PlantFiles is getting a new look! Just in time for spring, we're rolling out a new look for the best online plants database. It will also work with your smart phones and mobile devices, so now you can take it with you on garden center visits or botanical garden tours. Questions or comments? Please post them here.
No buds/flowers on mine -- thank goodness! Forecast here is for killer cold rolling in by Friday, so I'm hopeful my M. spinossisima has effectively hardened off by now, it has been cool/dry the past 2-3 weeks.
It is a very nice balance of the three beauties. Even the weed fits in.Today I had to find a pot to plant an Agave parryi .v truncata in, and I endend up buying a larger pot so I could plant four other plants around the Agave to give it upright support.. Such an addiction. Xuling
Very nice pics!
No picture (it's been dark when I am getting home), but my red headed irishman is showing a lot of flower buds... several other Mammillarias have already been putting out flowers while others appear in deep hibernation. It was a strange Fall with mid 80s here right up until the first week of December. Several of my aloes have been in full bloom about 2-3 months before they usually bloom.
So that freeze is not going to be good. 27 Friday night, 26 Saturday night and then 28 F on Sunday night. However I have been noticing that the back yard thermometer has been reaching T's near the house at least 2 degrees lower than the temps forecast, so I have started planning the cover up operation. The biggest worry I have is the 7.5 feet tall Aloe hercules, which may or may not be OK with mid 20 Ts, it has had no problem with 30-32F, which we have hit occasionally over the last few weeks, but this is going to be quite a bit colder.
This year I had decided that if it won't survive a minor freeze (high 20s and up), I probably should not be growing it in the ground, but this cold front coming through is not minor from the looks of it. So the boxes of blankets, old towels and what not have been located and it will get crowded under the back patio with all the pots.
Covering might gain you a couple degrees, but that's about it. If that M. spinossisima is in the ground, I'd consider digging it up. I'm not sure a flowering Mamm will survive what's coming, covered or not. I have a nejapensis flowering now, and I know that won't survive a sub-freezing temp -- my only loss to last winter's Dec cold snap was a nejapensis. Good luck! I'm afraid this is gonna be bad...
Fortunately the M. spinossisima is not in the ground, it is in a hanging basket. All flowering or almost flowering Mams are in pots or hanging baskets. So I might even go as far as bringing them inside. I do have some other Mams in the ground, most are very large mature ones: M. rhodantha, M. heyderi, M. geminispina, M. montensis, M. elongata, M. parkinsonii, M. gigantea, and M. krameri. However all of those have suffered through cold spells before and have been fine and none of those are flowering or setting buds and all have been dry since last rains. I might look them up to make sure of their cold hardiness.
I did actually find a picture of the M. spinossisima, and a couple of the other flowering mams: M. woodsii and solisioides. Among the other mams setting buds or flowering are M. elegans, M. hahniana, and M. zeilmanniana.
As I recall, you're in the toasty part of town, and may not even see sub-freezing temps. Out here, they're predicting hard freeze five nights running. I have a buncha Mamms in the ground too, it'll be interesting...
You might be right depending on which weather station/service I look at, the forecast ranges from 3-4 nights of 26-27F to 2-3 nights of 28-31F. Given that it is cold air and not supposed to get very windy, it may just be fine, so probably no digging up of plants, but I will still take a few precautions especially with the easy to move potted plants and the easy to cover aloes.
I know back in 2011, a friend of mine in west Mesa went all the way down to 31°F one night in Feb, while my thermometers were tickling 20°F. All that pavement and concrete makes a big difference. I'll be moving all manner of potted plants, and covering those tender plants small enough to be covered. I may have to kiss my A. sisalana goodbye, we'll see...
Nope it isn't. Good luck with the freeze the coming days GermanStar. I am keeping my fingers crossed that our area does not get hit as hard, but talking about the winter of 2011, we did have some low-mid 20s in 2011 out here, two spells about 2-3 weeks apart, covering the Aloe hercules was still manageable then. But it did quite some damage, I had to completely cut back my Bougainvilleas and Tecomas because they got severely frostbitten. I ended up putting a whole bunch of potted plants in the garage. It even caused significant frost damage to one of the big Agave weberi's, that was most exposed to the wind, even though that A. weberi is on the books as being quite cold resistant.
