Why won't mine bloom?

ariole(z7DE)March 26, 2006

Forums are flooded with photos of blooming Aloes.

Mine simply refuses to flower. And in the 25 years that it has been with me it has never produced a single pup.

Why? Why? Why?

I must admit that it doesn't get watered in winter.

Could that be the reason?

Here 'tis.

I repeat - Not one flower and not one pup in 25 years.

Al

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paracelsus

I guess it's too busy just being Beautiful to try reproducing.

Water in winter? Mine get lots and most bloom in January and February. Water may not be the most important thing though. I think seasonal light and temperature changes are probably a more important factor. Here I have winter overnight lows averaging in the mid-thirties, with around twenty degree warm-up each day. Once past the winter solstice aloes seem to get the signal to bloom.

How to reproduce those conditions in Delaware I haven't a clue. But I don't think your plant thinks you are doing anything wrong. It's gorgeous.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2006 at 11:02PM
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ariole(z7DE)

Thanks, Para.

I had fears the probable blooming season for this year is just about gone.

The plant is taller than shown and I finally bit the bullet and removes a few bottom leaves in hopes of encouraging a/some pup(s).

There is a night/day temperature swing in the g/h. (50/toasty 80's) light intensity is fixed.

Your input is greatly appreciated.

Al

    Bookmark   March 27, 2006 at 7:35AM
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tjsangel(z5 OH)

Al,

I would kill to have that Aloe! What is it? It's awesome! I hope it surprises you next winter with flowers. I wouldnt worry though. Its probably building up to have the most spectacular flower show you've ever seen! I have this Hoya carnosa 'krimson queen' that is a beauty but hasnt bloomed yet, if it does great, if not I love the plant itself.

Jen

    Bookmark   March 27, 2006 at 7:42AM
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denise_gw

Al,

My Aloes bloom hither-tither through the year, so don't think the "season has passed..." I think in the colder states, they get a little confused and will bloom about anytime. And not all Aloes pup easily. I would be very pleased, though, to have such a gorgeous and obviously happy Aloe... Do you have any idea what it is? It reminds me of distans and humilis (kind of...) If we can figure out what it is, it's going on my wish list!

Denise in Omaha

    Bookmark   March 27, 2006 at 8:16AM
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ariole(z7DE)

Jen and Denise,

It's Aloe erinacea. I've not seen it commonly grown in the Middle Atlantic, but then I'm a bit cloistered here along the DE coast. I can still recall the first time I saw one in a friends collection---a long time ago. (I considered breaking and entering.) I passed up an opportunity to get a nice starter plant at a conference show/sale about 2 years ago and have regreted it ever since.

Thanks for your especially kind words.

Al

    Bookmark   March 27, 2006 at 8:40AM
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rjm710

Really spectacular, and something for my little juvenile version to aspire to! As for blooms, I've never seen them on erinacea; perhaps it's one of those species that is reluctant to flower. The Aloes that bloom for me (a little north of you) tend to do so pretty consistently in the summer and fall, and are generally hybrids of smaller species such as rauhii, bakeri, and bellatula. I've also had a couple of xGasteraloe flower, and I find Gasteria bicolor var. liliputana an easy bloomer as well.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2006 at 10:45AM
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greenlarry(UK 8/9)

Ah erinacea, a lovey Aloe, flowers or no!
Its on my Aloe wants list!

    Bookmark   March 27, 2006 at 10:56AM
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vilcat(z4b NH)

Al,
Delaware coast you say, where abouts? I grew up below Wilmington, and after marrying, lived just outside of Ocean City, MD. LOVE the eastern shore, except for the humidity. It's dry as a bone up here in NH, so much so that I get static electric shocks every time I get in or out of my car in mid summer!
Ok, now for the Oooooo and Ahhhh over that beauty you have there. I love your Aloe. I have a few small types that bloom for me around this time (one has already finished).
How big is your plant?

Kathy

    Bookmark   March 27, 2006 at 7:53PM
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ariole(z7DE)

Those nice Oooo and Ahhhs are appreciated, Kathy.

I'm at Rehoboth Beach.

Al

    Bookmark   March 27, 2006 at 8:52PM
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jeffrey_harris(San Diego, CA)

Dear Al,

If you have two beaches, and you ho each beach, and then, liking what you did, you did it again, you could be described as one who rehoboth beaches, couldn't you?

Ahhh yes, your Aloe. As you know, Aloe erinacea, native to Namibia, is a winter-grower. In my experience, winter-growing Aloes don't break any growth records, but that could be due to my lack of care. But enough of my faults....

This Aloe, in my experience, almost never offsets, is slow to flower, and it's even rare out here in AloeLand for it to flower. If you have a number of them you could intentionally damage the growing point to see if it will offset, but I'd wait to do that until September or so, when its growing season is beginning.

It's a lovely plant you have there, Mr. Aloe Al. Given that you've had it for so long, I would have expected it to flower sooner that 25 years, but what do I know? It probably needs to be sent to San Diego (which, incidentally, is the only place I've seen it flower).

Some people call this one Aloe melanacantha v. erinacea, but we're not some people, are we?

    Bookmark   March 30, 2006 at 2:19PM
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desert_gardener(z9 AZ)

Al, that is a very nice specimen. How big is it and what size pot is it in? I have had one for about 2-3 years, and to me it seem like it has never changed in size or shape. It looks ok, gets more sun than yours, but it just sits there doing nothing. It is nice and green and feels great, but I keep telling my husband that I think it is dead...lol. I will pull out my Reynolds book and see what I can find for us. Thanks for sharing.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2006 at 10:09AM
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ariole(z7DE)

I think these plants are stunning in small sizes. This one is a tad over 8" wide today and about 12 1/2 " tall in an 8" pot. I'm on the look-out for a youngster.

BTW, It is now springtime here with danger of serious frost behind.

Al

    Bookmark   April 1, 2006 at 4:11PM
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