Those darn wannabe geophyte things

P. C. Andrews
Mon, 17 Jul 2006 05:10:09 PDT
I agree that A. cooperi is more than a keeper.  My cooperi just started 
blooming while I was out of town.  The flower head is larger than I expected 
from such a small plant and the flowers are nicely pendant.  I am growing 
mine outside in a smal pot (bright, partial sun) and much wetter than I grow 
other aloes (due to a wet summer and my travel preventing bringing it in).  
I estimate that the soil in the pot has only dried completely two times this 
summer, at best.  Despite the excessive moisture, it looks quite healthy.  
I've now moved it to a drier location under the eaves.  I hope thats not a 
mistake, but I worry about rot.
I just noticed a second flower head emerging while the first is not even 
halfway through blooming!

>From: "Joe Shaw" <>
>Reply-To: Pacific Bulb Society <>
>To: <>
>Subject: [pbs] Those darn wannabe geophyte things
>Date: Sun, 16 Jul 2006 19:01:41 -0500
>Hi Gang,
>I purchased seeds of Aloe cooperi a few years back from Silverhill Seeds.
>The seeds germinated easily, and the plants have grow well, so well that I
>gave some away.
>In the beginning, I was not sure what to expect, and kept the plants in a
>position that was not sunny enough.  I was sure they would die with the
>least provocation.
>However, they did survive, and I potted them up to 2-gallon containers are
>year ago (or so).  I put in lots of scoria, perlite, and very coarse sand.
>The plants hardly blinked when temperatures dropped to 23 F for an hour or
>two in the past 2 winters (about -5 C).  They certainly did not lose their
>leaves; in fact they never lose their leaves, perhaps it is just not cold
>enough or dry enough here.  The leaves reach to about 24 inches in length,
>and may get a bit of tip damage in winter, but they don't die back.
>This year the plants are tall, leaves over 24 inches, and the biggest plant
>has 4-5 leaf clumps; the scape reaches higher than the leaves.  They don't
>make seed unless I hand pollinate them; I think they are lacking the right
>bird or insect.  What keepers!  The flowers are not exactly super gorgeous,
>but growing aloes outdoors in Houston is not a usual occurance.
>I have some more seedlings coming on (2 years behind), and some A. ecklonis
>and a few other things.  I don't know if fungicides are helping, but I have
>always provided myclobutanil for the outside aloes, the seed grown Aloes
>from Silverhill.  I use the Spectracide lawn granules/meal and put it over
>the top of the soil (they grow in pots), several times a year.  Maybe they
>would do OK without fungicide, I can't say.  However, from experience
>growing cacti here, I take no chances with plants from arid climates.
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