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Description

The Torch aloe is one of the most commonly grown aloes throughout Southern California and the Inland Empire. It grows into a dense mounding shrub comprised of many entangled stems with rosettes of thick succulent leaves. Mature plants grow 6-12 ft. tall and spread 10-12 ft. across and wider. Leaves are pale to medium green, tapered, reach 12-18 in. long and have numerous knobby spines on the margins. Colorful flowers are deep red-orange and occur on stems in early to mid-winter.

Torch aloe can serve as the anchor plant in mixed succulent plantings in hot and sunny garden locations. Both its size and bold winter flowering make it well suited as an accent plant; the fact that its flowers are highly attractive to nectar-seeking birds is an added bonus. It requires little care and can be kept to smaller sizes when grown in large pots.

Water Needs

Torch aloe is well adapted to all parts of the Inland Empire in sunny exposures with normal winter rains and low amounts of summer irrigation. The chart shown below provides a recommended baseline guide to the monthly irrigation schedule and volume of supplemental water needed to maintain healthy growth throughout the average year. It should be noted there are several months indicated by an asterisk (*) when winter rains often provide sufficient moisture and irrigation is not needed. The high and low range of moisture indicates Torch aloe can grow with varying amounts of water; little supplemental water is needed during summer.

Irrigation Schedule and Graph

Low Water Use Plants

Irrigation Schedule 1

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
Runs per Month 0x to 2x 0x to 2x 0x to 2x 1x 1x 1x 1x 1x 1x 1x 0x to 2x 0x to 2x
Inches per Run 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1"
 
Inches per Month 0" to 2" 0" to 2" 0" to 2" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 0" to 2" 0" to 2"

Range of supplemental summer water: 7"
Range of supplemental winter water: 0"-10"

 
0"-2"
0"-2"
0"-2"
1"
1"
1"
1"
1"
1"
1"
0"-2"
0"-2"
  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
For more information on how to use this Irrigation Schedule and Graph, click here.

Plant Properties

Plant Type: Aloe
Foliage Character: Succulent, Evergreen
Habit: Spreading, Mounding, Dense, Clumping
Growth Rate: Slow
Height: 6 ft. - 12 ft.
Width: 10 ft. - 12 ft.
Water Needs: Low 1
Foliage Color: Pale green
Flower Color: Red, Orange
Flower Season: Winter
Soil Adaptations: Well-draining soil
Exposure Adaptations: Wind, Heat, Drought, Aridity, All day sun, Partial sun
Function: Specimen, Slopes, Screening, Hummingbird plant, Foliage accent plant, Container plant, Background plant

Maintenance

Prune dead flower heads when needed, usually in early spring. If flower stalks have dried out, they can usually be removed by pulling rather than needing to use a hand pruner (D,S).

References

Associations

Plant Lists