March 5, 2009

Plant Trading with Neighbors

I have some great neighbors, but until I'd really started gardening, they pretty much ignored us. Not purposefully, just in a "I don't have much to share or relate" sort of way. One of my neighbors has been much more friendly, and they're on the east side of our house. They've complimented several of the improvements we've made to the landscape, and they like our dogs. Yesterday the lady of the house offered to give me some of her agave plants, but gosh, I don't have room for an agave until the front yard is stripped of its lawn. She then offered an aloe plant, and aloes have been interesting to me lately so I accepted. In return, I gave her a pineapple that I'm rooting, a couple of roadkill cacti starts, and a silver-and-gold chrysanthemum that I was starting. Yes, it's a lot of starters, but they're pretty safe bets and I gave her the better ones. Plus I have enough of all of these to pass around just as she has lots of aloe plants. The one she gave me was having babies and needed to be repotted. I quickly repotted them and returned her pot back to her. I wound up with 1 mama aloe and 4 baby aloes. I was a bit surprised, and I understand why she was so willing to give them up - she has 6 mature aloes that are all sending out new plants. Phew! That's a lot of aloe!

Mama Aloe Plant:
Baby Aloe Plants:


  1. Good job! Welcome to blotnical and it is good to have another gardener sharing information with us. I've never grown an aloe although I've used it on a burn or mosquito bite. It worked.

  2. We're in zone 8B here, and sometimes it feels like we're zone 9. Aloe isn't supposed to be hardy around here, but my neighbor put them in the ground back in autumn. Our winter was so mild this year that I can only imagine that's why they survived and thrived. I can imagine a lot of trekking in and out in North Carolina during the winter. They'll do fine in the house during the winter, but they have to be outside as much as possible so they get big and gorgeous.

    Anyway! I'm looking forward to the blooms. Aloes have GORGEOUS spikes of blooms sort of like yuccas except their orange. I'm hoping the one she gave me will send out a bloom. Another neighbor has an aloe too, and the bloom on her plant was amazing! I had no idea they were so pretty until I saw hers.

    Oh, and she gave me 4 more yesterday. I think I might make another bonniwa garden.

  3. Hi (NS)ARH, Isn't fun to have friends to swap plants with? Some of my most cherished plants are divisions from my garden buddy. Not only the sentimental factor but the $$ factor too.

    I didn't know aloe bloomed either but I suppose it has to procreate like any other plant. I live in Zone 8b also, western Oregon. Every winter we have at least one frost. This year has been atypical with above average snowfall. I've lost count. More snow tonight. Weird.

    I've been amazed at how different regions within the same zone can be. Anyway, enjoy your new treasures. Oh and I love the little, innocent leaves of the mimosa. So sweet. Evil little critters. :)

  4. I have never thought about aloe plants before. Maybe I should give those a try. Are they pretty easy to take care of? Are they strictly outside plants?

  5. Grace - Oh, to live in Oregon... We haven't had any snow or really much weather below freezing this year. I think the lowest it got was 28F... once. That's been nice in a way because many of my plants have been able to be outside more than usual.

    And yes, plant swapping with my neighbor has been very cool. She's funny though. She's from Puerto Rico, and she wants to grow tropical plants SO BADLY! She can grow a lot of tropical looking plants here, but she's dead set on the ones that grow in Zones 9-11. Some people here buy banana trees as annuals, but she wants them to be perennial.

    Adam - Aloes can be inside during the winter, but the more they get to be outside, the bigger they get which is true of most houseplants. If you want a big ficus or cactus or anything really, you want to pull them outside when the weather gets warm so they can put on some weight. So far as I know aloes are an easy plant, but honestly I need to look more into it. I think mine are in a bit of shock which is normal because of the repotting and snipping off the runner plants, but I don't want the shock to kill them. I DON'T WANT TO KILL MY NEIGHBOR'S PLANTS AND LET HER DOWN!! Fortunately, they're relatively cheap at the nursery.


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