Belonging to the Asphodelaceae family, Aloe is a genus of about 450 species of succulent plants. Native to sub-Saharan Africa, Madagascar, and Arabia, Aloes are evergreen succulents with usually spiny leaves arranged in neat rosettes, and spectacular, candle-like inflorescences bearing clusters of brilliant yellow, orange or red, tubular flowers. They exist in a wide range of sizes, colors and offer an amazing array of leaf shapes. Some make incredible landscape specimens, creating year-round interest. Smaller Aloe varieties are ideal to add drama, texture and color to containers. Easy care, waterwise, they brighten up the dull winter and are fascinating.
In gardens with limited space or where the growing conditions might not be optimal to grow these striking beauties, try growing them in containers. Containers also offer the advantage of finding the right amount of sun or shade, and make it easy to shelter plants from too much rain or cold. While most aloes can be grown in a container, smaller species are safer picks. The larger varieties can start out containerized but will rapidly outgrow their pots and should be moved to the landscape, depending on the species, where they enjoy free root run.
If your heart is still set about planting a large aloe variety in a container, be aware that you will have to do regular root pruning (at least once a year). When your aloe emerges from dormancy, remove it from the container, wash the roots and cut them in half and then repot.