Aloe rupestris Baker
Bottlebrush Aloe, Rock Aloe
Aloe rupestris is a handsome tree-like succulent with a usually simple stem with withered leaf remains clothing the upper part, naked on the lower part, and with a compact rosette of erectly spreading and recurved leaves at the apex. It grows up to 26.2 feet (8 m) tall. Leaves are dull to slightly glossy deep green with a deep pink to pale red edge armed with stout deltoid reddish-brown teeth. They are up to 28 inches (70 cm) long, up to 4 inches (10 cm) wide, deeply channeled, and gradually narrowing from the base to the pointed apex. Flowers orange-yellow in bud, lemon-yellow at flowering, up to 0.8 inches (2 cm) long, and appear on erect, branched, up to 4.1 feet (1.25 m) tall inflorescence with bottle-shaped, very densely flowered racemes in late winter to early spring. The racemes are up to 10 inches (25 cm) long and up to 2.8 inches (7 cm) in diameter.
USDA hardiness zones 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, and a well-grown plant can be quite beautiful. However, as with all succulents, Aloe must never be allowed to sit in stagnant water, and the plant should be carefully monitored to watch for signs of overwatering.
These succulents are not particularly fast-growing and will only rarely need repotting. In the spring, repot Aloes that are tipping over their pots or have ceased growing. A well-drained potting mix is essential. Use a potting mix for cacti or succulents. When repotting a larger plant, it is possible to divide the root ball carefully. Some varieties of Aloe will send off offsets that can be potted independently.
Aloe plants need strong, bright light. They can withstand full summer sun once acclimated. In the winter, provide bright light. These plants prefer warmer temperatures of 70 to 80 °F (21 to 27 °C) but will survive down to 40 °F (4.5 °C). Feed with a fertilizer for cacti and other succulents in spring and summer only.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Aloe.
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