Episode 59: Aloes, Agaves and other succulents with Colin Walker
Colin Walker has been growing succulents for 50 years, and he just happens to be the president of the British Cactus and Succulent Society. I interviewed him this week to find out about his two specialisms, Aloes and Agaves, and also found out about his penchant for putting succulents in odd containers such as teapots - and why cat litter can help with your succulent propagation (as long as you get the right type).
Colin is retired now but he was a biologist at the Open University with research interest in cacti and succulents particularly in terms of biodiversity (here's his OU profile). His book Aloes: The Definitive Guide, written with three other authors, was co-published in 2011 with Kew Gardens and the BCSS.
If you'd like to find out more about the BCSS, visit their website, Facebook page and Instagram account. Why not join and you'll have access to lots of expert advice, cheap seeds through their annual seed scheme and much much more?
If you're a Patreon subscriber of $5 or more, you can listen to Colin talking about Sansevierias and putting me right about succulent fertilisers in An Extra Leaf 10. Scroll down for more information on how to become a patron of the show or give a one-off donation.
Below are some links to browse through as you listen to the show - and check out the photos that follow....
The cactus nursery near Sheffield in the UK that Colin mentions as his teenage plant mecca is Abbey Book Cacti.
Aloe variegata is also known as the partridge breast aloe.
Aloe 'Pink Lace' has pretty flowers and makes a great windowsill specimen.
Aloe aristata, the lace aloe, is surprisingly hardy and will survive subzero temperatures if kept dry.
Agave americana - the biggest species of Agave.
Question of the week
A listener in the US is desperately seeking Alocasia 'Dragon Sscale' - let me know if you have a lead on where they can source one of these?
Want to ask me a question? Tweet @janeperrone, leave a message on my Facebook page or email email@example.com. There's an episode about moth orchids coming soon, so I'd particularly like to hear from anyone with a Phalaenopsis problem to solve.
Are you supporting On The Ledge on Patreon yet?
If you like the idea of supporting On The Ledge on a regular basis but don't know what Patreon's all about, check out the FAQ here: if you still have questions, leave a comment or email me - firstname.lastname@example.org. If you're already supporting others via Patreon, just click here to set up your rewards!
For those who prefer to make a one-off donation, you can still buy me a coffee! A donation of just £3 helps keep On The Ledge going: helping to pay for me to travel to interviews, and for expenses like website hosting and audio equipment. Don't forget to join the Facebook page for news of what's coming up on the show and bonus blogposts!
If you prefer to support the show in other ways, please do go and rate and review On The Ledge on iTunes, Stitcher or wherever you listen. It's lovely to read your kind comments, and it really helps new listeners to find the show.
On The Ledge on tour
On the evening of Friday October 26 I'll be bringing a live show of On The Ledge to the RHS London Urban Garden show, with special guests including Alys Fowler and all kinds of leafy fun! Put this date in your diary NOW!