By: Mary H. Dyer, Credentialed Garden Writer
Growing a tree aloe isn’t difficult if you live in a warmclimate. The tree can tolerate temperatures as chilly as 22 F. (-6 C.) forshort periods of time, although the cold may discolor the foliage. Are youinterested in growing this impressive carefree plant? Read on for more treealoe information.
Tree Aloe Info
What is a tree aloe? Native to South Africa, tree aloe (Aloe bainesii) is a large tree-likesucculent and aloeplant relative with mottled gray stems and rosettes of greenish-grayleaves. Butterflies and hummingbirds are attracted to the clusters of spiky,tube-shaped blooms that show up in winter.
Tree aloe is a moderately fast-growing tree, gaining about12 inches (30 cm.) per year. Allow plenty of space when growing tree aloe, asthis lovely evergreen reaches mature heights of 20 to 30 feet (7-10 m.) andwidths of 10 to 20 feet (3-7 m.).
Young tree aloes do well in pots, but be sure the containeris sturdy and wide enough to accommodate the tree’s thick base.
Tree Aloe Care
Tree aloes require well-drained soil. Like most succulents,tree aloe is likely to rot in mud. Fungal diseases are also common for treesgrown in excessively wet conditions. Plant tree aloe where the plant is exposedto full or partial sunlight.
Once established, tree aloes are drought tolerant and shouldbe irrigated only occasionally, primarily during hot, dry periods. Waterdeeply, then allow the soil to dry before watering again. Rainfall usuallyprovides enough moisture for tree aloe during the winter months. If the winteris dry, water very sparingly.
Tree aloes generally require no fertilizer. If you think itnecessary, provide a light application of a balanced, general purposefertilizer in spring.
Wear gloves when handling tree aloe, as the sap may beirritating to the skin.
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Read more about Aloe Vera
Outdoor Lovin’! How to Care for Aloes in the Great Outdoors
Love the look of an aloe? Have you ever thought about showcasing its beauty outside? You can easily move your aloe from being an indoor to an outdoor plant! But planting aloe outdoors can be a bit trickier. While still a pretty hands-off plant, an outdoor aloe does, however, come with some added responsibilities. There’s always a price to pay for beauty! But don’t let yourself get discouraged by the phrase “added responsibilities.” Remember all the positives of making the change: you can improve your landscape and make all your neighbors jealous!
How To Trim An Aloe Plant Step by Step
- First, ensure that your aloe vera plant is an adult plant. Otherwise it would not have yet developed all the properties that will benefit you. The leaf should be taken from the bottom of the plant and preferably not less than sixteen inches long.
- We eliminate the base and the tip of the leaf or penca. Penca is the name of these leaves.
- We eliminate the “thorns” making a longitudinal cut on each side of the leaf.
- We remove the pulp, removing the skin from both sides of the leaf.
- Once the leaf is peeled, put the pulp in cold water for about two hours. The part of the pulp that is not used, can be left in a fridge.Place the cutted leave in an opaque glass jar and keep them in the fridge.
- Or, make gel by leaving the leaf in jar outside the refrigerator placed vertically, so that the gel will be placed in the bottom of the jar through decantation by gravity. This gel is suitable for the skin but not fully edible.
- FIRST STEP: ELIMINATE THE BASE AND THE TIP OF THE PENCA.
- SECOND STEP: ELIMINATE THE THORNS BY CUTTING LONGITUDINALLY EACH SIDE OF THE LEAF.
- THIRD STEP REMOVE THE SKIN FROM BOTH SIDES OF THE LEAF. WHAT REMAINS IS THE PULP
- FOURTH STEP: LEAVE THE PULP IN COLD WATER AND THE REST IN THE FRIDGE
Extraction Of The Content Of The Aloe Vera Leaf
Finally, you can put the remaining aloe vera leaf in an opaque glass jar and keep it in the refrigerator, or you can extract the gel. How? Very easy: put it vertically, and cut it crosswise. Thus, it will be very easy to peel one side of the sheet, which will expose the gel that you can remove with a spoon.
