Hula Skirt Aloe! We often attempt the cultivation of plants simply because we fell in love with them after seeing them in all their glory while traveling. Some of the plants we see grow in rather benign climates that do not present the same challenges and extremes that our harsh Texas climate presents. Texas is often too hot, too dry too cold etc… but with a little special effort some of these “special” plants will grow and prosper. For some plants, from nearly frost free climates, all that is needed is a pot, a well-drained growing medium and little winter protection (a greenhouse) to get many years of enjoyment from their cultivation. Aloe speciosa is one of those special plants that I swooned over when I first saw it in South Africa. This treelike Aloe can exhibit single or multiple trunks displaying blue-gray, succulent leaves held in a relaxed, casual rosettes. The leaves typically reach 32” in length and are 3-1/2” wide at the base tapering gradually to a point. The leaf margins also display a row of non-lethal teeth that are pinkish in color. Old leaves tend to persist on the stems, even after they have died and dried, giving old specimens a hula skirt appearance in profile. The flowers of this species are spectacular yet hard to describe, so I encourage you to do a web-search to see the images found online. In most of the books that I read when researching this plant the majority of authors stated that this species is one of the most beautiful aloes. A statement that I fully agree with. Notes: This plant does not like to be over potted, especially in youth, so keep underpotted until it gains some size and then gradually increase container size as the years go by. Also avoid excessive irrigation while the plant is young and developing a root system, as species are notoriously easy to rot but seem to become more forgiving of moisture with age. Also this is not a fast growing plant. I have one plant started from seed in 2006 that is now slightly over 30” tall.The plants offered here are rooted side stems off of my original mother plant.
9a to 10
60" x 24"
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