If you’re a plant lover, you surely know that there can never be too many aloes in a plant collection so there’s always room to get one more! Our recommendation is Aloe Microstigma, a popular low maintenance ornamental plant.
Cape Speckled Aloe, also known by its botanical name Aloe Microstigma, is an evergreen succulent, well-known for being part of the most floriferous aloes in South Africa. It is also popular for its bi-colored red and yellow flowers.
Aloe Microstigma can transform any dull winter landscape into a magical view when planted outdoors, thanks to its warm colors that resemble flames on candles. Indoors, it makes an excellent focal point in any room because it has unique-looking flowers in mesmerizing colors.
Its botanical name accurately describes this aloe’s most distinguishing feature when compared to other aloes, as “microstigma” means “very small spot.”
Compared to other aloe plants, Aloe Microstigma has fewer properties as it isn’t known as a medicinal plant. It is, however, believed that the bitter sap might have healing properties for cuts and burn wounds. Cape Speckled Aloe is best known for its use in horticulture as this succulent is an attractive low maintenance plant.
Ready to learn more about growing and caring for Aloe Microstigma? Keep reading below!
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About Cape Speckled Aloe
- Cape Speckled Aloe belongs to the family Asphodelaceae.
- It is native to South Africa and, more particularly, it is widely distributed in the dry landscape of the Northern, Western, and Eastern Cape Provinces and Southern Namibia.
- Aloe Microstigma can be found in a wide variety of habitats, from flat open areas to steep rocky slopes or amongst bushes.
- Aloe Microstigma is also commonly known as Small-Spotted Aloe, Karoo-Aalwyn, Rosary Vine, and Bottlebrush Aloe.
- Since it is a drought-tolerant plant, this aloe is a perfect addition for gardens in really warm climates.
- It is suitable for xeriscaping, a practice of landscaping that reduces or eliminates the need for irrigation.
- Aloe Microstigma is also suitable for growing in containers, meaning that you can also grow yours indoors as long as you provide it with its basic growing requirements.
- Like most succulents and other aloe species, Aloe Microstigma loves sunny spots. Yet, it can also adapt to partial shade. Cape Speckled Aloe thrives when planted or kept in places where it gets full sun.
- So, whether you grow yours indoors or outdoors, make sure you find a spot where it gets plenty of direct sunlight.
- As with most aloe species, Aloe Microstigma is really sensitive to overwatering. In fact, overwatering is the sure way to kill this aloe. It is prone to root rot, so allowing this plant to sit in stagnant water or simply providing it with too much water will kill it.
- When it comes to the climate preferences of this aloe, it loves warm temperatures. Like most aloe plants, it isn’t cold-hardy, meaning that you must protect it from freezing temperatures.
- Aloe Microstigma prefers temperatures of 70 to 80°F (21 to 27°C), and the minimum temperature it can survive to is 40°F (4.5°C). If you live in an area with a colder climate, it’s best to plant your Cape Speckled Aloe in a pot and bring it indoors during winter.
- Another important thing to know about this aloe is that it doesn’t require often repotting as it is a slow-growing and small succulent. Keep in mind that first-time repotting after you bring your Cape Speckled Aloe at home from the store is essential.
- Cape Speckled Aloe is generally disease-free. You should pay attention to scale insects and aphids. Scale insects and aphids are sap-sucking pests that attach themselves to the leaves of this aloe.
- To get rid of scale insects, you can rub or pick them off of your aloe by hand. In the case of a serious infestation, it’s easier to prune and dispose of all infected leaves.
- To get rid of aphids, you can try spraying cold water on the leaves to make the aphids dislodge. If spraying cold water isn’t working, use insecticidal soap or horticultural oils.
Cape Speckled Aloe Features: An Overview
- Aloe Microstigma is an evergreen succulent that can grow up to 32 inches (70 cm) tall and up to 20 inches (50 cm) wide.
- This aloe features solitary or small clumps of lovely rosettes of blue-green leaves. The leaves of Cape Speckled Aloe can change their color to reddish-brown when the plant is suffering from environmental stress.
- Aloe Microstigma’s leaves feature conspicuous white spots that contrast beautifully with the reddish teeth that decorate the edges of the leaves.
- In early-mid winter, Aloe Microstigma produces 2-3 flowers simultaneously. The flowers are unbranched and can grow up to 3 feet (90cm) tall. As mentioned above, the colors of this aloe’s flowers alternate from red to yellow or orange.
