Growing, Caring, and Preventing Infestations for Spiral Aloe

Al Ardh Alkhadra > Blog > Farming > Growing, Caring, and Preventing Infestations for Spiral Aloe

spiral aloe

Do you know that there are different types of Aloe you can have in your garden? One of them is Spiral Aloe.

A stunning and attractive Spiral Aleo is a rare plant, however, worthwhile investment if you are a serious collector.

Moreover, this plant can be somewhat challenging to find.

A fascinating spiral aloe is a compact evergreen succulent that is popular for its foliage arranged in a perfect spiral pattern.

Fleshy grey leaves form a light rosette that becomes a beautiful spiral and can count up to 150 leaves.

These leaves are geometrically arranged in 5 ranks and are adorned with white to pale-green spines along their edges.

Furthermore, this plant has a purplish-brown terminal spine at its tips.

When it blooms in spring and in early summer, its red to salmon-pink tubular blooms are borne on a branching spike that emerges above the foliage.

Keep on reading to learn more about it.

Spiral Aloe

The Spiral Aloe or Aloe Polyphylla is an evergreen succulent.

It is from the aloe genus that is native to South Africa. Its unique spiraling growth habitat makes this one a popular succulent.

Its thick green leaves with pointed, purplish-brown tips form a compact, symmetrical spiral.

These can either grow clockwise or anticlockwise and each turn of the spiral contains about 15 to 30 leaves.

Moreover, this aloe can grow up to 24 inches wide.

If you have a rock garden, succulent garden, or containers, this one will make a great addition to them.

On the other hand, it can grow well indoors as a houseplant.

However, its high demand and specific growing requirements make it difficult to find and expensive to acquire.

But if you manage to obtain it, its striking appearance will make an effort worth it.

Fun Facts about Spiral Aloe

 Botanical Name Aloe polyphylla
Common Name  Spiral aloe
Plant Type  Succulent
Mature Size  12 in. tall, 24 in. wide
Sun Exposure  Full, partial
Soil Type  Sandy, well-drained
Soil pH  Acidic
Bloom Time  Spring, summer
Flower Color  Pink, orange
Hardiness Zones  7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
Native Area  Africa
Toxicity  Toxic to dogs, toxic to cats

Caring for Spiral Aloe

Unlike its relative Aloe Vera, this spiral aloe is an easy succulent to grow. Moreover, this plant cannot grow outside its natural habitat.

It is sensitive to a number of environmental factors like:

  • temperature
  • humidity
  • watering.

Thus, you will need to thrive for all the factors to be just in the right order for this plant to grow and develop.

spiral aloe 1

Though the growth habitat of spiral aloe is one of the most unique aspects of this plant, juvenile plants do not begin to spiral until they are at least 8 inches wide.

Furthermore, mature plants are also more likely to produce blooms than young spiral aloe will.

Therefore, you should watch out for other beautiful salmon-pink flowers that sport from a long branching spike.

Sunlight for Spiral Aloe

One of the important things to note is that spiral aloe does not need as much light as other succulents.

When you choose to grow them outdoors, you should make sure to plant them in a location that receives full to partial sun.

Moreover, it is important to protect your plant from the harsh afternoon sun.

6 hours of morning or evening sunlight is ideal for the growth of spiral aloe.

On the other hand, if you choose to grow them indoors, they can tolerate more sunlight.

Make sure to place them in a location that receives direct sunlight for a major part of the day.

Thus, south-facing windows are usually great choices.

Soil and Fertilizer Requirments

The spiral aloe thrives best in airy, slightly acidic, and well-draining soil to thrive and grow.

You can use standard cactus and succulent soil mixes, however, adding some pumice or lava rock can help to increase the aeration.

On the other hand, you can also create your own potting mix at home.

For this purpose,  mix together 2 parts pumice or lava rock, 2 parts potting soil, and 1 part horticulture sand.

Moreover, you do not need to add regular fertilizing for the spiral aloe as it is accustomed to growing in sandy, poor-quality soil.

If it needs, you can apply annually a cactus or succulent fertilizer in the early spring.

This can help and be beneficial to help boost the growth during the active growing period.

Temperature and Humidity requirements for Spiral Aloe

Spiral Aloe is not cold-hardy and also does not tolerate extremely hot.

Moreover, make sure that you do not expose this succulent to prolonged periods of freezing temperatures.

