Bargins at the Big Box Store

bikerdoc5968 Z6 SE MIMay 25, 2012

My home thermostat broke last night and the AC wouldn't work. So while out researching a new one, I ventured over to the C&S area and found, what is for me, some real bargains. They may not be so for some of you but here in Michigan you have grab what you can! The Crassula was $4.00 in a 6" pot and the Aloe was $10.00. I had seen a posting here a week or more ago of the Jade and really wanted one but around here... Not in my lifetime! So some impulse buying and now let's hope I don't knock it off! I have always loved the shape of this Aloe but found most vendors charge big $$$$ for small plants. This one was in a 9" pot filled with only peat moss. It never fails to amaze me how large commercial growers tend to over-pot plants (IMHO) for the size effect and sell them for big bucks; I have a feeling this one was mislabeled. I have since re-potted it into a 6" pot with much more grit in hopes that it doesn't die on me. Of course any comments as to the culture of the Aloe are more than welcome.

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hijole(9 Sunny California)

Doc, Nice catch on the Aloe Plic, I've always admired that spieces and just wait till it blooms, you'll be so proud.

Greg

    Bookmark   May 25, 2012 at 9:38PM
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cactusjordi(z10 CA)

Be careful with watering the Aloe plicatilis in summer!

Jordi

    Bookmark   May 25, 2012 at 10:17PM
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TT, zone 5b MA

Nice plic! It should like growing for you now in your neck of the woods. But, I agree...be careful when it heats up.

T

    Bookmark   May 25, 2012 at 10:22PM
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bikerdoc5968 Z6 SE MI

OK, Jordi and Tom.... don't leave me hanging. What's with the summer heat and watering and and and......

Howard

    Bookmark   May 25, 2012 at 10:31PM
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TT, zone 5b MA

Howard -

When it really heats up (90s for consecutive days) it is best to back off the regular watering as the plant will shut down in excessive heat. I even site mine in a morning sun, afternoon shade spot if it really is hot. They like to grow when the temps are 70s to 80s in my experience, and the nights are still cooler...which is actually a good portion of my New England summer. They are different from your typical aloe. Here is a link to a good discussion.

T

Here is a link that might be useful: Aloe Plicatilis care

    Bookmark   May 25, 2012 at 10:49PM
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Beachplants(Z11)

I think I need to add a few things about natural environment - it occurs in the Western Cape (of South Africa) and this is a winter rainfall area with occasional snow on high mountain tops. It is one of a few that occur (aloe succotrina another) in the fynbos (protea-rich) areas and grows in slight acidic sandy soil on rocky slopes. In summer it can get between 86F to 104F in this area regularly (Jan-Feb), but with no rain. This time of the year regular bush fires also occur here, the main difference is that it does cool down at night (68F-75F).

From Apr to Sept the weather get colder, more rain (right now) and infrequent frost/snow, but it warms during the day to 68-75F, and snow/frost melts. It grows mainly under the snow line anyway. (150-700m altitude)

So it will definitely shut down on higher temps and as most will grow during the moderate periods of the year, slowing down in peaks of winter...it flowers in Mid-Late Spring...just before it rests during summer.

Hope this helps. Remember, where the environment of your locality falls into range it will grow...so when you have milder summers (you may see growth) or very cold dark winters (it will not grow) until it gets warmer/more favourable.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2012 at 7:51AM
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growforit

"It never fails to amaze me how large commercial growers tend to over-pot plants (IMHO) for the size effect and sell them for big bucks" - Bikerdoc

Was thinking about that the other day when I was at Lowe's. Relatively small, common succulents being sold for $20.00 when they could have been in much smaller pots and sold for around $5.00.

Oh now I get it, they are charging more, in order to recover the cost of delivering a 'heavier' product ;-) Well, I'm not wasting my money just because they feel like 'wasting' too much [soggy] soil. So much for the saying 'dirt cheap'...

The best of the worst was Euphorbia tirucalli in a two gallon [plastic] pot for $47.00 - and the plant was about 7" tall!

    Bookmark   May 26, 2012 at 11:23AM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Wow Bikerdoc...I happen to agree with you that the Crassula arborescens for $4.00 in a 6" pot is an awfully great deal. I never find anything remotely close to that size here, a real beauty!! Congrats!!

    Bookmark   May 26, 2012 at 11:47AM
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pennyhal(11Sunset23)

Love that crassula. Don't think I've seen it before.

I've bought gallon plants only to find that the bottom half is nothing but soil, no roots. Just another way to make money.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2012 at 1:54PM
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whip1 Zone 5 NE Ohio

Doc, What big box store did you get these at? I don't shop them often, but I might stop by if I can find an affordable Aloe Plic.

Rob

    Bookmark   May 28, 2012 at 3:41PM
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bikerdoc5968 Z6 SE MI

Rob, I got it at Lowe's. As I have stated, it was potted up in pure peat moss and very wet! When I re-potted it, I found that the roots were not in the best condition and this may be why it was priced as it was.... I am hoping my re-potting into a more gritty mix and allowing it to dry out will save it otherwise, it's going back!

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 9:35AM
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cactusmcharris

Speaking of Aloe plicatilis (and all of us who assume Donald Duck voices when we pronounce it), this was mailed to me by a thoughtful friend and colleague, who bought it at Lowe's in Palm Springs for under $20, including tax. Yes, that's four heads there. Finally, maybe a Plic I can grow up here...the gods willing and the creek not rising.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 11:21AM
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breton2

Wow! Nice finds, Bikerdoc and Jeff!!

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 12:33PM
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bikerdoc5968 Z6 SE MI

Jeff, and others another question: Are the roots in Jeff's picture above good viable roots? Now I know that sounds brain-dead on my part and I should know better. The reason I ask is because the plant I purchased was planted in pure peat moss, very wet because an unknowing "associate" just soaked it big time and when I un-potted it, most of the roots fell off. There were some white tipped roots. I re-potted in a more course mix and pray that it makes it.

So my question: If all of the roots rot, is this Aloe like some other succulents and by removing the dead material and allowing time to callous, will it regenerate new roots?

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 3:51PM
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cactusmcharris

No, the roots in that pic are mostly dead. Fortunately, after trimming the dead stuff (and leaving a few root nubbins), they'll likely grow new ones in the next few months (I'm going to keep it in a coolish (20C / 70F or so) environment, but sunny).

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 4:07PM
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whip1 Zone 5 NE Ohio

Thanks Doc, I'll have to stop by my Lowes and see if they have any of these.

Jeff, yours looks good too!

    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 5:23PM
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azant(10a)

Picked up 2 very nice sized Cyphostemma quinatum at the local Lowes here, they had it labeled as Cissus juttae which is a far cry from being botanicaly correct by any means.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 11:35AM
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norma_2006

Also you just may want to let them hang out before potting the new plants. Set them no soil please in a dry clean pot. until you see new roots coming. Spay the old roots with soap and water, pure soap please, remove all of the old soil, mix what ever, get rid of it.
These plants are from Africa, they grow on rocky hillsides and get very little rain, water of any kind, they can be killed with love. Crassula especially don't like water certain time of the year, they are dormant, and need a rest. Too much water can kill them as well. Enjoy you new plants.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 11:55AM
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