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Aloe season 2012!

Posted by grant_in_arizona USDA Z9 Scottsdale A (My Page) on
Wed, Mar 14, 12 at 20:17

Okay, okay, it's been aloe season since November, LOL, but it's still going strong and will continue for several months here in the Valley so I thought I'd share a couple of quick and casual pics of just some of the aloes blooming in my little garden.

The season started off in November with 'Cynthia Giddy' in bloom, and some of them are still going strong, but here's what's blooming NOW, so I thought I'd share. :)

Here's five year old clump of the hybrid 'Blue Elf' (tennis ball included to show size) blooming in full sun. I love the purple-blue winter color and the amazing flush of late winter blooms. It also tosses up an occasional bloom all summer long too. It's become very popular and with good reason. Occasionally a single rosette or three will suddenly croak (so be sure to not overwater it), but it usually makes several replacements:

Here's a casual pic of a hybrid aloe with unknown parentage. Obviously it has a lot of Aloe striata in its ancestry, but also something else since it's puppling like crazy (pure Aloe striata rarely pups, and it doesn't have teeth along the leaf edge like this one does). I bought it as a tiny 2 inch plant at a garage sale four years ago and it's finally filled up its pot and is blooming right now:


Finally, here's a pic of pure Aloe striata ("coral aloe") blooming on the east side of my house. I love the thin stripe along each toothless leaf (the stripe is white in summer and pinkish in winter) and I love the really nice, wide head of flowers. If you look closely you can see this particular plant is going to make three bloom stalks. Yay. Another really easy, large-ish aloe for afternoon shade. I've planted more of these around my garden than I can count!

I give all of these aloes the same general care: water once a week when it's HOT, and water once a month when it's not. Most aloes do appreciate a bit of afternoon sun if you can provide it, although my 'Blue Elf' is in full bore hot sun all year long.

Got any aloes you'd like to share? Let us see/hear about them! They're such easy, evocative plants for the warm winter parts of Arizona.

Happy gardening!
Grant

Here is a link that might be useful: My March 2012 garden pics


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Aloe season 2012!

Nice aloes!


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RE: Aloe season 2012!

Mmm - beautiful display, Grant (as always!). I completely concur with your striata cross assessment, that's so cool that it's pupping for you. Wish the striata would.

I'm hoping to start a few colonies of different colored blooms going when I get there. Nothing will happen before fall, of course. I've already got an A. barbadensis (for medicinal purposes) in a pot here that will come with, and I *know* I'll have to get some Blue Elf. I also found a website with Aloe seeds, and that will be fun to give a try to.

Thanks for the eye candy!


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RE: Aloe season 2012!

Thanks for looking and commenting, I appreciate it! Aloes really are great plants for here, and nothing says "Southwest" like a colorful aloe in bloom.

It's great you're bringing an Aloe with you, Pagan, how fun! There are some great seed sources out there too, aren't there? Some of my oldest from-seed plants are just starting to bloom this year (Penrock Seed from South Africa, plus several from seed swaps too). Fun stuff! Let us hear all about where you get yours and how they do. Fun!

Here's good ol' Aloe 'Hercules' in my back garden. I've had it for five years now and he's more than doubled in size. It's a hybrid between A. dichotoma which loves it here but is super slow growing, and A. bainsii, which can't tolerate our long hot summer nights but is fast growing (if it didn't die here, LOL). Luckily 'Hercules' has the best of both parents: grows fast AND loves it here. The only key for success: very very little summer water (like A. dichotoma). Otherwise it's very very low care and a nice quick grower. Tennis ball to show relative size.

Here's one of the last Aloe 'Cynthia Giddy' to bloom too. The ones in full sun started first, then those in partial shade were second, and now those in mostly-shade are catching up. A real favorite of mine--and one that pups like MAD. I got the original plant from the wonderul Roger's Gardens in Orange County, California. A real winner if you ask me.

Thanks again for looking/commenting. If you've got some aloe favorites, don't be shy! Happy gardening!
Grant


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RE: Aloe season 2012!

