Hello aloe Add colour to a dull gar­den with aloes: min­i­mal water and lit­tle main­te­nance re­quired

Aloes don’t need much water or main­te­nance, and are at their most beau­ti­ful in win­ter. We asked three ex­perts for ad­vice on how to keep these plants happy in the gar­den.

go! Platteland - - CONTENTS - BY MAJA PALM

Moun­tain aloes in their full glory on Bushveld kop­pies, the can­de­labra aloes of KwaZulu-Na­tal, bit­ter aloes in the south­ern Cape, the Uiten­hage aloe, strik­ing quiver trees on the plains of the North­ern Cape… From chilli red and peachy pink to yel­low and or­ange; from moun­tain aloes 7m in height to white grass aloes only 10cm tall – without these pops of colour, the South African land­scape would be truly dull in win­ter time.

In­deed, it’s the wide va­ri­ety of growth habits, in­flo­res­cences, flower colours and leaf forms that makes aloes so ir­re­sistible to col­lec­tors and gar­den­ers, says Gideon Smith (right) in the Sa­sol First Field Guide toAloes of South­ern Africa. More than 500 aloe species have been iden­ti­fied around the world, and about 120 of them are in­dige­nous to South Africa. For this aloe re­port, we con­sulted Gideon, who has six books about aloes to his name, as well as aloe cul­ti­va­tors Leo Thamm (left) of Sun­bird Aloes in Rand­burg and Andy de Wet (right) of De Wet Plant Breed­ers and The Aloe Farm at Hart­beespoort. >

THIS PHOTO AND OP­PO­SITE Quiver trees ( Aloiden­dron di­choto­mum) bear but­ter-yel­low flow­ers from mid to late win­ter, brightening the Kn­ersvlakte in Na­maqua­land.

Rooik­lip Aloe ‘Vam­balinni’

Rooik­lip Aloe an­gel­ica hy­brid

Rooik­lip Aloe mar­lothii hy­brid

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