What to do once your aloes have bloomed

The sensational aloe show is over, what now? Here’s what do once your beloved aloes have bloomed to ensure they’re prepped and ready for their next vibrant parade.Once your precious aloes have finished flowering, it is recommended to cut off the flower stalks. Plants will put a lot of energy and reserves into producing  seeds, which is why trimming is needed to redirect that energy for new growth instead.

 

Growing aloes from seed can be a fun and a most rewarding hobby, however, if you plant seeds from aloe hybrids, they will not be true to type. This means that the seedlings will not be genetically identical to the parent and won’t look and perform the same. If you wish to grow species from seed, be sure to purchase your seeds from a reliable source to ensure that you do in fact get the pure aloe species you want, and not miscellaneous hybrids as these plants hybridise very easily.

Bloomed Aloe
Bloomed Aloe

Although one might not see signs of growth above ground in winter, the aloes are getting ready for summer by growing gorgeous new roots. If you dug up an aloe in July, you would see bright yellow new roots being formed. Start feeding your aloes again from late July/August. with a nutritious fertiliser (available at your GCA Garden Centre) every 3 months to ensure a spectacular flower display next winter.

Throughout the year, carefully monitor your aloes for common pests and diseases like Snout beetle, mealy bug, aloe cancer, and aloe rust. Treat your plants as soon as possible with organic pesticides available at garden centres.

A little succulent maintenance will go a long way, all the way to next winter to be precise. Take care of your gems and enjoy the booming rewards to follow.

 

Cutting-HEDGE Technology

A good hedge goes a long way, especially in terms of privacy, decoration, and formal landscaping. There is a dazzling variety of handy and handsome hedges that will help to highlight, conceal, and even protect your garden. The secret to a flourishing hedge is simple – fertiliser, mulch, and consistent pruning. If you’re still a little nervous about the world of hedging, here is Life is a Garden’s heroic hedge guide to the rescue. Plant fearlessly and level up your gardening game this August.

 

The handiness of hedge-tech  
  • Medium and tall-growing hedges create eco-friendly, peaceful privacy.
  • Low-growing hedges create boundaries around beds and help to highlight areas.
  • All hedges can be used to separate design elements and bring depth to the garden.
  • Hedging also helps to protect the garden from the elements, such as wind and hail.
  • Thorny hedges pack a painful punch and can easily be utilised as a security feature.
  • Maintained hedges are sophistically decorative, blending nature with architecture.
Low-growing hedges

Plant these small hedges to edge your beds, direct visitors along a walkway, create landscaping patterns and designs, box-in feature plants, and accentuate focal points or art pieces in the garden.

 

  1. Lavender varieties – try Dentata
  2. Natal plum (Carisa macrocarpa)
  3. Spekboom (Portulacaria afra)
  4. Iceberg roses
  5. Buxus (Buxus sempervirens)
  6. Dwarf bamboo (Nandina pygmaea)
  7. Abelia varieties – try lemon & lime
  8. Duranta ‘Sheena’s Gold’
Medium height hedges

Plants can be added to increase privacy, corner off sections of the garden, bring in bold decorative elements, add greenery to barren spaces, and assist in reducing outside noise.

 

  1. Abelia varieties – try Schumannii
  2. Buxus Microphylla ‘Faulkner’
  3. Blousyselbos (Plumbago auriculata)
  4. Blue honey-bell (Freylinia tropica)
  5. Star jasmine
  6. Syzygium
  7. Natal plum (Carissa macrocarpa)
  8. Saltbush(Rhagodia spinescent)

 

Tall and large hedges

Rethink fencing with these living walls that will create privacy, structural intrigue, texture, neat landscaping features, increase garden security, and filter noise pollution in urban areas.

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-lujah for Africa’s Medicine!

For thousands of years, Aloe has been revered for its many profound medicinal uses. From the Ancient Egyptians to present-day Western civilisation, the long history and wide-spread use of this miracle plant has withstood the test of time, and will good reason! Aloe features as the main ingredient in so many skin, beauty, and health products around the world. Check out Life is a Garden’s indigenous super succulent short-list that’ll get you singing ALOE-lujah in no time!

 

Krantz aloe (Aloe arborescens)
  • Appearance: A multi-headed shrub with large sunset-hued flowers and striking leaves.
  • Get growing: Easy to grow in full sun with sandy/loamy soil, flowers in autumn/winter.
  • BFF Benefits: Attracts birds, drought-resistant, good as a hedge/screen.
  • Magical powers: Used as an anti-bacterial, anti-ulcer, anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic, hypoglycaemic, and to treat open wounds.

 

Bitter aloe (Aloe ferox Mill.)
  • Appearance: Reaches a height of 2-3 metres with huge flowers and rosette leaves.
  • Get growing: skill in full sun with sandy/loamy soil, flowers in autumn/winter.
  • BFF Benefits: Good for pots, attracts birds, and is drought resistant.
  • Magical powers: The secret ingredient in Schwedenbitters, also used for its laxative properties, arthritis treatment, skin disorders, and wound healing.

 

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

Fence aloe (Aloiampelos tenuior)
  • Appearance: Slender scrambler with masses of delicate orange-red flowerheads.
  • Get growing: Easy to grow in full sun with sandy/loamy soil, flowers from early summer.
  • BFF Benefits: Feeds honeybees, good for pots, attracts birds, drought-resistant.
  • Magical powers: In traditional medicine, the roots and leaves are used as a purgative and tapeworm remedy.
Soap aloe (Aloe maculata)
  • Appearance: Heads of bright sunset flowers with sword-shaped, spotted leaf rosettes.
  • Get growing: skill in full/partial sun with sandy/loamy soil, flowers year-round.
  • BFF Benefits: Attracts a variety of flyers, good for beds and borders, tolerates salt.