Aloe vanbalenii is a striking medium to large sized low-growing clump forming aloe. It has long recurring leaves which spread across the ground so that the plant resembles a crawling octopus. It eventually forms large clumps. Its fleshy leaves are toothed and bright green in shade. With more sun and drought they turn yellow orange and then dark red. It flowers in winter with very tall branched spikes of yellow orange (occasionally pink) tubular flowers that are attractive to nectar seeking birds and insects.
Aloe vanbalenii works nicely in succulent and cactus gardens, xeriscape plantings, dry borders and rock gardens. It also makes a nice elevated container plant because the leaves will arch down several feet below the pot. When stressed, the dark red foliage looks great in combination with other warm colors or contrasted with silver or burgundy.
This plant can take light frosts but flower spikes will be damaged below 32°F. The leaves of A. vanbalenii emit a musty, cinnamon smell when broken.
Common Names: Van Balen’s Aloe
Origin: Native to southern Africa from KwaZulu-Natal to Swaziland, it is found growing on rocky outcrops in bushveld vegetation.
Size Label: 5 gallon
Cold Tolerance: 25 to 30°F; -3.9 to -1.1°C
Heat Tolerance: Extreme heat tolerance
Light Requirement: Part shade to full sun
Water needs: Drought tolerant but looks best with regular water during the growing season in spring and summer.
Maintenance: Remove spent flower spikes and old leaves if desired
Uses: This plant works nicely in succulent and cactus gardens, xeriscape plantings, dry borders and rock gardens. It also makes a nice elevated container plant because the leaves will arch down several feet below the pot. The foliage looks great in combination with other warm colors or contrasted with silver or burgundy.
Propagation: Offsets can be removed and replanted. Seed should be sown in wet paper towels or in vitro in gelatin or agar for best germination results.
Problems: None but requires well-draining soils.
There is a minimum purchase of any 4 plants for online orders. All plants shipped bare root. Other sizes may be available for pick up from our growing grounds in Fallbrook, CA. For more information, give us a call at 760-990-4762.
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