I want to see big trunks on elephants not my little aloes

Use this forum to discuss matters relating to Aloe, Gasteria, Haworthia and related species. This is where one posts unknown plant photos for ID help.

Moderator: Geoff

I want to see big trunks on elephants not my little aloes

Post Number:#1  Postby Agave_fan » Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:00 am

ok, so this might be an obvious answer to some but it is not so obvious to me so I am going to ask....

I have some aloes that grow more upright on tall trunks that end up looking like palm trees and I am not so fond of this look.
aloe trunk.jpg
aloe trunk.jpg (69.52 KiB) Viewed 191 times


Could someone tell me what this taller trunk growth is called and any aloes you know offhand that grow like this so I can try to avoid as I like a more compact low clumping aloe. A couple that I have that I have seen this with is the orange marmalade and Vinnie but I am not certain if all the aloes I have showing this growth pattern are even labeled correctly so any help as far of the terminology for this tall trunk growth and/or what hybrid varieties tend to grow like this would be appreciated.

I am assuming this is more the growth pattern of certain aloe varieties that might take years and not just conditions (like sunlight) so if I am incorrect on this, please let me know!

Thanks!
User avatar
Agave_fan
Offset
 
Posts: 139
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2017 6:42 am
Location: Texas

Re: I want to see big trunks on elephants not my little aloe

Post Number:#2  Postby Melt in the Sun » Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:03 am

I think that looks pretty cool...to each their own! Can't you just chop the top and re-root it? You'd probably get pups off the stem too.
Attachments
AloeCremnophila20110913.jpg
AloeCremnophila20110913.jpg (37.45 KiB) Viewed 188 times
User avatar
Melt in the Sun
Ready to Bolt
 
Posts: 932
Joined: Mon Feb 24, 2014 3:41 pm
Location: Tucson, AZ

Re: I want to see big trunks on elephants not my little aloe

Post Number:#3  Postby Agave_fan » Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:10 am

Melt in the Sun wrote:I think that looks pretty cool...to each their own! Can't you just chop the top and re-root it? You'd probably get pups off the stem too.


Chop the top? Like literally cut off the top and hope for roots? Right now I just display it to try and hide the tall trunk but I might consider the chopping. lol

Is there a specific terminology for this type of tall trunk growth?

Love the whole pirate theme btw. ;)
User avatar
Agave_fan
Offset
 
Posts: 139
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2017 6:42 am
Location: Texas

Re: I want to see big trunks on elephants not my little aloe

Post Number:#4  Postby Azuleja » Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:24 am

Yes, you should be able to chop the top. I asked KZ about propagating her aloes, such as 'Dragon' which eventually forms a stem. She said they can be beheaded, just be careful that there's actually enough stem to work with otherwise if the leaves start coming apart, the whole head can "unravel" for lack of better words. Not really a problem with yours. If I were undertaking this with a plant I cared about, I'd do it in the spring when weather is warm, plants are actively growing and all of summer is ahead. Yours is cute! Think about how it would fit in a pot with those downturned leaves.
User avatar
Azuleja
Ready to Bolt
 
Posts: 1219
Joined: Sun Oct 09, 2016 9:23 am
Location: CA | Zone 9a | Chaparral

Re: I want to see big trunks on elephants not my little aloe

Post Number:#5  Postby Agave_fan » Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:42 am

Ok, thank you MITS and Azuleja, I will think about the beheading and put it off until next year if I decide to do it.

I was primarily interested in knowing if this is a growth characteristic of certain aloes vs conditions and what it was called (if there is a term) and what varieties might be predisposed to this tall trunk syndrome but good to know there might be a 'workaround' for those like this I already own. ::wink::
User avatar
Agave_fan
Offset
 
Posts: 139
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2017 6:42 am
Location: Texas

Re: I want to see big trunks on elephants not my little aloe

Post Number:#6  Postby Melt in the Sun » Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:52 am

I don't think there's a name for it specifically...stem-forming with age? I guess it just depends on the parent species used, and the age of the plant. Lots of "stemless" plants will grow a bit of one eventually. I have a 'Christmas Carol' that I have un-clumped several times that has a short stem like your plant above.
User avatar
Melt in the Sun
Ready to Bolt
 
Posts: 932
Joined: Mon Feb 24, 2014 3:41 pm
Location: Tucson, AZ

Re: I want to see big trunks on elephants not my little aloe

Post Number:#7  Postby mcvansoest » Fri Nov 10, 2017 2:09 pm

In the book: Guide to the Aloes of South Africa, they separate the plants by growth habit. The categories they have are:

Tree Aloes
Single-stemmed Aloes
Multi-stemmed Aloes
Rambling Aloes
Creeping Aloes
Stemless Aloes - you'd be looking for plants in this category for sure.
Speckled Aloes
Spotted Aloes
Dwarf Aloes
Grass Aloes

Not sure if these are 'official' categories, but some clearly describe a growth habit while others maybe do less so. So, I am sure there could be stemless or short stemmed Aloes in the Speckled, Spotted, Dwarf, and Grass Aloes categories, where as all the categories above the Stemless entry all will certainly form some kind of elongated stems/trunk over time. So for now your plant would appear to fall under the category Single-Stemmed Aloes.
It is what it is!
User avatar
mcvansoest
Moderator
 
Posts: 1085
Joined: Sun Aug 25, 2013 12:22 pm
Location: Mesa, Arizona, USA ie. Low Desert & Urban Heat Island

Re: I want to see big trunks on elephants not my little aloe

Post Number:#8  Postby Spination » Fri Nov 10, 2017 2:42 pm

Personally, I think the plant in question is pretty awesome. The "trunk" or "palm tree" look is quite attractive, and I think the fact that it is more unusual or bizarre just adds to the beauty of it. I'd be really happy with any plant in my collection with that appearance. But, I tend to like the trunk forming aloes in the first place, so clearly it's a matter of taste and beauty in the eye of the beholder.

That said, Azul and MITS are right about chopping, or beheading, but as Azul pointed out, you want to keep some stem with the rosette. Not only should the shortened rosette grow new roots, but the remaining stem might grow new rosettes. I'm not totally sure about the latter, but I would not throw it away until sure it's dead and no new propagation from it is forthcoming.

This growth habit - as you mentioned Vinnie and Orange Marmalade, are also possible with other KG aloes - such as Fang, Sunrise, Kelly's Blue, Christmas Carol, etc. Surely, it's due to the particular parentage that appears to be the foundation of his breeding program, which I don't know what, and doesn't seem to be recorded anywhere I've seen. Perhaps a trade secret. As far as the stem-forming, it's a function of age. Also, if the plants are kept on the dry side, the lower leaves tend to die off quicker, and eventually revealing a longer and longer stem, the older it gets. When they are kept more hydrated, those same plants tend to keep those lower leaves longer, which creates a different tower of leaves effect. Eventually, lower leaves do die off on aloes regardless, but the process is accelerated the less water the plant gets - just something I've found to be true with my favorite KG aloes I've been growing for several years . As far as promoting the tower look rather than the bare stem look... I'm not saying to keep them wet, which could cause rot, but just making sure not to let them get too dry for too long between watering.

Lastly, I've found that on some of them as well, new rosettes tend to form either near the stem, or right out of the stem under the lower leaves. So, even when there's that bare area under the leaves which are in play, if those new rosettes are left there to grow rather than harvested, one can achieve a clumping effect - smaller, younger rosettes filling that area under the main rosette. That's also a pretty nice look.
User avatar
Spination
Moderator
 
Posts: 3116
Joined: Sun Aug 03, 2014 11:06 am
Location: Sonoma, Ca.

Re: I want to see big trunks on elephants not my little aloe

Post Number:#9  Postby Agavemonger » Fri Nov 10, 2017 4:11 pm

If you wait until late spring, you can bury up (and straighten up) the stem about 2" or so in light soil (until the lower leaves are just a little above the soil level), and the buried base should soon send out a bunch of offsets. Then, once the offsets grow substantially larger, you can separate the offsets, which will already have a good root system. Then you can re-bury the mother plant a little more, and start the process over again.

This is a more sure-fire method of propagation, as you lessen the odds of rotting the cut mature head. Severed, thicker-stemmed mature heads on table-top Aloe hybrids are often prone to quickly rotting (imploding up to about fifty percent of the time). Also, bases without offsets don't always come back without an existing head or existing offsets. Offsets with roots are much less prone to rotting than a severed head. (One in the hand vs. two in the bush ::wink:: ).

The Monger
User avatar
Agavemonger
Ready to Bolt
 
Posts: 819
Joined: Sun Feb 09, 2014 5:58 pm
Location: San Diego, California

Re: I want to see big trunks on elephants not my little aloe

Post Number:#10  Postby Agave_fan » Sun Nov 12, 2017 11:04 am

Thanks for all of this info! I will try to avoid single stem aloes and will likely bury next spring rather than decapitate and see what happens. Thanks to all that responded!
User avatar
Agave_fan
Offset
 
Posts: 139
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2017 6:42 am
Location: Texas

Re: I want to see big trunks on elephants not my little aloe

Post Number:#11  Postby Epiphyte » Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:47 pm

One alternative is to hide the trunk by adorning it with miniature epiphytes. Then you would have a phorobana! When life gives you palms...