Wow, look at that color. Amazing.

How old are your from-seed plants, IOW, how long do they take to mature?

Does your tree-aloe bloom?


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More aloes!

Thanks! Aloe 'Hercules' hasn't bloomed for me yet, but it has more than doubled in size which I love. They are pretty easy to find these days which is great. Mine is one of the larger ones in the Valley since I bought it before they were super available, but there are some nice ones at the new succulent garden at the Desert Botanical Garden, and there are some nice ones at Kierland Commons, one of my favorite shopping spots. I'm keeping my eyes open for blooms though, especially if it takes after A. dichotoma which starts blooming at around the same, or less, height.

My most precocious from-seed aloes started blooming at year three, but some are five years old and still haven't bloomed. I've got some fun species types, and some fun mutts that I'm very curious to see bloom. They're so easy from fresh seed I figured why not (the seeds aren't viable for long, only a few months, since they store their energy as oil rather than starch, so they go bad quickly). Anyway, fun to do for sure. Keep us posted on yours if/when you get them started. Fun!

Here are a few other quick and casual pics.

Another pic of Aloe 'Hercules'.

A not-great pic from above, of a nice Aloe maculata (formerly Aloe saponaria, but technically A. maculata before that, though it's been known as saponaria for much, much longer than maculata). I just thought it was a neat way to show a starburst of buds from a single small plant.

Finally, I'm only 50% allowed to include this plant, becaue it's only 50% an aloe, but I'm going for it. It's Gasteraloe 'Green Ice' an Aloe x Gasteria hybrid. The mother plant is obviously the partridge breast aloe, A. variegata due to the shape and pattern of the leaves, however the blooms are in-between those of an Aloe and a Gasteria. I love this plant as it has foliage similar to A. variegata but tolerates out summers muuuuuuuuuuuch better. I've been growing it for five or six years now without any issues at all. I've re-planted the rare offsets around the garden, and I purchase any I see for sale too. So easy and generous and the foliage is great. I have an A. variegata inches away from this Gasteraloe and the Gasteraloe out-performs it by a lot.

Happy gardening everyone!


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RE: Aloe season 2012!

Are you kidding? I think that's a terrific picture from above.

I also like your Gasteraloe, very cool star-shape and love those bi-color blooms.

For some reason I thought A. saponaria had yellow blooms.... I must be thinking of something else...? The ones I always wanted were A. dorothea and A. vanbelenii (sp?). Love the deep red coloration they get.


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RE: Aloe season 2012!

Thanks for looking/commenting, Pagan, I appreciate it. There are so many great aloes out there, aren't there? Other than good old tree aloe 'Hercules' my biggest is A. austroarabica, which has a single rosette that's probably four and a half feet across. It's a monster and gets a decent gold-yellow-brown color in mid-summer.

I do have Aloe dorothea although I'm too nice to it to get the best color from it. I still like it though. I've never tried A. vanbalenii, but I know what you mean about that wild red winter color. Delicious! If you get them, keep us posted!

Take care and happy gardening!
Grant


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RE: Aloe season 2012!

Wow, gorgeous! The Hercules looks like something out of a Dr Seuss book!

A question, I spy a nasturtium in the background, is it climbing up a tree? Will these grow all summer in PHX, or do they die off soon? Also on aloes, do the spikes eventually die off as new ones form, or are they on the plant for the duration?

Thanks!!!

Heidi


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RE: Aloe season 2012!

Thanks, Heidi. Glad you like 'Hercules' and those others. He's not hard to find at all these days.

You're good, yes, that IS a nasturtium in the background (climbing a small grapefruit tree sapling). Nasturtiums are wonderful performers in mid-winter, spring, and early summer in the Phoenix area, and then they fade when it gets hot. Still, we can grow them from November through May or so, which is a nice long season, much longer than folks in cold winter/hot summers can enjoy, so nasturtiums are basically autumn, winter, spring and very early summer here. I love them and grow a lot of them in pots and in the ground. They self-sow if you let them, and their big wrinkled seeds will wait out the long hot summer and re-sprout in autumn. Great colorful plants for the cooler months.

