Friday, July 24, 2009

Mama Aloe

I acquired this Aloe at the Berry Botanical Gardens plant sale two years ago. Sadly she didn’t have a tag and the folks selling her had no idea what she was. However she was beautiful and about to burst into bloom, I couldn’t resist.

Then she bloomed! Wow…and it lasted for weeks (picture from 5/2007).
She hasn’t bloomed since then but she has been productive VERY productive. I’ve separated and potted up 10 babies, the biggest (shown on the left, below) is approaching the same size as the mother plant (on the right...that strange orange stripe is one of the uprights on our shade pavilion!). She is working on another 3 babies right now.
I recently moved her to a shadier spot, I thought all Aloes loved the sun, but she was turning brown and her leaves were pointing down toward the ground. She has quickly recovered turning back to a healthy green and the leaves are starting to turn upwards again. One of the pups is still in the sun and showing a little brown (are they pups when they’re from an aloe not an agave?).
Do any of you Aloe-knowledgeable folks have a guess what type she might be?


  1. OMG! She is a mother-hero! What do you feed her?!

  2. Loree, my dear - you are the proud mother of an Aloe saponaria! Love those prolific aloes, that make massive colonies when left to their own devices. It's already happening to you! how amazing it is to get so many plants from one mother-plant! That is why I LOVE succulents ... well, ONE of the reasons - there are so many others.
    I always call any babies from succulents 'pups', whether it's an aloe, agave, echeveria ... I guess technically sempervivums have 'chicks', but ... I like the term 'pups' - it's just so cute!
    Btw, as soon as by agave pups get some roots on them, I'm gonna send a few your way! XOXO!

  3. I like the pattern on this aloe... beautiful ;-) Enjoy the weekend yeah!

  4. I too have an adopted aloe, which doesn't like the direst sun or sitting out in the rain, but she doesn't look as happy as your pups. Coul you tell me what you do feed them, and what medium you pot the little ones into?
    Any advice would be appreciated!

  5. Tatyana,I am going to out myself as a pathetic gardener...I haven't ever fed her. Bad huh? When I separate the pups I add fresh organic potting soil, mixed with chicken grit for drainage, but that is all.

    Germi, thank you! It's so nice to have a name. And it turns out she's a little hardier than I would have thought. Maybe I'll experiment with a pup or two in the ground. And I am so excited at the idea of potential Germi-agave-pups coming my way!!!!! That would be fabulous!

    Stephanie, the pattern is pretty cool, you are right. It's HOT here right now, I am trying to just not melt.

    Lynne, please see my above comment back to Tatyana. I am pathetic when it comes to fertilizing. The chicken grit is something I can p/u at my local nursery. It keeps the soil free-draining. If your nursery doesn't stock it then maybe try a farm supply place. Good luck!

  6. AnonymousJuly 26, 2009

    Is your name Loree? [Germi gave it away.] I thought it was Danger Garden. Little do I know. :]

    Nice Aloes! I love the flowers too. They look right at home in the Danger Garden. I like your pebble topdressing.

    The hot weather is here. I hope you can keep cool and I hope the weather people are wrong about how long this is supposed to last.

  7. 10 babies? I don't think I've ever had anything get 10 babies. That's a happy aloe indeed. Isn't she lovely?

  8. Oh you've found me out Grace! Wouldn't be fun though to really be named Danger Garden?! I am so done with the heat, and it's only just begun. I am trying to be positive and realize that all my heat lovers (aloe, agave, canna, etc) are going to thrive.

    Megan... I know 10 is crazy huh? I killed a couple putting them in a pot that didn't drain well, and another with too much sun too fast this spring. That leaves me 7 (plus the 3 still "attached")...I can't wait to experiment with a couple in the ground!

  9. That is so cool, now you have a whole family of them! I saw these all over San Francisco, or something similar, the stripy foliage and alien-ish flower stalks in large colonies were just amazing. Sounds like you maybe winter yours over indoors? Way to go!

    Oh, I saw your comment at Grace's re the headlamp. I don't know if you were joking but they do sell those for gardeners - I bought my mom one a few years ago since she is a notorious midnight gardener! I have been thinking of getting one too, I'll let you know if I find a good source (if you weren't joking).

  10. Someone has already told you what she is I see (we call them soap aloe for short). They DO like sun but I have had luck in full shade as well although they will not flower there. They seem to need long hours of daylight to flower & you might need a lamp not fertilizer.

    We have ours in the ground along the back of the house the flower stalks get quite tall as early as April & they are magnificent hummingbird attractors:

  11. Karen, yep...I take her into my "basement greenhouse" for the winter, she does ok there. I was sort of joking about the head-lamp...seems like I've seen them somewhere before!

    mb, I like the nick-name soap aloe, it will make people wonder. Thanks for the added info and the link, great picture with the hummingbird!

  12. Yes, I also believe its aloe maculata-and they love diluted fertiliser-mine sends out blooms relaibly every 3 moinths.The ones in large pots, that is.


Thank you for taking the time to comment. Comment moderation is on (because you know: spam), I will approve and post your comment as soon as possible!