Can't seem to keep up with this Aloe polyphylla's growth

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Re: Can't seem to keep up with this Aloe polyphylla's growth

Post Number:#101  Postby Steph115 » Sat Aug 19, 2017 8:32 am

Seedling update. These guys have finally started to take off I think. They appear to be more mature than they should be for their leaf count because of the leaf loss during the move/sunburn. Seedling 1 is starting to develop its back "keel" already. Spiny - I know you have that trick for figuring out which direction they will spiral. If it holds in seedlings this young, then I believe seedling 1 is going to be counterclockwise. The leaf pictured looks like the keel is right in the middle, but the one before it has a clear laterality with the bigger side of the leaf on the right.
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apolyseedling2front.jpg
A. polyphylla - Seedling 2
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apolyseedling2back.jpg
A. polyphylla - Seedling 2
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apolyseedling1front.jpg
A. polyphylla - Seedling 1
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apolyseedling1back.jpg
A. polyphylla - Seedling 1
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Re: Can't seem to keep up with this Aloe polyphylla's growth

Post Number:#102  Postby Stan » Sat Aug 26, 2017 11:40 am

You've gotten that far since you started posting about it?..ok,I have to say it- wow.
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Re: Can't seem to keep up with this Aloe polyphylla's growth

Post Number:#103  Postby Spination » Sat Aug 26, 2017 8:17 pm

I'm going to 2nd that. All in favor... aye. Motion passed. D))
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Re: Can't seem to keep up with this Aloe polyphylla's growth

Post Number:#104  Postby Azuleja » Sat Aug 26, 2017 11:26 pm

Really nice, Steph. Happy birthday too 🎂 *<:-)
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Re: Can't seem to keep up with this Aloe polyphylla's growth

Post Number:#105  Postby Steph115 » Sun Aug 27, 2017 3:52 pm

Awww you guys :D thank you for the kind words!
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Re: Can't seem to keep up with this Aloe polyphylla's growth

Post Number:#106  Postby Stan » Tue Aug 29, 2017 12:12 pm

Mine, I think is as large as they get for still not spiraling. If its the worlds first non spiraling A.polyphylla? How luck am I ? :roll:
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Re: Can't seem to keep up with this Aloe polyphylla's growth

Post Number:#107  Postby Spination » Tue Aug 29, 2017 12:34 pm

see post 73

Here's your photo, with my scribbling. Plain as day. 5 spirals, just like it's supposed to.

True, it will become much more obvious in time, but I can see it quite clearly.

STAN spirals marked jpg converted.jpg
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Re: Can't seem to keep up with this Aloe polyphylla's growth

Post Number:#108  Postby Stan » Tue Aug 29, 2017 1:29 pm

It might need a larger pot too. If I want to keep it long term and keep growing. I wonder if anybody ever heard of the perfect size pot for a large A.polyphylla? Maybe 24"? and deep?
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Re: Can't seem to keep up with this Aloe polyphylla's growth

Post Number:#109  Postby Stone Jaguar » Thu Aug 31, 2017 11:04 am

30" x 18" (75 cm x 45 cm) square side 30gl (114 lt). This is the main size that AB uses for his oldest flowering plants in Santa Cruz. I suppose if you had your druthers, would add another 6" to the diameter for ease of watering. Having recently moved one, can assure you they are "very heavy" even with a normally-hydrated plant and fairly dry bark-based mix.
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Re: Can't seem to keep up with this Aloe polyphylla's growth

Post Number:#110  Postby Spination » Fri Sep 01, 2017 8:58 am

Just under a month since the last photo update of this plant's growth. Last time - 11 leaves visible from the taped leaf, now 13...and the taped leaf is now way on the outside diameter of the rosette. No growth hiatus thus far all summer long. Just gave it an extra good watering this AM, because today's going to be a real test. The forecast says 109 today, and that should be the hottest this plant has seen. I have not moved it, nor will I give it any extra protection today. It gets early sun, then a bit of filtered shade through mid morning, then full sun * again all afternoon.
Just a quick count of leaves from the taped leaf back in April to the center (so all relatively new leaves from this year) - 5 spirals X 13 = 65 leaves, not including any lower leaves going downwards to the soil line.
2017 09 01 Aloe polyphylla a.jpg
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* well, full sun mitigated by smoke filled skies (big northern Cal wildfire)
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Re: Can't seem to keep up with this Aloe polyphylla's growth

Post Number:#111  Postby Stan » Fri Sep 01, 2017 12:14 pm

Stone Jaguar wrote:30" x 18" (75 cm x 45 cm) square side 30gl (114 lt). This is the main size that AB uses for his oldest flowering plants in Santa Cruz. I suppose if you had your druthers, would add another 6" to the diameter for ease of watering. Having recently moved one, can assure you they are "very heavy" even with a normally-hydrated plant and fairly dry bark-based mix.

