Aloe polyphylla, a rare spiral-shaped plant for your garden
Aloe polyphylla, commonly called “Aloe spiral” a succulent plant of the family Asphodelaceae. This Aloe species is considered one of the most beautiful and rare in the world. It has a striking and very particular appearance since it believes in a spiral. This amazing plant is native to South Africa and especially in the province of Leshoto on the rocky slopes.
“Aloe polyphylla, one of the most original plants on the planet”
Many succulents have a rosette-shaped morphology, sometimes composed of thick leaves, more or less elongated, serrated or not serrated on the edges (…), but none form such a spiral. With its large, dense rosette very regularly spiraled clockwise or anti-clockwise, Aloe polyphylla is one of the most original plants on the planet. Its resistance to cold (down to around -10 ° C) also makes it very interesting for our climates. This Aloe is still rare in cultivation because it does not reject and must be sown.
The spiral, a natural adaptation of the plant to its environment
Aloe polyphylla is a relatively fast growing species, since it can reach full size after 5 or 6 years. It is only from the age of about 2 or 3 years that the leaves begin to take the shape of the famous spiral, either to the right or to the left. The arrangement in the form of a spiral is a natural adaptation to its environment which allows the leaves of the plant to obtain maximum exposure to light and this in a minimum of space.
This Aloe is unfortunately threatened in its country of origin because of the overexploitation of the grounds, but also of the scarcity of its main pollinator, a bird called the Malachite Sunbird (Nectarinia famosa), a species of passerine endemic to the South of the Africa.
How to sow and cultivate Aloe polyphylla?
Like most plants of the same botanical genus, Aloe polyphylla is easy to grow provided that a few basic rules are followed. It requires a very bright exposure and also needs a soil that is both rich and well draining. For this, a mixture of 1/3 garden soil, 1/3 coarse sand and 1/3 potting soil is ideal.
Unlike most aloes that prefer not to be exposed to negative temperatures, Aloe polyphylla tolerates temperatures down to -7 ° C to -10 ° C without problem. In some areas, it is still necessary to plant it in a pot to be able to shelter it in winter. As for watering, they should be copious in the summer during the growth period and weak or even zero during the winter period.
For sowing, place the potted seeds in a mixture of 1/2 coarse sand and 1/2 well-decomposed potting soil and cover them with a very thin layer of coarse sand, just a few minimeters. Maintain a temperature of around 20 ° C and the substrate slightly damp, but not soggy and this until germination (i.e. between 10 and 15 days generally).