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Aloe

Aloe spp.

Aalwyne (Afr.)

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 vast 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 provide food to many insects and birds, inviting welcome visitors to your garden and adding diversity.

Planning

Difficulty
Easy
Flowering time
Autumn, Winter

Harvesting

Pick leaves or flowers as needed.

Propagation

Seed
Plant seed in spring in well-draining seedtrays.
Suckers
Remove new plants from the motherplant as soon as they have a few leaves and some roots.

Special features

Attracts birds
Aloe flowers are nectar-rich and a feast for sunbirds and sugarbirds in times when few gardenplants are flowering

Geography

Origin
Africa, Madagascar and surrounding islands.
Natural climate
Dry

Environment

Light
Full Sun, Partial Sun
Soil moisture
Dry
Soil type
Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil PH preference
Neutral, Acid, Alkaline
Frost hardiness
Half-Hardy

Personality

Family
Asphodelaceae
Flower colour
Yellow, oranges and reds., Red, Yellow, Orange
Scent
None

Problems

Too wet conditions can lead to fungal attack and rotting. Insects like scale or snoutbeetle can harm Aloe.

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