Candelabra Aloe, Torch Aloe

Aloe arborescens
Characteristics
Category Desert Accent Plant
Size 6' x 6'
Flower Color Orangey-red
Flower Season Late winter or early spring and then again from late spring through early summer
Exposure Full sun or partial shade
Water Supplemental irrigation during the hot, dry summer
Growth Rate
Hardiness 25°F
Notes:

Description

This decorative aloe is armed with many sharp, dense teeth along its margins. It is an upright plant with dark green foliage growing four to six feet tall with an equal spread. This aloe can be kept as a low rambler or trained to grow taller. The plant produces a bright, orangey-red bloom on an un-branched stem in late winter or early spring and then again from late spring through early summer. Historically, in parts of northern Africa, natives used the dry leaves to create a powder. The substance was used as protection against storms, during childbirth, or for stomach ailments. In parts of South Africa, this plant is still used as a living fence to secure domestic animals. Use it as an ornamental in low-water-use gardens, or mix with other drought-resistant aloe species as a desert accent. Also plant it in containers and raised planters with other succulents, or use it as a bank cover in warmer, protected areas. This plant grows natively along cliffs and ridges along the Cape Peninsula in parts of northern Africa from sea level to mountain peaks, as well as in dense bush.

Maintenance

It is hardy to the mid twenties Fahrenheit. If frosted back, it recovers quickly in the spring. The candelabra aloe is easy to grow in full sun or partial shade, and is drought-resistant. It likes supplemental irrigation during the hot, dry summer. This plant also needs well-draining soil and is propagated from cuttings or stems.