Friday, July 4, 2014

Aloe dorotheae is my favorite plant in the garden (this week)…

If ever there was a plant that requires nothing but gives everything it is Aloe dorotheae. I have three, bought over consecutive years at Rare Plant Research. All they require for happiness is a winter stay in the warm house and a summer vacation on the patio. Since they aren’t a large growing aloe that’s not a difficult thing to do.

So what makes this plant special? It colors up dramatically, in fact its common name is sunset aloe. This one’s my oldest, in a (rare for me) combo container on the patio table.

The white spots are an added bonus, unlike the spots on that baby agave to it's right. Those were caused by a powerful hail storm.

This one's in a lot more shade, and as a result it's coloring is rather subtle.

But still gorgeous.

The stats on Aloe dorotheae:
  • hardy to USDA Zones 10-11, heat and drought tolerant
  • prefers sun to light shade
  • forms colonies which can reach 1' tall and 1-2 ' wide, individual plants stay quite small
  • native to east Africa (Tanzania)
  • blooms in mid to late winter, although I have had summer blooms on 2 of my plants
And a couple of "fun facts" from the Denver Zoo (not that's not a typo, the zoo, not the Denver Botanical Garden)...
  • this aloe can be difficult to successfully pollinate in cultivation
  • most all the plants available in the U.S. are clones of a very small gene pool

So tell us what plant in your garden it is you're enjoying this first week of July...

All material © 2009-2014 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude

28 comments:

  1. The color of the one you grow in the sun is amazing! Just got one from RPR at Hortlandia and think it's grand!

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  2. WooHoo! Not only was I able to choose a favorite this week, but I have a post about it all ready to go! It's here: http://bonneylassie.blogspot.com/2014/07/my-favorite-plant-in-garden-this-week.html

    I have a handful of Aloes too, I wonder if they're Aloe dorothieae. I know so little about them. They have lots of offsets, but aren't anywhere near as bright as yours.

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    1. These are very distinctive looking aloes with very glossy "skin"...the only place I've seen them for sale around here is from RPR.

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  3. Wow I love red plants! I am smitten with your beautiful red aloe...it would love living here in Houston : ) I will have to keep and eye out for one. Thank you for sharing and making me smile!

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  4. Just love that plant! Great form and color. Easy to see why it is this week's favorite!

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  5. That's a stunner, especially the first one in your mixed container! The colour of that one is so intense it almost looks artificial. And quite fun facts indeed behind the plant.

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    1. You're right! It could be plastic it's so bright.

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  6. I'm taking another trip to the Orange County succulent emporium again in a couple of weeks and I'm definitely going to look for one of these.

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  7. That first plant has an amazing colour to it, I don't think the su is strong enough in the Uk to get that shade of red.

    I was able to select a favourite this week, along with a spin off to favourite plant off favourite gardening tool. http://spikyobsession.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/tin-snips-are-my-favourite-tool-of-week.html

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    1. I bet it could, it actually holds that color through most of the winter too, and isn't in full sun all day. I think lack of water helps to stress it too.

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  8. Wowwww, I need to get me one of these. That colour is just incredible! Reminds me of a lobster.

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    1. Haha! Yes indeed it does me too now.

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  9. Stunning, Loree! Is it the same aloe, do you think, that we saw in the Testa-Vought garden in S.F.? 12th photo down: http://www.penick.net/digging/?p=22611

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    1. I'm no expert but I would say no, the leaves on this aloe are extremely glossy. That one might be Aloe 'Fire Ranch'?

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    2. Thanks for the possible ID!

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  10. I'm gaga over all Aloes, and that is an especially fetching one. Red! Love it!

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    1. I think it sounds like you "need" on Ricki!

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  11. Wow! That's a really cool aloe. I love the red color and the form. My favorite this week isn't winter hardy either. In fact it's a permanent indoor resident. http://practicalplantgeek.blogspot.com/2014/07/pleurothallis-leucopyramis-is-my.html

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    1. Who needs winter hardy with cute little blooms like that?

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  12. I'm wondering if the super coddled, very frost tender aloe that I have etoliating on my front porch is one of these! Time to move it around a bit. Journey to sun, step one!

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  13. That's a spectacular aloe! I am gonna have to keep my eye out for it in Austin. I know exactly what I would pair it with in a pot (firecracker fern and Devil's Backbone).

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  14. That's an amazing plant!

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