Some Plants Like It Hot

 Roses are not one of them

We're twelve or thirteen days into a heat wave, with another three (at minimum) to go.  Gardening is a few minutes outdoors to spot-water plants just enough to prevent fatalities. 

Dog days:  ha ha ha Boris, I'm on the sofa and you are on the floor!

Plants enjoying the heat are the sub or sub-tropicals.  Because of their high-water needs, I have only a few.  

Pentas:  Planted only a few weeks ago, and doing great

 Cannas: winter dormant even here.  That roll of hardware cloth in the background is for a rodent-proofing project, on hold until it cools off

 Cuphea:  even small rooted cuttings are fine in ferocious heat, if watered sufficiently.  Growing fast:

Desperate for outdoor time, the best I could do was to top and pot up the indoor Ficus lyrata out on the shaded patio.

Previous pot on the left: 

Topped it, so the Ficus will branch:
Thought I would try rooting the tip, though it will likely be unsuccessful
Cut the huge leaf down--too big!
And stuck it in a humidity box

One to-do that was do-able was getting an inexpensive tool box for all the little garden supplies and tools that were scattered around the patio.  A little tidier now. A less obtrusive color would be better. 

Aloes, one would think, love heat.  Based on garden observation, A. deltoideodonta, A. dorotheae, and A. capitata seem happiest (and growing) in summer's heat.  I know for sure A. deltoideodonta  'Sparkler' needs dryness and the warmth of sun-bathed masonry in winter.  The rest of the Aloes in the garden seem to be in the built-to-withstand-heat category, surely different than "love".   

This year because I made (and tested) some irrigation changes on the front slope, the plants there got a lot more water than they usually do.  This initiated a couple of surprise Aloe flowers.  Aloe reitzii.

Reitzii's flowers emerge looking dry and sun-burnt, but that is misleading (to discourage grazing herbivores?):

Aloe rubroviolacea, its flowers scruffy because of the heat:
Other Aloes have drawn attention at the moment.  Back a year or more ago I bought a tiny pot of three "Aloe Vera" seedlings at Ikea of all places for a few dollars.  Just for fun.  They've grown some. Maybe they are 'vera's, maybe not.  Time will tell.

 A more recent purchase, mail ordered this past week:  Aloe broomii and another Aloe aculeata.  I had broomii before; it came down with Aloe mite, so out it went.  Trying again with seedlings, which should be clean.  Aloe broomii is the Aloe that looks most like an Agave, and has teeth that can puncture skin, rare for an Aloe.  Aculeata teeth are pretty sharp as well. 

The distinctive Aloe aculeata:

Two Aloe broomii

That's the garden for now.  The nights, at least, look to start cooling down this weekend, meaning the garden will be gardenable for an hour or two early in the morning.    

Last Friday, Natasha's leg was bleeding.  We got her up on the grooming table for a look.  She'd had a boil or skin cyst and licked or bit it open.  I called the vet for an appointment, they said two weeks.  Gee, thanks!  We cleaned up the area, cut the fur away, anti-biotic ointment applied, and then The Cone Of Shame, one we had around from previous issues, so the skin could heal.  Figured out by using an old collar we could keep The Cone on her.

She's Natasha.  She's feels no shame

Her leg is almost healed up already.  Skin is back to it's normal barely-pink.  When the little scab falls off, the cone will come off.

That's right, stick your tongue out at me:

"Can I chew up that pepper and then spit it out?  Please?"

Nothing much will be done in the garden until it cools off.  Except watering.  Some plants like it hot, but I don't. 


  1. Natasha looks like she's taking the indignities of your medical treatment in stride! I've been preoccupied with watering too and even did some on the back slope I've been avoiding due to the plague of fire ants late yesterday afternoon (duly suited up of course). Our temperatures have gone down a bit, mostly remaining in the upper 80s, but it's been humid here so it's still too miserable to get much done. Hoping for cooler days ahead!

    1. She adapted to the cone in about two minutes. Yes, hoping for cooler weather. Looks like a break for the weekend, but more to come. :(

  2. Bom dia tudo bem? Sou brasileiro e procuro novos seguidores para o meu blog. E seguirei o seu com prazer. Novos amigos também são bem vindos, não importa a distância.

  3. Bom dia meu querido amigo. Obrigado pelo comentário. Gostaria de saber se você pode ser um novo seguidor do meu blogue?

  4. I didn't know there were Aloes with spines. Ouch. The ficus looks so pretty with those big leaves. I don't see that around here. My favorite color of rose. They look beautiful in this vase. Poor Natasha in this hot weathers having to wear the cone. Boris looks like he is taking advantage of lots of indoor time. I wonder how you tell them apart? In photos they look like twins. Cheers.

    1. Natasha's owie is just about healed up. We are all very tired of that cone. I hate putting it on her. Their eyes set them apart--Boris eyes are rounder. He's taller and lankier, too. Otherwise they do look very alike.

  5. Repotting plants in the shade is a good thing to do on those hot days. Am intrigued by your cuphea cuttings. Cooler temperatures here have me looking around at what to keep and as space is at a premium thought I would try cuttings of Vermillionaire. Poor Natasha though she doesn't look that bothered by her new collar.

    1. Cuphea cutting in a glass of water mine had roots in a week.

      Natasha adapted quickly. Smart little princess.

  6. I thought Aloe vera had no spines?

    1. The 'Vera' ones here do, small ones. Aloes grown from seed may start out with some teeth and as the plant matures the leaves no longer have teeth. So, if grown from seed, could be 'Vera'...or not. A plant from Ikea...I'm not expecting much, y'know?

  7. Hope temperatures have come down a little for you and you've had a chance to enjoy some time in the garden... or at least have a ten day forecast with a little hope in it!
    The temperature here is in the low 70's this morning and after only two days of this I miss the heat. Better for working outside, but I don't like where this is going.
    I'm sure there's a neck under all that fluff, but right now the cone seems to be on there through some kind of magic!

    1. Yes they have and yes I have, thanks. A joy to be out there again.

      So when it cools down in your climate, gardening season is on the wane? We have our hottest daytime weather ahead: Sept/Oct.

      Under all that fluff is the body of a whippet.


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