A landscape of succulents tops my list of favorites, but occasionally just a small variation in the tight rosettes that specify their silhouette is vital for a lively and interesting gardenscape.
Input enthusiast rosemary (Aloe plicatilis). Its structural yet fluid fanning foliage is the succulent landscape’s response to a ornamental grass. In its native climate of South Africa, enormous treelike enthusiast aloes dot the landscape. In farming, contemplate fan aloe an elegantly tidy, alive landscape sculpture vibration up the succulent area.
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Botanical name: Aloe plicatilis
Common title: Fan aloe
USDA zones: 9 or 10 to 11; hardy to about 23 degrees Fahrenheit (find your zone)
Water requirement: Low; appears best with intermittent watering
moderate requirement: Sun to light shade (intense sunlight burns the leaf tips)
Mature size: Really slow growing; reaches 3 to 5 ft tall in 10 years (crazy specimens noted around 15 feet tall)
Benefits and tolerances: Flowers attract hummingbirds; coastal and drought tolerant
Seasonal curiosity: Evergreen; flowers late winter to early spring
When to plant: Can be grown from seed; propagates through branchlet cuttings in spring. (Permit the cuttings to dry out to get a week before planting.)
Distinguishing traits. Atop a woody trunk (or forked trunk), radiating lovers of foot-long gray-green curved leaves arch upwards. While its fleshy leaves are what draw me most, enthusiast rosemary also offers 1 1/2-foot-long leafless inflorescence topped with vivid coloured flowers each spring. The flowers tie in surrounding warmer colours and provide nectar to hummingbirds.
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The best way to utilize it. Sensitive to frost, enthusiast rosemary commonly grows in containers or containers, which makes maintenance a breeze when temperatures drop. And because the plant spreads so easily through cuttings, well-packaged, thoughtful housewarming gifts abound; simply add a exceptional vessel.
In ponds that don’t have freezing temperatures, add lover lavender into a sandy, barren and freely draining site. It’s indigenous to the coastal cliffs of South Africa, and that means you may add enthusiast rosemary to a list of plants that flourish where others fail.
Its clean feel and trendy gray-green colour soothe surrounding landscape colours, allowing brilliant plants to progress into focus. Its long-leafed leaves diversifies the silhouette of a succulent garden whilst still supplying a minimalist, royal effect.
Shown: Aloe plicatilis with Leucospermum and Echeveria
Jeffrey Gordon Smith Landscape Architecture
Planting notes. Fan aloe vera is a springy, drought-tolerant succulent, but it looks its best when sheltered from harsh sun and provided with supplemental watering.
Hint: Watch for blackening hints; this may be a sign your plant is being scorched. Freezing or scorching temperatures may send the plant to dormancy. If its leaves are appearing particularly plump, you’re watering properly. Its leaves will shrivel, and may even drop, if it’s not receiving ample water. Simply correct your maintenance plan (without overwatering), along with the plant must sprout back to life
While enthusiast aloe may be a bit more sensitive than other succulents, very low maintenance and beauty nevertheless top its list of features. To keep it looking its best, provide constant sunlight. Garden cleanup involves only cutting out spent flowers; the leaves drop by themselves, revealing the attractive, smooth grey trunk.
More: Read more succulents in the Gardening section