Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Today’s topic…random updates that I thought someday I’d have the opportunity to work into more substantial blog posts. Not gonna happen, so today a few random tidbits from the danger garden.

Half of the challenge of overwintering tender plants is working them back out into the sun without burning their leaves. It requires constant vigilance, sometimes even the most dedicated of gardeners can fail. This is my Aeonium ‘salad bowl’ a week or so after I forgot to move it out of the direct sun (in May). Ouch. And here it is yesterday, July 12th. All new leaves and the burnt ones removed. Thank goodness plants can be forgiving.
This is my first year growing Castor Beans from seed. I am underwhelmed with the results thus far. Maybe it’s the wet cold spring but they are definitely underperforming. These are the stars… with 4” leaves and 5” tall stems.
And the rest fall way behind. Maybe come September I’ll be happy but it’s not looking so good now.
I wanted big tall 5 foot plants!
Ok on to the happy surprises. The agaves I planted out in the front garden in early June are settling in nicely. One of them is even having a pup!
That’s the arm of the mama plant on the right.
And remember the Opuntia I brought home from a neighbors parking strip? Well I had to move one to plant the Puyas from Dancing Oaks and it was neat to see the little roots it has already started to grow.
Cool! And this concludes todays randomness.


  1. I love your garden blog, especially since you write about both the good and the bad.
    I'm also an agave fan.
    BTW: The castorbeans have never met a day that isn't hot enough. They love 90 degrees +
    David at TropicalTexana blogspot

  2. That aeonium really cleaned itself up! I'm not having much luck with the castor beans either. The two were increasingly in more shade, so I moved the 4-footers...and killed one outright, the other surviving but losing most of its leaves. I thought of you reading this blog, an English gardener, who grows Magnolia macrophylla and overwinters lots of your other faves. Maybe a similar climate to yours?

  3. Your plants are so different from mine. It's fun to come and see a completely different palette. Good luck with all your propagating.

  4. Doesn't seem random to me. Just some cool stuff as usual from down your way! Love that 'Salad Bowl' and always have, glad it survived even though it had a little mishap. I still don't know how you find the time to baby your babies so much! You are amazing.

  5. I love that the Opuntia has rooted so quickly! One of many reasons to love these plants!

  6. If only we were as forgiving as some of our plants...everything looks so healthy.

  7. I tried to plant some of the paddles from my paddle cack-us after it froze and I didn't so much as get a single root! You're lucky! And, those paddles probably weren't frozen at one point!

  8. If David (above) is right, our Castor bean plants should be taking off about now.

    I see pups on both of my Agaves and the Yucca, but they are closely attached to their mammas, and I am feeling timid about doing damage with separation surgery. Should I wait until they have reached a good size? Maybe you could do a tutorial post?

  9. Hi David, thanks for stopping by! Good to know about the castor beans. Makes me love them even more.

    Denise, thank you for the link, I'll check it out! And good luck with your remaining castor bean.

    VW, thank you!

    Karen, maybe it's because I don't have a human baby to take care of? Imagine if I left it out in the sun for hours! Well I certainly wouldn't be blogging about it would I? Yikes.

    Laura, true.

    Darlan, thank you...and good point!

    D+N, you were smart to try, you just never know. And actually they were. I watched them suffer the cold at the house they came from.

    ricki, hopefully they will make good on Davids 'promise'...hopefully my email will help erase some of your doubts? Just do it...you really can't do harm as long as you get a few roots.

  10. I have no patience for hardening inside plants off before they go outside. It's sad you can't grow aeonium outside all year round :( If you ever need more we've gots TONS.

  11. AnonymousJuly 14, 2010

    Randomness is okay by me. Love the forgiving Aeonium!! More garden photos please. I want to see how you've incorporated your newbies and those 100+ pots we talked about. Pretty please?

  12. The trick for caster bean plants is to plant them in the ground (not in pots) in good soil. I planted some seeds in April and the tallest ones are well over 8 feet tall.


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