The Aloe vaombe plant is an incredible addition to any space, particularly if you’re looking for a burst of color in winter gardens.
As with any other houseplant, proper care and maintenance are required to ensure the health and beauty of these plants. This guide will help you properly grow and care for your Malagasy Tree Aloe to maintain healthy growth while also enjoying the benefits of this plant.
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About Aloe vaombe
The Malagasy Tree Aloe, botanically known as Aloe vaombe, is a large aloe species from Madagascar. It grows as a semi-hardy evergreen tree or shrub with relatively smooth, dark green foliage. Its leaves are more than 3 feet long at maturity.
Dark green in color, the leaves can easily change their tone under direct sunlight or when exposed to cold weather. In winter especially, the Aloe vaombe makes for an eye-catching display.
In addition to having gorgeous foliage, the flowers are also nothing to sneeze at. Multiple inflorescences bearing clumps of scarlet red flowers emerge in the winter.
Related Article: Learn about different types of Aloe succulents and common varieties
|Botanical Name||Aloe vaombe|
|Common Name||Malagasy Tree Aloe|
|Soil||Well-Drained, Loamy, Sandy|
Aloe vaombe Care
Caring for this Aloe is easy and requires minimal effort. Aloe vaombe is a very adaptable species that will grow in different lighting and soil conditions. The gardener needs only to take care of the basics for this plant to thrive.
The Aloe vaombe will grow in full sun or partial shade. It changes the color of its leaves to a deep red when exposed to direct sunlight, which makes it a good choice of Aloe for those who want to add some color to their landscape.
Aloe vaombe is a very adaptable species and will grow in any well-drained soil. You can even repurpose existing soil mixes to suit your needs. Just amend them with coarse sand, perlite, and pumice to promote better drainage.
The Malagasy Tree Aloe is drought-tolerant and will do well with only occasional watering. It also requires very little water once it has established itself in your landscape.
Avoid overwatering your plant, as this can lead to root rot and other health problems.
Temperature and Humidity
The Malagasy Tree Aloe prefers warm, dry temperatures between 55 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. It can tolerate cooler or warmer temperatures but will not thrive in extremes.
Occasional cold snaps are not a problem if the plant is kept dry during nighttime. Well-draining soil is essential for this purpose.
Aloe vaombe requires very little fertilizer. However, a general-purpose balanced houseplant fertilizer applied every two months will provide the plant with adequate nutrients for healthy growth. If you don’t want to buy fertilizer, you don’t have to; these plants grow fine without extra help.
Only fertilize during the growing season to avoid any problems down the road.
The plant should be pruned once a year in early spring. Use sharp shears or pruning clippers to cut away dead leaves and stems.
Make sure not to cut into the live growth, as any damage to live leaves is hard to recover from.
Potting and Repotting Malagasy Tree Aloe
Aloe vaombe can be repotted to keep the soil fresh and aerated. The best time to do this is in spring or summer when the Aloe is actively growing. You can place the pot in a larger pot if you want to grow the plant in a larger container.
Only repot if you’re confident the Aloe has outgrown its container.
How to Repot (Step-by-Step)
- Clean the old soil away from the roots of your plant.
- Remove any damaged roots and trim back any stray growths.
- Use a knife or razor to cut away any dead or decaying material.
- Fill the new pot with soil. Ensure the soil level is even with or slightly higher than the old pot.
- Plant your plant in its new home and water lightly.
You can keep it in its current growing conditions, but if you plan to move it outside for the summer, be sure to acclimate it slowly, so it does not suffer from shock.
Propagating Aloe vaombe by Seeds (Step-by-Step)
The Malagasy Tree Aloe rarely forms offsets, so seed propagation is recommended. You can either use homegrown seeds or ones bought from a garden center. However, note that the seeds grown by yourself usually have a lower chance of success.
- The first step is to collect the seeds. You can do this by breaking open a ripe fruit and allowing the seeds to fall into a glass of water.
- After 1-2 days, remove debris and rinse the seeds with clean water.
- Next, soak them in warm water overnight and sow them directly into soil or starter plugs.
- Keep your seeds warm and humid until germination takes place (about eight weeks).
In winter, new flowers emerge atop branching inflorescences. Hundreds of red tubular flowers appear at once, adding significant interest to the garden.
The flowers are pollinated by insects. They also produce nectar that attracts butterflies and hummingbirds. The plants will bloom for about a month, producing many flowers simultaneously.
Aloe vaombe is non-toxic. It is safe for use in gardens, indoors, and out. It is large enough that even particularly enthusiastic pets can’t really damage the plant.
NOTE: This page is not intended as a substitute for veterinary advice. The toxicity of an ingested substance varies depending on the amount ingested, the animal’s weight, and its sensitivity to specific allergens. Contact your veterinarian or local animal poison control center immediately if you think your pet may have ingested a toxic substance.
Mealybugs are the most common pest of aloe vaombe. They are tiny, sap-sucking insects that can spread quickly to other plants in your garden. Mealybugs produce white or gray cottony masses on leaves and stems as they feed. This makes it easy to spot infestations early on, although they may also hide in crevices on the plant’s surface.
Scale insects are small, flat, immobile insects that attach themselves to a plant and suck sap from it. They produce a hard shell called a carapace that protects them from predators. You may see this shell on the plant’s surface or find dead scale insects underneath it.
Aphids produce a sticky substance called honeydew when they feed on the plant’s sap which attracts ants or other insects that eat it. Treat an infestation by using neem oil or horticultural oils.
- Placing under harsh sunlight
- Using poorly drained potting mediums
- Fertilizing during dormancy