Growing Cape Speckled Aloe
In general, aloe plants are very forgiving, and it’s really difficult to kill one unless you overwater it. This is the case with Cape Speckled Aloe as well. This aloe is really easy to care for, particularly if you already have a few aloes in your plant collection.
But the good news is that you can easily grow this speckled Aloe, even if you have never cared for a similar plant before. Growing Cape Speckled Aloe shouldn’t give you a hard time as long as you provide the plant with its basic growing requirements.
Now, let’s dig deeper into how to grow your Cape Speckled Aloe.
First, keep in mind that this aloe, like most succulents, prefers to get full direct sunlight to thrive. This is the reason why Aloe Microstigma is best grown outdoors where it gets full sunlight but it can adapt to partial shade as well.
Whether you grow your Aloe Microstigma indoors or outdoors, we recommend finding a very sunny spot to keep or plant it. This way, you make sure that the plant gets enough sunlight to thrive and bloom.
While it isn’t a must, it would be best if you fertilized your Cape Speckled Aloe to make sure it gets all the extra nutrients it needs to thrive. What fertilizer to use to feed your Aloe Microstigma? We recommend using a cactus fertilizer.
How to Plant Cape Speckled Aloe
Planting Aloe Microstigma is just as easy as caring for it. The only thing you need to do is to consider its minimal growing needs. You should consider this aloe’s preference for direct sunlight, its love of warm temperatures, and the fact that it needs well-draining soil.
Let’s start with its lighting requirements. When planting your Cape Speckled Aloe, make sure you find a very sunny area in your garden or home to place or plant it. We recommend choosing a spot where your aloe will get at least 6 hours of direct sunlight every day.
Next, remember that, like most aloes, Aloe Microstigma loves and needs warm temperatures to thrive and survive. This succulent prefers temperatures of 70 to 80°F (21 to 27°C). So, if you live in an area with a warm climate, planting your Cape Speckled Aloe outdoors is a really good idea as it will get enough sunlight and the right temperatures.
Keep in mind that the minimum temperature these aloes can withstand is around 40°F (4.5°C). So, suppose you live in an area with a colder climate, especially one that gets sub-zero temperatures during winter. In that case, it’s best to plant your Cape Speckled Aloe in a container so you can easily move it indoors during the cold season.
Besides providing your Aloe Microstigma with enough sunlight and warm temperatures, you must also ensure that you plant it in well-draining soil. This aloe is very sensitive to overwatering, and it is prone to root rot, a phenomenon that’s almost always linked to overwatering. To prevent killing your aloe with too much water, use a fast-draining potting soil mix combined with sand or pebbles to improve drainage. Adding sand or pebbles will ensure that the extra water will get through the soil.
Watering Cape Speckled Aloe
We can’t stress this one enough: overwatering your Aloe Microstigma is a sure way to kill it. Like most succulents, Cape Speckled Aloe hates wet feet and is susceptible to root rot if provided with too much water.
So, besides providing your Cape Speckled Aloe with well-draining soil to prevent overwatering, you also need to make sure you don’t overwater the plant to death.
How should you water your aloe to prevent killing it? We recommend using the “soak and dry” watering method. It’s really simple. All you have to do is to allow the top few inches of the soil to dry out completely before watering the plant again.
Propagating Cape Speckled Aloe
Love your Cape Speckled Aloe and want to propagate it? We have great news: propagating this aloe is really easy.
There are various ways to propagate Aloe Microstigma, including offsets, leaf cuttings, or herbaceous stem cuttings.
The easiest and safest way to propagate your Cape Speckled Aloe is via offsets from the mother plant. To do so, cut an offset, using a sharp knife, and make sure to include as many roots as possible. Allow the offset to form a callus and then replant it outdoors or in a container.
Provide the new plant with a lot of sunlight, and make sure you water it in the same way you water the mature plant.
Aloe Microstigma is low maintenance and amazing ornamental plant. It’s really easy to care for, and all you have to do is to pay attention to its minimal growing needs and requirements.
Whether you have grown aloe before or not, caring for this succulent is going to be really easy. Cape Speckled Aloe will make an amazing houseplant in your home or a great focal point in your garden. It will reward you with beautiful flowers and unique-looking leaves as long as you provide it with the proper conditions it needs to grow healthy and happy.
Are you a fan of Aloe plants? Share your experience with us in the comments below!