Aloe arborescens flowers reliably and spreads almost aggressively in the hot border. In just a few years it formed a potent-looking mass of thick succulent leaves close to the parking area. In its native South Africa it is often used for hedging. As with all members of the genus, A. arborescens grows most satisfactorily in very well-drained soil. I must admit here that the clump in the photograph is growing happily in ordinary slightly clayey garden soil but it is sheltered from excessive rain and is bang up against the house wall. The lows of January 2009 (-3°C to -4°C in this location) did little to dent its pride apart from freezing off the ends of a number of leaves. The subsequent winters of 2010-2012 gradually weakened most of the top growth with the result that as I write (October 2013) most of the plant is still recovering from ground level and has not yet re-flowered.
© Maciej Pomian-Srzednicki, 2013
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Aloe arborescens

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