Aloe

Aloe spp.

Aalwyne (Afr.)

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Aloe is a large genus consisting of around 558 evergreen, perennial, succulent, flowering plants with characteristic fleshy leaves edged with spikes, and arranged in rosettes. Many are native to Africa, some are tree or shrub-like and other species have climbing habits. Succulents are a good water-wise choice. The leaves are fleshy, water-holding and when cut, release a gel containing over 75 active constituents, including multiple vitamins. The famous Aloe vera species has many medicinal and cosmetic applications. Aloes are also popular houseplants due to their ease of care, attractive leaves and bright flowers. They have warm orange, red or yellow blooms in winter, when the landscape is often grey. The flowers are bell-shaped to tubular in appearance and form clusters atop simple, leafless stems. These flowers are nectar-rich and can provide food to many insects and birds, inviting welcome visitors to your garden and adding diversity in warm climes. In cooler zones, aloes make good houseplants. These plants differ in their habits and hardiness ratings, some doing better in full, direct sunshine and others preferring bright, indirect light in partial shade. Aloes need to be planted in well-draining soil and watered only when the soil has thoroughly dried out, for best results.
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Planning

Difficulty

Easy

Flowering time

Summer

Harvesting

Pick leaves or flowers as needed for cosmetic/medicinal use.

Propagation

Seed

Plant seed in spring in well-draining seedtrays.

Division

Offsets in late spring.

Special features

Drought resistant

Attracts birds

Aloe flowers are nectar-rich and a feast for sunbirds and sugarbirds in warm climates.

Indoor plant

Pot plant

Special features

Origin

Africa, Madagascar and surrounding islands.

Natural climate

Dry

Environment

Light

Full Sun, Partial Shade, Partial Sun

Soil moisture

Dry

Soil type

Loam, Sand

Soil PH preference

Neutral, Acid, Alkaline

Frost hardiness

Tender

Personality

Family

Asphodelaceae

Flower colour

Red, Yellow, Orange, Multicoloured

Scent

None

Problems

Too wet conditions can lead to fungal attack and rotting.

Related Problems

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Knowledge and advice

Search our ever-growing knowledge base to find plants and information. Find out about pests and diseases you should be keeping an eye out for. Watch How to videos or follow step by step guides for tasks in the garden. Free download for your phone or tablet.
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