Aloe striata, commonly known as the Coral Aloe is one of the prettiest of all succulents.
The smooth, blue-green leaves are edged with a pink or red margin and it blooms with coral coloured flowers. The plants are very showy when in flower but also during the rest of the year due to its attractive foliage. It is one of the hardiest of Aloes and able to survive wide variety of climatic conditions. It withstands moderate frost and is normally grown as a potted plant, indoors or on the summer patio. A great selection for indoors or container gardens.
Growing to around 60cm (24in) in diameter, this is a tidy, compact handsome plant that looks good all year round. Plant this beauty in lean well drained sandy soil and place in a sunny position.
Aloe striata is native to South Africa and has the distinction of not being particularly picky about where it grows, tolerating dry conditions, a regularly watered situation, full sun, partial shade and whatever soil you happen to have on hand.
The flowers, which bloom in winter in South Africa are borne in showy clusters on 60cm (24in) stems, in a strong and vibrant coral colour.
Because Aloe plants consist of 95% water, they are frost tender. If they are grown outdoors in warm climates, they should be planted in full sun, or light shade. The soil should be moderately fertile and fast draining. Established plants will survive a drought quite well.
If you live in a more temperate are it's best to leave your Aloe plant in a pot, indoors and place it near a window that gets a lot of sun. You can move the pot outdoors during the summer months. Grown with Agave, cacti or other succulents, they make stunning indoor displays.
Sowing: Sow indoors at any time of year.
Fill small pots or trays with a light and well drained compost. (John Innes Seed Compost, with the addition of ½ gritty sand). Stand the pots in water, moisten thoroughly and drain. Scatter the seed onto the top of the compost and cover lightly with sand. Secure a polythene bag around the pot or cover the container with glass or and place in a warm shaded place. If possible, germinate in a propagator. Care should be taken to prevent the pots drying out.
The majority of seeds germinate at temperatures of 22 to 24°C (70 to 75°F). Some seedlings may appear at around 30 days others will take longer, up to 180 days.
Once germination has taken place, remove the plastic and move into a good light. Be careful to keep the top of the compost damp but watch out for overwatering as the seedlings could rot. Transplant into pots once they are about 4cm high (6 months). Always use a pot with a hole and put a layer of small gravel at the bottom of the pot and also one inch on the top of the soil to prevent stem rot.
Aloes have a shallow, spreading root system, so when it is time to repot choose a wide planter, rather than a deep one. Use a planter with a drainage hole, or provide a 3 to 5cm (1 to 2in) layer of gravel in the bottom of the pot to ensure adequate :drainage. Use a good commercial potting mix with extra perlite, granite grit, or coarse sand added. You may also use a packaged 'cacti mix' soil.
During the winter months, the plant will become dormant, and utilise very little moisture. During this period watering should be minimal. Allow the soil to become completely dry before giving the plant warm water. During the summer months, the soil should be completely soaked, but then be allowed to dry again before re-watering. If you use rainwater, be careful as it could be acidic. Fertilise annually in the spring with a dilute (½ strength), bloom fertiliser (10-40-10).
Aloes are easily grown from seeds, but also can be propagated by removing the offsets produced around the base of mature plants, when they are a couple inches tall. Be aware that aloes will hybridise with any other aloe flowering at the same time.
A position in partial to full sun suits most species of Aloe. The larger Aloes enjoy more direct sunlight than the smaller species as they would normally grow through and above protective vegetation. However, strong sunlight may be needed to develop the attractively bronzed foliage that some Aloes develop in their habitat. Many Aloes produce spectacular racemes of packed tubular yellow, orange or red flowers and are of considerable horticultural merit for the tropical garden or larger glasshouse. Numerous small species can be grown and will produce their showy flowers on a sunny window ledge.
The genus Aloe is native to Africa; species are found in southern Africa, the mountains of tropical Africa, various islands off the coast of Africa including Sardinia, Madagascar, and the Arabian Peninsula. There are more than 450 species of aloe, varying in size from diminutive pot plants to large clumps. They inhabit dry, often rocky and exposed areas.
Aloe striata is distributed quite widely over the Eastern Cape and South Western Cape provinces. It can be found in stony soils on rocky hillsides, arid areas near the coast and in the drier areas of the Karoo.
The Coral Aloe forms part of the Paniculatae series of very closely related Aloe species, together with Aloe reynoldsii. This species is often confused with its close relative, Aloe reynoldsii, and they do look very similar. However, the Coral aloe has smooth leaf margins and red flowers; while Aloe reynoldsii has waxy, toothed leaf margins and yellow flowers.
The APG II system of plant classification published in 2003 by the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group places the genus Aloe in the family Asphodelaceae, a placement which is reflected by the Plants of Southern Africa Checklist, however the International Plant Names Index still lists aloes as being in the lily family (Liliaceae), and this is apparently still more widely accepted. Some authorities have also placed it in a family of its own, the Aloaceae.
Pronounced: AL-oh, the genus was named by Linnaeus (1753) and derives from the Greek alsos meaning ‘bitter’.
The species name striata from the Latin stria meaning 'furrow', is the abbreviated form of the word 'striation' and a poetically embellished form of the word 'stria' which means a series of repeated lines, usually with aesthetic appeal as found in nature. It refers to the striped marking sometimes found on the leaves of this species.
It is commonly known as the Coral Aloe due to the strong and vibrant coral colour of the flowers.
It may be helpful to note that, due to the similarity of their species names, Aloe striata is sometimes confused in literature with Aloe striatula, a very different plant that is found in the highlands of the Eastern Cape.
- Additional Information
Packet Size 20 Seeds Family Aloaceae Genus Aloe Species striata Common Name Coral Aloe Other Common Names African Aloe Other Language Names Afrikaans: Blouaalwyn; Makaalwyn; Gladdeblaaraalwyn Hardiness Tender Perennial Hardy Succulent Time to Sow Sow indoors at any time of year. Germination 30 to 180 days at 22 to 24°C (70 to 75°F) Notes Succulent