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Aloe rupestris (Bottlebrush Aloe)

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Scientific Name

Aloe rupestris Baker

Common Names

Bottlebrush Aloe

Synonyms

Aloe nitens

Scientific Classification

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

Description

Aloe rupestris is a large, fast-growing Аloe up to 26.2 feet (8 m) tall. It has an unbranched trunk on top of which sits a rosette of thick, succulent, blue-grey leaves with red-brown spines along the margins. As the leaves die they remain attached to the trunk, these can be removed or left attached giving the trunk a shaggy look. In spring and summer a huge, branched flowering stem is produced. There can be up to 12 spikes each with a terminal raceme of yellow buds opening into wonderfully brilliant, tubular, orange to red flowers.

Hardiness

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. 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.

These succulents are not particularly fast-growing and will only rarely need repotting. Repot Aloes in the spring that are tipping over their pots or have ceased growing. A well-drained potting mix is essential. Use a cacti or succulent mix. During repotting of a larger plant, it is possible to carefully divide the root ball. 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.

Origin

Aloe rupestris is native to summer-rainfall areas of southern Africa.

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