What You Need to Know About the Aloe Plant – Aloeaceae

Aloes are native to the Mediterranean, West Indies, and South America. A. vera is often used in cosmetic and medical preparations: juice applied from a snapped-off leaf can help relieve the pain of a burn. It grows as a rosette of gray-green succulent leaves, usual!} tinged red, sometimes spotted. The edges leaf edges are pale pink and too Ted. The flower spike grows to 5 ft. (90 cm) and the tubular yellow flowers are 1 ¼ in. (3 cm) long. A. arborescens is similar, with red flowers, arid has a variegated form.

Size: Height 2 ft. (60 cm)

Light: Direct sun.

Temperature: Normal room.

Moisture: Water plentifully from spring to fall, sparingly in winter.

Feeding: Give full strength liquid fer­tilizer every two weeks from spring until fall.

Propagation: Detach suckers with a knife close to the parent plant when they start to open into a rosette shape.

Special needs: Mealybugs Lend to hide in the folds of the rosette.


What You Need to Know About the Succulents Plants

Succulents are plants from a wide range of families with specially adapted leaves and/or stems that allow them to store water within the tissue. They tend to originate in areas where the water supply is erratic — the succulent tissue enables water to be stored when it is plentiful for use when it is scarce. Many of these plants have also devel­oped a waxy outer covering to their leaves, or a rosette-forming habit to cut down on the amount of moisture lost. Some have adapted even more, and reduced their leaves to a bare minimum as spines.

Succulents are fairly easy to cultivate because they can withstand a degree of neglect, but they do need conditions to mimic their natural habitat: free-drain­ing growing medium, good light, water during the growing season, and a cool, dry rest period.


Dollar Plant - Crassulaceae Crassula Ovata (syn. C. Argentea).

What You Need to Know About the Dollar Plant – Crassulaceae Crassula Ovata (syn. C. Argentea)

The common names of this many-branched shrub from South Africa are dollar plant, jade plant, and jade tree. Its fleshy stems are covered with peeling bark and the spoon-shaped leaves are shiny, mid- to dark-green, often edged with red or pale green markings.

The small, star-shaped flowers are white, tinged pink, with purple anthers, produced in fall in clusters up to 2 in. (5 cm) across. C.o. ‘Basutoland’ has pure white flowers.

Size: Height 3—4 ft. (90—120 cm).

Light: Some direct sunlight.

Temperature: Cool to normal room. In winter, keep at 45—55°F (7-12°C).

Moisture: Allow to dry slightly between waterings, from spring to fall. In winter, apply only enough water to prevent the soil drying out.

Feeding: Use standard liquid fertilizer once a month from spring to fall.

Propagation: Remove individual leaves or take 2 in. (5 cm) tip cuttings and root in water or soil, in spring of summer.

Special needs: No crassula will flower without sunshine.


Echeveria Plant - Crassulaceae.

What You Need to Know About the Echeveria Plant – Crassulaceae

The echeverias are succulent ever green plants originating from dry semi desert regions where they have adapted to make full use of all the available water. E. agavoides, from Mexico, has fleshy, mid-green, trian­gular leaves arranged in a rosette around the short stem. They are sharply pointed and waxy, with trans parent margins.

The flower head has two branches with small flowers which open successively from the base of the curled spike to the tip. Each is bell-shaped, pink-orange outside, yellow within, and about ½ in. (12 mm) across. If the plant is grown in full sunlight, the edges of the leaves will take on a reddish tint.

E.a. ‘Metallica’ has purple-lilac leaves, turning olive-bronze. E. secunda has short stems, forming clumps as it pro­duces offsets. The rounded, succulent leaves are tipped with a bristle and feel waxy. They are up to 2 in. (5 cm) long and pale green, tipped and edged with red. Red flowers with a yellow center may be produced in early sum­mer on 12 in. (30 cm) long stems.

Size: Spread 6 in. (15 cm).

Light: Direct sunlight.

Temperature: Normal room. Keep at 55—60°F (12—15°C) for winter rest.

Moisture: Keep barely moist.

Feeding: Use standard liquid fertilizer once a month from spring to fall.

Propagation: Take leaf cuttings or remove offsets.

Special needs: Overwatering, even to a small extent, will cause soft growth, which is likely to rot.


Pearl Haworthia - Aloeaceae Haworthia Margaritifera in a pot.

