Aloe plants of all shapes and sizes are in their full majestic glory all over KZN at the moment, adding a bit of red, orange and yellow cheer to the otherwise dry and rather stark landscapes synonymous with our KZN winters.
There are over 250 species of aloes in the world, most of which are native to the African continent with almost all having some medicinal or commercial value. One of the most commonly known aloe species, harvested for its incredible medicinal properties, is the aloe ferox plant, which grows in abundance here in KZN, particularly between the Midlands and the coast.
From May through to August, aloes produce beautiful brightly coloured flowers that attract many bird species, especially sunbirds, weavers, glossy starlings and mouse birds – a wonderful feature to have in your garden if you love birds.
Aloes prefer warm, dry conditions. If you plant aloes this winter, make sure that they are in full sun or light shade but not heavy shade. Ideally, your garden soils should be fertile and fast draining. Use Farmyard Organics’ compost to top up the nutrient levels in your soils. Our high quality compost aids to improve soil permeability, water retention and adds more nutrients to your soils.
This winter is expected to be especially dry, making the gardener’s job even more difficult. Luckily for us though, aloes are known to survive drought quite well. It is, however, a good idea to mulch around your aloe plants to protect against the pending frost and help retain some warmth and moisture, our composted pine bark mulch is perfect for these functions.
Aloes also make superb house plants, if you have a room that will give them consistent sun. A good idea is to leave your aloes in the garden throughout the summer and transplant them into indoor flowerpots for the winter – effectively preventing any chance of frost damage while enjoying their presence indoors.
If you, (like us), love aloe plants – head down to the annual Creighton Aloe Festival on Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th July. Here you can hop onto a vintage steam train and journey from Creighton alongside the Ngogwaan River through thousands of stunning indigenous aloe fields. Contact Glynnis on 083 273 8037 for more information.