There, Finally, Goes Joe

There goes 'Joe Hoak'.  Can you see it, the start of the bloom spike?  I can.  Wait a few days for another photo.   It wasn't there two days ago;  now it is.  I've been waiting more than a year.
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Just as 'Joe' goes to bloom, I read a professional grower's comment that 'Joe Hoak' plantlets die just about 100% of the time.  I was hoping for lots of plantlets on the flower stalk, but that's apparently  futile.  They reportedly fail consistently.  Only offsets are reliable, of which Joe gave me five.  One went to try his luck up north, but four brothers are left here.  Here are two, in their youthful glory.  Old 'Joe' is a noble wreck in comparison. 
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With little hope for bulbils, the thing to do is to encourage offsets.  The four brothers are going to be lavishly attended to.  Many sons, boys, many sons!  

I was going to post this photo in yesterday's post, but somehow forgot.  The Urginea maritima again, showing the whole plant.  (The foliage belongs to a 'Margaritaville' Yucca offset.)  The flower stems are 6' tall, just under 2 meters.  The leaves will begin to emerge in a few weeks, once the flowers are complete.  
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The garden has reached its state of late-summer mess--plants flopped all over each other.  There is a lavishness to the bedraggledness, but some cutting back at this point is smart, for a more beautiful autumn.
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Comments

  1. I look forward to seeing the flower spike dear Hoover. The garden might look 'bedraggled' as you have said, to me it looks wonderful.
    xoxoxo ♡

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    1. The flower spike pictures will soon be posted. Thank you for your kind comment!

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  2. I've been taking my time cutting my summer garden back, I think I'm about halfway there. I keep filling up my yard waste bin, and then need to wait to fill it up again. I've been gardening here since about February, and I'm kind of exhausted. I have no clue what a beginning Agave bloom spike looks like. It starts as that tight cluster of leaves in the center?

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    1. Yes that cluster of short little leaves like a multipoint star. Amazing how fast it emerges.

      I know the full stop for full green waste bins. Drives me nuts sometimes.

      Good luck with your cutting back--we all get tired sometimes. That's one of the good things about rainy days--rest!

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  3. Such a shame that there is no chance of anything from flowering, at least you have the offsets from earlier and each of those can offset.

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    1. When I read that about the bulbils, I wished I had cored the plant to get more offsets instead. Now I know, so I can practice coring on less important avaves, get it right, and be ready for the offsets before they bloom.

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  4. With the info about the bulbil death rate, are you sorry you were so impatient for Joe to bloom? Those are some fine, 6-foot naked Urginea maritima! And like Dianne, you can give me that "bedraggled" garden look anytime.

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    1. Well, I was more curious than impatient. Joe appeared to be ready, but it just wasn't happening. I think he was hoping all this time for a good soaking rain. In that, we are alike.

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  5. Interesting information there, that plantlets die but offsets are fine. Bittersweet thing that it's about to flower. The younger ones sure are stunning plants. And so is the Urginea, the inflorescence is spectacular!

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    1. An "ah hah!: moment, as a JH bulbil that I obtained, after growing a bit, quite suddenly died. Wasn't my fault after all. JH is not only beautiful, he's educational.

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  6. Yes indeed,I recognize that bedraggled lavishness.. I am behind now in the summer pruning, and hoping that next weekend will be 'normal'. Joe Hoak is a splendid fellow , as are his strapping young sons. And I do believe you are the only person I know who has a Urginea maritima.

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    1. Hope you quickly get back to normal after that quake.

      Maybe I should have a t-shirt made up, "Urginea maritima Owner". Wonder what kind of reactions that would get?

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  7. Your garden still looks very good. I'm tempted to take a lawnmower - or a tank - to mow mine down as it distresses me at every turn. I've lost quite a few plants, mostly due to inadequate water or spotty irrigation - by the time the signs become evident, it's too late. There are holes all over the garden I'm itching to fill and, perhaps foolishly, I popped for a large number of "moderately drought tolerant" Rudbeckia a couple of days ago. At least time spent hand-watering them should keep me out of the nurseries again for awhile yet.

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    1. I'm surprised it looks as good as it does. I was expecting worse. Everything is just so dry.

      Your garden of course looks far better than you think it does. We always have such unreasonably high expectations for our own gardens, don't we?

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  8. Well that is disheartening news about the bulbils. Lil Joe up here is doing very well, he's on the short list of plants to be getting a pot upgrade soon (bigger, more root room). Although sadly he'll probably never have any kids that I can send back to you...

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    1. More root room = offsets. Bump him up to the top of the list! :)

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  9. Oh no! What a beautiful plant. Keeping my fingers crossed you'll find another offset or two along the base.

    My Agave desmettiana 'Variegata' is showing the same behavior. Foreshortened new leaves, one shorter than the other. I was hoping it won't flower until next year but maybe it will start sooner.

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    1. What a happy thought. Another offset would be a treat!

      The desmetianas take their time. It might be next spring. You'll have more bulbils than you know what to do with.

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  10. I love your 'late-summer mess'! To me it looks lush and beautiful. that's pretty terrific considering your climate. That Urginea maritima is really unusual. I've never seen that before. Those young 'Joe's are beautiful. I hope your "Old Joe" produces lots of plantlets for you.

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    1. Doesn't have the intense green of your climate, but it is nice. The Urginea isn't so common perhaps because the bulbs are so large, like a bowling ball. Too expensive to ship! As others said, it is our Mediterranean-climate version of Eremurus.

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  11. Where you see work to be done, the rest of us see perfection. Would you like to borrow my rose-colored glasses?

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