What You Need to Know About the Pearl Haworthia – Aloeaceae Haworthia Margaritifera

An unusual clump-forming, stemless plant from the Western Cape, South Africa, the pearl haworthia has a rosette of around 50 tightly packed, fat, rigid, dark green or purple-green leaves, with sharp, red-brown tips covered in rough, pearly white, lumps.

Branched stems, to 16 in. (40 cm) long, form m summer, bearing tube-shaped, brown to yellow- green flowers in clusters up to 6 in. (15 cm) long. They are best grown like cacti, in individual pots, or in groups in a larger container.

Size: Spread 4—7 in. (10—18 cm).

Light: Indirect sunlight.

Temperature: Keep cool at all times.

Moisture: Keep moist from spring to fall. In winter, apply only enough water to prevent the soil drying out.

Feeding: Give low-nitrogen liquid fertilizer once a month from spring to fall.

Propagation: Sow seed, remove offsets, or divide, in spring.

Special needs: Do not allow the soil to become wet or the roots will rot.


Flowers of Lamb's Tail Plant - Crasulaceae Sedum Morganianum.

What You Need to Know About the Lamb’s Tail Plant – Crasulaceae Sedum Morganianum

From Mexico, this evergreen peren­nial has floppy, woody-based stems, which lie along the soil or trail over the sides of a container. Commonly known as lamb’s tail or donkey’s tail, it has small, succulent, green-blue leaves clustered around the stems in a spiral arrangement. Small, deep pink flowers are produced in spring and summer if conditions are good.

Size: Stems to 12 in. (30 cm) long.

Light: Direct sunlight.

Temperature: Normal room; cooler in winter.

Moisture: Keep thoroughly moist from spring to fall. In winter, apply only enough water to prevent the soil drying out.

Feeding: Not necessary.

Propagation: Take 2—3 in. (5-7 cm) tip cuttings in spring or summer.

Special needs: The leaves are easily knocked off this plant, so position it where it is unlikely to be damaged.


Flowers of Natal Ivy - Aseraceae Senecio Macroglossus.

What You Need to Know About the Natal Ivy – Aseraceae Senecio Macroglossus

From South Africa, this slender, twin­ing plant, known as Natal ivy or wax vine, resembles ivy, but has softer, more fleshy, almost succulent-looking leaves. The stems and leafstalks are purple and the leaves are mid-green.

The form S. m. ‘Variegatus’ is most often grown. Irregularly marked with cream, a few shoots are almost entirely cream-colored. Left to themselves, the stems trail gracefully, making it ideal for a hanging basket.

Size: Spread 6—7 ft. (2—2.2 m).

Light: Direct sunlight, indirect sunlight, or partial shade.

Temperature: Normal room; for the winter rest keep at 50—55°F (10—12°C).

Moisture: Keep moist from spring to fall. In winter, apply only enough water to prevent the soil drying out.

Feeding: Give liquid fertilizer every two weeks, from spring to fall.

Propagation: Take 5 in. (7 cm) tip cuttings in spring or summer.

Special needs: The daisy-like flowers will only appear if the plant receives 2—3 hours of direct sunlight every day. If shade is too deep, the cream variegation will revert to green.


Flowers of Flaming Katy Plant - Crasulaceae Kalanchoe Blossfeldiana.

What You Need to Know About the Flaming Katy Plant – Crasulaceae Kalanchoe Blossfeldiana

Flaming katy is an attractive, com­pact little plant from Madagascar. It normally flowers in the late winter and early spring for a period of about three months, but new hybrid vari­eties mean they can now be bought in flower almost all year.

A perennial, although frequently discarded after the blooms have faded, it has crowded bunches of small, tubular flowers in shades of red, orange, pink, or yellow, surrounded by rounded, glossy green leaves with slightly toothed edges.

Size: Height 15 in. (38 cm).

Light: Direct sunlight.

Temperature: Normal room.

Moisture: Keep barely moist.

Feeding: Use standard liquid fertilizer every two weeks while in flower.

Propagation: Not usually done at home because it can be difficult to bring into flower and is so easy to buy.

Special needs: To keep the plant, allow it six weeks rest after flowering, giving minimum water and no fertil­izer, and then resume. The subse­quent flowering will be erratic, but the foliage is still attractive.