Say ALOE to your little friends

Aloe is part of the succulent family with a long history of medicinal use, dating all the way back to Ancient Egypt. Today, this miracle plant is grown worldwide and is still used to treat all sorts of skin ailments, viruses, and bacterial infections. In addition, aloes are a superb choice for bright landscaping and bringing texture to the garden with attractive foliage and large blooms grabbing attention where ever they are planted. Check out Life is a Garden’s super aloe short-list for plants available now at GCA Garden Centres, nationwide.

 

Aloe ‘Peri-Peri’

This aloe is ideal for smaller gardens and pots, specifically for colder regions. It flowers in early autumn with a profusion of pinky-red flowers. When planted as a mass border in drier, sunny gardens, Aloe Peri-peri adds a tremendous splash of colour. They grow easily and are immune to aloe cancer and most other slow diseases; however, they can get black spot in high alkaline gardens. This stunner attracts birds, butterflies, and many insect species to the garden. It has medicinal anti-bacterial properties that support external wound healing.

 

Did you know? The University of Pretoria is well-known for its autumn Peri-peri aloe show and this plant is also one of the base plants in the Jason Sampsons layout.

 

Aloe ‘Hedgehog’

This low growing, clump-forming aloe has become a real winner in the South African horticultural industry. The Hedgehog is suited for small gardens and mass planting, as well as container gardening. They are fast-growing with ever-expanding rosettes of foliage and orange-red flowers. Under unfavourable conditions, they may be susceptible to aloe cancer.

Cultivation: Sun/semi-shade, rich drained soil, medium watering

Size: Multi-stemmed 200mm x 200mm

Flowering time: June - August (Gauteng)

Cold tolerance: Up to -5°C

Released: 2006

 

Did you know? The Hedgehog aloe is the first aloe to be developed and released in South Africa, specifically for the landscaping industry, and has officially become the best-selling aloe hybrid in S.A.

Aloe ‘Charles’

The Charles is certainly one of the most spectacular large aloes available. Their abundant racemes are strong red to white and are simply breath-taking. They grow easily, generally becoming single-stemmed with several dichotomous branches. Their peak flowering time is from early July to early August. Aloe Charles is the perfect statement-maker and will grow well in masses with plenty of sun and rich soil. They are highly resistant to most aloe diseases too.

 

Did you know? This aloe was named in loving memory of Charles Andrew de Wet Snr. - an inspiration and role model to his son, an avid aloe grower.

Aloe top tip: They flourish in full sun and will produce more blooms and have better disease resistance. They do not like wet feet and will perform best in rich soil.

Aloe ‘Bushwhacker’

The Bushwhacker produces an abundance of pink to creamy-white flowers from late May to June. This beautifully showy, medium-sized aloe grows relatively fast and looks good on its own, but even better when planted in masses or in a pot. Bushwhackers have a high resistance to most aloe diseases. Sap from the leaves can be used externally to help treat acne, minor cuts and burns.

Cultivation: Full sun, moderate watering, rich soil

Size: Short stem with side shoots, 700mm high x 600mm wide

Flowering time: May – June

Cold tolerance: -4°C

Released: 2012

 

Fun fact: Greeks believed aloe cured baldness and ancient writings say that even Cleopatra used it.

Aloe ‘Goldfish’ var. ANDgol PBR PT7147

The Goldfish is an attractive re-blooming aloe that flowers throughout the year. It is a wonderfully small, suckering aloe that is well suited for containers or rocky areas. Plants have speckled foliage with red leaf margins and yellow to light orange flowers. They are hardy, water-wise, and a charming addition to smaller gardens and patios.

 

Cultivation: Full sun/light shade, rich well-drained soil, moderate watering

Size: Approx. 35cm high x 40cm wide

Flowering time: Early winter and sporadic re-blooming throughout the year (Gauteng)

Cold tolerance: -2°C (not for prolonged periods)

Released: 2016

 

Aloe ‘Medallion’

Developed as a distinct improvement on aloe Vanbalenii, the Medallion offers a profusion of brighter yellow flowers that grow faster, compared to the more dull yellow of the Vanbalenii. They are strong and stemless, discolouring to red during winter if given less water. The Medallion is a real gem in all sized gardens and landscapes with good resistance to aloe cancer.

 

Cultivation: Full sun/light shade, rich well-drained soil, moderate watering

Size: Approx. 60cm high x 100cm wide

Flowering time: Early June to early August (Gauteng)

Cold tolerance: -4°C (not for prolonged periods)

Released: 2018

Fun fact: Aloes consist of 99% water and can even be found on islands in the Indian Ocean.

 

Aloe ‘White Rhino’

Here is a tall, single-stemmed aloe with dichotomous branches and attractive grey foliage. The White Rhino boasts an abundance of stunning white flowers, growing effortlessly from a base of succulent rosette leaves. These plants grow much faster than the white form of aloe Ferox, giving it an advantage in the garden, both as a bedding plant and in containers. The sap from these leaves contain strong antibacterial properties to assist with skin abrasions and minor insect bites.

 

Cultivation: Full sun/light shade, rich well-drained soil, moderate watering

Size: Approx. 1.8m high x 1.m wide

Flowering time: Early June to late July (Gauteng)

Cold tolerance: -5°C (not for prolonged periods)

Released: 2018

Aloe top tip: Prepare aloe beds with copious amounts of organic material, such as compost or well-rotted manure and bonemeal for super root health.

All of these super succulents are available now at GCA Garden Centres, nationwide. Call ahead and see which aloes your centre has in stock, or use our handy store locator to find the next centre closest to you: GCA Garden Centres. While you’re there, remember to grab some soil and compost. Your GCA Garden Centre advisor will be able to recommend which products to use. You can also do further research on your new aloe and learn more about its medicinal properties and how you can go about using them.

 

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