(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)
Plant Height: 3 feet
Flower Height: 4 feet
Spread: 24 inches
Hardiness Zone: 9a
Other Names: Medicine Aloe, Barbados Aloe
A solitary, stemless rosette of upright, silver-blue, lance shaped leaves with red toothed margins; leaves turn reddish-brown when stressed; produces branched racemes of yellow tipped, orange-red flowers; a wonderful garden or container accent
Aloe elegans features dainty racemes of orange tubular flowers with red overtones and yellow tips rising above the foliage from late winter to early spring. Its attractive succulent sword-like leaves remain bluish-green in color with distinctive dark red edges and tinges of silvery blue throughout the year. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.
Aloe elegans is an herbaceous evergreen perennial with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its wonderfully bold, coarse texture can be very effective in a balanced garden composition.
This is a relatively low maintenance plant, and usually looks its best without pruning, although it will tolerate pruning. It is a good choice for attracting birds, bees and butterflies to your yard, but is not particularly attractive to deer who tend to leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. It has no significant negative characteristics.
Aloe elegans is recommended for the following landscape applications;
- Rock/Alpine Gardens
- General Garden Use
- Container Planting
Planting & Growing
Aloe elegans will grow to be about 3 feet tall at maturity extending to 4 feet tall with the flowers, with a spread of 24 inches. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 40 years or more.
This plant 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 a low-water garden or xeriscape application. 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.
Aloe elegans is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. With its upright habit of growth, it is best suited for use as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants 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 growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.