Plant of the Month
Photos: Rachel Cobb
Origin: Africa, Madagascar, Arabian Peninsula, Soccotra and other islands off Africa
Features/Uses: Aloes come in all shapes, sizes, and colors creating beautiful and colorful rosettes with shapely leaves and candelabra like inflorescences. These qualities allow it to easily create bold landscape effects in the garden. Furthermore, most aloes bloom during our winter, summertime in the Southern hemisphere where most aloes naturally grow, brightening up a generally flowerless time of year. As an added bonus, the tubular flowers are a favorite of humming birds.
San Diego Botanic Garden boasts approximately 250 of the 400-500 species of aloe. Notable aloes in bloom at the garden now are, Aloe rubroviolacea, A.munchii, A. globuligemma, A.wickensii, A. marlothii, A.capitata, and A.chabaudii- to name a few.
Growth Habit: Trees, shrub-like, stemless, single stemmed, multi stemmed, vining, rambling, dwarf, and grass
Cultural Requirements: In general easy to grow in warm climates in soil with adequate drainage; very few species can withstand frost. Easy to cultivate from stem cuttings and will reach maturity more rapidly than from seed. Once established they require very little care and can withstand drought, however aloes will grow more optimally and flower better if given sufficient water.
Where at SDBG: Old World Desert Garden, West Wing Garden, Undersea Garden, FEMA Garden, Hamilton Children’s Garden, South African Garden and African Bank