Aloes,agaves,succulents & other drought tolerant plants

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andrewsloan

  • Jr. Member
Aloes,agaves,succulents & other drought tolerant plants
« on: November 16, 2012, 07:19:32 PM »
A very nice gardening group based in Competa, 40 km inland East of Malaga, called the Axarquia Garden Club invited me to give a talk based on our change to a waterwise, dry garden. This took place last Tuesday with 30 members present, who were very receptive to the use of waterwise plants. I gave this Forum a plug and suggested reading Olivier Filippi's book is a must. It is in their library of books as is the MGS magazine.
Some photos of our garden and a summary of the presentation is included on a very well run website www.axarquiagardenclub.blogspot.com

pamela

  • Sr. Member
Re: Aloes,agaves,succulents & other drought tolerant plants
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2012, 06:43:50 PM »
It WILL very interesting to see how your garden is in a few years.  I must say you are very brave planting them so far apart.  I do believe its better to plant close in our climate when they have been purchased as small plants rather than growing spontaneously because they then protect each others roots with the shade from the leaves. When they overcrowd then you can remove if necessary.  But thats my philosophy...
Jávea, Costa Blanca, Spain
Min temp 5c max temp 38c  Rainfall 550 mm 

"Who passes by sees the leaves;
 Who asks, sees the roots."
     - Charcoal Seller, Madagascar

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andrewsloan

  • Jr. Member
Re: Aloes,agaves,succulents & other drought tolerant plants
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2012, 07:59:27 AM »
Innocent rather than brave Pamela, but I use rocks to provide shade for the roots in the 1st summer. I am leaving space also because I have a large number of aloes germinated from seed which are too small to plant out yet.

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ritamax

  • Full Member
Re: Aloes,agaves,succulents & other drought tolerant plants
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2012, 02:05:34 PM »
It is controversial, how tight should one plant in a mediterranean climate. Many succulents, aloes among them grow quickly and there is that thing called root competition. Would be nice to hear some opinions on that.
Hobbygardener (MGS member) with a rooftop garden in Basel and a garden on heavy clay with sand 600m from seaside in Costa Blanca South (precipitation 300mm), learning to garden waterwise

Trevor Australis

  • Sr. Member
Re: Aloes,agaves,succulents & other drought tolerant plants
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2013, 08:07:33 AM »
As to close or far planting I agree it is a big question for Med gardeners. My first inspiration is what hapens naturally in such climates, particularly my own. Permanent tree and shrubs are very far apart with far reaching surface root systems. in between grow a lont of annuals, corms, tubers, bulbs and a few tough perennials which do not feature year round but are seasonal and often quite dense over the surface. So this is what I try to immitate, even if in a somewhat crowded way. In other places there is an understorey of low/ prostrate shrubs. In this type of bush the plants spread out over the surface just as the roots do underground, thus achieving a density of cover without having a dense planting. There is another kind of system too; this is where the soil surface is covered with a layer of small rocks, stones, pebbles, coarse gravels etc making a kind of pavement through which bulbs etc grow in their season. I find this hard to emulate as we cannot get river-rounded stones and pebbles, only crushed rock from a quarry which is too un-natural looking and too rough to walk on o/wise I would love to have a gravel garden.

Aloes are often found in association with dense bulb colonies, grasses and very low succulent populations. There is a hint about how to grow them in your garden.

Agaves are often found in tall dry annual grasses and very open shrubby bushes. Another hint.

Mny small succulents HATE being in full sun all day and prefer the light shade cover given by grasses and small open bushes or in rocky slopes where drainage is excellent and shelter present too.
M Land. Arch., B. Sp. Ed. Teacher, traveller and usually climate compatible.