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Shelpe's Aloe

Aloe schelpei

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Shelpe's Aloe (Aloe schelpei) at Roger's Gardens

Shelpe's Aloe

Shelpe's Aloe

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Plant Height:  24 inches

Flower Height:  3 feet

Spread:  4 feet

Sunlight:  full sun 

Hardiness Zone:  9a

Description:

A freely branching, clumping selection producing open rosettes of blue-green leaves with pink margins; erect, branching racemes of tubular red-orange flowers in late fall; a wonderful garden or container accent

Ornamental Features

Shelpe's Aloe features showy racemes of orange tubular flowers rising above the foliage in late fall, which emerge from distinctive dark red flower buds. Its attractive succulent sword-like leaves remain bluish-green in color with distinctive pink edges throughout the year. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Shelpe's Aloe 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. 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

Shelpe's Aloe is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Mass Planting
  • Rock/Alpine Gardens
  • General Garden Use
  • Container Planting

Planting & Growing

Shelpe's Aloe will grow to be about 24 inches tall at maturity extending to 3 feet tall with the flowers, with a spread of 4 feet. 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.

Shelpe's Aloe 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.

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