Aloe striata is an evergreen perennial succulent that produces a strikingly beautiful orange flower that resembles a coral. As a low-maintenance plant, the Coral Aloe is perfect for those who are not home all the time and don’t want to worry about their succulent dying. This plant is drought-tolerant, so it can go for long periods without being watered. Moreover, it loves warm environments, so it can be kept outdoors during the summer months.
Originating from South Africa, Aloe striata is widely spread over the Eastern Cape Province, Cape Floristic Region, and the Western Cape Province. This hardy succulent is quite adaptable and can grow from sea level to heights of over 7000 feet (2100 meters). Even if you live in Arizona, Nevada, or California, adding one to your plant collection shouldn’t be a problem.
The Coral Aloe is becoming more and more popular every year. You can even see specimens at famous gardens such as the Chino Basin Demonstration Garden in Montclair. People love its vibrant flowers, as well as its chubby blue-green leaves. Aloe striata can become the centerpiece in any garden or home. If you want it as a stand-alone plant in your living room or office, a pink container would be a great choice to highlight its unique colors.
Would you like to find out more about how to grow your very own Coral Aloe? Keep reading below!
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About Coral Aloe
- The Coral Aloe is a sturdy succulent that can tolerate a wide range of terrains. It can be successfully grown around rocks, karoo areas, on banks, in pots or raised planters.
- The Coral Aloe can grow up to 18 inches (45 cm) tall and to approximately 2 feet (60 cm) wide. In optimal conditions, it can spread even wider. Older specimens can develop a short trunk.
- Aloe striata is an attractive species that has long, pale grey-green leaves with smooth orange margins and distinctive parallel veins. Its foliage turns bluer when grown in shady areas and pinker in full sun.
- During the late winter and early spring, the plant flowers for many weeks. Deep coral-red flowers appear in dense clusters on branched panicles that are 24-30 inches (60-80 cm) tall. Its amazing flowers and nectar attract hummingbirds and insects, so expect these tiny visitors in your garden.
- Aloe striata is part of the Asphodelaceae family. It is a solitary plant that will not produce new offsets around its base.
- The name “striata” means “stripes”, in reference to the long veins on its leaves. The word Aloe comes from the Ancient Greek word ἀλόη (alóē), probably borrowed from an oriental language.
- In 1680 the word “aloe” was wrongly used for the American agave plant, which has some similarities but is unrelated. As a result, pharmaceutical companies started calling the plant “aloe vera”, meaning the “true aloe”.
- Aloe striata are also confused with the plant Aloiampelos striatula, a completely different plant found in the Eastern Cape. Sometimes it is mistaken for its close relative Aloe reynoldsii.
- True Aloe striata are sometimes hard to come by, as most seedlings come from plants grown in cultivation which tend to hybridize with other Aloes nearby. The hybrids look similar but have spiny edges instead of smooth ones.
- The Coral Aloe is hardy to USDA zones 9 to 11. If you live outside of these zones, it’s best to grow your aloe inside a container so that it can be brought inside or sheltered from rain over winter.
- Because it thrives in hot, dry conditions, Aloe striata are ideal for xeriscape landscaping, landscaping specifically designed for dry areas where water conservation is practiced.
- Historical uses of the Aloe plant are well documented. Romans and Greeks used Aloe vera to treat wounds. Egyptians used the plant in treating infections, burns, and parasites.
- Today, Aloe vera is used internally and externally. The gel found inside the leaves is directly applied to burns, wounds, eczema, and other skin conditions. You can even find Aloe vera juice in the supermarkets. There are no scientific studies to prove its medicinal properties.
- The Aloe plant can be toxic to dogs, cats, horses, and other animals and cause lethargy, vomiting, or diarrhea. The gel is not considered toxic.
