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Aloe gariepensis (Gariep Aloe)

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Scientific Name

Aloe gariepensis Pillans

Common Names

Gariep Aloe, Gariep River Aloe, Orange River Aloe

Synonyms

Aloe gariusana

Scientific Classification

Family: Asphodelaceae
Subfamily: Asphodeloideae
Tribe: Aloeae
Genus: Aloe

Origin

Native to South Africa and Namibia.

Description

Aloe gariepensis is a succulent that forms stemless or short-stemmed, usually solitary rosettes of narrow, upcurved leaves with triangular, reddish teeth along the margins. It grows up to 3.3 feet (1 m) tall. Leaves are pale green to reddish-brown with or without elongated white spots in young plants and striped with parallel longitudinal lines in older specimens. They are up to 20 inches (50 cm) long and up to 3.6 inches (9 cm) wide. Flowers are tubular and appear in erect, up to 4 feet (1.2 m) tall racemes from mid-winter to early spring. The racemes are usually yellow to greenish-yellow, sometimes reddish or bicolored.

The specific epithet "gariepensis" refers to the restricted distribution of the species on both sides of the Orange River, also known as Gariep River.

Photo by Geoff

How to Grow and Care for Aloe gariepensis

Light: When growing Aloes indoors, place your plants near a southern or southwest-facing window that gets plenty of bright, indirect light. Outdoors, provide light shade, especially during the hottest parts of the day.

Soil: Plant Aloes in a well-drained soil specially formulated for cacti and other succulents or make your soil mix. Drainage is essential because too much moisture around roots can cause root rot.

Hardiness: Aloe gariepensis can withstand temperatures as low as 25 to 50 °F (-3.9 to 10 °C), USDA hardiness zones 9b to 11b.

Watering: These succulents do need regular watering but are 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.

Fertilizing: Aloes generally do not require fertilizer but may benefit from the extra nutrients.

Repotting: These plants are not particularly fast-growing and will only rarely need repotting. Repot them in the spring in a container a few inches larger in diameter every few years to keep it from becoming rootbound.

Propagation: Propagating Aloe can be done by using the offsets, cuttings, or seeds from a mature plant.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Aloe.

Toxicity of Aloe gariepensis

Aloe gariepensis is not listed as toxic for people and pets.

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