Botanical Name — Aloe peglerae
Common Name — Red-hot poker Aloe, Fez Aloe, Turk's cap
Plant Family — Asphodelaceae
Aloe peglerae is native to South Africa, Magaliesberg, from near Pretoria to near Rustenburg in the Western Transvaal, and the northern slopes of the Witwatersberg. Grows as a solitary low growing rosette with blue-greyish green leaves curving inwards as a rounded spherical shape. The leaf edges have reddish brown spines. Their bloom stalk is approximately 15 inches tall and bears a dense amount of dull red tubular flowers. This plant is an endangered species due to over collecting. It is listed in the Red Data of South Africa and is now illegal to take from its natural environment.
Aloe peglerae grows best in bright indirect light but can take full direct sun or light shade. The plants stems will tend to redden if exposed to afternoon direct sun in the summer months.
Aloe peglerae like room temperatures around 65 to 80 F. Night time temperatures can go down to 60 F. They like to be warm and are not cold tolerant.
During the winter months, the plants should be grown cool about 40-50 F to encourage flower development.
In the summer months water only when the soil has dried out completely. Always err on the side of underwatering. They are built to withstand drought, and overwatering is one of the quickest ways to kill them. Water less in the winter months.
If not watered for a long time, leaves tend to curl inwards.
These plants prefer a sandy, sharply draining mix. Cacti or succulent potting mix is great. You can amend a regular potting soil with sand or pumice up to 50% to improve grittiness and drainage.
The inflorescence is a single stem that reaches 14 to 15 inches tall. The flower buds are dull red with deep-red, almost black filament protruding from the flower tubes that are dense along the stalk. The blooming occurs in the colder months from November to February.
These plants do not require fertilizer though it can be added to give container grown plants a boost or to supplement poor soil. Apply a water-soluble, balanced fertilizer monthly, diluted at half strength.
Propagation by seeds or division of older plants.
The most common insect pests for the Aloe plant in homes are scale and mealybugs.
Overwatering can cause root rot or fungal disease.
Maintenance (pruning, legginess, repotting)
Does not need regular pruning other than removal of old flower stalks.
Little maintenance is required to grow these plants. They do not require frequent repotting unless they are out growing the planter. Repot once every two to three years to refresh the soil.
This plant is mildly toxic to pets and humans. If ingested, can result in vomiting and diarrhea.