Aloe humilis x erinacea
No synonyms are recorded for this species name.
Aloe humilis x Erinacea is a hybrid obtained by crossing A. erinacea and A. humilis: it thus doesn’t exist in nature. The two species from which it is obtained, A. humilis and A. erinacea, are native to southern Africa. In particular, 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. A. erinacea, instead is native to Namibia where the plant grows in very arid areas in rocky and sandy soils and can spread up to 1350 m of altitude.
A. humilis x Erinacea is a small plant that doesn’t exceed 50 centimeters in height. It is similar to both the species from which it is obtained: it consists, in fact, in a rosette of crowded, spiny, pointed leaves, light-pale green or dark green depending on the plant. Spines are actually thick quills, pointed, always paler in colour than the rest of the leaf, and potentially hurtful. Pay attention while handling the plant!
The inflorescence is bigger than the whole plant and it’s borne at the top of an elongated stalk. It’s a panicle: which is a branched cluster in which each branch has more than one flower, of pale orange-pinkish tubular flowers, 4-5 centimeters long.
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. Here below are our cultivation tips for Aloe humilis x Erinacea:
Put your Aloe humilis x Erinacea in a bright spot, avoiding direct sunlight during the hottest hours of Summer days.
Keep your Aloe humilis x Erinacea at temperatures above 6ºC. In Winter, we advice to put it indoors, also to keep it away from winter rains that can cause leaf and roots rotting.
Roots of Aloes are subsceptible to rotting. In spring and summer, water once or twice every two weeks. In Winter, instead, the irrigation can be completely suspended or carried out only once a month. Wait for the soil to dry up completely before each watering.
Choose a well-draining and at the same time rich in nutrients soil. A mix of 60% of peat and 40% of inert materials is a perfect combination.
Repotting is not so frequent, because Aloe humilis x Erinacea is a relatively slow-growing plant. By the way, repot anytime you notice that the plant is outgrowing its pot.
They do not need frequent fertilization: just dilute the fertilizer with watering once a year.
The easiest way to propagate Aloe humilis x Erinacea, as with most Aloes, is to take off its numerous offset produced in spring, and put them to root in a river sand substrate. Also cutting is possible: take off the cutting with a sharp knife during the spring and then let it dry; after a few days the cut surface will dry and a callus will form. After that, place it in a mixture of sand, soil and pumice. To increase the success of propagation you can make two or more cuttings at the same time, always at a temperature around 20 °C.
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.
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