Aloes - hard to grow in hot climates (or not?)

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.

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eremophila
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Re: Aloes - hard to grow in hot climates (or not?)

#101

Post by eremophila »

tazmaniac wrote: Sun Apr 30, 2023 6:23 pm Haven't been on this site for a while. Just noticed my photo didn't attach in the previous post, so here it is. The tall one is a. bainesii (20 yrs), the one on the right is a. vaombe (20 yrs), and the short one on the left is a. rupestris (5 yrs), all living happily in the Phoenix area.
I'm impressed! Although, I think the plants Huntington was offering as barberae turned out to be tongaensis, if you look at the original listing on their site for ISI 2005-8 Aloe barberae: http://media.huntington.org/ISI/ISI2005/2005-08.html

"Correction, published in the Cactus and Succulent Journal Vol. 83 (2), March - April, 2011
This plant from northern S. Africa and southern Mozambique has been considered to be merely a coastal form of the more widespread A. barberae. It has been circulating for a number of years as the “medusa form” or even under the unpublished Aloe medusa. It has now been published as a separate species, Aloe tongaensis van Jaarsveld, in Aloe 47:3(2010) and was discussed in the prior issue of this journal in van Jaarsveld’s article on tree-aloes. The species is distinguished from A. barberae by its earlier flowering-period (late autumn to early winter vs. midwinter) and its distinctive flowers (longer and yellowish-orange vs. pinkish)."

Still pretty cool though! :)
tazmaniac
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Re: Aloes - hard to grow in hot climates (or not?)

#102

Post by tazmaniac »

An update on my prescient initial post regarding hubris. This past summer was brutal. EVERY DAY IN JULY was 110 or higher. Nighttime lows were in the 90's. One night's low was 99. Add to that a nonexistent monsoon. The net effect was plant death all around. Agaves and aloes were hit hard. Many survived, but I lost several varietals, as well as aloe rupestris. A. Bainesii and a vaombe survived, albeit a nit battered. Even more heartbreaking and frightening was the number of native saguaros that succumbed to the intense urban heat ("heat island effect"). Telltale signs are narrowed tops, yellowing at the base, arms pulling away from the main stem, and a distinct leaning. After that, splitting and black rot. There is no saving them at that point. If these native sentinels can't survive, what chance have we?
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mcvansoest
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Re: Aloes - hard to grow in hot climates (or not?)

#103

Post by mcvansoest »

Sorry to hear you lost a bunch of plants. I can say join the club but i am sure it is a club non of us really want to be a member of.

As to the Saguaros while it is indeed alarming, I think there is a misconception about the actual cause. Could it be exactly what people say it is - it just got too hot? Yes, but I personally think that if these Saguaros all had at least received something close to average water in say the last half decade or more, there would have been a lot fewer victims. It is my observation that where Aloes and Agaves clearly had a crazy heat is a good chance at death, and even worse: crazy heat + water is almost certain death in many (most?) cases - I think we all have a bunch of exceptions, almost all of my cacti that received regular deep irrigation during the summer and have been receiving that since I moved to the new place in 2019, did quite well with regards to the summer heat. That includes my not very tall Saguaros. My largest once actually grew significantly over the summer. There were some losses, all except one probably easy to replace if I decided I wanted to. Both my cardons while they suffered some sun stress also appear to have been OK both also growing. My T. terscheckii did not like it and suffered some crown burn, but will likely be OK. I lost my T. chiloensis, which is unfortunate as that has been hard to find again ever since I got that plant.

I know for a fact that many of the people in my neighborhood that lost theirs absolutely never watered their Saguaro. Where you can see that a Saguaro received at least some regular water in addition to rainfall they are frequently in much better shape. So I suspect that the real reason so many Saguaros succumbed is: years of water deficits combined with the heat. There are places outside of town where it is less hot that the Saguaros also do not look very happy. Those areas are less affected by the urban heat island effect, but have seen just as much drought.
It is what it is!
tazmaniac
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Re: Aloes - hard to grow in hot climates (or not?)

#104

Post by tazmaniac »

Desert Botanical Garden and Sonoran Desert Museum are both looking at the causes of this horrific saguaro die-off. The losses away from metro-Phoenix were substantially less, even though they had as dry a monsoon as Phoenix. While waiting for further study, the intense nighttime temperatures certainly seem to be major factor. For now, temps are typical for winter, Planting will resume, because we gardeners are eternal optimists, and hope springs eternal.
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mcvansoest
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Re: Aloes - hard to grow in hot climates (or not?)

#105

Post by mcvansoest »

The point is that most of the plants here have been on a water deficit for many years not one summer... add up enough below average water years and plants will be that much more vulnerable to the high heat that much more. So I am sure the direct cause of the massive die off is the crazy high heat, but if that was just it, it would affect well watered plants as badly as the plants suffering from severe water deficit. In my granted limited experience that is not the case, so the underlying cause is not just the high night time heat.
It is what it is!
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