Likewise, you can just leave the plant rest inside the jar, and through decantation by gravity, the gel will drip below the plant where you can utilize it.
HOW TO TRIM AN ALOE PLANT: MAKE SURE THAT THE LEAF IS TRIMMED FROM THE BOTTOM OF THE PLANT.
Who has not ever wondered how to cut the leaves of aloe vera to enjoy its incredible healing properties? As with everything, you have to know how to do it, and above all, do it well so as not to damage the plant.
Have you left doubts regarding how to trim an aloe plant? Get in touch with us through the blog or social networks.
I am Don Burke, one of the authors at My Garden Guide. I am a horticulturist that cultivates, grows, and cares for plants, ranging from shrubs and fruits to flowers. I do it in my own garden and in my nursery. I show you how to take care of your garden and how to perform garden landscaping in an easy way, step by step.I am originally from Sydney and I wrote in local magazines. Later on, I have decided, more than two decades ago, to create my own blog. My area of specialization is related to orchid care, succulent care, and the study of the substrate and the soil. Therefore, you will see many articles dedicated to these disciplines. I also provide advice about how to improve the landscape design of your garden.
Plants→Aloes→Aloe (Aloidendron 'Hercules')
|Plant Habit:||Tree |
|Life cycle:||Perennial |
|Sun Requirements:||Full Sun |
|Water Preferences:||Dry |
|Soil pH Preferences:||Moderately acid (5.6 – 6.0) |
Slightly acid (6.1 – 6.5)
Neutral (6.6 – 7.3)
Slightly alkaline (7.4 – 7.8)
|Minimum cold hardiness:||Zone 9b -3.9 °C (25 °F) to -1.1 °C (30 °F) |
|Plant Height :||Up to 40 feet|
|Plant Spread :||Up to 20 feet|
|Flower Color:||Pink |
|Flower Time:||Late spring or early summer |
|Underground structures:||Taproot |
|Suitable Locations:||Xeriscapic |
|Uses:||Flowering Tree |
|Wildlife Attractant:||Hummingbirds |
|Resistances:||Drought tolerant |
|Propagation: Other methods:||Cuttings: Stem |
Other: Stems cut below a node root easily. Cut a stem that has gotten leggy, let it dry out for at least a few hours to form a seal on the cut surface. Place the cutting in rooting medium kept moist, but not wet, until roots form.
|Containers:||Needs excellent drainage in pots |
|Miscellaneous:||Tolerates poor soil |
|Parentage :||Aloidendron barberae x Aloidendron dichotomum|
Growing Aloe 'Hercules' in Mesa, AZ:
I have been growing one of these in my front yard since about 2008. I started it from a 2-3 foot tall plant that I got at a wholesale nursery in Phoenix.
How it deals with the low desert AZ sun: Having heard that these may not be capable of taking the summer sun, I started it out next to a 'Desert Museum' Palo Verde to provide midday to late afternoon shade, while the house provided shade for a good part of the morning. Very soon after I put the plant in, we lost the shade tree in a big Monsoon storm and for the next three years I ended up putting a shade structure over it during the hot summer months. Since we never took the stump of the DM Palo Verde out we had a decent sized tree back right at about the time the 'Hercules' got too large to build a shade structure over.
However, since then the 'Hercules,' which is going on 15 feet tall and has branched, has outgrown both the shade of the house and most of the shade of the shade tree. It gets some late afternoon shade in the summer (which is good). It has dealt with that amount of sun pretty well. It gets some sun-burned leaves, but with a good amount of summer irrigation it makes it through the summer quite well. So while I would not want to start one off without any shade, over time they adapt to deal with the summer sun pretty well.