Take care and happy gardening. You can see a LOT of nasturtium pics in my March 2012 photo album below.

Here is a link that might be useful: March garden pics from my little garden


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Aloe nobilis

Here's another one that I'm especially enjoying and hope you will too, even though it doesn't usually bloom for another month or so, a nice variegated Aloe nobilis that I've had for a couple of years now, in a large Talavera style pot on my patio. It gets full sun in winter and afternoon shade in summer, and water once a week or so. Wilson the tennis ball included for size.





Happy gardening!
Grant


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RE: Aloe season 2012!

Thanks for your reply Grant, and love the March album! Your captions are so educational it's great. Nice to see your desert bluebells in bloom, I have some growing nicely but am afraid I planted the seeds to late, no blooms yet but fingers crossed :)

Heidi


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Hybrid Aloe 'Fire Ranch'

Hi Heidi and all, thanks for the nice comments! I just load quick and casual pics from my garden and then try to add some off the cuff comments. Glad you enjoyed them! I add several pics each day, just for fun.

Speaking of fun, here's a 'Fire Ranch' hybrid aloe just starting to bloom in my garden. I got it as a small single rosette plant from Roger's Gardens in Costa Mesa, CA several years ago. It makes really interesting sprays of blooms with red buds that open to neat little yellow blooms. In mid-bloom it's quite a kaleidoscope of color!






Happy gardening all, and if you're an aloe fan too, please post some pics or updates! Grant


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RE: Aloe season 2012!

Hi Grant!

Great to see your pics and I also wanted to thank you for your blog post explaining why it is necessary when repotting plants to not go too big. I always want to know WHY, not just "do it this way." And your other little tidbits like this: "They're so easy from fresh seed I figured why not (the seeds aren't viable for long, only a few months, since they store their energy as oil rather than starch, so they go bad quickly)."

I've learned a lot from you on this forum. :)

This little guy has a bloom and I'm wondering based on some comments above, is this a Gasteraloe?

Flower detail

Not an aloe, but one of the wildflowers in my back yard


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RE: Aloe season 2012!

I have never seen a bloom on an aloe like the Fire Ranch - very cool! Lovely A. noblis, too.

I hope I can pick up some good aloes at the DBG sale next fall. They're just such great plants.


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RE: Aloe season 2012!

Thanks for the nice comments, Haname, I learn something new too each time I log in, so it's definitely a two-way street. :)

Love your new pics too, the cornflower/bachelor's button is just great and the Gasteraloe is wonderful too. You're right of course, it's a Gasteraloe which you can tell from the stomach-shaped blooms (I know you know, but someone reading along might not, but that's how the genus Gasteria got its name, from the gastric/stomach shaped blooms). Love your plant! Thanks for the eye candy.

I'm sure you'll find a ton of aloes at all of the DBG sales, Pagan, they really are fun, aren't they? I never have to fret about them when I'm away from the garden, that's fore sure.

Happy gardening all!


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RE: Aloe season 2012!

Here's another one, a no-name plant I purchased as a small, dessicated unrooted cutting on the "rescue table" at the Desert Botanical Garden's spring plant sale several years ago. It rooted and grew quickly and is now a nice, BIG aloe that makes a really nice candelabra of blooms each spring. It's made a couple of small pups/offsets that I've rooted and planted in the front garden. Here it is, all full of promise:

And here's a little cutie, the hybrid Aloe 'Firebird' starting to bloom too. It's so tiny that I just keep it in a pot. It was a single rosette when I bought it a few years ago, so it's grown a LOT, but it's still tiny, as Wilson the tennis ball attests.

Send in your aloe updates or pics if you've got any. Happy gardening!
Grant


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RE: Aloe season 2012!

Here's a simple Aloe vera in bloom in a tall chocolate brown Vietnamese pot by my front door (one of the few parts of my garden that is not crowded with plants), and a pic of a "big boy" Aloe austroarabica too. I love the austroarabica because it has such neat amber-colored foliage, and nice duckling yellow blooms in early summer. Wilson the tennis ball tucked in the second pic to show relative size. What can I say, I heart aloes, LOL. Happy gardening everyone!


