Aloe Aloe

I bought a couple and then a friend brought some over from his garden, then they multiplied and now I have a rather larger collection of Aloes. I'm not complaining, they look great with their sculptural shapes and the myriad of pups that they send out filling out the Gravel Garden nicely but I didn't anticipate their vigour. They have pretty much outgrown any pot or container that I put them in and look painfully crowded wherever they are in the border as they push up against their neighbours.

A serious lift and separate session is long overdue which I'm not looking forward to as one thing I have noticed about them is that they really don't like to be moved. They recover alright but spend a fair amount of time looking miserably discolored and not at all their perky selves. I'm not sure yet if I want to replant all of them if they are that vigorous. Perhaps I should thin them out and give them more room and pass some on to neighbours.

Another disappointment is the flowers. I see the flower spikes emerge with a blush of orange and then they wither and die off. Not all all like the spectacular racemes that I have seen images of. The internet is not giving me much information as to why this is happening. Is it too humid here and too damp with all the rain? Its certainly not affecting the plants who seem happy in the dry gravel mulched slope and pots that they inhabit. Must get to the bottom of this as I need a little more color here in the Gravel Garden.

What on the other hand is a tremendous resource is the gel that the leaves yield. There is near always one in my refrigerator on standby for minor cuts and itchies, I've used it to gel my hair and occasionally as an antiperspirant. The locals here make a drink with it and tell me its good for digestive issues. After a bout of gardening nothing beats a fridge cooled slice of aloe to soothe the battle wounds of tussling with weeds and scratchy plants.

The slight spotting and the flower shape indicates that these Aloes might be Aloe Massawana, see also this. It is certainly the only kind that I see here growing in gardens or available at the nurseries, and come to think of it I don't think I've seen it flower anywhere else.

All Posts: