Please identify. A neighbor gave to me - do I want it?

hostarasta(z9)May 7, 2013

Hi. I saw these growing in a neighbor's yard and asked if I could have a cutting. I received several cuttings and put them in a paper bag a short time ago.

Is it a cactus or a succulent? I've seen them in green and I've seen them in red. If they are red, does that mean they are in too much sun?

How are they used in a landscape or garden? I don't want something that will be overly aggressive - especially since they are very sharp! Looking at the picture, though, they do seem like they spread like wildfire.

Oh, what to do?

Thanks!

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lgteacher(SCal)

It looks like aloe nobilis. It is a fairly slow growing succulent that produces a bright orange - red flower spike when it blooms. It can be grown in a container or in the ground. The sun does affect their color - red is like a sunburn, although I don't know if it is harmful.
These aloes require little care. They are low-water use plants and get few diseases or pests unless they are overwatered.

Here is a link that might be useful: succulents in containers

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 12:28PM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

The flowers attract hummingbirds, the plant is not and never will be invasive. Give good drainage and water lightly to moderately in summer and fall--they get along fine on rain in winter/spring. The red indicates a little stress, not a problem, it is one of the beauties of the plant.

Great intro to a beautiful genus, enjoy!

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 12:54PM
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Sara Malone Zone 9b

Great plant!

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 9:41PM
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hostarasta(z9)

What I forgot to mention is that my neighbor did not include any roots with the cuttings. She just cut them with a sharp knife. They've been on my front porch for two days - can I just stick them in the ground? Or do I have to root first?

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 2:39PM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

If it is not a scalding hot spot and the soil is nice and loose (fluffy), they can root pretty quickly in mild temperatures. If it's too hot they'll go dormant for the summer and not try to root themselves until fall, so you might try to root them in a pot on the patio if that is the case and plant them in October when it cools down.

I've had cuttings of Aloes sitting around for a year not rooting, then suddenly get going, so don't worry if they take their own sweet time.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2013 at 4:34PM
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hostarasta(z9)

My aloe nobilis transplants are doing great! I even have a flower opening! I did not add sand to the dirt. I rarely water. There is new growth in all of the rosettes. Thank you so much for all of your input!

You succulent people take your succulents very seriously! I like that! I'm sure I'll be back

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 12:19AM
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