Sunday, July 17, 2011


As I face 90% of my plants under attack from drought this year, and another 9% recovering from an agave weevil outbreak (that is now over, thank God), the 1% left are ALOES and a few Opuntias oblivious to the conditions.
I don't have a large ALOE collection like some in frost free areas of South Africa, California, and Australia.  I find tree aloes particularly fascinating, but they don't grow here in Houston. What I do have are aloes suited for the Texas Gulf Coastal regions that are tough and carefree. I take some into the greenhouse during winter since I've lost many to our occasional severe freezes.
This is Aloe transvaalensis, or Aloe zebrina. The babies start off flat to the ground, then larger plants start to curl in this snake charmer shape. You MUST take this one in during a freeze.
This is my Aloe saponaria bed. This is the easiest aloe to grow and can take down to 25 degrees and return to full size. They bloom every year.
This is Aloe striata. It's a beautiful shade of sea foam green.
Aloe ciliaris with variegated Yucca. This aloe also is root hardy in a frost. It likes eastern sun with afternoon shade. It is also known as climbing aloe and it will artistically snake through other vegetation on its way to sunshine.
These short, plump aloes cling to the ground almost like Lithops. They are from a friend and all she would say is that people in Mexico grow them. It is almost as hardy as Aloe saponaria. Notice that one has turned brown. They do this during too much sun or during cold, dry winters.
This looks like Aloe saponaria, but it's not. It's a different species that blooms at a different time of year. It is shinier and has more striations in the leaves. It also lacks that classic recurved foliage of saponaria. I got it from Yucca Do nursery in Giddings, Texas. It is also frost tolerant to 25 degrees.
This is probably Aloe socotrina, but it came without a label. I love the teeth on this one.
This little aloe turns purple brown during winter. I don't know its name.
This is the front rock bed by the drive. Aloes really look good with the mellow, soft-leaved Agaves such as Agave celsii and Agave desmettiana (not shown).  Squid agave is in the background.
Did you know there are variegated aloes? It's rare and I only have this one to show you.
Thanks for stopping by Foliage Follow-up. Please visit our host, Pam at Digging to see more great foliage.

David/ :-)


  1. I did not know there were so many different species. You have quite a listing there in your garden. I have the aloe vera that people use as medicine. They can grow like weeds here.

  2. Great post! Didn't know there were so many different types of aloe. I'll have to add some to my garden.

  3. Lovely collection of Aloes. The variegated aloe saponaria is beautiful, and grow into spectacular plants.

  4. You have a very nice Aloe collection - they are easily my favorite plant (though most of mine are in pots). Especially like the Soap Aloe bed - I bet when they're blooming they really are something.

  5. Great collection. I have had success with soap aloes too, but over the years I've lost a few of the others you have growing in the ground. I guess Houston stays just a bit warmer than Austin in the winter. Wouldn't it be amazing to be able to grow some of the tropical ones that get so big?

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I always appreciate your comments & questions! Happy Gardening from David/ Tropical Texana

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