Growing Coral Aloe
Aloe striata is a rewarding garden plant, easy to cultivate under a wide range of climatic conditions, as long as you make sure some requirements are met. The Coral Aloe is an excellent choice for novice gardeners who want to start their own succulent garden. Because it does well in a variety of garden settings, you can let your imagination go wild and create the garden design you always dreamed of.
When it comes to light requirements, the Coral Aloe can be a little picky. It loves direct light and being close to bright, sunny windows, so make sure to place the container less than 3 feet (60 cm) from a window. Outdoors, Aloe striata can be grown in full sun or partial shade. The amount of light received will influence the hue of the leaves. If you live in an area with hot and dry summer, you might have to protect them from too much intense sunlight, especially during the hottest hours of the day.
Although this species is surprisingly cold hardy, if you have cold winters prone to frost, it would be best to bring your Aloe striata indoors or plant it in a sheltered location. If your plant is exposed t prolonged periods of frost, it will die. In late spring or early summer, make sure to check your plant for dead flower heads and remove them. This can be easily done by pulling them out.
Planting Coral Aloe
Like most succulents, Aloe striata prefer a well-draining, sandy soil type. This easy-going plant has one arch-enemy: root rot. Make sure to avoid overly wet soil with poor drainage that can cause root rot. Choose a container that has plenty of drainage holes and uses a succulent mix with 60% mineral grit such as perlite, pumice, or coarse sand.
Although most soils come with plenty of nutrients your Coral Aloe can use to produce new growth, we recommend you report it if it has more than doubled in size. This will provide the plant with ample space to grow, as well as replenish its nutrients. Aloe striata can be fertilized once per year in the spring. Be careful not to over-fertilize, as this can cause thins and overly long leaves growing.
Watering Coral Aloe
The Coral Aloe is a drought-resistant species that can handle prolonged periods without being watered. In fact, infrequent watering is recommended to prevent root rot. You can regularly water it during the hot summer months when the plant is growing. This will promote rapid and healthy growth, and the leaves will look plumper. Water deeply so that the water runs through the drainage holes. However, make sure to wait for the soil to fully dry before watering again. During winter, Aloe striata plants are dormant, so they require only occasional watering.
Propagating Coral Aloe
Unlike other aloe plants, established Coral Aloe plants don’t produce any offsets around their base. The plant does not propagate from leaves, so don’t even try this method as the result will be your plant losing a few leaves for nothing. Fortunately, there is one easy way to propagate Coral Aloe plants: from seeds.
Propagating Coral Aloe from seeds is nice and easy. Many gardeners and growers use this method to create new individual plants. The seedlings grow fast provided the right condition. They can reach flowering size in 3 to 4 years. To get the best results, choose well-draining soil, and top it with some fine sand. The seeds must be sown as fresh as possible and only lightly covered with soil.
Although you can plant the seeds indoors any time of the year, it is best to cover them with a bag or place them inside a propagator to keep them moist. They are sensitive, so make sure the potting medium doesn’t dry out or oversaturates – check them regularly. The ideal germination temperature is around 75 degrees Fahrenheit (23 degrees Celsius). It can take some time for the seedlings to appear, anything from 1 to 6 months, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t notice any new plants immediately!
Are you thinking about adding Aloe striata to your plant family? The Coral Aloe is perfect for those who are not home all the time and don’t want to worry about watering their plants. This drought-tolerant species will be very happy on its own, as it can go long periods without water. In fact, overwatering is more of a problem than underwatering. When it comes to sol requirements, the most important aspect you must consider is ensuring a well-drained soil or container.
Like all succulents, Coral Aloe plants enjoy plenty of light, so make sure to plant yours in full sun or partial shade conditions. Depending on the amount of light they receive, the leaves will change hue. Indoors, make sure it is less than 3 feet (60 cm) from a window. Unlike other aloe plants, Aloe striata don’t produce any offsets around its base. Fortunately, propagating from seeds is nice and easy.
Are you growing Aloe succulents? We’d love to hear about them! Share your experience in the comments below.