Friday, September 9, 2016

Damage of Varying Degrees

 Very interesting Danger Garden post on Agave damage;  the whole lack of light thing, though--doesn't seem quite the case as to what happened to my A. marmorata this past winter.  I thought it was cold damage.  Just the one leaf.  Or bright warm morning sun hitting cold tissue? 
 The plant continues gorgeous, damaged or not.  The banding has become more noticeable this hot summer. 
 The same sort of odd damage, lighter, on an Aloe pseudorubroviolacea, but it happened in spring on a day following a night of unremarkable temperatures. 
Another sort of damage--the whole plant has developed a pink sunburn the past few weeks.  You can see where the bases of the leaves, shaded, do not have the pink burn.  Burn lines, like teenagers at the beach.  The yardstick explains how large the Aloe has become--nearly 5' wide!
In this case some sun stress added to the beauty.  Is it damage?
I've been going crazy trying to alleviate the chlorosis in two Grevillea 'Superb', one at the upper left in the next photo.  Damage?  It's agony to look at.  The plant is also not overly pleased. 
Striking, though, in the sunset.  Which is no excuse. 
 I went out in the heat for chelated iron, having fought the chlorosis with both soil sulpher and acidified water to no effect.  On the way, a stop at a neighbor's garden to see an Aloe reitzii with odd flowers.  Damage?  Yes, heat and drought damage.  The tops of the flower stalks are dried out.  The plant itself, healthy and well.  An elegant species, reitzii. 
Near the well Aloe, a beautiful 'Blue Glow' Agave nestled among Calylophus--possibly C. drumondii 'Southern Belle'.  No damage there, heat or not. 
Back at home, after a not overly fun visit to the garden center for chelated iron.  Excess heat damaged the visit.  The chelated iron was applied according to package directions as a foliage spray to the Grevilleas.  We'll see if that helps.  

Undamaged by our hot summer, the puppies cope by sleeping on a nice cool floor, with cool air drifting across the room just at their level.  The wall behind Natasha's favorite napping spot has taken some damage, as has the baseboard, which she still chews on now and then.  Damage to be tolerated.  It can and will be fixed.  
She doesn't look worried:
 Damage or not, with Agave 'Ivory Curls' being rapidly engulfed by Leucospermum 'Yellow Bird'?  No sun damage on the shaded 'Ivory' this summer, but the engulfment will damage it eventually.  Leucospermum unbothered.  It has won the space.  'Ivory Curls' must be moved.   
 I planted some seeds from 'Yellow Bird';  could this possibly be a sprout?  Germination is said to occur when nights are at least 12 degrees cooler than daytime highs, which has now begun happening again.  Nah...probably just a weed.  No use damaging my hopes.
The same threat of damage from the one non-clorotic Grevillea 'Superb'--it is growing rapidly and doing some engulfing of its own for a half-dozen Echeverias.  More plants to move before damage occurs.  
 See what is underneath? 
The area where I planted the Leucospermum seeds has become a nursery of sorts for small succulents that were damaged by my neglect.  They are all thriving in the ground.  Fallen leaves are producing new plants:
 Pot-liberated plants are producing flowers:
And more flower stems are appearing. 
Damage there is now in the rear-view mirror.   

Last year's Dasylirion flower is beyond damage.  It is dry and dropping seeds, none of which has sprouted.  No rain.  A fine hummingbird perch.  
The Lagerstroemia 'Dynamite' badly damaged by June's Big Broil of a heat wave has somewhat recovered.  The healthier 'Dynamite' is past its main bloom.  Now the second is showing off, and despite its set back, the display is impressive.  
 Damage, overcome.  Bravo, little tree, bravo!

22 comments:

  1. Your posts are always so beautiful. I think you can start to call your garden a botanical one. How are your dog's doing?
    Have a wonderful weekend.

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    1. They may be getting baths this weekend. I added a Natasha photo for you, Marijke. Have a wonderful weekend!

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  2. I have problems with Grevillea chlorosis in my back border while the Grevilleas in the front areas are fine. This week I finally tested the soil in the area in with I lost both an Adenanthos and a Leucadendron and got a high pH reading - the Grevilleas with chlorosis are nearby so I'm guessing the soil they're in is also on the alkaline end of the spectrum. I'm planning a few more spot tests (including one in the non-problem area) but expect I'll be adding some iron sulfate this fall.

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    1. What sort of test are you using? One of mine chlorotic is just three feet from one that is not.

      Let me know how that iron sulphate works.

