Aloes are lovely indigenous additions to a South African garden. Many varieties of aloe are cold-resistant, so are often chosen for their gorgeous winter-blooming flowers. The vibrant petals in orange and yellow and lush evergreen succulent foliage make them a beautiful sight year-round. We love aloes in rock gardens and desert landscapes – especially when planted among other indigenous species, like proteas. They also make statuesque indoor plants, adding a fresh pop of greenery to home interiors.
How to grow aloe plants:
So, we’ve convinced you to plant some aloes, have we? If so, that’s great! Follow this step-by-step guide and enjoy your aloes year-round.
1. Find the right spot
Aloes like to receive a lot of sunlight. Start off the planting process by looking around your garden plot for a place that receives full sun for most of the day. Some aloes can tolerate a bit of afternoon shade, but as a rule of thumb, the more hours of sun – the better.
2. Prepare the soil
Aloes need well-drained soil with plenty of air pockets. To ensure your soil is suitable for your aloe plants, dig down about 500mm and toss the soil, leaving any stones or bits of rubble in the mixture to improve drainage. If the soil has a clay-like consistency, add some river sand to dry it out. You can also mix in a layer of compost and bone meal to the site for extra nutrients.
3. Place strategic elements
Before planting your aloes, carefully consider the sort of look you aim to achieve. If you are creating a rock garden or nearby walkway, lay the feature rocks, boulders and pavers first. You’ll want to ensure a harmonious balance between your aloes and crucial design elements.
4. Plant your aloes
Starting with the largest aloes, dig holes large enough to accommodate the root systems and place in each plant. Pour soil into the leftover spaces, and stamp around each plant to make sure they are secure in the ground.
5. Care for your aloes
Once you have planted your aloes, water them well. Remember to add some fertiliser to the topsoil in spring to encourage healthy plant growth, and again in autumn to promote abundant blooms during the winter flowering period. And if you planted your aloes in pots for indoor decorative purposes, make sure they receive enough sunlight each day by moving them around.
Striking aloe varieties:
The spritely Aloe Sunrise produces ombre blooms in bright yellow and orange, exploding into colour in early winter. This free-flowering variety is loved by wildlife, especially sunbirds and butterflies. Plant them in full sun for a joyful winter celebration.
A robust variety of aloe, the Samson showcases large succulent leaves and grows to stand tall as a tree. These evergreen aloe plants are wonderful in outdoor pots, and make eye-catching statement features in your garden.
Aloe arborescens ‘Andy’s Yellow’
With its lemon-yellow flowers and attractive grey foliage, ‘Andy’s Yellow’ is a gorgeous sight in winter gardens, and brings a pop of cheerful yellow to outdoor settings around the country. ‘Andy’s Yellow’ is a particularly fast-growing variety of aloe plant, making it all the more appealing to gardeners and plant enthusiasts.
Want to grow some aloe plants of your own?
With so many gorgeous varieties to choose from (and our helpful growing guide for support), planting a winter garden is as easy as one aloe, two aloes, three aloes. Buy aloe plants in-store or shop online today.