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ALOE (PINK BLUSH™)

Image of Aloe (PINK BLUSH™) PPAF

Carol Cloud Bailey

Family

Aloaceae

Botanical Name

ALOE(PINK BLUSH™) PPAF

Plant Common Name

Hybrid Aloe

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

The genus Aloe contains around 300 species of succulent plants grown for both their exquisite flowers and fleshy foliage. They are primarily native to southern Africa and the island of Madagascar but also exist in the Cape Verde Islands and the Arabian Peninsula. All of these regions are arid tropical zones, so aloes are adapted to dry, frost-free areas.

These plants typically develop a rosette of linear, triangular or sword shaped leaves with short, sharp thorns along the leaf edges and tips. Some develop very large, woody trunk-like bases and look very much like trees while others simply spread along the ground, rooting as they go. Most aloes consist of a central rosette around which offsets are formed that may set their own roots. Severing and replanting offsets is the primary means of propagation which is easy for novice gardeners. Leaves range in color from dark green to blue-green and often feature exotic spots and stripes. Some aloes take on potent red or orange hues when stressed by drought.

Aloes are spectacular bloomers, flowering once each year, usually in spring. Some produce single spikes and others multiple, with a few able to bloom off and on throughout the year. Flower spikes may be tall with a single cone-shaped head of blossoms. Spikes may also branch at the top to produce multiple heads. The individual flowers are typically coral red, sometimes orange or pink, and narrowly tubular or short and bell-shaped. They have slightly diluted nectar suited to many bird species, including hummingbirds. The fruits are fleshy seed pods filled with large black seeds.

The most well known species is Aloe vera, the medicine aloe which is widely grown as a garden or house plant and used to treat burns and other skin ailments. Of the large tree-sized species, Aloe ferox is the most common in the landscape. It is also a secondary source of medicinal gel harvested from wild plants in South Africa. Of the many small aloes popular for container gardens, Aloe brevifolia is the easiest to cultivate. The key to growing aloes is fast draining soil on the infertile side. They take very well to container culture and actually prefer to be somewhat pot bound. Growers leave them in the same pot until the root mass or top growth is so dense water can no longer penetrate the roots. Under these conditions they bloom more heavily and take on better red tones. To encourage faster growth, mild but frequent fertilization during the growing season can be useful to older or pot bound plants. Aloe is easy to propagate by removing offsets with or without roots and planting in a granular mix.

Characteristics

  • Plant Type

    Cactus or Succulent

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Native To

    Canary Islands, Southern Africa, Madagascar

Growing Conditions

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Water Requirements

    Xeric/Desert, Drought Tolerant

  • Habit

    Rosette/Stemless

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Fruit Color

    Green

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Bold

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Attracts

    Hummingbirds