This blog is about growing tropical-looking plants in the Phoenix, Arizona area

June 14, 2015

The illusion of aloes in the heat of the desert garden - Haworthia

I have a lot of aloes here at the Tropical Paradise, but right here, next to the patio, has been a problem area for a long time. It gets shade in the afternoon, and is actually kind of boggy and cold in the winter, but in the summer, even though it only gets morning sunlight, the reflected heat from the flagstone path has caused many plants to just burn to a crisp. Yikes! It's hot out there!

But I'm experimenting, mostly, and a couple of years ago I discovered Haworthia. No, I had never heard of Haworthia, either. They're the little pointy plants there that kind'a look like aloes. But, to my amazement, they like it there.

They grow by clumping, so I'm still waiting for them to fill into the area. I've also added some euphoria (that's the tall stick-looking plant, and they seem to combine well. So, you can plant them small, and they will grow together, kind'a like ground cover.

Behind them, as you can see, are the cannas. I like the cannas, and they do great there, but their scale just seems to make them out of proportion to the tiny plants in front of them. So I'm adding rocks to define that edge. Actually, I need to find a few more! Not only do the rocks help to define, and hold back the edge of the cannas, it gives a nice background for the Haworthia.

It's June 14th just before 8 am and it's already so hot out there that it's miserable. By late morning, this area will be VERY hot, and unfriendly to any plant that can't stand the heat. It looks like the Haworthia are doing fine. I'll let you know how it goes.
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