Everything aloe: Your guide on planting aloes, plant care and more

Grey aloe with spiked leaves planted in a pot

Introducing the beautiful aloe, a resilient plant that has both beauty and health benefits. Native to South Africa, aloes are as versatile as they come and can make a stunning addition to any home or garden. Keep reading to discover all there is to know about planting aloes.

The magic of aloes

Front view of a variety of aloe veras in pots.

Aloes are not just pretty to look at; they’re packed with health benefits too. From soothing sunburns to aiding digestion, these plants are a natural remedy powerhouse. And did we mention that they’re excellent for skincare? Aloe vera doubles as a natural moisturiser, offering much-needed relief to parched skin. And its potent anti-inflammatory properties aid in diminishing blemishes and wrinkles.

Meet the aloe family

Front view of some of the aloe family in different sized pots.

Aloes come in various types, each with unique characteristics. Not sure which aloe is right for you? No worries; we’ve got you covered.

Aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis): This popular succulent with remarkable medicinal properties is an excellent choice for planting aloes. It can be grown in various settings, including garden beds, rockeries, succulent gardens, and even in pots on a sunny windowsill, patio, or balcony. 

Aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis): This sculptural tree aloe is known for its tall, bare stem, long succulent green leaves, and striking pink-orange flowers that bloom from May to August, making it a dramatic addition to rockeries, grassland gardens, or mixed aloe plantings.

Aloe ‘Porcupine’: A fast-growing, compact aloe that displays upright medium-green leaves and large bi-coloured flowers that transition from rose pink to greenish cream as they open. Its spreading growth habit and 25cm x 25cm size make it an excellent accent plant or groundcover.

Aloe ‘Peri Peri’: A smaller aloe of around 40cm in height that boasts sizzling orange-red flowers, this plant makes a bold statement when planted en masse in garden beds and rockeries or in containers.

Aloe ‘Orange Delight’: As a small to medium aloe, ‘Orange Delight’ showcases attractive orange flowers, is water-wise, and attracts butterflies and birds. It’s perfect for small gardens, pots, and containers, as it is cold-hardy and drought resistant but requires protection from frost.

Aloe ‘Little Joker’: This small, multi-stemmed aloe is an easy and fast grower with numerous pinkish-red flowers. It’s ideal for pots, mass plantings, small gardens, and rock gardens.

Aloe ‘Orange Express’: A small aloe characterised by its bi-coloured orange flowers and medium to fast growth to around 50cm in height and 30cm in width, it is well-suited to small gardens, mass plantings, or containers.

Aloe ‘Firechief’: Known for its vibrant red colour, the ‘Firechief’ is a fast-growing aloe that begins flowering at a young age. It’s particularly popular for adding colour to gardens, with a peak flowering season in June and July.

Aloe chabaudii: This evergreen, clump-forming succulent forms a dense rosette with narrow grey short stems and pink to coral red flowers that bloom in mid to late winter. As a semi-deciduous perennial, it provides interest year-round.

You may also be interested in: Aloe plants: How to get the most out of them

Caring for your aloe garden

Front view of an aloe garden with different shades of green.

When planting aloes in your garden, it’s crucial to understand their specific care requirements to ensure their health and longevity.

Sunlight: Aloes love sunlight and thrive in bright, indirect light. When choosing a spot for your aloe garden, select an area that receives at least six hours of sunlight per day. If you’re growing aloes indoors, place them near a sunny window or provide supplemental grow lights.

Well-draining soil: Aloes prefer well-draining soil. Use a sandy or gritty soil mix specifically formulated for succulents. You can also amend regular potting soil with sand or perlite to improve drainage.

Watering: While aloes are drought-tolerant plants, they still need regular watering. Water your aloes deeply but infrequently, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings. Overwatering can be detrimental to these succulents, so it’s essential to strike a balance. During the summer months, when aloes are actively growing, increase the frequency of watering.

You may also be interested in: Water-wise gardening techniques and trends for the modern gardener

Winter protection: Some aloes, such as Aloe ‘Orange Delight,’ are cold-hardy but still require protection from frost. If you live in an area with freezing temperatures, consider bringing potted aloes indoors during the winter or covering them with frost blankets. For garden-planted aloes, provide a layer of mulch around the base of the plant to insulate the roots.

You may also be interested in: Mulching techniques for a perfectly balanced garden

Fertilisation: An important point to remember when planting aloes is that they aren’t heavy feeders, but a light application of balanced fertiliser in the spring can help promote healthy growth and blooming.

Planting aloes with Lifestyle Home Garden

Overhead view of a variety of aloe plant in small square pots.

With such a diverse selection of aloes available, planting aloes in your garden allows you to create a stunning display while enjoying their health benefits and natural beauty. Experiment with different aloe varieties, mix and match them, and watch as they thrive. Shop your aloes online at Lifestyle Home Garden.

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