The Aloe brevifolia plant, also known as the short leaved aloe, is native to the Cape Province of South Africa. It has been used medicinally for centuries by indigenous people and African tribesmen alike, both as a poultice for wounds or applied topically when treating burns. Nowadays it’s still widely used in Europe and America as an ingredient in skincare products.
Aloe brevifolia ‘short leaved aloe’ is a species of aloe that lives in the arid areas of southern Africa, though it can also be found throughout other parts of the world. The plant gets its name from being shorter than some other varieties and having longer leaves for easier identification. It has been used medicinally by Africans since ancient times, and it was reportedly one of the first plants to be cultivated in Egypt.
Origin and Distribution Aloe Brevifolia ‘Short Leaved Aloe’
The plant grows from sea level up to altitudes of about 1750 meters in a wide variety of habitats, such as sandy or rocky ground and grassy hillsides with sparse vegetation. This species only occurs at higher elevations southwards into Lesotho, but not in the southwestern and southern parts of Cape Province.
Aloe brevifolia is a member of the Aloe genus, which are succulent plants that store water in their leaves to survive long periods without rain. This characteristic makes them popular for gardening purposes, as they can be grown outdoors with little attention. The species is also popular with succulent collectors, due to its rarity and beauty.
How To Propagate Aloe Brevifolia ‘Short Leaved Aloe’
Propagation of short leaved aloe is through offset or suckers from the base of the stem. It can also be grown from seed, but that takes a very long time and has mixed results. Offsets are easier to propagate because you get multiple plants for the effort on one plant.
Offsets can be removed at any time, but are easiest to remove when they are still small. They should not have roots that go deep into the soil because if they do then you risk breaking them off and killing your plant. When removing offsets, use a sharp knife or shears to cut it away from the mother plant about two-thirds of the way down.
Offsets can be planted right away in a new pot or they can dry for about two weeks before planting to reduce chances of rot and improve their survival rate. Seeds must be prepped first by soaking them in water overnight, then sowing them on top of moist soil that has been mixed with perlite so that it is not too wet.
When offsets are removed, they should be planted in a new pot so that the roots do not have to grow through the soil where other plant’s roots may already exist and compete for resources.; when planting offset in a new pot, add perlite or sand to the top of moist soil to keep it from being too wet.
The seeds must first be soaked overnight and then plant on top of moist soil that has been mixed with perlite so the soil is not too wet.; after planting, cover it with a thin layer of sand or fine vermiculite to ensure there are no seeds that are exposed.
Important: Aloe brevifolia ‘short leaved aloe’ is not a frost-tolerant succulent and should be kept indoors during winter months if outside conditions will dip below 45 degrees Fahrenheit or suffer from heavy frosts.; keep the plant in a bright location with indirect sunlight but it can also tolerate direct sun for most of the day.
General care information for aloe brevifolia ‘short leaved aloe’
The Aloe Brevifolia plant is a low light requiring succulent. It will thrive in an area with indirect sunlight or even as the only natural lighting for your room. If you happen to have more direct sunshine, do not worry about it too much and keep the plants over a sink so they can be watered regularly if needed.
The Aloe brevifolia will thrive best in open, well-draining soil. They require excellent drainage and airflow to help prevent root rot or other fungal diseases. The potting mix should be porous so that excess water can drain away. If using a container with a saucer for the plant, it is important to ensure that the saucer doesn’t allow water to pool.
The potting mix should be porous so that excess water can drain away. If using a container with a saucer for the plant, it is important to ensure that the saucer doesn’t allow water to pool.
Aloe brevifolia does not need a lot of fertilizer. You can add it to the soil when you plant your aloe, or water with compost tea every other week.
- A good rule of thumb is that if the leaves start turning yellow then fertilize twice as much
- If they become big and green but fall off, then fertilize more
- If they are small and yellow with a bump on the top and lots of leaves coming out from that spot, it is too dry. You need to water your aloe brevifolia
This will make sure that you have healthy plants for years!
The aloe brevifolia houseplant needs to be watered regularly, usually every other day or so depending on the climate and air quality in your home. It is best if you can set up a system that waters it for you while you are away from home. You also should not water with cold or iced water.
The leaves will get a white film on them if the soil is too wet. If you don’t water your plant regularly, this can be an indication that it needs more watering.
The aloe brevifolia houseplant does not like to be cold. The ideal temperature for this plant is usually around 75 degrees Fahrenheit or 24 degrees C.
The aloe brevifolia houseplant needs a lot of humidity. It is best to keep the plant in an area where it can get some fog or mist from time to time, and you should avoid cold drafts.
There are ways that you can increase the humidity level for this type of plant with things like using wet sponges or pebbles around the pot.
The ideal humidity level is usually around 60%.
It is best to repot the aloe brevifolia houseplant at least every year.
You also can just get a bigger pot if yours isn’t big enough for the plant to grow in, and then you can divide it later.
The best time to repot your aloe brevifolia houseplant is in spring or early summer when new growth begins.
It is best to prune your short leaved aloe houseplant only if it has become too large for the pot. You should cut off about one-third of the plant’s height in order to keep the right shape without stunting its growth.
The most difficult part about this type of pruning is making sure that you don’t accidentally cut off too much.
It is best to have a friend help you if you can so that your cuts are straight and even.
The most ideal time for pruning this type of plant would be in early spring before new growth begins, or after it has finished flowering during the winter months.
You should also make sure to replace the soil in your aloe brevifolia houseplant’s pot with fresh, rich soil that has a lot of organic material when you are repotting it.
Another way to do this is by using live sphagnum moss around the outer edge of the pot.
The plant should be fertilized every week or two during the growing season.
Do not fertilize this type of plant if it has been repotted recently, or after the leaves have turned black and withered.
The aloe brevifolia houseplant is a slow-growing plant. It will take at least two years before it reaches its full size, or sometimes three or four years.
It does not grow much in the winter months so you should make sure to water it more during this time of year.
Aloe brevifolia toxicity is not well studied, but the skin of this plant may cause a rash or inflammation if touched. It produces latex and should be handled with gloves when harvesting.
In vivo studies have shown that Aloe brevifolia has anti-inflammatory properties. However, it does not appear to provide any other benefits.
Pests and diseases
Aloe brevifolia is typically grown as a succulent. It does not have too many pests and diseases that are problematic for the plant when it is grown in an environment where there are no other competing plants nearby, but aloes can be afflicted with scale insects or spider mites which feed on sap from inside the leaves. These pests are difficult to control with pesticides.