The MGS Forum

Plants for mediterranean gardens => Cacti and succulents => Topic started by: John on October 30, 2011, 08:09:12 PM

Title: Aloe
Post by: John on October 30, 2011, 08:09:12 PM
This Aloe was quite common in Catalonia and semi-naturalised in a few places. Obviously a very easy plant that needs no maintenance! Aloe maculata. The leaves which would be an evergreen feature are very attractive.
Title: Re: Aloe
Post by: ezeiza on October 31, 2011, 02:21:21 AM
John, what about the similar A. saponaria. This is a great genus with several fantastic species.
Title: Re: Aloe
Post by: Alisdair on October 31, 2011, 07:58:30 AM
Alberto, How different is A. saponaria from A. maculata? (The Kew/Mobot plant list confidently counts it as a synonym...)

Off topic, but interesting for me: One of its varieties, var. ficksburgensis, comes from the town named for the great grandfather of Karen Fick, someone who works for me!
Title: Re: Aloe
Post by: andrewsloan on October 31, 2011, 06:43:11 PM
 Ori Fragman-Sapir of the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens kindly sent me a number of aloe seeds from their collection, a number of which I have successfully germinated and look forward to planting out in the future. The seeds I have not used have been sent to the MGS Seed bank. They are for Aloe aculeata, africana, buhrii, ferox, lutescens, maculata, marlothii & thraskii.
Title: Re: Aloe
Post by: Chantal on November 01, 2011, 08:03:34 AM
I received your seeds, Andrew and thank you on behalf of all members.
They will be shown on the january edition of our journal and as soon as possible on our web site.
I came back from Mallorca and Costa Blanca with so many different species, I'll have a lot of work in cleaning them in november.
But, if you are interested, just ask me for the up-to-date seed list (via the seed list on the MGS web site).
Title: Re: Aloe
Post by: ezeiza on November 02, 2011, 02:27:32 AM
Aloe saponaria as I know it lacks the attractive bronzy edge to the foliage as in the picture. They are great plants but too statuesque to be mixed with others. They are imposing and need to be displayed on their own,

Aloe  arborescens is tough, easy and fast growing. Another similar species with larger rosettes and the tips of the foliage elegantly twisted is a stunning plant. Sorry I can not provide a name-

Aloe ciliaris and A. plicatilis are also great plants.
Title: planting my aloes
Post by: MikeHardman on November 02, 2011, 07:56:04 AM
In the spring, I visited a nursery on the outskirts of Polis. It looked somewhat run-down, hence my not having poked my nose in sooner after moving here. In an old polytunnel there were some neglected aloes, still flimsily attached to the tiny plastic pots they had been put in years ago. I like perusing such forgotten corners of nurseries because you can find some unusual plants there and/or plants that have developed 'character' one way or another; in any case, they will have proven themselves survivors (the ones that aren't dead, that is!) So I was very pleased to find an aloe with character, and even more pleased when it cost me only 10 Euros :)

Here's a sequence of photos showing me planting it through gravel-on-polythene mulch.
The idea of the stones is to act as a mini raised bed (aware that succulents won't like to sit in water over winter), to keep the foliage off the (damper microclimate) gravel, and to frame the plant and make the whole thing more of a feature. Granted, in time the plant will overrun the framing stones, but I could trim it back and/or add more stones as needed.
In the last photo, you see another Aloe, which I bought at the same time for 5 Euros. I think it may be the same as JohnF's first photo in this topic - A. maculata. If anyone can confirm that, and name the bigger one, that would be nice.

