Aloe humilis

Synonyms:

Aloe acuminata
Aloe acuminata var. major
Aloe echinata
Aloe humilis var. acuminata
Aloe humilis var. candollei
Aloe humilis var. echinata
Aloe humilis var. humilis
Aloe humilis var. incurva
Aloe humilis var. incurvata
Aloe humilis var. macilenta
Aloe humilis var. suberecta
Aloe humilis var. subtuberculata
Aloe macilenta
Aloe perfoliata var. humilis
Aloe perfoliata var. suberecta
Aloe suberecta
Aloe subtuberculata
Aloe tuberculata
Aloe verrucosospinosa
Aloe virens
Aloe virens var. macilenta
Catevala humilis
Haworthia fasciata var. armata
Haworthia ferox

Habitat:

Aloe humilis is an endemism of Cape province of South Africa, specifically in Northern, Eastern and Western Cape province. It grows on clay soils, in the flat ecoregion called “veld”, which is present in Cape province.

Description:

Aloe humilis is a low-growing, stemless plant, 15 centimeters tall. Leaves are pale green, sharp, with many prickles on both sides and toothed margins, grouped in a rosette. In their natural environment, this plants form clumps. The most impressive feature of Aloe humilis is its blossom: the inflorescence is bigger than the whole plant: it can reach an height of 45 centimeters. It’s a raceme, the botanical term to say “cluster”, of pale orange-pinkish tubular flowers, 4-5 centimeters long.

Cultivation:

Aloe are forgiving plants, not particularly difficult to cultivate. You have to pay attention mainly on the substrate, which has to be well drained, made namely of at least one-third sand or pebbles, because Aloes easily manifest root rotting. Also leaf rotting can occur, if you wet too much the leaves while watering and you water too much frequently. Watering can be almost completely suspended in winter (once a month it’s sufficient) and, in spring and summer, watering once or twice every two weeks is sufficient. Before each watering, it’s better to wait until the soil is completely dry. Aloe humilis needs bright light, especially in winter. It can survive until a temperature of 3-4ºC, so if you live in a region with cold winters, it’s better to keep it indoors. Repotting is not so frequent, because Aloes are relatively slow-growing plants.

Propagation:

The easiest way to propagate Aloe humilis is to take off its numerous offset produced in spring, and put them to root in a river sand substrate.

Curiosity:

Aloe-based products (and in particular Aloe Vera varieties) have been experiencing a period of intense commercial exploitation for some years, which is only partially justified by the actual plant properties. Morover, Aloe species are frequently cultivated as ornamental plants both in gardens and in pots because they are highly decorative and are valued by collectors of succulents.

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