Aloe arborescens

This South African aloe is the most widely grown species of the genus. It was once cultivated for its medicinal properties for treating suppurating wounds. In its native habitat it may reach a height of 3-4 m (10-13 ft), but only 1 m (39 in) when grown indoors. The fleshy leaves are coated with a greyish bloom and are spiny-toothed on the margins. The inflorescence may be up to 80 cm (31 inch) high and is composed of drooping flowers coloured a vivid red edged with green.

This plant requires a light, sunny position. Water regularly whenever the compost is beginning to dry out. It should not be fed. It requires cool conditions in winter but the temperature should not fall below 6°C (43° F). It makes numerous offshoots by means of which it can be readily propagated. Stem tip cuttings also root very quickly.

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