The Sunday Snatch featuring Aloe Vera

Well hello!  Have you had a productive, fun, or relaxing Sunday thus far?  Mine has been a mix.  I just planted a whole bunch of cholla in the back yard, did a bit of tree watering, and soon I’m going to dig a few holes for footers – that shade structure really is in the works, finally.  And, duh, tonight we will be watching Game of Thrones.


aloe 1


So this snatch features a tough standby that I hope to accumulate more of as the years roll on – Aloe vera.  At least I think that’s what it is.  It may be some other sort of aloe all together, because there are so many different kinds.  Wikipedia just informed me that this particular type of aloe is “found only in cultivation, having no naturally occurring populations, although closely related aloes do occur in northern Africa.”  Either way, whether it’s actually vera, barabadensis, or some other species, it’s the one you see all over cultivated landscapes in the southwest, and it’s a great plant.  With a bit of extra water they are green and perky and flower vigorously in the spring.  Without an additional drink they tend to get a bit more gray-green with crispy edges and don’t produce as many flowers.  But they’ll survive!


I love pairing them with yellow barrel cactus, dinner plate prickly pear, and the various palo verde trees.


So this snatch is pretty basic, but might require a shovel depending on how hard the ground is where you find your donor plant.  As seen in the photo below, I took a shovel to this mass of plants and dug up about 1/3 of the group.


aloe 2

You’ll end up with a snarled clump of plants that are intertwined, but that can be easily fixed.

aloe 3


It helps to have a trowel or knife to take them all apart.  Alternately, you could just replant the clump and let it do its thing.  Either way works great.  As you can see, my clump turned out to be 17 individual plants.  Not a bad haul for one shovelful of work.


aloe 4

I ended up using a few of these to add to my indoor plant collection.  The rest will be redistributed throughout the front yard, so year by year they will have a bigger and better presence.  Yay for aloe!  It’s a great plant for people who think they have a “black thumb.”  If this is you, come over and I will give you a handful of these guys and you can test your plant skills.

aloe 5


1 Comment
  1. Thanks for your article, I appreciated it.

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