When you think of aloe, you probably think of Aloe vera, the burn plant, but with the explosion in popularity of succulents in the last several years, many new hybrids, as well as lesser-known species, are now available to plant lovers. These tough plants will enjoy a sunny spot on your summer patio and do equally as well in a sunny window when cold weather arrives. Just remember to water less in the winter. The new hybrids, while not as medicinal as good old Aloe vera, are quite striking. Foliage varies from blue to silver to dark green, with different colored stripes, spots and edges. Flowers are a bonus, occurring on long stalks at different times of the year, depending on the variety.
Common Name: Aloe, burn plant, lily of the desert
Botanical Name: Aloe species and cultivars
Varieties/Cultivars to Look For: Aloe vera ‘Christmas Carol’, ‘Grassie Lassie’, ‘Pink Blush’, ‘Silver Ridge’
Color: Foliage is green, silver and blue. Flowers are orange, pink and yellow.
Blooming Period: Varies by variety
Type: Succulent perennial — not cold hardy in Ohio
Size: 10 to 24 inches
Exposure: Full sun to part sun
How to Plant: In pots
Soil: Well-drained loose mix
Watering: Keep slightly moist in summer; dry in winter.
When to Prune: Not needed
When to Fertilize: Spring and summer. Do not overfeed.
In Your Landscape: Patio containers or dry beds.
(From Ohio Gardener Volume I Issue VI. Photography by Chris Baker.)