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Best uses

Makes a great feature in any garden and is an excellent accent plant. It also makes an attractive container plant.

Physical characteristics

An evergreen shrub or small tree that grows up to 5m tall and 1.8m wide.

Flowers and foliage

Dull grey-green, strap-like leaves form clusters at the top of stems. Bright orange-red flowers bloom in late winter to early spring.

Preferred site

Prefers well-draining soil and full sun. Can tolerate partial shade but does not tolerate frost. In cultivation, it should be grown in soil with a pH of 5.5-6.5.

Preparation for planting

Always choose healthy, well-grown plants and plant after autumn rains. Before planting, ensure the root ball is saturated and remove the planter pot. Dig a hole twice the diameter of the root ball. Trim any broken roots and plant at the same level as in the container. Add coarse grit or pumice to the planting site, or create raised beds in areas with very poor drainage.

Maintenance tips

This plant is relatively low-maintenance. Avoid using fertilisers as they do not respond well to its application. After planting it is advisable to mulch using crushed stone rather than bark.

If the aloe is grown in summer rainfall areas, it must receive good mulching and ample water in winter and spring. This species requires watering in both summer and winter months, as it naturally grows in an area with high winter rainfall.

Ecological and biodiversity benefits

The nectar in the flowers attract birds.

Pests and diseases

Leaves are occasionally attacked by aphids or scale.

Location at Auckland Botanic Gardens

Rock Garden