Tuesday, 7 February 2012

who could resist?

I find myself saying that quite frequently ... who could resist? I for one definitely could not resist this special little plant.  Introducing my new aloe polyphylla! From the high mountains in Lesotho, this gem of an aloe is supposedly hardy to near 10F and is tolerant of water given adequate drainage from what I have read.

I actually already own an aloe polyphylla but have never had the nerve to plant it out in the garden.  The idea of purchasing another one as a backyard experiment had percolated in my mind for some time.  So when I saw this beauty for $20 at a local nursery I was sold - not to mention it was a warm spring like day.  Do you ever notice how it's easier to buy plants on sunny days?

Like all who purchase plants on a whim, I had the daunting question of "now where to plant it?!"  It's a bad habit that I really need to get control of but I find myself in moments of incredible weakness at nurseries. hmmm? there must be a diagnosis for this.  Near the pindo palm was my first inclination. I liked the way it would contrast with the yucca bright star and pick up some of the blue green tones from the palm, but I had a "brilliant" idea - in the garden project kind of sense - of positioning it close to the newly planted yucca gloriosa variegata.

I plan on making it a whole succulent frenzy this spring! I want to get an agave parryi to put on the left hand side of the yucca (for balance) as well as some various echeveria and hens and chicks.  I want to keep it as cold hardy as possible with a couple dashes of bright colour with plants like echeveria perle von nurnberg.

Now I'm hoping that the cold will stay away!


  1. Oh yes....anything is possible on a sunny day! Excellent planting location/combo.

    1. It's funny how it works that way. Your brain says Spring!!!! But looking at the two week things look good. I'm pretty excited to finally get one in the ground :)

  2. I think some people here in Abq used Aloe polyphylla for years...then came 2 years ago (a persistent cold winter) and last year (-14 to -2F). I need to see if any survived in Las Cruces or El Paso, with their -5F to +2F lows. $20 is a steal...

    The plant combos you have are really nice!

    By the way, have you tried any of the southwestern oaks or other interesting species from the foothills, like Nolina? There are some at the Ballard Locks in Seattle. My theory is those plants tolerate our dryness, but actually prefer some more winter moisture.

    1. Thanks about the plant combos! These aloes have so much personality so I was pretty excited to add it to the mix. I would be really impressed if they could survive temps near the low single digits. Usually the plants I love most are one zone out of reach - but I bet most gardeners feel that way. Lesotho apparently gets really cold so it might just be possible given temperatures re-bounded quickly. I figured at 20 dollars I couldn't pass it up.

      I have not tried any southwestern oaks or nolina but I agree that there are many more plants worth a try. Around here making sure you have good drainage goes a long way. It's interesting though what you mention about some plants perhaps preferring some winter moisture. I'm hoping this aloe doesn't mind it too much because we sure get a lot of it.