Aloe is a great option for those who want a succulent plant that is as pretty as it is hardy. And it is that the plants of this family are extraordinarily strong, having the ability to thrive in a wide spectrum of temperatures: from hot climates with direct sun exposure to temperatures close to zero degrees. For all this, aloe is ideal if you are a beginner in the care of succulent plants .
In this article we give you a brief guide to aloe aristata care and what its main characteristics are.
Characteristics of the aloe aristata or torch plant
Aloe are a whole genus of the Xanthorrhoeaceae family , with around 500 species of succulent plants , such as aloe vera, aloe brevifolia, aloe variegata, aloe saponaria and aloe aristata, which we talk about here.
The aristata aloe , also known as torch plant is from South Africa and is recognized by available in small rosettes of not more than 30 cm, as well as its triangular leaves dark green, serrated and thorn – covered edges.
The flowers of this plant, which when sprouting in summer are grouped in terminal inflorescences, are also very rich in nectar, which is why they are a good way to attract birds or bees to the area.
Aloe aristata: basic care
Despite the strong and resistant nature of the torch plant , there are some guidelines that must be taken into account to keep it in the best possible condition. Follow these gardening tips on basic aloe aristata care :
Brightness and location
Aloe aristata is very comfortable in full sun or in semi-shady areas if you live in a very hot climate. For this reason, it is suitable for both outdoor gardens and indoor pots, as long as the latter are kept next to windows or sources of natural light.
It is a plant mainly with a warm climate , so it resists the sun and high temperatures very well. Even so, if you are going to plant your aloe outdoors and you live in a particularly hot area, the plant will appreciate a semi-shady area . Regarding the cold, it withstands temperatures close to zero degrees, but it is not suitable for soils that get to freeze.
Substrate and soil
This plant is particularly comfortable in sandy and dry soils , since what it needs is good drainage that does not accumulate excess moisture in its roots. If you have it in a pot, putting a layer of gravel at the base of the pot and another on the surface will help the plant stay away from excess moisture. You can fertilize it in spring and summer with fertilizer for cacti or succulent plants if you want to give it an extra boost of vitality.
Since it is a dry climate plant, aloe aristata does not need more than 2 or 3 weekly waterings at most. Of course, it is important that, if you have it in a pot, you do not put a plate under the drainage of it and, if it is necessary to do so, you always remember to empty it of the excess water after irrigation. Excess moisture is the worst enemy of this plant, so be especially careful with this.
Aloe aristata requires an annual transplant , as is the case with most plants. The transplant operation is not more dangerous than with any other, and it is simply recommended to completely clean the previous substrate from its roots to ensure that possible pests are removed from it.
If you want to multiply your aloe, it is very easy to do it with their young . Simply remove them carefully from the mother plant and let them root in another pot or area, always with good drainage, and where it receives natural but not direct light.
Finally, if you want to plant your own aloe aristata seeds , the most suitable season for this is at the end of spring. You should not plant it too deeply to avoid the dreaded excess water that will prevent it from thriving.
Pests and diseases of aloe aristata
Although it is not very common, aloe aristata can be attacked by the scale insect , commonly known as the cochineal . When this happens, the insects settle into the narrow grooves and spaces between the leaves, making their extraction somewhat difficult. The use of tweezers or spatulas is recommended for this. In addition, a suitable pesticide or an infusion with nasturtium can be used , which when sprayed on the plant will help to clean it of these parasites.
However, and as we have already mentioned before, the worst enemies of aloe aristata are undoubtedly the excessive humidity and rot that it entails, in addition to the appearance of fungi . To prevent this from happening, you should ensure a well-draining soil or pot and, if the roots stick out of the drainage holes in the pot, transplant it to a larger one immediately.