Resembling an octopus, Aloe vanbalenii (Van Balen's Aloe) is an evergreen succulent perennial forming striking stemless rosettes of long, deeply channelled, gracefully twisting and curling leaves. Bright green with copper-red edges in the shade, the fleshy leaves warm up to orange or dark red shades in full, hot sun with minimum water. Lined with reddish teeth, they enjoy a cinnamon or musky fragrance when bruised or damaged. In winter to early spring, slender, conical, yellow to orange-yellow, tubular flowers are produced on unbranched spikes, 3 ft. high (90 cm). They are attractive to nectar seeking birds and insects. This colony-forming Aloe makes a fantastic focal point in sunny borders or decorative containers.
- Grows up to 2-3 ft. tall (60-90 cm) and 3-4 ft. wide (90-120 cm).
- Easily grown in well-drained soils in full sun or part shade. Drought tolerant, but looks best with regular water during the growing season.
- Great for beds and borders, rock gardens, succulent gardens or Mediterranean gardens. Ideal as an accent plant in sunny borders or in decorative containers.
- Deer resistant. The flowers produce nectar and are attractive to birds and bees
- Virtually disease free. Watch for scale insects and mealybugs.
- Remove spent flower spikes and old leaves if desired. Offsets can be removed and replanted.
- Native to southern Africa from KwaZulu-Natal to Swaziland