Aloe ballyi Reynolds
This species is native to Kenya and Tanzania.
Aloe ballyi is a rare succulent with a slender, unbranched stem topped with a crown of long grey-green leaves with white marginal teeth. The stem can grow up to 20 feet (6 m) tall and up to 6 inches (15 cm) in diameter. Leaves are up to 3 feet (90 cm) long and 6 inches (15 cm) wide. They are mostly straight on young plants, becoming recurved towards the tip with age. Brocken leaves give off a smell reminiscent of rats when broken. Flowers are tubular, carmine to reddish-orange, and appear on a branched, up to 2 feet (60 cm) tall inflorescence.
The specific epithet "ballyi (BAL-lee-eye)" honors Peter René Oscar Bally (1895-1980), a Swiss botanist, taxonomist, botanical illustrator, and plant collector.
How to Grow and Care for Aloe ballyi
Light: When growing A. ballyi indoors, place your plant near a window that gets plenty of bright indirect light. Rotate the pot once or twice a week so that all sides of the plant receive equal lighting. Outdoors, provide light shade, especially during the hottest parts of the day.
Soil: Plant A. ballyi in a well-drained soil mix specially formulated for succulents or make your own. Drainage is essential because too much moisture around roots can cause root rot.
Hardiness: When temperatures shift below 50 °F (10 °C), it is time to bring your plant back inside. A. ballyi can withstand temperatures as low as 25 to 50 °F (-3.9 to 10 °C), USDA hardiness zones 9b to 11b.
Watering: This succulent does need regular watering but is very tolerant of drought conditions for short periods. Water deeply, but only when the soil is dry. Cut back on watering during the winter months. Do not let water stand in the rosettes.
Fertilizing: A. ballyi generally does not require fertilizer but may benefit from the extra nutrients. Feed with a fertilizer for succulents in spring and summer only. Be sure to follow the label directions.
Repotting: This plant is not particularly fast-growing and will only rarely need repotting. Repot it in the spring in a container a few inches larger in diameter every few years to keep it from becoming rootbound.
Propagation: Propagating A. ballyi can be done using the offsets, cuttings, or seeds from a mature plant. Remove offsets from the mother plant or take cuttings with a sharp knife in late spring or early summer. For best results, sow seeds during the warm months.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Aloe.
Toxicity of Aloe ballyi
A. ballyi is one of the few poisonous Aloes.
- Back to genus Aloe
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