Profile: Fan aloe
Botanical Name: Aloe plicatilis
Succulent (shrub or small tree)
Reaches 3-5m in height
This South African aloe
is often referred to as the 'fan aloe' because of the way its leaves
divide to create a large fan-like display. In botanical terms it
is classed as a dichotomous aloe as the leaves are organised
as outward branches rather than a clumped rosette.
While its dull grey-green
leaves are attractive year-round, in spring the plant produces bright
red-orange tubular flowers. This striking display of colour comes
in an eye-catching contrast to the sword-shaped leaves.
Its large leaves are
relatively smooth except for some small teeth in the upper parts.
The fan aloe does best
in partial shade where it can get a bit of protection from the harsh
afternoon sun. It requires 'normal' watering during the summer months,
and during winter the watering needs to be kept up. This is
because it grows naturally in an area with high winter rainfall.
Plant in well-drained soil.
The fan aloe is not frost
This aloe can be easily
propagated by branch cuttings, or from seed. However it is a fairly
slow-growing plant, so it may be some time before you see results
from your seeds. The fan aloe can take decades to reach its mature
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