That's about a half barrel size. 50+ gallons Worth it. I would though use some thing plastic.
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Re: Can't seem to keep up with this Aloe polyphylla's growth

Post Number:#112  Postby Stone Jaguar » Fri Sep 01, 2017 12:40 pm

Yes, these are heavy-duty black plastic; some with reflective aluminum covers to keep pots cooler.
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Re: Can't seem to keep up with this Aloe polyphylla's growth

Post Number:#113  Postby Steph115 » Fri Sep 01, 2017 1:53 pm

Spiny youre a brave man. I respect you standing firmly behind your hypothesis that water saves these guys from the heat.
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Re: Can't seem to keep up with this Aloe polyphylla's growth

Post Number:#114  Postby Spination » Fri Sep 01, 2017 2:08 pm

Brave, or stupid. :lol:
Well, I'm confident because the plant has had this whole year to acclimate to it's place in the sun; as the days got longer, and now since they've been getting shorter after the 6/21 solstice. It's 2 PM, feels very hot (thermometer reads 104 in the shade), but I know it will heat up more before 5-6. Sun beating down on it, looks totally fine. I'm really not expecting a problem. The big deal is there's a white plastic skirt around the pot, which keeps the pot from heating up from anything other than ambient temperature. Soil is moist (so also cooler) from this AM's watering, no dark colored pot to absorb extra heat and cook the roots. I'll be completely shocked if the plant looks one iota different tomorrow AM.
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Re: Can't seem to keep up with this Aloe polyphylla's growth

Post Number:#115  Postby Steph115 » Fri Sep 01, 2017 3:45 pm

I believe it. Your experience with these guys is the main reason I feel I have a shot at growing them in Dallas.
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Re: Can't seem to keep up with this Aloe polyphylla's growth

Post Number:#116  Postby Spination » Fri Sep 01, 2017 8:52 pm

I'm almost disappointed. The temps topped out here @ 106 @ 3PM. Plant completely unfazed. Perhaps the real test tomorrow with 109 forecast again. ::wink:: Even if it makes it this time, I still don't expect a problem.

:))
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Re: Can't seem to keep up with this Aloe polyphylla's growth

Post Number:#117  Postby Azuleja » Fri Sep 01, 2017 9:37 pm

Which fire are you referring to, Spiney? I saw the Oroville fire from the air recently and there was an even larger one I could see to the north but I'm not sure what it was. There are two burning here and the air has been thick with smoke.

Brave of you to test your plant in the afternoon full sun. I hope it passes with flying colors.
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Re: Can't seem to keep up with this Aloe polyphylla's growth

Post Number:#118  Postby Stone Jaguar » Fri Sep 01, 2017 9:38 pm

"When the gods wish to punish us, they answer our prayers". Good luck with this experiment.

Mine - field and pot plants - all got temporary shadecloth screens yesterday since I only consciously gamble at cards. You know, "An ounce of prevention..." The fact that a plant can handle an extreme heat event a few times doesn't mean it's good for it in the long run and should not be mitigated if feasible and cost effective. Please see MitS' images of his recent large ovatifolia loss for evidence that the damage can manifest itself down the road.
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Re: Can't seem to keep up with this Aloe polyphylla's growth

Post Number:#119  Postby Spination » Fri Sep 01, 2017 9:47 pm

Azul, I believe they're call it the Ponderosa fire, or at least that's all I could find that seemed relevant to us here. 2 days now of smoky dingy air. In the valley here we can usually see the hills in every direction. Pretty much now it's all just murky shadows in the distance.
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Re: Can't seem to keep up with this Aloe polyphylla's growth

Post Number:#120  Postby Spination » Fri Sep 01, 2017 9:49 pm

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Re: Can't seem to keep up with this Aloe polyphylla's growth

Post Number:#121  Postby Spination » Sun Sep 03, 2017 9:38 am

So, the 106 high for Friday and 107 high for Saturday didn't bother the big polyphylla at all. Nothing has changed, other than I can now see leaf #14 in the very center of the rosette from my taped leaf, which makes me think perhaps it might have actually grown at an increased rate the last couple of days, though I guess that's debatable. The little bit of growth I can actually notice since that last photo a couple of days ago might have happened just like that anyway...
In natural habitat, these plants in high altitude are subject to more intense UV than what they're getting here. The difference is the heat, which at high elevations is cooler. My observation then with my experience this last year is that so long as the plant is acclimated to the full sun situation gradually, the increased light is not a problem. With my daily AM watering, and no dark color of pot subject to heating by the sun's rays to cook the roots, I'm not having any problem at all that I can see.
The only reason I can think of as to why my plants can handle higher than 100 temps in full sun without issue as compared to somewhere else, and contrary to "conventional wisdom" regarding the climate requirements for A. polyphylla, is that our micro-climate includes significant nighttime cooling. From 106/7 high, wer'e cooling down to the low 70's at least, an excess of a 30 degree swing. So, normal CAM function is not interrupted, and I would surmise that is the all important factor as to why daytime temps in excess of 100, even in full sun, has not presented any issue or concerns.
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Re: Can't seem to keep up with this Aloe polyphylla's growth

