This week we were greeted with a rare and unexpected ground frost which took us by surprise. While it is common to have minus temperatures down in the valley, where we are upon the cliffs, not so much! We’ve just gone back into COVID lockdown but as we’ve become a pair of hermits it does not really affect us. Ho hum …
Given the arctic temperatures and above-average snowfall in other parts of Portugal, I should have been following the weather more closely in our area. My poor Madagascar Cactus Palms (Madge) do not respond well to low temperatures. In fact, the recommended min temperature, according to the plant label, is 12C
Luckily, they are in a sheltered location so apart from big Madge (acquired in 2017) losing quite a few leaves, I think she survived. The following nights I draped the cactus palms in mosquito nets and a fleece pillowcase. Note to self: I need to invest in some fleecy material.
Little Madge, purchased in August 2020, seems a little more hardy.
2. Agave Attenuata
At the end of October, the Agave attenuata finally decided to flower. The flower shoot, now nearly 7ft tall reminds me of nature’s equivalent of a doner kebab.
Closeup of flowers. The bees love these!
Sadly, the mother plant dies once it has flowered.
3. Sickly Euphorbia Lactea – White Ghost
Thursday I was horrified to discover that the couple of small dark marks on my white ghost euphorbia I noticed a couple of weeks ago had spread into strange blackish-brown areas.. I did some research on the net and drew a blank.
Friday morning I was horrified to discover whatever was ailing the plant was spreading rapidly. Still puzzled as to the cause I decided to spray it with rose-clear and isolate.
Does anyone have any idea what is causing this? I am now wondering if I should just call it a day, take cuttings and move on.
4. Meerlo Lavender?
This started as a small cutting and the roots escaped and has now taken root in my bird of paradise pot. When you touch the leaves it smells disgusting. Apparently, it is meant to deter mosquitoes. It seems a happy plant so I will cut away the plastic pot so it can grow uninhibited. Certainly brings a new meaning to ‘taking root’.
5. Red Euphorbia Milii – Crown of Thorns
Apart from a few brownish leaves, the plant seems relatively unscathed by the recent frosts. I featured the Euphorbia Milii back in May 2020 and it was flowering then!
6. Crassula ovata – Jade Plant
My Jade plants ( have several) seem happy in sun or shade. Maybe this would be another option to consider for the Buddha waterfall rockery, rather than the ladder fern to add height?
That’s it for this week. Why not pop over to Mr P’s blog to check out other Six on Saturday bloggers from around the world?
PS if you do have any idea as to the cause of the demise of the Euphobia Ghost please let me know as it appears it is spreading to my Orchids!