Aloe is probably one of the most numerous genera of succulents. Among all of the species, Spiral Aloe is probably one of the most unique looking ones. Spiral Aloe is also known as Aloe polyphylla. It origins from Lesotho mountains, near South Africa and its a protected space there.
Unique Succulent Worth Of Effort
This succulent grows on rocky crevices in grassy, mountainous slopes. It can survive a whole season under the snow. The plant itself is pretty eye-catching. It has sharp leaves in the form of a spiral that can go either clockwise or anti-clockwise. Each plant have around 150 leaves. Spiral Aloe doesn’t get its unique look until it gets between 8 and 12 inches (20 and 30 cm) in diameter. In its natural habitat, Basotho people believe that the direction of the spiral can show the sex of the plant, but the fact is that this succulent is bisexual.
Spiral Aloe can take some time to reach maturity, even a few years. However, this succulent is really beautiful in every stage of growth. When it reaches maturity, it starts to flower during spring and early summer. Flowers can be pink or red and will produce hundreds of seeds when pollinated.
Care And Grow Tips
Spiral Aloe is extremely difficult to grow in cultivation. This ornamental succulent usually doesn’t survive when removed from the natural habitat. Fun fact: in South Africa moving Spiral Aloe from its natural habitat or buying seeds from roadside vendors is a criminal offense.
This succulent is considered fast- growing since it can reach its full size in 5 or 6 years. If you want Spiral Aloe in your garden, you’ll need to give it perfect conditions and a lot of care, or it will die despite all of your efforts. This succulent need well-drained soil and will grow best on a steep slope. Place it somewhere with a light shade since it cant take really high temperatures. You shouldn’t consider Spiral Aloe if you live in the area with constantly hot days and warm nights. Mature Spiral Aloe can handle down to 10°F (-12°C) and snow, but young plants need to be protected from freezing.
Spiral Aloe does most of the growth in spring and autumn when it needs moderate watering. You should also fertilize it with some balanced liquid fertilizer 2 or 3 times through growing time.
All being said, you shouldn’t be afraid to choose Spiral Aloe to grow in your garden. It needs some love and time, but it will all pay back when you get a breathtaking, rare succulent. You can plant Spiral Aloe in beds or use it in borders. It will also look great in rock gardens, slopes or Mediterranean gardens. You can even combine it with some creative containers.
You can propagate Spiral Aloe from seed if you live in a warm climate. Otherway, you’ll need to start growing them indoors with some kind of bottom heating in addition. Ideal temperature from starting this succulent is 75°F (23°C). A young plant will love the bright light and medium moderately moist.