I got back:

More blooms opening up on the Aloe dorothea plants all over the garden. I love the bright, almost-red buds and blooms. Great orange-brown winter foliage color:

Happy gardening, keep the updates coming,

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 4:21PM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

Ageratums have a reputation for not tolerating much heat at all (they're often grown just for spring in cold winter/hot summer areas) so I was surprised when this one survived the summer in full hot sun just fine. Now that temperatures are lovely again it has REALLY bounced back. It's got a few open blooms and a TON of buds. So fun.

I grow a ton of hollyhocks too, and while they do look tired in summer, they perk up nicely in autumn, and bloom in mid to late spring. Here's a new batch of seedlings that I need to get in the ground. They were attacked by some small green caterpillars a few weeks ago, but seem to be outgrowing them now.

Happy gardening!

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 2:39PM
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euqruob(Phoenix, AZ)

Picked this bad boy today from the garden.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2012 at 1:01AM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

AWESOME euqruob, awesome! How did it taste?? We want to see/hear more. Great growing there as usual!

Here's just a few fun quick pics of things looking good right now. Good ol' Hippeastrum 'Mrs. Garfield' with her beautiful variegated evergreen foliage and nice peppermint striped blooms. She blooms off and on all year long in afternoon shade.

'TexMex' geranium (Pelargonium) blooming away in a big gothic style terracotta pot that I've been carrying around for ten years or so. This variety is new and is supposed to be "especially heat-tolerant" so we'll see if it lasts longer than my usual types. Even those are good now through mid-April or so.

And I know, they're gaudy, but what can I say? I love petunias, striped ones especially, and since they are so easy here autumn through late spring, I tend to go overboard at this time of year. Full sun, regular food and water and you'll have blooms until mid-May.

Happy gardening!

Here is a link that might be useful: Pics from my little garden November 2012

    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 5:34PM
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euqruob(Phoenix, AZ)

Kiwanos taste like cucumber jello...if there were such a thing. The inside is a bright lime green with cuke like seeds in it. As for growing them, couldn't be easier, they thrive on little care, can handle the heat, and spread like crazy. But it is a tough plant, stickers all over the vines and leaves, and the fruit is spiky and sharp. It's like its a punk rocker plant...

    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 8:15PM
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Raimeiken - z9b - Peoria, AZ

Grant, your Hippeastrum looks awesome! I might get me one of those

    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 11:23PM
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Raimeiken - z9b - Peoria, AZ

My Saffrons have finally awaken!

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 7:18PM
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Raimeiken - z9b - Peoria, AZ

Hibiscus Mutabilis are finally blooming

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 7:20PM
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My crown of thorns is starting to bloom for the first time since I planted it about a year and a half ago when it was full of flowers. I think it may be partially because I recently trimmed way back the arborvitae that it's planted below.

This post was edited by nickw252 on Thu, Nov 29, 12 at 19:55

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 7:23PM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

Fun new pics and updates! raimeiken, your saffron crocus look great! Will you actually save and use the saffron/pollen? They're really pretty. I love your Hibiscus mutabilis too, especially a pic showing the new white and aged pink blooms. Great stuff! Definitely becoming one of my favorite leafy shrubs here, probably due to you and other members commenting on them in past seasons. Mine are tossing up a few blooms still but seem to be slowing down a bit. Great stuff!

Congrats on the crown of thorns blooms nickw252. That's a nice, big, leafy plant! Keep us posted as more and more open over the winter. It looks great! I have a bunch in pots all over the garden, but none in the ground. Hmmmm.....

Happy gardening all, thanks for sharing your garden with us!

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 1:14PM
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