Aloidendron barberae, also known as the Tree Aloe, is a beautiful and ornamental succulent plant of enormous proportions. It can become a striking addition to your garden if given the proper space to truly spread its roots.
But getting Tree Aloe to grow requires the right conditions, such as sunlight, soil, water, and fertilizer. This article offers tips on growing Aloidendron barberae successfully.
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About Aloidendron barberae
The Aloidendron barberae is a large, tree-like succulent that grows up to 20 to 30 feet tall. It was previously considered a part of the Aloe genus with the name: Aloe bainesii or Aloe barberae.
Enormous in size, this succulent is considered Africa’s largest Aloe to date. It is usually featured as an outdoor garden specimen with a lot of space to grow.
Related Article: Different types of Aloe succulents and common varieties
The fast-growing Tree Aloe bears its rosettes along the tips of the branches. They are formed by mid-green, deeply channeled leaves with sharp edges.
Flowers of the Aloidendron barberae are pink in color and tipped in green. They hang above the leaves of the plant on tall stalks.
|Botanical Name||Aloidendron barberae (former name: Aloe bainesii, Aloe barberae)|
|Common Name||Tree Aloe|
|Light||Full sun, Partial shade|
|Bloom color||Rose Pink (tipped with green)|
|Soil||Well-Drained, Loamy, Sandy|
|Tolerant||Deer, Drought, Rocky Soil|
Aloidendron barberae Care
This is a relatively easy succulent to care for. The hard part is getting it established in a garden. Once it has firmly rooted itself somewhere, it’s hard to mess up afterward.
The Tree Aloe is a sun-loving succulent. It wants full sun, as well as plenty of warmth to thrive. However, it can also survive in moderate to light shade if necessary.
Due to its large stature, the plant needs some future planning before placing it in your garden. You’ll need to give the plant plenty of space and make sure there are no low-hanging branches or other obstacles that could block the sunlight.
The Tree Aloe prefers well-drained soil with a pH between 6 and 7. You can add some organic material to the soil to improve drainage if it’s lacking.
Aloidendron barberae is drought-tolerant, and it can even handle periods of neglect. However, this doesn’t mean you should let your plant go without water completely.
The Tree Aloe needs plenty of water in the summer to keep its leaves from drying. You’ll also want to ensure the soil dries out immediately after a watering session.
Temperature and Humidity
Aloidendron barberae is a tropical plant that appreciates temperatures between 55 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
Letting your Tree Aloe get too cold is not a good idea, as this can cause damage or death. If you live in an area that gets chilly during the winter months, consider planting in a heated greenhouse.
The Tree Aloe is not a heavy feeder and can be fertilized once every two months during the summer. Use a 20-20-20 water-soluble fertilizer at half-strength to give your plant just the right amount of nutrients.
The Tree Aloe is not a good candidate for pruning. The plant has a very slow growth rate, and it will take a long time to see appreciable growth. Wait for dead leaves or spent flowers to appear before committing to a pruning session.
Potting and Repotting Tree Aloe
The Tree Aloe needs occasional repotting early on in its lifecycle. Once the plants get large enough, you will have to plant them outside in a garden bed.
For young plants, wait for their roots to overgrow their containers before repotting. Needlessly moving the plant from one location to another is a significant stress factor for such juveniles.
When you do repot, use a large pot with plenty of room to grow.
Spring is the best season for repotting.
How to Repot (Step-by-Step)
- Remove the plant from its current container.
- Check the roots to make sure they are healthy and not tangled together.
- Put the selected soil mix in your new container and place the plant inside it.
- Fill in around the plant with more soil to cover its root ball completely, but don’t pack it down too tightly, or you’ll damage its delicate roots.
- Water deeply and ensure fast drainage.
Propagating Aloidendron barberae by Cuttings (Step-by-Step)
Although alternative methods do exist, the Aloidendron barberae is easiest to propagate by cuttings. Here’s how:
- Take cuttings from the Aloidendron barberae in spring or summer.
- Cut at least 4-6 inches from a healthy, mature leaf and place it in a dry spot until you’re ready to plant it.
- Allow the cutting to develop a callus on the cut end.
- Place the cutting in a potting mix that drains well (a mixture of one part peat moss and one part sand works well). Use a rooting hormone if desired.
- Water the cutting and place it in a warm, bright location. Keep the soil moist but not soggy.
- After about two weeks, look for buds on your cutting. Once they have developed into leaves, transplant your new plant into its own pot and place it where it will get plenty of sunlight.
Aloidendron barberae is a winter-flowering Aloe. Pink flowers with green tips appear in clumps above the foliage in each rosette. Multiple rosettes bloom around the same time, making for a spectacular display.
Pollinators are attracted to the nectar in the flowers, usually sunbirds.
Aloidendron barberae is non-toxic. It is considered a mild-mannered plant that is typically used as an ornamental addition to the garden. Perfectly safe to be around pets and children.
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 a common pest of Aloidendron barberae. They are small, white insects that can be seen on the leaves and stems of the plant. They feed on the plant’s sap, leaving it dehydrated and wilted looking. To get rid of them, use alcohol or insecticidal soap to clean your plant well.
Scale insects are another common pest of Aloidendron barberae. They are small, brown, or black, hard to see, and can be found on the leaf surface if you look hard enough. Their hard shells offer protection from the elements and make them identifiable. To get rid of them, use a cotton swab dipped in alcohol to remove them from your plant.
Aphids are small, pear-shaped insects that feed on the juices of your Aloidendron barberae. They leave a sticky residue while feeding and damage the plant by sucking out its nutrients. To get rid of them, spray your plant with insecticidal soap or neem oil.
- Placing under harsh sunlight
- Using poorly drained potting mediums
- Fertilizing during dormancy