Archive | November, 2011

Aeonium

14 Nov

Aeonium, evergreen succulent, slow growth, size and color vary, open heavily branched growth habit, fleshy dark purple to green rosettes on long stems, full sun to part shade, tolerates some drought, excellent container plant.

Among the best succulents for decorative effects, in pots or in the ground. Fleshy leaves are held in rosettes at branch tips. After several years, rosettes produce a single flower stalk in spring or summer; branches that have flowered die.

With age, plants become leggy; to encourage branching, cut back branches several inches below rosettes. Cuttings are easily rooted: let dry for a few days, then plant in sandy soil and keep barely moist until new growth appears.

Most Aeoniums come originally from the Canary Islands off the coast of Spain in the Atlantic Ocean, with a few oddball species from several isolated parts of central Africa.  The climate of the Canary Islands is fairly Mediterranean so these plants are perfectly adapted to many similar climates around the globe.  Most are moderately drought tolerant (though less so than most might guess), mildly frost tolerant (some more than others), but only moderately heat tolerant as well, and dependent on bright light to full sun.  These are generalizations and there is certainly some variation in their water, heat and lighting needs.

Aeoniums are members of the Crassulaceae, a huge family of succulents that include many other popular and commonly grown succulents, including some that look a lot like Aeoniums.  Echeverias in particular are often confused with Aeoniums and there are several other rosette-like succulents (eg. Dudleyas, Graptopetalums, Pachyverias and Graptoverias).  One thing that sets t these plants apart is the way their leaves attach to the stem- they are wrapped around the stem with a fibrous attachment so that when a leaf is pulled away, the stem is intact with only a transverse line showing where the leaf was attached.  The other rosette Crassulaceas have succulent attachments and their being pulled off the stem leaves a divot in the stem.

A lot more information on Aeoniums is available here: http://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/view/1058/#b

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Mexican Weeping Bamboo

14 Nov

Mexican Weeping Bamboo (Otatea accuminata aztecorum), evergreen clumping bamboo to 20 ft. in height, easily controlled to 8-10 ft., slow spreading, graceful arching stems will eventually bend to the ground, lacy appearance, full sun to part shade, drought tolerant once established, deer resistant. Mexican Weeping Bamboo is easily grown in pots to around 6 feet tall.

This is a clumping bamboo that belongs to a group endemic to a large range of Central Mexico into South America. It’s genus is from the Aztec Nahuatl name for “solid cane”, otatl, which contains just three species. O. acuminata is found in the hot, humid lowlands of eastern Mexico.

This is a dramatically fluffy plant that’s ideal for modern architecture to contrast with its rigid geometry. Outstanding soft background for high profile plants, water features and art. Ideal screen or hedge, good in sideyards to block neighbors but not air. Valuable textural contrast for large leaf tropical plantings that lends a most unique exotic look. This bamboo is of the clumping variety, so any spreading happens very slowly and can be easily controlled.

Follow a regular watering schedule during the first growing season to establish a deep, extensive root system. Watering can be reduced after establishment. Feed with a general purpose fertilizer before new growth begins in spring.