Aloe barbadensis, Barbados Aloe is a clump forming aloe that is a major source of the aloe used for medicinal purposes. The grey-green glaucous leaves are in basal rosettes and narrowly lanceolate to 2 feet (60 cm) long. The leaf margins are armed with whitish to reddish teeth. They make excellent houseplants and are very easy to grow. They are hardy in USDA zones 9-12.
Blooming: In late spring to early summer, the 1 inch yellow flowers form on 3 foot-long (1 m) racemes.
Culture: Aloe barbadensis need full sun to partial shade. If grown in the home, they need very high interior lighting with a well drained soil mix. In the greenhouse, we use a soil mix consisting of 1 part peat moss to 1 part loam to 2 parts sand or perlite. The plants are well watered and allowed to dry before watering again. The plants are fertilized only once during the growing season with a balanced fertilizer. In the home environment, temperatures should range between a high of 85° F (30°C) to a low of 50° F (10 C°). During the winter months, water only enough to keep the plants from shriveling.
Propagation: Aloe barbadensis is propagated by culturing offshoots or by seed when available.
Aloe barbadensis was featured as Plant of the Week March 11-17, 2005.
Guide to Past Plants-of-the-Week:
Cal's Plant of the Week was provided as a service by the University of Oklahoma Department of Microbiology & Plant Biology and specifically the late Cal Lemke, who used to be OU's botany greenhouse grower and an avid gardener at home as well. If the above links don't work, then try the overview site. You may also like to look at the thumbnail index. ©1998-2012 All rights reserved.