Planting for the New Year
The term "Spring Planting" takes on a new meaning for me now that I'm a neophyte nursery worker. This is the first winter I've had the space to grow plants at scale going into a new Spring / Summer season.
Let's take a tour of some recent work that will come to fruition this Spring.
A good place to start is with some old friends - Agave chiapensis. These were recently transplanted into 2ga and 5ga containers.
|Agave chiapensis 2ga (Winter 2023)
|Agave chiapensis 5ga
Young versions of the same plant are already growing.
|Agave chiapensis seedlings transplanted back in Oct
|Agave celsii more than ready to transplant
|Agave celsii recently up-potted to 1ga containers
This time of year, the nursery really doesn't need the UV protective shade cloth visible in the background. Taking it down is one of those tasks I hadn't taken into account when starting this venture.
|From 4" pot to 1ga and moving to a new home
|Nursery table of Coral Aloes
The below Aloe striata were grown from seed and just transplanted into these 2in containers a few months ago. I've already been picking through the lot and transplanting the larger specimens into 4in pots. There are also a few more trays of younger seedlings coming along nicely in the grow tent.
Some of the slower growers, like Agave titanota, were up-potted a few months back.
|Agave titanota "Black and Blue"
|Aloe arborescens variegata cuttings from early November
| Aloe speciosa grown from seed
A year or more ago, I'd grown about a dozen into a 1ga size and they proved to be popular sellers. Just for comparison (and fun) - here's a much larger specimen of A. speciosa. All of the Aloes below look a bit dark which is my fault for not taking down the shade cloth with the shorter days.
|Some young Aloe thraskii
For context here is a long shot of the same table.
|Combo of young plants grown from seed and tissue culture
Purchasing trays of tissue cultured plants saves a lot of time compared to seed grown plants but of course the cost per plant is higher. The added variety of plants available for sale is worth the price in my opinion.
|Aloe tomentosa plugs
Since Fall I've ordered over 1000 plugs - most have just been planted. A typical tray contains 72 plants.
|Some of the recently planted tissue culture plugs
|Dyckia "Brittlestar" after about 12 months of growth
Some of the slowest growers have to be Dyckia. The above were also originally from plugs and have been growing in these containers for at least 12 months.
Many of last years plugs have now been up-potted again into 2ga pots for the Spring season.
|Agave attenuata "Blue Fantastic"
The Aloe camperi below were grown from seed and up-potted from 4in containers over the last several months. They have proven to be fast growers! They will hopefully fill out nicely by the Spring / Summer time frame.
|Smaller Aloe camperi - 4in pots
|Aloe "Cynthia Giddy"
One of my all time favs is Aloe vanbalenii mainly for its octopus like arms and reddish hue in the drier months. I'm excited to offer these to retail outlets in the area as they don't seem to be available often.
These were all seed grown in various batches over the last year. I'm hoping the larger 2ga size will grow out quite a bit over the coming months.
|Aloe vanbalenii in assorted sizes
|Aloe "Moonglow" - 2ga
|Young Aloe "Moonglow" - 4in
|Agave ellemeetiana "Satina" - upgraded and ready for the Spring
|Aloe vaotsanda x divaricata - upgraded and ready for Spring
A variety of newly purchased Aloe and Agave plugs that were planted in early December
|Aloe "Tangerine" and dorothea in the foreground
|Agave isthmensis in foreground
There always seem to be an agave or two in the garden producing bulbils.
|Agave desmettiana "Variegata" bulbils
|More desmettiana bulbils - rooted in the Fall
Not every Agave bulbil is created equal. Only the biggest healthiest bulbils were rooted but I suspect a few more at the above stage won't make the final cut.
Back to larger sized plants - the Aloe dawei shown below were upgraded to 5ga pots during October.
|Seed grown Aloe dawei - Oct 2023
Happy New Year!