There are quite a few miniature Tillandsias such as Tillandsia tricholepis. I don't know if any have very showy flowers though. There are some miniature orchids that are drier growing... such as Tolumnias. They have pretty decent flowers.

A few orchids, such as Angraecum chamaeanthus, naturally grow on Aloes. So it wouldn't be entirely unnatural to have epiphytes growing on your Aloe.

Epiphytically enhancing your Aloe would broaden its appeal. More people would be likely to take a photo of it at a show.
Epiphyte
Bulbil
 
Posts: 64
Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2016 2:04 pm
Location: Glendale, CA

Re: I want to see big trunks on elephants not my little aloe

Post Number:#12  Postby Stone Jaguar » Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:19 am

Epi:

From an immediate practical standpoint, the result of attaching small epiphytes to the exposed stems of potted aloes that are not normally arborescent is that you will almost certainly have quite different watering requirements for the plants being grown. Frequent mistings of "fur coats" on the necks of tabletop aloes being grown in winter against a backdrop of a low number of daylight hours seems like an excellent recipe for prompting rot. I assume that you have successfully cultivated twig epiphytes before, so you know that they entail their own challenges. I grow a few mini-mini angraecoids on cork mounts (e.g. Aerangis punctata) and while I think they would make interesting add-ons to very large pachypodiums, alluaudias, moringas, baobabs, etc. that can handle getting their trunks sprayed lightly every few days, it seems like a lot of effort for little aesthetic upside.

Long-term success with most atmospheric tillandsias that don't require regular waterings involves a background RH that is higher than the US desert southwest for most of the year. While there are plenty of candidates from both the Atacama and NE Mexico, most are too large for this type of application. As you know, I have grown a number of tillandsias associated TDF on the stems of several spp of mature cereoids so am quite familiar with this concept.

Finally, from a purist's standpoint, mixing Neotropical epiphytes and Malagasy plants in the same mini-tableau is kind of like putting spinner rims on Ferraris. Very poor form, old boy.

J
User avatar
Stone Jaguar
Ready to Bolt
 
Posts: 369
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2016 9:46 am
Location: SF Bay Area, California and Guatemala City, Guatemala

Re: I want to see big trunks on elephants not my little aloe

Post Number:#13  Postby Epiphyte » Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:10 pm

J, I am not sure if anybody would mind if we used this thread to discuss the ins and outs of epiphytically enriching potted Aloes. But just in case, I tried to address your points in a new thread... Phorobanas.
Epiphyte
Bulbil
 
Posts: 64
Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2016 2:04 pm
Location: Glendale, CA

Re: I want to see big trunks on elephants not my little aloe

Post Number:#14  Postby Woodlily74 » Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:15 pm

AF I like your Aloe with trunk. Do you know the name of that hybrid?
Woodlily74
Offset
 
Posts: 193
Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2016 3:24 pm

Re: I want to see big trunks on elephants not my little aloe

Post Number:#15  Postby Spination » Wed Nov 22, 2017 1:44 pm

Woody, I believe that is the same as one I got called 'Marmalade'. Here are pics to compare:
4 years ago - this shot to show 2 things.
1) The blue base color when grown in light not strong enough to bring out orange color.
2) How the young immature plant without stem has leaves that turn up.... which later evolve/mature to recurved, as the same plant below 4 years later depicts

4 years ago
2013 07 29 Aloe Marmalade and pup c.jpg
2013 07 29 Aloe Marmalade and pup c.jpg (308.42 KiB) Viewed 19 times


Today
Best angles showing leaf for comparison
2017 11 22 Aloe Marmalade a.jpg
2017 11 22 Aloe Marmalade a.jpg (429.85 KiB) Viewed 19 times

2017 11 22 Aloe Marmalade b.jpg
2017 11 22 Aloe Marmalade b.jpg (367.78 KiB) Viewed 19 times

Note the same leaf shape, curvature, spines, and texture. Mine has been grown in stronger light since I've had it, and does not ever show the blue color anymore. It too has a stem, but more leaves due to being kept adequately hydrated. Also, young rosettes have been allowed to fill the space below the main rosette partially hiding the stem

A better angle showing the stem
2017 11 22 Aloe Marmalade c.jpg
2017 11 22 Aloe Marmalade c.jpg (207.17 KiB) Viewed 19 times
User avatar
Spination
Moderator
 
Posts: 3116
Joined: Sun Aug 03, 2014 11:06 am
Location: Sonoma, Ca.

