Cactus and Succulents forum: Aloiampelos beginning to climb

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Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
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Jai_Ganesha
Jul 4, 2018 7:03 PM CST
(Edit: I spelled the genus wrong in the title. Can somebody fix that?)

This is the Aloiampelos (ciliaris probably) which began fully distichous last year. As expected after it reached a certain height it began growing in every direction.

Thumb of 2018-07-05/Jai_Ganesha/693ba1

Thumb of 2018-07-05/Jai_Ganesha/c8024a

I understand that this is the climbing which gives the genus the name of "climbing aloe," but it is outdoors for the summer and anything upon which it climbs will not be there past September or so.

So would you cut it back? Or would you let it fall over (and break) naturally?

The top leaves are much larger and heavier than I expected, which I'm guessing is its method to pull it over and down through the brush that it thinks it's growing in. I have repotted it recently so that it is not so top-heavy, but there is a limit and what you can do.


Keep going!
[Last edited by Jai_Ganesha - Jul 4, 2018 7:06 PM (+)]
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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Jul 4, 2018 8:13 PM CST
I give it a nice bamboo stick to climb
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Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
Om shanti om.
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Jai_Ganesha
Jul 4, 2018 8:32 PM CST
Oh, does yours stay growing upward then? I was under the impression that they want to go up and over as though they are climbing through bushes, and that's why the top is so heavy (to pull it down in one direction). That's why I had not staked it, because I didn't think it would stay on the upward path anyway.
Keep going!
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Jul 4, 2018 8:45 PM CST

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They are on an inevitable path toward falling over, but you can delay that for a few years with a stake, or by putting a few plants in a pot together to hold each other up in a sort of huddle. It helps to provide really strong light. I would put the plant pictured into a bigger pot and just behead it to start a new plant when it starts nodding. I had a group of 3 in a pot for several years and then eventually decided they were better off scrambling and rambling in the ground.

It should be very easy to restart the plant from a cutting if and when it falls over, so don't be afraid to experiment with how you grow it.
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Jul 4, 2018 8:46 PM (+)]
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Name: Daisy I
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DaisyI
Jul 4, 2018 8:53 PM CST
I don't have one. It just seemed like a reasonable suggestion. Smiling
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
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Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
Om shanti om.
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Jai_Ganesha
Jul 5, 2018 6:53 AM CST
Ah. Well thank you both. The suggestions and reassurances are helpful. I think what gives me pause is how much heavier the top leaves really are. It makes sense given what the plant is trying to do (ramble around and climb) but it still feels weird!
Keep going!
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Jul 5, 2018 8:42 PM CST

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That's partly why I recommended a bigger pot, when the time is right. It will still be top-heavy, but hopefully with a proper anchor and a protected location, a storm won't take it down. You can also tie it to a pole, then tie it to a different pole when you have to move it. I'm just trying to imagine the possibilities. If you are creative you can probably get pretty far.

Speaking of poles, here is a succulent I was worried about capsizing, about to start a new season of growth. I recently moved it from the plant stand where it was growing (a broken up shipping pallet on bricks) and put it on the floor wedged in next to this post. I'm thinking some cable in the right place (wire shielded by plastic, so as not to rust out instantly) and this plant can get one season older before it becomes a flying spiny hazard. Smiling The previous season's growth is the leafless part on top.

Thumb of 2018-07-06/Baja_Costero/95f703
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Jul 5, 2018 8:50 PM (+)]
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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Jul 5, 2018 9:27 PM CST
What the heck is that thing? Smiling
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

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Name: Karen
New Mexico (Zone 7b)
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plantmanager
Jul 5, 2018 9:29 PM CST
I was wondering the same thing!
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Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Jul 5, 2018 9:35 PM CST

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One of the socalled Madagascar ocotillos, but it's from a different family. From the spiny forest of dry SW Madagascar, land of the Alluaudias and Didiereas (and Pachypodium geayi too). A cousin of Portulacaria afra, the common elephant bush.

They look awesome when they have some time in the ground (one day...). Very otherworldly.
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Jul 5, 2018 9:38 PM (+)]
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Name: Karen
New Mexico (Zone 7b)
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plantmanager
Jul 5, 2018 9:40 PM CST
I wondered about that, but dismissed the idea. It's very neat! I'll have to check next time I go to the botanical garden in Phoenix. I'm sure they have them and I've never noticed.
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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Jul 5, 2018 9:43 PM CST
Very cool plant! Thank You!
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Jul 5, 2018 9:47 PM CST

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A. procera is a similar plant and more common in cultivation, I think.
Name: Thijs van Soest
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mcvansoest
Jul 5, 2018 11:20 PM CST
They definitely have a huge A. procera at the DBG. I think they may have your plant too, Baja, but am not sure.
Here are a couple of pictures of the big A. procera, which also turns out to be in some stage of flowering:



It is what it is!
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Jul 5, 2018 11:54 PM CST

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Yeah, that's a nice size plant. They look like total Dr. Seuss plants to me. Not to get too far off topic, but there's a pretty good set of pictures from the spiny forest, including flowers, here...

http://www.madabotanik.com/spi...
Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
Om shanti om.
Container Gardener Region: West Virginia Multi-Region Gardener Garden Photography Amaryllis Zinnias
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Jai_Ganesha
Jul 8, 2018 4:55 PM CST
Yesterday took your advice and did two things. First, I basically cut the plant in half.

Then I stuck the whole thing down in a wider, heavier, pot. I did not even wait for it to callus over because I know these things put out roots really easily.

Thumb of 2018-07-08/Jai_Ganesha/d0184b

When both of these get too leggy again I will repeat the process.

If my brain cells cooperate and I remember I will take another picture in a couple months.

Keep going!
Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
Om shanti om.
Container Gardener Region: West Virginia Multi-Region Gardener Garden Photography Amaryllis Zinnias
Gardens in Buckets Annuals Houseplants Plant and/or Seed Trader Birds Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Jai_Ganesha
Aug 19, 2018 12:47 PM CST
Not quite 2 months later, but I wanted to share an update. The parent plant and the cutting have both filled out very quickly and aggressively.


Thumb of 2018-08-19/Jai_Ganesha/9ec6a1

It has a few spots of sunburn and a few shriveled leaf tips, but it is in full sun (and full rain), growing very fast so I don't mind!
Keep going!
[Last edited by Jai_Ganesha - Aug 19, 2018 12:57 PM (+)]
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Name: Karen
New Mexico (Zone 7b)
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plantmanager
Aug 19, 2018 12:49 PM CST
It's looking great!
Handcrafted Coastal Inspired Art SeaMosaics!
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
Be a superhero and wear a mask
Cactus and Succulents Seed Starter Foliage Fan Xeriscape Container Gardener Hummingbirder
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Baja_Costero
Aug 20, 2018 11:55 AM CST

Moderator

Yes, I see 6 new heads. Thumbs up That is way faster than I would have imagined.
Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
Om shanti om.
Container Gardener Region: West Virginia Multi-Region Gardener Garden Photography Amaryllis Zinnias
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Jai_Ganesha
Aug 20, 2018 12:58 PM CST
There are actually 8 on the bigger plant alone. I think it's all the warm rain that has helped it along. It hasn't stopped raining for more than 24 hours since I trimmed it.

Goes to show that even some "succulents" can take lots of water as long as it's warm. My Sansevierias, some Euphorbias, and a couple others are also getting drenched all the time and loving it.
Keep going!

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