Aloe variegata var. haworthii
Aloe variegata is native from South Africa and part of Namibia, where is widely present in arid and semi-arid areas in the Free State, in Great Karoo and little Karoo in the Western Cape province, Namaqualand. This plant is mainly found in cracks between rocks. Also you can find it in sandy areas. The species is not threatened, being widely distributed in South Africa.
Aloe variegata, now Gonialoe variegata, is a dwarf Aloe which lives generally in groups. Its leaves are arranged in a rosette. They are triangular and really characteristic, making Aloe variegata one of the best-know Aloes of South Africa. They are dark green – reddish, and they have white stripes formed by spots and also single spots that create a beautiful colour arrangement. Actually: the colour of the leaves can be either deep red, in normal conditions, or brown-red if the plants have born drought. Leaves margins are white and irregular. The inflorescence is a raceme of pinkish-red tubular flowers. The blossoming period goes from July to September (in the Northern Hemisphere, from January to March).
Aloe variegata can be cultivated either in pots, inside, or outside. Aloe variegata requires a well-drained sandy soil. Pay attention not to wet the leaves while watering, because they are also sensitive to rotting. Watering can be almost completely suspended in winter. In summer, water once a week if it’s particularly hot, once every two weeks with a normal weather. Before each watering, it’s better to wait until the soil is completely dry. Aloe variegata can survive to temperatures around 0ºC, but doesn’t resist to frosts, so you should protect it somehow in winter.
Propagation of Aloe variegata can be done by seeds, which have to be as fresh as possible. Sow them in a sandy medium and keep it moist until they germinate.