Tuesday 14 August 2018

The gardens being overrun

Anyone who grows succulents knows that many are easy to propogate and you can quickly go from a single plant to a clump. With many plants we expect that and make the most of it. The stream of echeveria elegans in one of the rockeries started as a series of individual plant, look at it now.

This clumping habit is something desired.

Then there are the plants that we wish were a little more controlled but we know divide, or send out multiple shoots.  Aloe striatula would be the main example of that in my garden.  I am constantly having to cut off side shoots to try and keep it under control, look at all that new gorwth.

I live in London, I shouldn't have to worry about an aloe out-growing its location!  But then we know this is what it does so it is to be expected.

Then you have the surprises.  Some plants may be known to offset, but you don't think about it, or at least you expect them to be well behaved.  Agaves would fit into that category; I expect offsets on some of them, want them in fact, but never expected them to become a problem.  Enter agave bracteosa.  Firstly it is prolific. The odd offset is fine,  I do not need 10 or 20, especially as it seems to like London and be growing at a good rate. Then to add to the issue, it seems to view gravel and rocks as no barriers to trying to take over the entire rockery and is sending out runners that come up in all sorts of locations.

How? Why?  I have given away many of these and pulled up many more.  It seems every time I look closely under rocks or plants I find new offsets. I don't get actual weeds in the rockery, instead  I spend my time pulling up agave bracteosas. Perhaps to be expected, it is probably behaving as it would in the wild, after all it is known to be one of the best for Uk climate.

Aloes on the other hand are not known to be well suited to UK winters.  There are limited numbers that can be planted out and so it was a surprise that a variegated aloe saponaria survived at all.  Each year it gets better and I posted a little while back that I had to move the clump it had formed. The best variegated plant I re-planted in a better location has grown nicely.

But we are not here to celibrate the plant or it's clump forming habit,  this is another one that likes to explore.  For the last couple of years I have found this coming up further and further from the original clump and it was starting to become a problem.

The cactus had to be dug up to remove the runner and this was only one of the areas they were appearing.  This is the UK, I do not expect to be over-run by wondering aloes.

So does anyone else have problems with unexpected wondering plants?

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