Aloe decurva Reynolds
Mount Zembe Aloe
This species is endemic to Zembe Mountain in the Manica Province of Mozambique. It occurs in montane grasslands on steep rocky slopes at elevations from 3,000 to 3,380 feet (915 to 1,030 m).
Aloe decurva is a succulent plant that forms dense, usually solitary rosettes of dull green leaves with a reddish tinge and orange-tipped teeth along the margins. The rosettes are stemless or with a very short stem. Leaves are lance-shaped, erect-spreading, up to 22 inches (55 cm) long and 4 inches (10 cm) wide. The deltoid teeth are up to 0.12 inches (0.3 cm) long and about 0.4 inches (1 cm) apart. Flowers are bright red to orange-red and appear densely packed on a usually unbranched, up to 3 feet (90 cm) long inflorescence in summer. They are up to 1.6 inches (4 cm) long and 0.2 inches (0.5 cm) in diameter. The raceme is curved downwards, up to 8 inches (20 cm) long, and up to 4.8 inches (12 cm) in diameter.
The specific epithet "decurva (de-KUR-vuh)" means "bent or curved downward" and refers to the downward curve of the raceme. It is a compound of two words, the prefix (de-," meaning "reversal, undoing, or removing" and the feminine form of the Latin adjective "curvus," meaning "bent, crooked, or curved."
How to Grow and Care for Aloe decurva
Light: When growing A. decurva indoors, place your plant near a window with 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. decurva in a well-drained soil mix formulated for succulents or make your own. Drainage is essential because too much moisture around roots can cause root rot.
Temperature: This succulent grows at its best at temperatures between 50 to 85 °F (10 to 30 °C). When temperatures shift below 50 °F (10 °C), it is time to bring your plant back inside. A. decurva can withstand temperatures as low as 25 °F (-3.9 °C). USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 9b to 11b, 25 to 50 °F (-3.9 to 10 °C).
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. decurva 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: Since A. decurva is a species with a solitary growth habit, it can be propagated only from seeds. For best results, sow seeds during the warm months.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Aloe.
Toxicity of Aloe decurva
A. decurva is not listed as toxic for people and pets.
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