Supplemental irrigation: When well established these plants can take a serious amount of water. Mine is planted near the house so it gets a good amount of run-off from the roof when it rains, and while I initially was concerned about getting it too wet (having lost an A. dichotoma, one of its parents, to too much moisture), the enormous growth spurts it puts on right after we get some good rain suggest that I could water it more than I do. Depending on rain, I water it about once a month in the non-summer months and once a week during the hot summer months (late May to late September).
Cold hardiness: I must say that the given hardiness of zone 8b seems optimistic to me. My plant got pretty serious leaf damage from a significant (for our area) cold spell with 3 nights in the low-mid 20s in early 2013. It survived, but it definitely took a while to grow out of those ugly damaged leaves. So while it might survive down to 8b, I would expect serious damage to the plant when T's hit the low 20s. It has withstood high 20s to low 30s just fine.
"Hercules" is a hybrid between two large tree aloes (barberae x dichotoma) and has the potential to get truly huge, with pink flowers like the former and the textured trunk of the latter. It responds to regular water but does perfectly fine here with zero supplemental irrigation (months-long summer drought every year). Withholding water (which I would recommend) tends to favor the dichotoma phenotype. Plant is extremely tough and tolerates difficult growing conditions. Can be forced to branch profusely by decapitation near the top (leave several healthy leaves below the cut) and cuttings can be rooted.
Belonging to the Asphodelaceae family, Aloe is a genus of about 450 species of succulent plants. Native to sub-Saharan Africa, Madagascar, and Arabia, Aloes are evergreen succulents with usually spiny leaves arranged in neat rosettes, and spectacular, candle-like inflorescences bearing clusters of brilliant yellow, orange or red, tubular flowers. They exist in a wide range of sizes, colors and offer an amazing array of leaf shapes. Some make incredible landscape specimens, creating year-round interest. Smaller varieties are ideal to add drama, texture and color to containers. Easy care, waterwise, they brighten up the dull winter landscape and are fascinating.
Easy to grow, Aloes generally require soils with good drainage and do best in warm climates. Very low maintenance once established, they are well-adapted to arid conditions. Their succulent leaves enable them to survive long periods of drought. However, Aloes thrive and flower better when given adequate water during their growing season.
Most Aloes are frost tender and cannot handle a hard freeze (several hours below 25ºF or -4ºC). The fluid within their succulent leaves would freeze and rot. However, there are some Aloes that are remarkably hardy and can handle temperatures as cold as 20 ºF to 25ºF (-6ºC to -4ºC).
Below is a list of Aloes considered the hardiest. However, keep in mind that to survive cold temperatures, most Aloes must be planted in an area with excellent drainage. Few Aloes, such as Aloe arborescens or Aloe brevifolia, can tolerate wet soils. Therefore, dry soils during the winter months are critically important.
Cold-Hardy Aloes for Your Garden
Aloe arborescens (Torch Aloe)
Prized for its colorful flowers and attractive foliage, Aloe arborescens (Torch Aloe) is an evergreen succulent shrub with branching stems holding many decorative rosettes. Each rosette consists of widely spreading, gray-green, sword-shaped leaves with conspicuous pale teeth along their edges. In winter, large, conical, bright red to orange flower spikes are borne in profusion above the foliage, brightening up the dull winter garden. The inflorescences are usually unbranched, with two or more arising from a single rosette.
Add to Any Collection
Aloe aristata (Torch Plant)
Hardy and attractive, Aloe aristata (Torch Plant) is an evergreen succulent perennial forming charming rosettes, packed with fleshy, lance-shaped, incurved leaves with tufted tips. Pale green in the shade, the leaves turn dark green in full sun. Each leaf exhibits scattered white spots, raised near the base and becoming spiny towards the tips. They are lined with white teeth along the edges and tipped with a soft white spine. In winter, conical clusters of tubular orange-red flowers are borne in profusion above the foliage, 20 in. high (50 cm), brightening up the garden. This Aloe offsets readily to form clumps. Low-growing, it is an excellent choice for containers thanks to its perfectly formed rosettes and bright flowers.