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RE: Aloe season 2012!

Hi Grant, I recently purchased an A. Hercule and was so thankful that I was so busy to plant it before the recent horrific freeze. How did your Hercules do? My A. Dichotoma by my adobe wall has no freeze burns. My other Dichotoma by me carport has freeze tips on all the leaves but I think it'll make it.


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RE: Aloe season 2012!

Hi Grant, I recently purchased an A. Hercule and was so thankful that I was so busy to plant it before the recent horrific freeze. How did your Hercules do? My A. Dichotoma by my adobe wall has no freeze burns. My other Dichotoma by me carport has freeze tips on all the leaves but I think it'll make it.


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RE: Aloe season 2012!

  • Posted by bolt z8 Phx (My Page) on
    Sun, Jan 27, 13 at 9:48

Yes Grant, I too am curious how your Hercules faired after the freeze. Mine was under the front porch in a pot and got damage, so I was wondering how yours was doing being planted in the ground. My 8foot aloe dichotoma had no damage and it's planted out in the yard (I had 4 nights in the low 20's).

Kevin


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RE: Aloe season 2012!

Hi everyone,

Fun updates on your 'Hercules' and A. dichotoma plants. I only have damage on two types of aloes (out of many): 'Purple' aloe (I never found a definitive ID for it, it was just labeled as "purple aloe" at the DBG sale last autumn) and Aloe 'Hercules'.

'Purple' aloe is dead dead dead, LOL, even though there's an Aloe parvibracteata right next door that did fine, and still has its blooms. There's also an Aloe cryptopoda right next to THAT, and it too looks great as do its blooms (zero protection). The purple melted fast though. No great loss, but still I hate to see plants fail.

Now on to 'Hercules'. He definitely has tip damage to quite a few leaves, although I think he'll pull through just fine. He got quite a bit of damage during the single night of the coldest temps in 75 years in winter 2011 but he survived that night just fine. This recent bout wasn't quite as cold (27 F in my garden) but it happened for five nights in a row (HATE). Anyway, 'Hercules' has quite a bit of leaf tip damage, but happily, his (first ever) blooms look fine. That's good news. I noticed several at the Desert Botanical Garden yesterday had similar or worse damage, and some had none. We'll see how he does--I hope and think he'll make it just fine, although he'll have some battle scars for awhile. Here are two pics I ran out and took this morning, January 28, 2013.


Happy gardening!
Grant

Here is a link that might be useful: Pics from my garden January 2013


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RE: Aloe season 2012!

Glad to see your Hercules has very little freeze damage. I'm at the base of the Supperstition Mountain and it got down to 20 degrees for three nights! The first bloom of your Hercules will be spectacular, you must be so excited. I have a 9 plus footer Dichotoma that i'm waiting to either bloom or divide...waiting , waiting...


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RE: Aloe season 2012!

  • Posted by bolt z8 Phx (My Page) on
    Tue, Jan 29, 13 at 9:15

My Hurcules looks pretty much the same as yours Grant, now I know how frost tender it is so I'll keep that in mind in the future. The flower spike on it is COOL! I'm envious. ;-) I lost a lot of aloe flower 'buds' in the freeze, but didn't lose any aloes themselves, so I'm glad about that at least.

Kevin


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RE: Aloe season 2012!

Thanks Kevin and Nick, I appreciate the interest and comments. There is plenty of damage on my 'Hercules' but I think he'll pull through and look good eventually. I'm definitely excited about those blooms! They definitely take after A. bainsii more than A. dichotoma, at least in terms of color.

I really didn't loose many blooms on my Aloes I'm happy to report. Aloe cryptopoda/Aloe wickensii and its blooms sailed through this weather just fine, as did A. dorothea and a few others.

Nick, how often/how much do you water your Aloe dichotoma? I've purchased a couple of them and killed them quickly, even with beautiful growing Hercules right next to them. I'd love to hear your tips/tricks!