I'll try to add a photo next spring showing its growth and hopefully good flowering.
Title: Re: Aloe
Post by: andrewsloan on November 10, 2011, 07:24:46 PM
Our 1st stab at planting some succulents which has been really enjoyable to do. Aloe thraskii is the star and A. dorotheae has been there a couple of years. We have planted 3 small A. striata, A. andongensis (from Lindsay Blyth), A. nobilis, A. erythrophylla, A. graminicola plus a number of agaves incl a parryi (from John), potatorum, americana 'Mediopicta Alba' & desmettiana 'Variegata'. As Mike says it is great fun scouring around nursery gardens where I found some of these plants.
Title: Re: Aloe
Post by: Alisdair on November 10, 2011, 07:39:43 PM
That looks great already, and will be a splendid display in a couple of years, Andrew!
Title: Re: Aloe
Post by: andrewsloan on December 19, 2011, 01:32:52 PM
There is a very interesting International Conference on Aloes taking place in S. Africa from 19th to 21st June 2012, followed by an aloe spotting trip for a week. Speakers include Messrs van Wyk & Smith, authors of "Guide to Aloes of S Africa". The website is
Title: Re: Aloe
Post by: John on December 19, 2011, 06:50:32 PM
Andrew, you didn't say but does this mean you are going on the trip?
Title: Re: Aloe
Post by: Alisdair on December 20, 2011, 08:25:56 AM
Are you tempted yourself, John?
Title: Re: Aloe
Post by: John on December 20, 2011, 11:48:06 AM
Sadly what I would like to do and what I am able to do are very different things!
Title: Re: Aloe
Post by: andrewsloan on December 23, 2011, 06:30:36 PM
It does look interesting, especially as there is an 8 day trip "aloe spotting" after the conference, but we are seriously considering going to Australia in October to combine the MGS bash with visiting my brother in Geelong and 2 big trips so close together don't really fit. However nothing in stone yet.......
Title: Re: Aloe
Post by: andrewsloan on January 06, 2012, 02:48:18 PM
I don't know whether any of you are on Facebook but there are "Planet Aloe" and "Planet Agave" groups of approx 200 world-wide members each on Facebook. For me as a novice succulent gardener it is very useful to see photos of mature specimens in gardens and natural habitat and to have a bunch of experts available to help identify plants and pass on advice so it is similar in concept to this Forum.
Title: Re: Aloe
Post by: John on January 17, 2012, 11:12:47 PM
I couldn't resist buying this the other day, it wasn't expensive anyway. Aloe rauhii 'Snowflake'. I love foliage with markings and this one is lovely.
Title: Re: Aloe
Post by: andrewsloan on April 24, 2012, 06:30:48 PM
 I have just bought a bunch of aloe & agave seeds from, with small packets in the €1 range, which is very reasonable.
Title: Re: Aloe
Post by: Alisdair on April 24, 2012, 07:55:37 PM
Thanks for the tip, Andrew; I've looked at their website and have added them to the forum's Supplier List (
Title: Re: Aloe
Post by: andrewsloan on April 28, 2012, 06:14:29 PM
Could I ask for advice re the level of PH in the water and earth. We have a very alkaline soil, 8.17 PH and our water PH is also 8. I have quite a lot of small aloes & agaves growing from seed , and am thinking that it would be better to adjust the pH down to 7, perhaps by filling water in a plastic barrel and adding vinegar for when I give them their weekly watering. Any thoughts?
Title: Re: Aloe
Post by: ezeiza on April 28, 2012, 08:47:07 PM
You mention buying seeds which of course will have to be sown, certainly not on earth, but on a very gritty mix that would allow for perfect drainage. It will be probably be useful to use neutral water until germination takes place but from then on, such plants are very tough and can use water of almost any condition. As a matter of fact, they will not thrive on moisture.
Title: Re: Aloe
Post by: John on April 28, 2012, 11:24:13 PM
Agaves certainly need root room to grow. I have a few specimens I have kept in pots for many years and they survive but don't grow in size. So get them moving and get them in the ground. As soon as possible.
Title: Re: Aloe
Post by: andrewsloan on April 29, 2012, 09:21:13 AM
For my potting mixture to germinate aloe seeds, I use a mixture of 50% river sand for good drainage & 50% compost/earth. Last year I got good results by putting the seeds on top of this mixture in small seed trays, cover with a fine layer of sand, soak in a tray of water and then leave in a clear plastic bag in the shade with plenty of light. This year I am trying some agave seeds as well (Macroacantha, Chiapensis, Havardiana, Bracteosa & Parryi v Chihuahua). Thank you John for starting me off with my first Agave, your Parryi from Arizona (now planted out).
Title: Re: Aloe
Post by: Fleur Pavlidis on May 08, 2012, 10:37:36 PM
Would one of our experts kindly give me a name for this Aloe in the garden at Sparoza?
Title: Re: Aloe arborescens
Post by: Alisdair on May 09, 2012, 07:13:27 AM
Looks like Aloe arborescens, Fleur.
If it is, it's so easy to propagate that if you take a good-sized piece off, it'll still root if you leave it dry and forget to plant it until months later.
Title: Re: Aloe
Post by: Fleur Pavlidis on May 09, 2012, 07:58:30 AM
Thanks, Alisdair. I'm doing plant identifications of Vina's stills for use in the Sparoza film so I'll be checking up quite a bit on names.
Title: Re: Aloe
Post by: John J on December 04, 2018, 08:31:33 AM
I realise there have been no postings on this thread for some time but we are starting to re-organise an area of our garden to include more succulents. This newly acquired Aloe ferox is just part of the process.
Title: Re: Aloe
Post by: andrewsloan on December 16, 2018, 06:28:58 PM
Aloe ferox is one of the most beautiful aloes. Mine are also starting to form their flower stalks in Spain
Title: Re: Aloe
Post by: andrewsloan on December 17, 2018, 10:29:09 AM
There are 3 more aloes in the Plant Galleries: dichotoma (the best specimen I have seen in cultivation), vaombe and bulbillifera, from a recent visit to Lanzarote and Tenerife
Title: Re: Aloe
Post by: Hilary on December 18, 2018, 07:01:07 AM
What a collection of photos of Aloes.
I am still finding my way round the 'new' website and had not opened this section .
Title: Re: Aloe
Post by: John J on December 20, 2018, 03:53:19 PM
Andrew, the aloe in my photo above was sold to us as A. ferox but from your pictures in the Plant Galleries it looks more like A. aculeata. Can you shed some light on this, please?
Title: Re: Aloe
Post by: andrewsloan on December 23, 2018, 07:26:34 PM
Aloes aculeata has quite distinctive whitish thorns on the leaves. Aculeta, ferox and reitzii are very similar. You'll know for sure when the flowers open up.
Title: Re: Aloe
Post by: John J on December 24, 2018, 06:12:37 AM
Thanks for that, Andrew, they should open in the next few days so I'll post a photo when they do. All the best for the Festive Season to you both and we hope to meet up again sometime soon.
Title: Re: Aloe
Post by: Fermi on January 11, 2020, 02:32:09 PM
We got a couple of pieces of this Aloe from a neighbour about 15 years ago, I think. This is the first year it has managed to produce flowers.
If anyone can suggest a name I would be grateful,
Title: Re: Aloe
Post by: Caroline on January 12, 2020, 01:57:52 AM
Is it Aloe mitriformis?
Title: Re: Aloe
Post by: Fermi on January 25, 2020, 05:29:31 AM
Hi Caroline,
thanks for that suggestion which is what I'll go with until advised otherwise!
Aloes seem to be in flower on both sides of the equator as seen on Instagram!
Title: Re: Aloe
Post by: Caroline on January 26, 2020, 01:01:02 AM
Things are so dry here that the rabbits have nibbled my A. mitriformis in an attempt to get some moisture.