Aloe helenae, also known as vahondranda, is a plant that originates from the Western Cape in South Africa. It has thick and fleshy leaves with sharp teeth on its margins, along with sparse amounts of white flowers that are followed by yellow fruits.
The Aloe helenae species prefers dry climates such as those found in sandy deserts – areas where it is well adapted to the hot, dry summers and cold winters.
It needs very little water when grown in a pot or container with good drainage. The soil should be allowed to dry before watering again; this is especially important if it’s planted in an area where there are long periods of rain during the summer months.
Origin and Description of Aloe Helenae
It prefers soils that have been heavily fertilized with nitrogenous material like manure or composted leaves.
This plant can be grown successfully in hardiness zones 11-13 where it needs plenty of water, good drainage, and moderate light conditions.
Its care requires regular watering during the summer months when they are in full active growth; winter months require less frequent but consistent watering due to their dormant period at this time of year.
The ‘helenae’ is an attractive, evergreen succulent with rosettes of leaves that grow up to 30 cm in diameter. It has fleshy green leaves which have a lightly spotted pattern. The lower leaves are long and strap-like, but the higher ones can be short and round-shaped. The flowers of helenae are white or pale red in color, with yellow centers that attract pollinating insects like hummingbirds and sunbirds.
How to propagate Aloe helenae
Propagation can be done by taking a leaf off of the plant, removing the fleshy part from it, and planting both in good soil. It is also possible to grow Aloe helenae from seed – but this method takes longer than propagation through cuttings or leaves.
* Take a leaf off the plant, removing the fleshy part from it and planting both in good soil.
* When propagating helenae, make sure to water it regularly, and keep the soil moist.
* Aloe helenae likes little rain during the summer months but needs plenty of water in winter when dormant.
* When propagating aloe helenae from seed, it is important for them to be kept warm enough so that they can germinate – the ideal temperature for this is between 18-25 degrees Celsius.
* Keep the seedlings in a sunny location, but not too hot or they will dry out and die.
* When growing helenae from cuttings, place them in a pot with sandy soil that drains well – water regularly as needed to keep the soil moist.
* Keep the cuttings in a sunny location but not one that is too hot or they will die from sunburn and over-heating.
* When propagating aloe helenae from leaves, it’s important to plant them at least 60cm apart so as to avoid overcrowding of plants – this is especially important if propagating it from leaves in a pot or container.
* It takes at least six months for aloe helenae to grow and start flowering, during which time the plant will need plenty of water – but not too much!
General care information for Aloe helenae
Aloe helenae needs a consistently bright location. Too much shade or too little light will cause the plant to fail and die quickly. It is best placed in an east, south, or west-facing window where it can get direct sunlight for at least six hours per day. If you are using artificial lights indoors, like grow light, be sure that they’re no more than a foot over the plant.
The best container size is between eight inches and twelve inches in diameter, though smaller pots may be used if they are frequently watered.
Aloe helenae plants require watering twice a week in the winter and three times per week during the summer months. Be sure not to let your potting soil become completely dry for too long, as this will cause root rot or other illness-inducing problems.
The best way to water Aloe helenae is by submerging it fully, letting the water run out, and then placing it in a dry location for at least four hours.
Aloe helenae plants need a well-balanced fertilizer every two months. A diluted liquid fertilizer is recommended and should be applied to the soil after watering.
Temperature and light
Aloe helenae prefers bright, indirect sun and low to medium temperatures. A broad climate range of 20-30 degrees Celsius is acceptable for the plant as long as the plant does not freeze in winter or get overly hot and dry in summer. The ideal temperature for Aloe helenae would be around 25 degrees Celsius with plenty of light.
If the humidity is too low, Aloe helenae can get dry and shriveled. If it gets to high, it may droop or develop brown spots on leaves. The ideal range for humidity would be around 40% – 50%.
Some ways to increase the relative humidity in your home are by placing a small humidifier near the plant or by using a pebble tray.
Aloe helenae does not need to be repotted often. If the plant has outgrown its pot, it is best to replace it with one that has a similar size and drainage holes in order to avoid root rot.
If you are looking for an Aloe helenae recipe, try this simple one:
- Fill a pot or a pebble tray with cactus, succulent, and gravel (or sand)
- Place Aloe helenae in the pot so that it is sitting on top of the layer of rocks/gravel. The root should rest comfortably in between two layers of rock.
- Cover the plant’s roots with additional rocks to ensure adequate drainage.
- Water with room-temperature water and let it dry in between watering. This will prevent the plant from becoming too wet or overwatered.
Prune the aloe’s leaves once or twice a year. Cut back to just above each leaf node where two new branches meet, which will encourage more growth and allow air circulation around the plant.
Aloe helenae is hardy in Zone 13
Is Aloe helenae toxic? Yes, the leaf’s juice is highly irritant and causes ulcers on contact with human skin.
The sap from the plant is poisonous and can cause a rash or skin irritation if touched.
Therefore, it should be handled carefully in gardens to prevent contact with nearby people or pets.