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One of my absolute favorite aloes is the cultivar, Aloe CHARLES that was named after my father, Charles Andrew de Wet Snr. This is the aloe one would use as a specimen of the focal plant in a succulent or aloe garden bed. It is hardy, grows to about 2 meter plus, and has a single stem which divides dichotomously to become multi headed. It is highly resistant to most aloe diseases, grows moderately fast and easily. The multitude of bicolor flowers in mid winter makes it arguably the most spectacular aloe in cultivation. For the gardener it is important to know that aloes need mainly three things,

1. Full sun, aloes grow and flower much better and are much more disease resistant in full sun, very few aloes can grow well in a shady spot.

2. Drainage, one need not give them super drainage, but if they are planted in clay soil or any place where they will sometimes stand with their feet in the water, they will not do well at all.

3. Contrary to the belief of many, aloes love rich soil, especially the commercial hybrids as they produce such an abundance of flowers that food helps them to keep up the performance. Prepare your aloe and succulent garden with copious amounts of organic material, such as compost or well rotted manure and bonemeal for root health. A plant with a strong root system will always grow and flower better and be more resistant pests and diseases.


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