This blog is about growing tropical-looking plants in the Phoenix, Arizona area

February 21, 2014

Blue Elf Aloe in bloom

I've been experimenting with aloes this season, and this one seems to be a success. It's called Blue Elf, and I got it at Home Depot. It's pretty common.

I planted a lot of them, as I divided the offsets apart from a larger plant. These are sometimes called "pups" and a plant like this usually produces so many pups that it causes a lot of congestion. But they're easy to gently pull apart, and can be easily planted, which is what I did. And this one, on February 21st, is the sole survivor, and is even starting to bloom. So I'm trying to figure out what went right.

As you can see, this plant looks as if it were growing out the "cracks" of the rocks at the base. Actually, I just pushed the rocks around it, just for looks. But apparently this isn't just garden design - this helps hold water around the base so that this plant can do well in the hot sun. How about that?

So, if you want to follow my lead on this, plant on a slope, with regular water, and have some rocks to hold the moisture in at the base. I wish I had known this before, but at least I do now!

By the way, aloes aren't the same as agaves, which die after they bloom. Aloes will bloom and be just fine.
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