Post Number:#122  Postby Spination » Thu Oct 05, 2017 8:03 am

Another month gone by, and the current leaf count is 16 (from my piece of tape marker on the leaf which is now way on the outside edge of the rosette. Looks to be averaging 2-3 new leaves adding to the rosette from the core (per spiral). 5 spirals, X 3 leaves, is actually 15 new leaves in total to the rosette. The purpose of this pictorial record is to document this plant's growth. Does it shut down at any time during the year... go into "dormancy"? Not since I've started this thread... but there's still a way to go before I've documented a full year. One point of interest though. If one were to expect a shut down or slow down of growth, one might assume it would be during the hottest, most difficult conditions. From April to October, no growth stoppage detected at all. We'll see what happens during winter.
2017 10 05 Aloe polyphylla growth progress leaf count 16.jpg
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Re: Can't seem to keep up with this Aloe polyphylla's growth

Post Number:#123  Postby Steph115 » Fri Oct 06, 2017 7:45 am

Spiny - your A.p. just gets more and more breathtaking every time you post. I love the blue tone it has in that lighting. Also, I'm not sure the rosette can become any tighter (although I've thought that before). And I agree about dormancy - I wouldn't be surprised if it actually did better during your winters. Are you planning to protect it at all from rain?

Here are some photos of my seedlings - now 8 months old. I can't believe how big they're getting. I count 13/15 leaves total if I count allllll the way to the center where just the tip is poking out ;)
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Apoly1.jpg
A. polyphylla - seedling 1
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Apoly2.jpg
A. polyphylla - seedling 1
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Apoly3.jpg
A. polyphylla - seedling 2
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Apoly4.jpg
A. polyphylla - seedling 2
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Re: Can't seem to keep up with this Aloe polyphylla's growth

Post Number:#124  Postby Spination » Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:18 am

Lovely! I think your seedlings look nicer and better than any I ever grew at that age. What all you are going, you are doing it right. Awesome job! :U

I think the blue hue is a combination of thicker leaves (I think as they thicken, less light penetrates the leaves and they appear darker) and when I took that photo, it was early AM with the sun at a low angle to the East.

Here are my 3 largest seedlings I've grown, also outside now for several months only feet away from the large one. The largest of the 3 germinated April 2014, and was outside as a trial for a couple months longer than the other two, which germinated Aug 2015. You can see the sun's effect on the tightness of the rosette at the center. New leaves with stronger light more compact than older leaves when they were in the greenhouse kit. The smallest of the 3 was the last to go out into the sun by a month as I wanted to see how it went with the 2nd largest one first. So, when you look at the 3, from smallest to largest, it's like an illustration of the sun's effect over time on the new leaf form vs the old leaf form.
2017 10 05 largest 3 seedlings April 2014 and Aug 2015.jpg
2017 10 05 largest 3 seedlings April 2014 and Aug 2015.jpg (149.25 KiB) Viewed 215 times
.

Since water isn't an issue for these, I do intend to leave the big guy out during the winter, but I'm going to tilt the pot so water doesn't collect in the center of the rosette. As I recall, they tend to grow at a tilt in habitat also. I'll be watching the forecasts, and I think I will put a clear plastic sheet over it if I see it's going to be freezing. I'll poke a few bamboo stakes around the perimeter of the pot, and drape the plastic so it's not touching the leaves. The three smaller ones will go back inside only if I know the lows are going to be freezing. On sunny days, they will go outside as the form of new leaves will benefit from stronger light.

My guess is they will continue to grow during the winter, but purely from a logical point of view, I think the growth rate should slow down. The reasoning is that chlorophyll activity that creates energy from sunlight will be for fewer hours per day, so it seems that should also decrease the amount of growth. I'm not absolutely sure, but I will continue to take new photos and post them each month and keep up the leaf count so we'll all know what happens exactly. :))
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Re: Can't seem to keep up with this Aloe polyphylla's growth

Post Number:#125  Postby Stan » Fri Oct 06, 2017 2:01 pm

The pot I used has three legs under it. Twice now,its fallen over. Time to go basic nursery pot.
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