Re: I want to see big trunks on elephants not my little aloe

Post Number:#16  Postby Epiphyte » Wed Nov 22, 2017 1:49 pm

All else being equal, is there a greater demand for Aloes with trunks or without them? I'm pretty sure that there's a greater demand for Aloes with trunks. So in theory you could sell your trunked Aloe on eBay and use the money to buy two or more of the same exact Aloe without trunks. When these Aloes developed trunks you could sell them on eBay and buy even more trunkless Aloes. You would exponentially increase your collection of trunkless Aloes and you wouldn't have to risk the potential loss from decapitation or burying.
Epiphyte
Bulbil
 
Posts: 64
Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2016 2:04 pm
Location: Glendale, CA

Re: I want to see big trunks on elephants not my little aloe

Post Number:#17  Postby Spination » Wed Nov 22, 2017 2:41 pm

It all depends...

I would agree that an aloe with trunk would generate more interest (bidding) on Ebay. But, so do mature specimens, and the trunk is a function of maturity. I'd bet too that the plant in the original pic could be sold if desired, and replaced with more plants of the same type that are not mature. However, as shown in my pics of the same (my opinion) hybrid, the leaf form also changes with maturity, giving the rosette a whole different flavor between a young immature rosette compared to a more mature one. I like the mature leaf form; the recurve reminiscent of Aloe castilloniae, or Aloe pearsonii, and others.

I think Monger's suggestion of burying the stem is the best one, achieving the same result as removing the unwanted (questionable because as mentioned, I like it) stem, retaining the mature leaf form, and also stimulating propagates. If it were me, I'd leave it as is, as I find the whole look of it unique and interesting.

Although your suggestion sounds feasible... in my case, I would not consider selling my plant. To me, it's a specimen plant, as that plant in the OP is a specimen plant as well, rarely seen like that. In addition, I've got 4 years into growing mine. Would I sacrifice those 4 years to increase the # of plants? For me, the answer is an easy no. Also, ignoring the propagates still attached, I already removed offsets in the first couple of years. Anyway, achieving "more" is also a function of maturity. One doesn't need to sell the trunked version to buy more untrunked ones, because the mature plant makes offsets enough over time to also grow and increase the numbers. I'd be more apt to sell offsets on Ebay (which I just did from this exact plant), than sell the mature plant and then grow more numbers of young ones. For me, it's not about increasing numbers of plants anyway. I already have thousands. And, they are multiplying... Also, seedlings galore growing, and many more on the way. I'm at the point where my concern is reducing inventory competing for precious space, and making the best use of the space I have available to keep and grow the most desirable for viewing, and for breeding purposes.

So, as mentioned at the outset, it all depends...
User avatar
Spination
Moderator
 
Posts: 3116
Joined: Sun Aug 03, 2014 11:06 am
Location: Sonoma, Ca.

Re: I want to see big trunks on elephants not my little aloe

Post Number:#18  Postby Epiphyte » Wed Nov 22, 2017 3:51 pm

Spination, I recently (re)learned a hard lesson about the risk of burying the stem. My Aloe tenuior hybrid looked like it could benefit from a repotting. It had one pup that wasn't quite ready to be removed. I thought if I buried the root crown that perhaps the pup would be encouraged to root on its own. Even though the medium was pretty much pure pumice, and it was the middle of summer, I managed to rot the darn thing. Try as I might I wasn't able to save the main plant or the offshoot. It really bummed me out because the hybrid was one of a kind. It had these relatively big leaves that were surprisingly thin. I could have named it Aloe Elephant Ear. My best guess is that Aloe africana was the father.

Regarding selling trunked Aloes... I'm in the same boat as you. Most growers are... which is why the OP is lucky. He values his plants less as they age, while others value them more. A while back, when I visited the Huntington, Karen Zimmerman showed me some of her hybrids. Some of them had surprisingly big trunks. These were the ones that I most drooled over. Before then I didn't even realize that some of these types of hybrids would form trunks.
Epiphyte
Bulbil
 
Posts: 64
Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2016 2:04 pm
Location: Glendale, CA

Re: I want to see big trunks on elephants not my little aloe

Post Number:#19  Postby Spination » Wed Nov 22, 2017 4:02 pm

Good info on your experience with the buried trunk - thanks. I've been meaning to try that, only to produce more offsets on certain plants, but now I might want to think twice. I like the trunks anyway, and the risk of losing the mature plant might not be worth the risk of obtaining more offsets. They do offset anyway eventually by themselves, without burying the stem. It was something that's been mentioned a couple of times here, and something I've never tried.
User avatar
Spination
Moderator
 
Posts: 3116
Joined: Sun Aug 03, 2014 11:06 am
Location: Sonoma, Ca.


Previous topic Next topic

Return to Aloaceae Talk

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 12 guests