Recovery

Last year at this time we had a few days of unusually cold weather. It got as low as 28 degrees for a few hours which is pretty rare. A few of my plants did not appreciate this dip below freezing.

Agave attenuata 'Ray of Light'

I really thought this Agave attenuata ‘Ray of Light’ was done for. All the leaves were mush. There was just one central leaf that wasn’t destroyed. I almost threw it away but something told me to give it a chance so for a few weeks I would bring it in at night when there were threats of frost. And then it went back into my plant ghetto and I pretty much forgot about it.

Agave attenuata 'Ray of Light'

Well I am happy to say that a year later it has made a remarkable recovery. I planted it out the other day in the new Protea and succulent border. Hopefully now that it is planted in the ground it will be a little more resistant to freezing weather.

Most of the buds got fried.

Aloe Moonglow was a huge disappointment. It was covered in buds for the first time and despite my attempts to protect it with sheets they were all limp the day after the worst frost.

Aloe Moonglow getting ready to bloom.

This year Moonglow is looking better than ever and has at least a dozen spikes. The forecast shows temperatures no lower than 42 degrees for the next week and hopefully it stays that way until at least February. And more rain would be appreciated as well. So far we are off to a good start this year but I wouldn’t mind it raining at least once a week from now until spring to help make up for the past three years of drought.

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Icy

The west coast has had some unseasonably cold weather the past week or so. Here in Los Osos it got to at least 30 degrees a few nights. Possibly as low as 28 in the wee hours of the morning.

Aloe Moonglow was all set to bloom for the first time.

I went so far as to construct a little tent for it on the coldest night.

It didn’t work.

At least the plant is OK and it should bloom next year. But no gardener wants to see something like this. There are a few buds that were lower down on the plant that seem unharmed. Maybe it will still bloom. Or maybe we’ll get another cold snap! This is the danger with winter blooming Aloes.

Fuchsia spendens didn’t like the cold either. I’m really sad about this plant. It had been growing really slowly but finally I noticed a few weeks ago that it had really taken off. It must have really liked all the supplemental irrigation it got from the extra water I was giving the new plantings in this part of the garden. Still alive but this is a pretty big setback.

Fuchsia ‘Nettala’ is not happy either. In general Fuchsias would prefer to stay above freezing.

I’m really bummed about this Agave attenuata ‘Ray of Light’. It isn’t easy to find this inexpensively in a one gallon container around here and this one was so nice before it froze. The outer growth is mush. But the growing point of the plant still feels solid so hopefully it will recover. To be safe I am bringing this in at night for the time being.

Crap! I didn’t even realize that Musschia wollastonii was that sensitive to cold. On the plus side this opens up a space in my plant ghetto. I’ll leave it a bit to see if it recovers but I am doubtful.

Not sure how obvious it is from the photo but Crassula ‘Campfire’ is total mush.

I am actually not too unhappy about this Aeonium ‘Zwartkop’. It was covered in mealybugs. It is also really easy to grow from cuttings if it doesn’t bounce back.

Nooo! This Isoplexis isabeliana is brand new! I noticed that a lot of the plants that saw the most damage had recently been potted up into bigger pots. Could be a coincidence but it might have made them more susceptible to damage.

On the plus side my crazy, deranged, fasciated Echium ‘Mr. Happy’ is still blooming. Not at all bothered by the cold weather.

As soon as it warms up each day the bees can be found buzzing around happily.

It has been in bloom now for about 8 months and doesn’t really show any sign of slowing down. If the cold weather didn’t stop it I’m not sure what will. If you look closely around the flowers you can see the white hairs that cover the foliage. ¬†They are as sharp as glass so I don’t advise getting too close. Something I learned while trying to collect seed. I’ll just let it go to seed on its own and keep my hands away from it.

How has the weather been where you are? I can take comfort in the fact that at least I am not in Portland, Oregon where they had temperatures in the teens.