Aloe saundersiae (Reynolds) Reynolds
This species is native to South Africa (central parts of KwaZulu-Natal), where it grows in rock crevices or flat exposed places in rich sandy soil between tufts of short grass.
Aloe saundersiae is a small succulent with green, narrowly linear leaves arranged in stemless rosettes. It grows up to 3 inches (7.5 cm) tall, either solitary or forms rosettes grouped in small tufts. Leaves are up to 4 inches (10 cm) long and about 0.1 (0.3 cm) wide. The margins of the leaves have white, relatively soft, deltoid, up to 0.2 inches (0.5 cm) long teeth. Flowers appear in summer. The inflorescence is simple, erect, up to 17.2 inches (18 cm) tall, with capitate racemes of cream-colored or pale pink, up to 0.5 inches (1.3 cm) long flowers.
This species is a member of the group of Aloes with a grass-like appearance, commonly known as Grass Aloes.
How to Grow and Care for Aloe saundersiae
Light: When growing A. saundersiae indoors, place your plant near a window that gets 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. saundersiae in a well-drained soil mix specially formulated for succulents or make your own. Drainage is essential because too much moisture around roots can cause root rot.
Hardiness: When temperatures shift below 50 °F (10 °C), it is time to bring your plant back inside. A. saundersiae can withstand temperatures as low as 25 to 50 °F (-3.9 to 10 °C), USDA hardiness zones 9b to 11b.
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. saundersiae 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: Propagating A. saundersiae can be done using the offsets, cuttings, or seeds from a mature plant. Remove offsets from the mother plant or take cuttings with a sharp knife in late spring or early summer. For best results, sow seeds during the warm months.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Aloe.
Toxicity of Aloe saundersiae
A. saundersiae is not listed as toxic for people and pets.
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