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Crocodile Plant 'Aloe brevifolia'

$1.65 USD
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Get ready to meet the one and only Crocodile Plant, also known as Aloe brevifolia, a vibrant member of the genus! This little guy is a real showstopper with its teeth-like spikes that line each leaf and create a spine down its back like a crest of crocodile teeth, giving it its fierce common name, and also known as short-leaved aloe.  

However, it's important to note that this plant is mildly toxic and shouldn't be ingested by humans or pets.  It can thrive well in rock gardens, pots, and xeriscaping - making it an ideal small-scale groundcover too! And if you grow it just right in full sun, get ready for some seriously stunning colors as the tips turn shades of reds, yellows, and oranges when exposed to bright light. 

The aloe brevifolia crocodile plant, which grows in clumps up to 12 inches tall and wide in its natural habitat, is suitable for both indoor rock gardens and outdoor rock gardens in temperate climates. The blue-green leaves of the Aloe brevifolia crocodile plant have raised white spots that resemble thorns on the top and bottom, as well as soft white thorns on the leaf margins. The leaves sometimes acquire a lovely pinkish hue in cooler weather. 

While it is often confused with Aloe vera (aloe species), which is a very similar plant, Aloe brevifolia is primarily grown for its ornamental value and is not known to have any edible or medicinal properties. This plant can be propagated by removing offsets from the parent plant or by developing bare root cuttings.  

Hailing from South Africa, Aloe brevifolia grows faster during spring and fall. This beautiful aloe plant attracts birds, bees, and butterflies with its tall, red-pink flowers in late winter or early spring. Standing at less than a foot tall but with big personality traits such as thick triangular leaves colored glaucous green, yellow, blue, and gray - there's no denying that the Crocodile Plant makes for an exciting addition to any garden or container display! 

Watering needs 

Watering the drought tolerant Aloe brevifolia is a piece of cake! The leaves of this adorable succulent are full of water, so they do not require frequent, deep watering either. "Soak and dry " is the best approach in gardening in this case. 

During the growing season (spring and fall), it is recommended to water once every two weeks or so. In the winter and summer, when the plant is dormant, you can reduce watering to once a month. Be sure to use well-draining soil, and avoid getting water on the leaves or stem, as this can lead beautiful plants to rot. 

Keep an eye out for mushy, yellowing leaves, which are a sign of severe overwatering. If this occurs, repot your Aloe brevifolia crocodile plant in dry soil and avoid frequent watering of it. Whenever you touch the soil, if it feels like a desert with no sign of moisture in the soil, or if those cute little leaves start to turn yellow, look wrinkled, or shriveled up - that's when you know your crocodile plants are thirsty! 

If the plant needs water, give them some love by pouring water gently over the pots and around them until it drips off from the holes at the bottom of the pot.  With just a bit of attention paid to these little details, soon enough, your Aloe brevifolia plants will be thriving like never before. 

Light Requirements 

Aloe brevifolia needs a lot of sunlight in order to reach its full potential. You should expose the pot of this crocodile plant to direct sunlight every day for up to 4 hours. This may be simpler to accomplish if you are growing it outside, but if you want to grow it inside, all you need to do is set the potted succulent a few feet away from a south-facing window sill in your home. 

When exposed to direct sunlight, the leaves of this crocodile aloe plant change from their initial Blue-Green color to shades of red, Orange, and Pink. This is a natural response to the sun's UV rays and is a sign that the crocodile plant is producing more pigments to protect itself from the direct sun. In some cases, the leaves may also turn a yellowish color if they are not receiving enough light. On the other hand, if the leaves are thin and stretched out, it is also an indication that the plant is not receiving enough light. 

However, if the leaves are turning brown or black, this may be a sign of sunburn or over-watering the plant, which can be harmful to the plant. 

Optimal soil & Fertilizer Needs 

Use well-drained soil that is designed specifically for your Aloe brevifoia succulent. These specialty soil mixes have been precisely developed to imitate well-draining desert soils. That's why we at Planet Desert have got your back with our . This organic substrate has mycorrhizae which helps grow a healthy root system that makes all those spiky stems stand up tall and proud.  If you don't mind getting a bit of dirt on your hands and are okay with a basic gardening soil for your succulent, then you can save some money and make your own dry clay soil mix by simply combing healthy natural garden soil with equal parts of sand or perlite. 

And let's not forget about fertilizing! A small amount of fertilizer with an equal mixture of NPK (5-10-5) once a year in spring will do wonders for the roots and your plant's health and growth. Don't fertilize in the summer or winter. So, skip those harsh chemicals and give the roots of lace aloe and your succulent some love with some awesome organic fertilizer! Remember, avoid overfertilizing your aloe plants; it may cause fungal diseases and develop root rot. 

Hardiness Zones & More 

keep it at warm temperatures at all times. If the temperature falls below 20° F, bring your crocodile plant indoors. If you plant your Aloe brevifolia crocodile plant outdoors below that temperature, you won't likely be able to grow it. The leaves sometimes acquire a lovely pinkish hue in cooler weather. 

The crocodile plant is an outdoor tropical succulent that can be grown in USDA zones 8 and 11. In cooler zones, it can be kept outdoors during the summer and brought in as the temperature drops. It doesn't like humidity because it is adapted to a dry, hot climate. 

Be sure to add the Aloe brevifolia crocodile plant to your collection today and elevate the beauty of your home or garden with this stunning and healthy-looking plant. 

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