I Dig Up A Dyckia Clump, or, Having Fun With Sawblades

I've been putting off digging up a clump of Dyckia 'Dark Shadows' that was interfering with the beauty of Yucca linearfolia.  Both the Dyckia and the Yucca had grown much faster than I had expected.

One entirely appropriate common name for Dyckia is "Sawblade".  The terminal spines are like razors, as are the leaf-edge hooks.  A good soundtrack for this post would be a small, pained voice repeating the word "Ow!" over and over again.


But it really wasn't bad.
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Being a bromeliad, the clump had a relatively modest root system, so it was easy to pop the thing out of the ground.  I ended up moving a dwarf aloe in front of the clump, and then dragging the chocolatey-brown mass of spines forward by holding on to it with gloved hands and a towel.  Not bad at all.

A meeting of true spines:
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The real work will be splitting the clump into pieces.  There are at least several dozen rosettes.
PhotobucketIt may be the wrong time of year to do this, but I'm not about to do it when it's 90 degrees (32 C). There are two other large, undisturbed clumps still on the slope.  Even if all of the dug-out rosettes die, there will be plenty left of 'Dark Shadows'.   I had to marvel at how these plants use every drop of water in an impressively efficient manner.  The soil here is dry, dry, dry, but these plants grow, grow, grow.
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Aloes are harder to dig up, but less painful to separate.   The fall and winter bloomers continue. 


The yellow version of A. arborescens:
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A. gariepensis, not looking too happy, but with a fat flower spike emerging:
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And this is apparently A. ferox after all.  What a beauty!
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The benefit of digging out that Dyckia clump at this time of year was being able to enjoy all those Aloe flowers while I dug and pulled and said "Ow! Ow!", in a small, pained voice.

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Comments

  1. When I the saw the title of this post, I thought, ouch, this is going to be difficult and painful. I'm glad that it's wasn't so bad after all. What a great looking dyckia cultivar. Your aloes are pretty darn great, too :-)

    Gerhard
    :: Bamboo and More ::

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  2. Saw blades, I hadn't heard that one before!

    I enjoyed gardening vicariously through you, more please!

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  3. Yes they are all beautiful, but it could also be very difficult to enter the garden. I bet you are not in short pants when you enter the garden.

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  4. Hoov, it's just now that my dyckia clump is ridiculously congested that it's starting to bloom well, maybe 4 to 5 stalks out of a clump 3 feet wide. Were you getting lots of blooms from yours?

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  5. About the same, a half-dozen or so bloom stalks. Not as striking as I'd hoped for. I'm still waiting for a single flower from the Puya, it's the one with those metallic green-blue flowers.

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