Aloidendron dichotomum (Masson) Klopper & Gideon F.Sm.
Quiver Tree, Kokerboom
Aloe dichotoma (basionym), Aloe dichotoma var. montana, Aloe montana, Aloe ramosa, Rhipidodendrum dichotomum
Aloidendron dichotomum is an extremely tough tree with smooth branches, which are covered with a thin layer of whitish powder that helps to reflect away the hot sun's rays. It may reach an age of over 80 years and a height of up to 23 feet (7 m). The bark on the trunk forms beautiful, golden-brown scales, but beware, the edges of these scales are razor sharp. The crown is often densely rounded as a result of the repeatedly forked branches, hence the species name "dichotoma". The blue-green leaves are borne on terminal rosettes, but in juvenile plants the leaves are ranked in vertical rows. The bright yellow flowers are borne in winter. They have their first flowers when they are about 20 to 30 years old.
USDA hardiness zones 9a to 11b: from 20 °F (−6.7 °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. Use a fast-draining potting mix with one-third sand or pebbles. 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. It prefers warmer temperatures of 70 to 80 °F (21 to 27 °C), but will survive down to 40 °F (4.5 °C). Feed with a succulent fertilizer in the summer only. Suspend feeding in the winter as the plant goes dormant.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Aloe.
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