Happy gardening all,
Grant


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RE: Aloe season 2012!

OK Grant, I'll share with you my experience with you about A. Dichotoma. The nine plus footer that I have has been in the ground for exactly two years tomorrow and it's doing fantastically well. I think it grew over three feet! It's planted in a raised bed of nothing but DG ( crushed granite) on the south side of my 16" thick adobe wall. I did watered it about once every two week during the summer and let winter rain take care of it. I know its success is do to the WELL DRAINED growing medium. I know this for sure because I rotted the one I planted for my sister by over watering it last summer. This plant was not planted in a raised bed of DG thus no fast drainage.
Try it again. This time plant it in a raised bed of DG. When in doubt DON'T water it in the summer time, just let the monsoon rain do its thing. Then if you like you can water it in the winter month . I'll try to post some photos of mine . Nick


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RE: Aloe season 2013

Great information on your A. dichotoma Nick.2013, thanks for sharing it. You confirmed my suspicion that mine got too much moisture. A pile of crushed granite, really? Hmmmm...I may have to give another one a try. I do love them and it would be fun to grow one of 'Hercules' parents (since A. bainsii loathes it here, LOL). Thanks for sharing, I really appreciate it. Happy birthday to your dichotoma!

Happy gardening all,
Grant


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RE: Aloe season 2012!

Ok Grant. Ist pic was when i planted. Second pic was taken this morning. I never had anyone wish happy birthday to my plant before:)


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RE: Aloe season 2012!

First planted. I got this @ Bach's in tucson


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RE: Aloe season 2013 continued

VERY nice, Nick.2013! Thanks for sharing the "before" and "after" pic of your A. dichotoma. I may have to give them ONE more try! I was the the Arizona Cactus Sales nursery down in Chandler this past weekend and almost picked one up. Yours looks really great--I like the plants you've combined with it. Keep us posted and yes, happy birthday to your aloe, LOL. Happy gardening!


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RE: Aloe season 2012!

Grant, I'm as proud of my Dichotoma as you are of your Hercules..it's so cool. You should definitely try another Dichotoma. I'm sure you did not missed that spectacular multi branch dichotoma that's grown on that raised bed of DG at Az Cactus Sales. Remember, that is all you need. If you ever go down Oro Valley near Tucson try Bach's Cactus Garden. I think you'll get a lot more aloe tree for your bucks. I'll keep you guys posted on how my little boojums are doing. Nick


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RE: Aloe season 2012!

Hah, Nick you SHOULD be proud of that A. dichotoma! I love it and am envious. I may give one one more try.

I love me some Bach's. I hit it EVERY time I'm in Tucson. Good to know they've got some dichotomas too. More dichotoma for my money? Hmmm....sounds good!

Happy gardening all,
Grant

Here is a link that might be useful: Bach's cactus nursery home page


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RE: Aloe season 2012!

Absolutely beautiful pics of all the aloes. I didn't realize how many different varieties there are out there. Did you know the blooms are edible? They're very good washed and refrigerated then tossed into a salad. They add a nice sweet crunch and probably loaded with anti oxidants. I need to look for some of the ones presented here, I just have the "common" one seen everywhere so far. Thanks for sharing!


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Aloe 'Hercules' blooms open.

Neat about the edible aloe blooms, sundrop, I've not heard that before, thanks for posting it. Definitely let us know if you get some of these (or other!) aloes and how they do for you.

Just for fun, here's a couple of pics of the blooms on my Aloe 'Hercules' as they open up. I had to use a small setp ladder to get high enough to photograph them, hah! They're really pretty and almost as large as a typical olive fruit. Fun! Wilson the tennis ball included in one pic to show size. Happy gardening all!


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RE: Aloe season 2012!

Grant, love that color. It got that deep salmon color from the A. Barbarae. CAN'T WAIT for mine to bloom. Does your divide first, then bloom? I can't tell from looking at your tree. So have you tossed a couple buds in your salad yet?


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RE: Aloe season 2012!

