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The torch aloe, Aloe arborescens, is native to Malawi, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and South Africa. It bears dense rosettes of succulent, toothed, sword-shaped leaves, from which tall,torch-like red flowers – similar to kniphofia – appear in summer.
For best results grow Aloe arborescens in cactus compost in a large container and water sparingly. Stop watering altogether between September and March. It's best suited to growing as a houseplant in the conservatory or greenhouse, but it can be moved to a sheltered, sunny patio in summer.
Aloe arborescens is unlikely to flower in Britain.
Plant type: Evergreen tree
Flower colour: Red
Foliage colour: Light green
Sun exposure: Full sun
Skill level: Beginner
Flowering period: May to June
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