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Cat's Tail Aloe

Aloe castanea

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Cat's Tail Aloe (Aloe castanea) at Roger's Gardens

Cat's Tail Aloe in bloom

Cat's Tail Aloe in bloom

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Cat's Tail Aloe (Aloe castanea) at Roger's Gardens

Cat's Tail Aloe flowers

Cat's Tail Aloe flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  10 feet

Spread:  7 feet

Sunlight:  full sun 

Hardiness Zone:  9a

Other Names:  Krantz Aloe

Description:

A multiple branched variety with a shrubby habit, presenting beautiful rosettes of succulent, toothed, sword shaped leaves; produces erect spikes of tubular orange-brown flowers in mid-winter; an amazing accent or screening plant

Ornamental Features

Cat's Tail Aloe features showy spikes of orange tubular flowers with brown overtones rising above the foliage in mid winter. It has attractive bluish-green foliage with hints of silver. The large succulent sword-like leaves are highly ornamental and remain bluish-green throughout the winter. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Cat's Tail Aloe is a multi-stemmed evergreen shrub with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its strikingly bold and coarse texture can be very effective in a balanced landscape composition.

This is a relatively low maintenance shrub, and is best pruned in late winter once the threat of extreme cold has passed. Deer don't particularly care for this plant and will usually leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;

  • Spiny

Cat's Tail Aloe is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Mass Planting
  • General Garden Use
  • Container Planting

Planting & Growing

Cat's Tail Aloe will grow to be about 10 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 7 feet. It has a low canopy with a typical clearance of 1 foot from the ground, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 40 years or more.

This shrub should only be grown in full sunlight. It prefers dry to average moisture levels with very well-drained soil, and will often die in standing water. It is considered to be drought-tolerant, and thus makes an ideal choice for xeriscaping or the moisture-conserving landscape. It is not particular as to soil pH, but grows best in sandy soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This species is not originally from North America. It can be propagated by division.

Cat's Tail Aloe makes a fine choice for the outdoor landscape, but it is also well-suited for use in outdoor pots and containers. Its large size and upright habit of growth lend it for use as a solitary accent, or in a composition surrounded by smaller plants around the base and those that spill over the edges. It is even sizeable enough that it can be grown alone in a suitable container. Note that when grown in a container, it may not perform exactly as indicated on the tag - this is to be expected. Also note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Characteristics
Accent  Massing  Garden  Container 
Applications
Flowers  Foliage Color  Texture 
Ornamental Features