Thursday, 7 April 2011

Down but not out

Aloe striatula has been considered one of the very few aloes that would cope with UK winters. Up until this winter that has proved to be true, not only did it get through without damage but flowered.  After a few years you tend to take it for granted that this is one plant you don't need to worry about.  This winter has proved that wrong and like so many plants the early cold and long periods of snow proved too much for it.

I have two large clumps, one planted in the front and one in a pot i the back. Here is the clump in the front during the snow:

At first everything looked good,  but as things warmed up the plant went down hill and now looks like this:

While there are one or two green leaves left, they are on the way out and the plant is pretty much dead.  Anyone who grows succulents in the UK is used to plant collapse like this and knows that you never rule a plant out until you have given it a chance to come back from the roots.  Looking this evening and I found this:

There are between 6 - 8 new shoots starting already, so it is going to be a nice bushy plant in the future. Sadly it is going to take a good few years to get back to its former glory and I doubt I will be seeing any flowers for years as well.  But we have to be thankful for the little things, and at least now I know to cover it during snow!


  1. Green shoots of recovery!
    I love it when things come back from the dead, though that sad droopy plant is very disheartening, poor you

  2. That's great! (the new shoots, not the death). I lost two of these a couple of years back and kept hoping to see a little green like this, it never happened.

  3. I think now they have started to shoot form the ground, I will cut them right back to remove the nasty dead parts.

  4. yeah!!! i so hope she makes it! go aloe go!

  5. Bianca, it is looking good so far and I am not alone. I was at a friends on Sunday ad they were worried their plant had died, but we had a rummage around and found exactly the same new shoots so hopefully many more people will finding the same around the country.