If you’re in the market for a stunning, statement plant to give your garden a wow effect, search no more. Kumara plicatilis aka Fan Aloe is the answer to all of your doubts. This eye-catching, three-like shrub plant is a winner of the prestigious Award of Garden Merit of the Royal Horticultural Society. This succulent works amazingly in beds and borders, rock gardens or Mediterranean gardens. Also, Fan Aloe can look beautiful in a container of proper size.
Fan Aloe– Hot Colors For Your Garden
Kumara plicatilis aka Fan Aloe is native to South Africa. It grows in the form of a shrub or a small tree. Fan Aloe can get up to 16 feet (4.9 m) tall. The name “Fan Aloe” comes from a cluster of leaves arranged in two opposite rows on gray stems. The leaves are green-gray or blue-gray, tongue-shaped with oval tips. Often times, the leaves can become lightly orange, which gives the whole plant a fire look.
Leaves can grow up to 12 inches (30 cm) long and up to 1.6 inches (4 cm) wide. When they are dried out, leaves will fall off the stem by themselves. Fan Aloe blooms from in winter to spring. Hot orange-red flowers rise on unbranched inflorescence growing from each leaf cluster. Flowers are tubular and rich with nectar. Blooming Fan Aloe is deer-resistant, as well as fire-resistant, and attracts bees and hummingbirds.
Grow and Care Tips
Fan Aloe is an easy succulent to take care of and it can look really breathtaking with just a little effort. The only thing that this succulent is sensitive to is overwatering. Like all of the Aloes, Fan Aloe does not like “wet feet”. You should water it only when the soil is dried out. The “soak and dry” method will keep you on the safe side. During the summer, you should water the Fan Aloe sparingly. For the ultimate thrive, you cad add some mild succulent or cacti fertilizer from time to time.
When it comes to soil, for Fan Aloe the well-draining potting mix is crucial. A good, rich succulent or cacti max will do. You can always add some gravel or small rocks to make it even more drainable. Fan Aloe is not a fast-grower. Therefore, you won’t need to repot it as often as some other succulents. It will send offsets from time to time that you can plant separately. However, when you repot the big plant, it’s very important to divide roots from the ball they will be tangled in and to let them sprout as much as possible in fresh soil.
As for light conditions, Fan Aloe loves to be in bright sunlight. Mature plants can withstand full summer sun for a long time. You`ll need to plant the Fan Aloe somewhere with a lot of direct light during the whole year. This succulent prefers warmer temperatures, ideally fro 70ºF to 80ºF (21ºC to 27ºC). However, it can withstand the cold down to 40ºF (4.5ºC).
Kumara plicatilis aka Fan Aloe can be propagated from stem cutting and seeds. However, since this succulent is a slow-grower, you may find propagating from the cuttings more practical. If you choose propagating from the cuttings, use a sterile knife to get a stem or a branch from the main tree. Allow the cutting to callus over two days and just plant it in well-draining soil.
If you want to propagate Fan Aloe fro the seeds, you can get them from the fruits. Saw them in fresh soil and place the pot and keep an eye on the temperatures. If they get low, you need to start the whole sawing process inside until it gets warmer outside.