A neighbor lost half his Euphorbia tirucalli firesticks during one of those spells. Mine were still in pots so they were in the garage. I remember that it even hit quite a few of the larger trees hard, some showed evidence of that frost for months and months afterwards. I had more plants in pots then so I could protect those much easier by moving them, I think I lost 1 aloe that was in the ground, but it had not been in the ground long.
In 2011, the Feb freeze was the colder of the two, with three consecutive nights sub-freezing, bottoming out at 30°F (20°F here). The January freeze, four weeks earlier, also spanned three days, bottoming out at 32° (25°F here). This forecast looks very similar to the February event, perhaps worse, with a nearly unprecedented 4 consecutive sub-freezing nights predicted, also bottoming out at 30°F. Out here in no man's land, we may be sub-freezing 5-7 consecutive nights. It's gonna be ugly. I hate looking at once-beautiful Agaves... Good luck, and prepare for the worst!
Do you cover any plants? I will keep my fingers crossed. We also get the brutal temps here but prolonged sub zero events are the norm, meaning I try not to plant anything that can't take those temps. We just had days of cloudy weather with a good amount of rain, pretty sure it will kill some of my plants. I already started looking online for replacements...
Holy schmoly GermanStar, I have never seen or heard of using boxes and styrofoam cups as covers. I am going to assume that they work to some extent or other. Are they good? They would work for the frost, what about keeping the plants a little warmer? My night got to 25 degrees the other night. We are having a string of cold nights from 25 to 27, so everything that can possible be covered whether it needs it or not is covered to some degree. I am a little concerned about the plants that I store on the large covered front porch as I ran out of blankets. But they are next to the house and I leave the holiday lights on at the outer end of the porch. Probably the lights do nothing but even if it might help at all I am willing to spend the money for the electricity. Xuling
I guess it depends on how well insulated your house is. Our house here is not particularly well insulated. Last night when I went to bed the thermometer that is out in the yard that has a remote read station inside the house read 35F at 10.30 PM, at the same the large dial thermometer that hangs on the outer wall under back porch was still reading 44F, so the plants close to the wall of the house under porch were still well above freezing and from the look of them this morning, they probably did not go that far below 32F if at all - but of course as GermanStar says it can take a few days for the effects to become apparent so I might be more optimistic than I should be. But it is definitely in indication of how not well insulated the house is.
I realized this morning I left a 3 ft. Pilocereus pachycladus uncovered and as the day wore on the growth tip started to look decidedly unhappy. Covering it up tonight, but it might be too late.
Several friends in Chandler actually reported 19F in their backyard... I hope it stays in the 20s tonight given that tonight is supposed to be the coldest night.
You get some really nasty weather there. Many years ago I used to go to Phoenix at Thanksgiving to visit a friend and it rained every Thanksgiving weekend. But I was never there this time of the year. I would rather be in Florida or Mexico.
xuling wrote:Holy schmoly GermanStar, I have never seen or heard of using boxes and styrofoam cups as covers. I am going to assume that they work to some extent or other. Are they good? They would work for the frost, what about keeping the plants a little warmer? My night got to 25 degrees the other night. We are having a string of cold nights from 25 to 27, so everything that can possible be covered whether it needs it or not is covered to some degree. I am a little concerned about the plants that I store on the large covered front porch as I ran out of blankets. But they are next to the house and I leave the holiday lights on at the outer end of the porch. Probably the lights do nothing but even if it might help at all I am willing to spend the money for the electricity. Xuling
You've never heard of the styrofoam cup trick? It's a miracle for tender cactus, you wouldn't believe how well it works. You need to get your butt to the grocery store. And boxes -- why not? The idea of covering is to trap ground heat. If you trap it well enough, you'll get about a 5°F kick. If the plant is not reasonably sealed all the way to the ground by your cover, you may only get a degree or two -- if that.The advantage of boxes is that you're guaranteed a good cover all the way to the ground so very little leakage and no worries about covers blowing off in the middle of the night. Paper is a fine insulator, now throw in the corrugation of cardboard boxes, and better yet. And you can always throw a towel over the box for good measure.