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  3. I remember admiring a beautiful chartreusy acacia planted in the ground at Jo O'Connell's Aus. Plants Nursery and asking if she carried it. She said it was cardiophylla and did carry it, but said the specimen I admired might have that great coloring because it was a little chlorotic. I'm also not too worried about this issue and haven't messed with my soil chemistry because there might be unintended consequences at the expense of something else. 'Robyn Gordon' did have a yellowish cast earlier this summer but has been blooming nonstop and seems to have greened up. What I've really noticed is the ants herding insects onto agaves and aloes like I've never seen before, leaving damage on newly unfurled agave leaves that looks something like the mottling on your marmorata, and outright killing some aloes. Once the agave leaf unfurls and is in full sun, the insects lose their cool hiding place and disappear, leaving the blemished leaf. Just a theory that's what's up with yours too. Blue Glow is being harassed in this way now, and I just don't remember having this problem before.

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    1. Interesting about the Acacia. They seem so impervious to every sort of setback.

      I have messed with soil chem to the extent of bloo-ing up hydrangeas without issue. In any case it's fix or die with those 'Superb's. They are not happy.

      Grrr those ants who farm mealy bugs and scale. Hate them!

      The damage on the marmorata leaf occurred on a fully open and mature leaf, not covered by anything, after a mildly chilly (38F) night.

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  4. I really enjoyed Lorees' post too. August is always a crappy month in my garden , but damage here is usually cold/frost related . Engulfing damage however is not unknown. I liberated a Cuphea from the clutches of a Phygelius 'Moonraker' a few weeks ago and the result has been impressive.

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    1. Yes, great post wasn't it? As was your trip to Mendocino. Can't imagine it was roasting hot there. The fog rolling must have been refreshing.

      Just pulled my Phygelius--it died in the heat.

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  5. Your ability to put together an interesting and informative post: undamaged. Also undamaged: my ability to appreciate that ruffly Echeveria you will rescue from engulfment, and the lovely L. 'Dynamite'.

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  6. Damage or no damage that Agave marmorata is a looker. I wish I were richer and smarter and I would love to study all the implications of light, heat, water, sun, shade, etc, etc, etc on Agaves.

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    1. You have plenty of talent already, lady. If you were any smarter than you already are, it might be a problem!

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  7. Unos ejemplares bien bonitos y bien cuidados. Mis felicitaciones desde Plantukis

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    1. Gracias, Raúl! Agaves son fáciles de cuidar aquí.

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  8. That marmorata is gorgeous, damage or no! Please keep us posted on the chlorosis. My worst plant has been Cytisus x spachianus, which turned absolutely yellow its first summer. I expected to have to take it out, but it survived to turn green and healthy over winter. This summer only the outer leaves yellowed (that was still over 50%, but much better than last year). So take heart on your Grevilleas... :)

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    1. I am "working the problem" with the Grevilleas, instead of giving into dispair. A good thing. Patience worked with your broom! Sometimes patience is what it takes.

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  9. Your Agave marmorata is a stunner. It looks like it has enough room to expand to its full potential. I have no idea what the damage is from. If it had been cold damage, I think it would have turned black?

    Chlorosis on grevillea: My 'Superb' was very chlorotic. I applied elemental sulfur (looks like uncooked lentils, except yellow) to the soil and put mulch on top. It took a while, but now the leaves are green again. I did the same to a potted banksia, and it greened up MUCH faster, within a matter of weeks. Jo O'Connell, at her talk at the UC Berkeley BotGarden this spring, says that she applies sulfur to the soil in the fall, counting on the rain to help it do its thing. In her experience it takes about six months to see results.

    My Aloe reitzii is easily the size of the specimen in your photo but it has NEVER bloomed. What's up with that???

    The Calylophus looks like Calylophus drumondii 'Southern Belle'. It's much more compact than others. I have a couple of C. hartwegii but they can lanky and unattractive over the course of the summer.

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    1. Plenty of room, yes. Cold damage is black--of course you are right. We did get one cold night a few years ago that blackened a few leaves on a neighbor's bougainvillea. Otherwise I'm not familiar with cold damage. I just didn't know what else it could be--not covered with anything at any time, happened on a winter night.

      I did the same stuff, lentil-like sulfur, with the mulch replaced around the 'Superb's after application but I wasn't overly generous on the sulfur. The original foliage underneath the new chlorotic stuff is a deep, deep green.

      Reitzii is from a summer-water area I think. "Belfast district of Mpumalanga in northern KwaZulu-Natal", "annual precipitation: 878 mm (34.5"!)", "moderately well-watered by mostly summer thunderstorms." That plant in the photo was tiny three years ago according to the neighbor. They water it a lot. Instantaneous drainage on a rocky hill. Try summer water? Mine needed some summer shade to be really happy, and your summer is far hotter than here.

      Thanks, the Calylophus I bought is 'Southern Belle'--that may be the one they got also. Great plant--holds up to heat.

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  10. It's curious isn't it what causes these various damages, especially on the agave. One learns something new everyday when I followed Loree's question on facebook. The pink blush however just adds to the beauty of the Aloe. And Natasha looks adorable as always!

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    1. Yes, very interesting discussion, wasn't it?

      Natasha will get through life very well on her looks alone. Lucky girl!

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  11. A little damage to keep you humble but a spectacular display overall.

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