Nick, my A. 'Hercules' divided/bloom at the same time, just in the last 6 weeks or so. I haven't tossed any buds in a salad yet--I'm too greedy for seeds, hah! I'll try it with some of my smaller aloes though.

Happy gardening all!
Grant


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RE: Aloe season 2012!

Getting ready to bloom


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RE: Aloe season 2012!

More


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RE: Aloe season 2012!

Where can one buy a Hercules in Arizona?

Richard


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RE: Aloe season 2012!

Richard, Arizona Cactus Sales in Chandler has A. Hercules in 5 gallon for $50.


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RE: Aloe season 2012!

Richard, Arizona Cactus Sales in Chandler has A. Hercules in 5 gallon for $50.


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RE: Aloe season 2012!

Nick

Thanks for that, I see where Arizona Wholesale also has them listed. Have you ever seen a source for Cynthia Giddy or David Verity in AZ?

Richard


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RE: Aloe season 2012!

Yup, AZ Cactus sales usually has some nice ones. The big box hardware stores tend to carry a few in spring as well. Great, fun plants for sure.

I bought my 'Cynthia Giddy' at the Desert Botanical Garden plant sale a few years ago, and they usually have some. The spring sale is coming up. If you can find them are are desperate, drop me an email and I can send you a pup.

Thanks,
Grant

Cynthia Giddy in my garden


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RE: Aloe season 2012!

  • Posted by bolt z8 Phx (My Page) on
    Sat, Mar 9, 13 at 11:43

Here's an aloe that's blooming now, I can't remember the name and the aloe has grown over it's name tag...some day I'll have to dig it out from under those spiny leaves...

Kevin


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RE: Aloe season 2012!

  • Posted by bolt z8 Phx (My Page) on
    Sat, Mar 9, 13 at 11:45

Here's my aloe dichotoma, not blooming but....

Kevin


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RE: Aloe season 2012!

  • Posted by bolt z8 Phx (My Page) on
    Sat, Mar 9, 13 at 11:49

And lastly, this is the first time my aloe excelsa has bloomed. Luckily it didn't start until after the bad freeze, but you can see the leaf tips have some frost damage...it's about 3 feet tall...

Kevin


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RE: Aloe season 2012!

Kevin, I LOVE all your aloes ( I like big aloes). You have to let me know the name of the first aloe with the long raceme. I have to give that one and A. Exelsa a try. BTW, how old is your A. Dichotoma? Did u purchased it already branched? I'm still waiting for mine to do it. I can tell your Dichotoma has some shade due to its elongated leaves. Mine is out in full sun. Interesting how they adapt to their environment.


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RE: Aloe season 2012!

Awesome aloes, Kevin! That first one is insanely attractive. Definitely post if you ever retrieve the name. The execelsa is great too and I'm envious of that dichotoma! Keep the pics and posts coming. Happy gardening! Here's my Aloe myriostigma blooming for the first time ever. It's finally mature enough to bloom.


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RE: Aloe season 2012!

  • Posted by bolt z8 Phx (My Page) on
    Sun, Mar 10, 13 at 10:05

The dichotoma is about 8 feet tall, I planted it about 10 years ago and it was only a foot tall, it didn't start to branch until about 2 years ago. It's growing between an orange tree and my now frozen sissoo tree, so it does get some shade. I really need to find a good spot to plant my Hercules, like Grant has...they do much better in the ground instead of a pot.

I like the color of the myriostigma bloom, it's different!

Kevin


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RE: Aloe season 2012!

Flowers are on their way


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RE: Aloe season 2012!

Nickw. Yeah i'm glad it came up after the freeze. The Humming birds will love it. Kevin, I too have a A. Hercules
in a 5 gallon pot that needs to be in the ground. I'm glad i was way too busy to put it in the ground. The freeze then the snow? What's going on in Arizona?


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RE: Aloe season 2012!

  • Posted by bolt z8 Phx (My Page) on
    Sun, Mar 10, 13 at 14:39

NickW, if I could only have ONE aloe, it'd be that one. It's the most useful.

Kevin


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