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Wild aloe   

Aloe ferox

  • 3 plantings
  • 0 for swap
  • 0 wanted
  • 2 stashed

Wild aloe is part of the Aloe genus and its scientific name is Aloe ferox. The ferox part of this plant's botanical name means 'very thorny'.

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping. Aloe ferox is listed as endangered on the CITES list 2. Aloe ferox is a succulent that is quite adaptible to a wide range of habitats – on mountain slopes, rocky places and flat, open areas4. It shows a remarkable adaptability in terms of rainfall and flourishes in both extremely dry areas and in relatively wet parts4.

An attractive form of Aloe ferox found in Kwazulu-Natal (South Africa), particularly between the midlands and the coast in the Umkomaas and Umlaas river catchment areas. This used to be known as A. candelabrum and has subsequently been included in the species1.

This variety typically blooms in the following colours:   Ferrari Red and   Dutch orange.

It is a flowering succulent and is treated mainly as an evergreen, so it retains its leaves throughout the year.

Expect blooming to occur in early winter.

If you would like to attract butterflies, bees and birds to your garden, consider growing this plant.

South Africa is believed to be where Wild aloe originates from.

Wild aloe is great for inexperienced gardeners and those that like low maintainance gardens.

This plant info is provided by the myfolia gardener's wiki. All details about Wild aloe have been kindly provided by our members.

How to grow Wild aloe

  • Full Sun

  • Very Low

Requires well-drained, poor, slightly acidic soil and full sun. Frost protection is essential1.

The plant can be grown on a variety of soils, including sandy, loamy sands, and silty loams that are moderately fertile and well drained4. Waterlogged, saline and alkaline soils are unsuitable for aloe cultivation4.

Position in a full sun location and remember to water very sparingly. Use Zone 9 - Zone 11 as your guideline for the appropriate climate for this plant. Wild aloe requires a sandy, loamy and silty soil with a ph of 6.1 - 7.8 - it grows best in weakly acidic soil - weakly alkaline soil. Keep in mind when planting that Wild aloe is thought of as half hardy, so remember to protect this plant from frosts and low temperatures.

See our list of companion Plants for Wild aloe to see which plants you should plant in close proximity to encourage growth.

Growing Wild aloe from seed

The bitter aloe may be grown from seed. Be aware that aloes will hybridise with any other aloe flowering at the same time, so propagation by division is the only reliable way of ensuring a true plant 1. Sow seed in a well drained medium in shallow trays and cover lightly with sand or the seed will blow away. Once the seeds begin to germinate, keep moist but watch out for overwatering as the seedlings could rot.

Transplanting Wild aloe

Transplant into small pots or bags (1 kg bags) once they are about 4cm high (approximately 6 months), or once they have 3 or 4 leaves4. The best time for transplanting young plants is spring or early summer. Mature plants can be transplanted at any time, provided they receive sufficient water 1. Transplant into a well-drained mixture of sand and compost and after two years they can be planted out into an open ground. About 15-18 cm long root suckers or rhizome cuttings should be planted in such a way that a two-third portion of the planting material is underneath the soil4.

Ensure that temperatures are mild (minimum night temperatures should be around 12°C / 54°F) and all chance of frost has passed before planting out, as Wild aloe is a half hardy plant.

Harvesting Wild aloe

Remove the dead flower heads to keep the plant looking neat.

Seed Saving Wild aloe

Aloe ferox can be propagated from seed or stem cuttings4. Seeds should be collected in winter or spring, and treated with a fungicide4. Aloes will cross-pollinate, so your collected seed may not be true to type.

How long does Wild aloe take to grow?

These estimates for how long Wild aloe takes to sprout, grow and harvest are from real observations from real gardeners, right around the world.

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Wild aloe Etymology

The genus name Aloe is derived from the Arabic, Alloch or Alloeh1, and translated as Allal in Greek and Hebrew, meaning “shining bitter substance”, which describes aloe sap5. The species name is from the Latin ferox meaning “very thorny”, referring to the large thorns that cover the leathery edges of the leaves4.

Other names for Wild aloe

Cape Aloe, Aloe ferox, Bitter Aloe, Red Aloe, Bitteraalwyn (Afrikaans), Bergaalwyn (Afrikaans), Inhlaba, Ikhala, Tap Aloe, Alligator Jaw Aloe

Aloe ferox Mill., Aloe candelabrum,

Latest Wild aloe Reviews


1 :The South African Gardener’s Survival Manual, by Ann Bonar; First published 1985

2 Wikipedia entry on Aloe ferox

3 :Growing Herbs with Margaret Roberts; First published 1985

4 South African Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries brochure on Aloe ferox

5 Aloe Vera

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