Partridge Breasted Aloe
This popular houseplant is very easy to grow and should flower around January and February each year. The succulent Aloes are all natives of Africa, this particular species coming from South Africa where it is now quite rare in the wild.
Like many Aloe species, this example tends to grow through the Winter and is semi-dormant during the Summer in the UK. In the wild, when the weather is very hot, the plants enter a rest period to conserve moisture; in the UK this normally takes place between June and August.
The Partridge Breasted Aloe has short triangular leaves banded with white markings, the leaves being arranged in three spiralling rows. If the flowers are pollinated by hand, you can set a
large pale green seed pod. Which eventually will contain large papery seeds.
Aloe variegata is quite tolerant of low temperatures (to 10°C/50°F) if kept fairly dry. Like most plants, it will benefit from good ventilation, but not draughts.
This plant requires a nice bright situation at all times and will grow happily in an East- or West-facing window.
The Partridge Breasted Aloe should be watered well during Spring and Autumn; allow theto dry before watering again. During the Summer and Winter, keep the plant fairly dry, giving only occasional waterings. These plants will rot easily if kept wet at lower temperatures.
This plant comes from very arid areas and will benefit from a dry atmosphere.
are hungry plants and should be fed regularly every 1-2 weeks during the Spring and Autumn, using a food, or one that is recommended for tomatoes diluted at about half strength.
Succulents will do best in a well-drained compost containing about one third grit. Repot at least every two years.
The Partridge Breasted Aloe offsets freely from the ends of its underground stems, the parent plant usually being surrounded with small offsets. These are probably best detached from the parent every couple of years when repotting, or when about 3cm (1in) in diameter if they have developed their own roots. These can be potted individually to make more plants.
Mealy Bugs hide between the leaves and in the crown of the plant; eradicate with methylated spirit and a cotton bud or use a systemic insecticide.
Rot can occur around the base of the plant as a result of over-watering at the wrong time of year. Remove the plant from its pot and cut and scrape the base clean. Allow to callus well before repotting.
Leaf tips dying back is due to under-watering in the growing season.