Protect it from temperatures higher than 80 degrees Fahrenheit or 27 degrees Celsius.

blossoms

Protect your spiral aloe from excessive winds and humidity.

Mild, dry temperatures are ideal for its growth and development. For most growers, growing spiral aloe indoors as a houseplant or in containers outdoors is an easy way.

This helps to keep this high-maintenance succulent alive and thriving.

Watering Spiral Aloe

Just like most succulent plants, spiral aloe is extremely rough resistant and does not need a lot of water.

In fact, overwatering them and root rot is some of the most common reasons that gardeners and houseplants struggle to keep it alive.

Moreover, make sure that the soil dries out thoroughly between watering.

Furthermore, cut back on the water in the fall and winter months.

If you are a resident in a region that experiences frequent rainfall, and you are hoping to grow the spiral aloe outdoors, then make sure to move the containers indoors.

Additionally, protecting your plant from the rain is also probably a good idea.

Propagating Spiral Aloe

Just like most plants in the Aloe genus, the spiral aloe can be readily propagated through offsets or pups from the mother plant.

Propagating them through leaves and seeds, however, is extremely difficult and unreliable and is generally not feasible for most growers.

Moreover, a happy, mature spiral aloe will grow offsets which you can separate from the mother plant and even repot them in their separate containers.

spiral aloe2

Make sure to wait until the offsets are at least a couple of include wide before separating them and repotting them.

It will help to make sure that they will be able to survive on their own.

Potting and Repotting Spiral Aloe

Spiral aloe is a slow-growing plant and you will only need to repot them every 2 to 3 years.

Make sure that you choose a container with drainage holes to avoid drowning them.

Moreover, terracotta or clay planters are ideal choices for the spiral aloe as they help to absorb excess moisture in the soil.

repoting

On the other hand, to repot them, turn the pot sideways or upside down to gently wiggle the plant out of the container.

Remove as much of the old soil from the roots as you can.

However, be careful to not break the roots and then move them to their new container.

Add fresh soil around the roots and firmly pat it into place after reporting it.

Common Pests and Plant Diseases

The spiral aloe is generally pest and disease-free, though it can also be occasionally bothered by sap-sucking pests.

These might be mealybugs and scale.

Moreover, make sure to regularly check your plant to catch any pests early.

Mealybugs and scale in particular like to hide in crevices of the spiral plant and on the back of the leaves.

Furthermore, you can also remove the light infestations of scale insects by dipping a facial-quality sponge or plain cotton swab in rubbing alcohol and dabbing each insect.

The alcohol alone will help to kill the scale, however, the dead insects will remain on your plants.

This can make it difficult for you to scout for new infestations.

Preventing Mealybugs and Scale

Healthy, vigorous plants are less suspectable to infestations than weak and stressed plants.

As a general rule, make sure that your plants are healthy and less likely to attract these pests in the first place.

However, mealybugs can infect even healthy plants as greenhouses are the perfect breeding ground for them.

You can follow the strategies to prevent mealybug infestations in your spiral aloe:

  • reduce feeding and watering can sometimes prevent them as it reduces nitrogen levels and hardens growth.
  • wiping foliage regularly with a leaf shine solution that contains neem oil may prevent them
  • if you have spiral aloe as a houseplant, then you can drop the nighttime temperature to 60 degrees Fahrenheit that will discourage mealybugs.

On the other hand, if you want to prevent and control scales, then follow the steps:

Prunings the infected branches is often the easiest solution if your plant catches the infestations.

Make sure to check your plants as well as adjacent plants ensuring that you have removed all infested stems.

Moreover, with the help of rubbing alcohol, you can kill the scale insects. The best approach is to apply rubbing alcohol directly on the scale bugs with the help of a cotton swab.

While there a no natural predators indoors, scale insects will spread even faster on indoor plants. Thus, you will need to be extremely diligent about controlling and removing them.

Also, pruning can help, however, keep an eye for several weeks to make sure there are no new scale insects.

Remove existing ones by rubbing gently with rubbing alcohol.

Final Thoughts

The Spiral Aloe plant is a beautiful plant both in indoor and outdoor settings, however, it needs specific growing conditions in which it can grow and thrive.

Infestations are rare, however, if you see any, then applying neem oil or rubbing alcohol can help to remove them.

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