Aloe striata Haw. [AL-oh, stree-AH-tuh] is a unique evergreen drought-tolerant succulent type of Aloe from the Asphodelaceae family.
This frost-hardy, South African aloe species is widely found in the southern Cape Floristic Region along with Eastern Cape Province and Western Cape Province.
The species name striata refers to the faint stripes on the blue-green succulent leaves.
However, the common name “coral aloe” references the bright orange or red flowers.
These flowers are the reason these plants and various subspecies are cultivated for ornamental purposes.
The plant is often confused with others including a close relative Aloe reynoldsii.
Even though both aloe species are quite similar in appearance, the latter has toothed leaves and yellow leaves while Coral aloe has smooth leaves and coral red flowers.
In literature, the plant is confused with Alioampelos striatula or Aloe striatula.
But these are two very different aloe plants with this one found in Eastern Cape highlands.
Aloe Striata Coral Plant Care
Size & Growth
With proper care and grown in the right conditions…
- Coral Aloe plants grow 18” inches tall with an approximate 2’ foot spread.
- It is a rosette-forming plant with bluish-green flat leaves.
- The color of these leaves may vary with the amount of sunlight they receive.
- For instance, some plants warm up to a pinking hue under the full sun while others remain gray-green.
- Each leaf is toothless but has pinkish-red margins are the ends.
- Also, the plant has subtle, narrow leaf margins running along the length of the leaf.
- This is where the name of the genus is derived from.
- However, these lines are almost transparent in A. striata plants.
- You will find more pronounced leaf margins on Aloe striata subsp karasbergensis.
- From the middle of the rosette, grows flower stalks with a crown of coral flowers.
Aloe Striata Flowering
The coral red to orange flowers are what coral aloes are known for (hence the common name).
The inflorescences appear on tall stems, rising about 2’ feet above the basal rosette.
These candelabra-like stems are decorated with clusters of coral red flowers.
The flower color is perfect for adding a spot of brightness and vibrancy to winter gardens.
The bloom time usually starts late winter, lasting until early spring.
The flowers along with the succulent foliage add a dramatic focal point to flower beds and in decorative containers in a sunny location.
The flowers are full of nectar, attracting birds, bees, and butterflies.
Light & Temperature
These plants are hardy to USDA Hardiness Zones 9 through 11, thriving in semi-desert climes.
They do their best under the full sun but also tolerates partial shade but with huge amounts of sunlight from the afternoon sun.
Watering and Feeding
As it is with succulents, water needs are low to average.
When the weather is hot and dry, water moderately without overwatering and drowning the roots.
Water moderately throughout the year, making sure the soil isn’t wet.
When temperatures drop and winter arrives, water sparingly.
During the growing season, feed the plant a balanced half-strength liquid fertilizer once per month.
Do not overfeed the plants as it may cause leggy growth.
Soil & Transplanting
Native to Karoo or semi-desert climates in South Africa, these plants thrive in rocky sands.
Whether you’re planting them in pots or in the ground for landscaping, use a sandy or gravelly well-draining succulent soil.
This is crucial to ensure good drainage as, without it, the plant will suffer rot and die out.
Transplanting is tolerated by Aloe striata plants but has to be done very carefully.
Grooming and Maintenance
Like other aloes, this beautiful succulent is very low-maintenance.
You don’t have to deadhead the flowers or prune the pale gray-green leaves.
You don’t have to worry about providing them protection as they are deer-resistant as well.
How To Propagate Striata Coral Aloe Plant
The Aloe Striata coral is easily propagated with seeds. Sow them indoors before the last frost in late winter.
First, collect the seeds once the pods have dried on the plant and then break them open.
Once you have the seeds, sow them in sandy soil.
It will take the seeds a few weeks to germinate successfully at temperatures between 68° – 75° degrees Fahrenheit (20° – 24° C).
Once the seedlings are strong enough to be transplanted, move them to a location in sandy soils under the afternoon sun.
Coral Aloe Plant Pest or Diseases
Besides watching for a minor susceptibility to mealybugs and scale insects, these plants are typically free of pest and disease problems.
You may also see droopy leaves and root rot if the plant is left standing in too much water.
Aloe Striata Coral Plant Uses
In their natural habitat, this plant type is found growing on rocky slopes.
But in other regions, they make great additions to various garden settings.
Plant them in sandy or gravelly soils along flower bed borders and hedges or in coastal gardens, rock gardens, succulent gardens, and Mediterranean gardens.
In sunny borders, use them as accent plants or decorative containers for a pop of color in the bloom time.
Since the flowers are full of nectar, the plant is great for pollinator gardens where it could attract bees and hummingbirds.