Aloe pictifolia D.S.Hardy
Kouga Aloe, Speckled Aloe
This species is native to South Africa. It occurs in quartzitic sandstone cliffs overlooking the Kouga River near Hankey in the Eastern Cape province.
Aloe pictifolia is an attractive small succulent that forms short-stemmed rosettes of narrow but thick, glaucous leaves with many white spots on both surfaces and margins armed with small reddish-brown teeth. The rosettes grow up to 12 inches (30 cm) tall and up to 10 inches (25 cm) in diameter, slowly producing offsets to a forming dense clump of up to seven rosettes. Leaves take on a pinkish hue under drought stress. They are lance-shaped, up to 7 inches (17.5 cm) long and 1 inch (2.5 cm) wide, ascending to curved inwards or recurved when the stem is hanging, at first arranged in opposite rows, forming a rosette with age.
Flowers are cylindrical, up to 0.7 inches (1.8 cm) long, scarlet with a yellow mouth, and in a lax raceme on simple, erectly-spreading, up to 16 inches (40 cm) long peduncle, usually in spring.
USDA hardiness zone 9b to 11b: from 25 °F (−3.9 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
Aloe is a very forgiving plant. However, as with all succulents, it is essential that Aloe is never allowed to sit in stagnant water, and the plant should be carefully monitored to watch for signs of overwatering. Water generously in the summer and nearly cease watering in the winter. Do not let water stand in the rosettes.
Aloes are not particularly fast-growing and will only rarely need repotting. Repot plants in the spring that are tipping over their pots or have ceased growing. Use a fast-draining potting mix with one-third of sand or pebbles. When repotting a larger plant, dividing the root ball carefully is possible. Some kinds of Aloe will send off offsets that can be potted independently.
See more at How to Grow and Care for Aloe.
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