Succulent: Fan Aloe!

Also known as Aloe plicatilis, this img_1507stunning succulent native of South Africa was gifted to me a few years ago, purchased at a yard sale! Apparently, I’ve got to go on the yard sale circuit myself if beauties like this can be found! Click on the image to see the absolutely gorgeous details! I am impressed by the unusual smooth paddle-shaped leaves, reminding me of wooden paint stirrers!

As with the other succulents I’ve written about in this blog, the fan aloe is propagated by cuttings. You know that’s my next step!

I love a good mystery, and I’ve been going over the years to various nurseries to see if I could find something that looked like this. Well, a recent trip to a local nursery finally paid off. I can’t tell you the enormous relief and satisfaction I have just knowing what this plant is.

I’ve read that it can be treated as a small tree or shrub, but I currently have it in a container, where it happily resides. I have several needle-free succulent specimens that it has gotten me to thinking about creating my very own dedicated succulent garden, planted directly in the soil (but keeping, of course, several specimens in their containers).

I am currently in the midst of installing the next portion of my backyard, by myself. My vision is to think about my backyard as several rectangular sections rather than a singular “back yard.”

HOW TO: So that I’m clear about the theme of each section, I dig shallow trenches that outline each garden section and slide in remnant lumber boards that I get very cheaply (no more than $3 each). I dig only deep enough to match the width of the board and pack back some soil so that the boards stay in place. It’s a no-nonsense, real outline carved into the soil! Because of this outline, when I install my garden section, I know exactly the amount of area that I have to work with for each garden section (and how much mulch to get!).

It is a strategy that keeps me from becoming overwhelmed thinking about designing the entire backyard all at once, and frankly, paying for all at once. In my opinion, it’s much more interesting to come up with ideas over time and create a specific-themed garden section when the ideas are more clear. I definitely think a succulent garden is in order!

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One Response

  1. Oh, how exciting!!! Your backyard plans sound great! I am the same way…slowly evolving over time. I can’t afford anything grand and glorious all at once! Plus I get so much satidfaction when I complete just one one little thing. I Love this ultra cool aloe! I have been slowly thinking of how I can replace things that are not doing well in the drought here, with succulents, and I notice around town here, a lot more use of things like Crown of Thorns (nice blooms, year round). Down here in south Florida it is starting to look like shades of desert, it is so dry and hot. Hmmmmm…..

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