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.
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.
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
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.
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.