Succulent Plant Site | Growing Aloes
Growing Aloes is largely quite easy and extremely rewarding when they bloom. Aloes are quite drought resistent and they deserve a place in any water-wise garden. Aloes are also quite low-maintenance if grown properly.
Growing Aloes in Beds
When one is preparing a bed to grow Aloes in a few points need to be taken into consideration; how quickly the bed drains, how much light it gets and how windy that particular area is. I have found that beds in windy areas tend to dry out a lot faster than sheltered beds. Obviously the quicker a bed drains the faster the soil dries and this also applies to a bed that receives more light, the more light the faster the soil dries.
Aloes are quite tolerant (there are a few species that do not tolerate overwatering ie. Aloe arenicola) when it comes to watering, you can browse the various subsections of the Aloes section and look for Aloes that have been classed "Good for the Garden" , these species usually thrive in garden cultivation.
Aloes that are a little less tolerant towards overwatering can be grown in raised beds. What I do is raise the bed approximately 30cm and grow the plants in pure washed riversand, this greatly helps facilitate drainage and prevent rot of the stems and roots.
Growing Aloes in Pots
Aloes thirve in pots, especially Dwarf Aloes. Larger Aloes can be grown in larger pots but their beauty and splendour is not full realised.
I use a relatively simple soil mix for growing Aloes in pots, it consists of;
- 4 parts washed riversand
- 2 parts garden soil (if your soil is verty fine use less)
- 1 part finely sieved compost
You know you have your soil mix when right when the water does not collect on the top of the soil in the pot.
Did you know that the ridge on the upper part of the pot is their to measure the amount of water that u neeed to use to completely water wet the soil?
Please post your growing tips and suggestion at the succulent plant forum.
Aloes are forgiving plants and they will tolerate an excess of water. Growing Aloes succesfully requires a good watering regime. Do not be tempted to water, if in doubt do not water. It would be wise to invest in a hydrometer to measure the moisture content of the soil. I allow the ground where I grow my aloes to dry out for a day or two before watering them.
Light Requirements for Aloes
Growing Aloes in full sunlight is always the best option, there is the exception so a bit research will do no harm. Aloes grown in full sun have better colouring and are less susceptible to pests and diseases, especially diseases caused by overwatering.
Many Aloes will tolerate shade but they often become huge green monsters and they loose their distinctive markings and colourations on the leaves.
Frost Protection Requirements for Aloes
Aloes are succulent plants and they do not tolerate very cold conditions, there are certain spedies that can be grown in areas where severe frost occurs, ie. Aloe striatula.
Most other Aloes should be grown in an area of the garden that is well protected from frost and cold strong wind. The plants can be covered with some hesian clothe to help protect the plant during the months when frost is at its severest.
Established Aloes will seldom require fertilization, perhaps a feeding in the beginning of its growth season. Aloes in pots are a different story and they need to be fertilized on a monthly basis. Once a month I mix up a standard solution of 2:2:2 and feed all my Aloes that are in pots. I usually drench the pots in the fertilizer mixture.