Evergreen Nursery has developed an amazing array of cacti and succulents mostly in an effort to respond to the ever present need to conserve water. That need is never going to change. Southern California gardens are always going to be on a low water budget and cacti and succulents accomplish just that.
Along the way we are all beginning to discover they do so much more. They tolerate poor soil conditions, take very little space, are very clean, shedding little litter, have few garden pests, and attract hummingbirds like crazy. All of that is great, but the real stars of the show are the blossoms and blooms, with many of the aloe varieties being the most notable.
The aloe varieties span a wide array of sizes, shapes, and colors. Tree varieties such as Aloe bainesii, Aloe thraski, and Aloe vaombe can act as fabulous architectural accents to any landscape along with yellow and red or golden antler like blooms that are truly magnificent. Bushier varieties such as Aloe arborescens, Aloe africanus , Aloe ferox, Aloe striata, Aloe maculata and Aloe ‘Blue Elf’, offer effortless ground covering foliage with the added bonus of vibrant pink, yellow, or red spears and sparklers of color, with an amazingly long blooming season. There are even vining varieties such as Aloe ciliaris that can look beautiful on trellis or trailing up or down over rocks and walls providing long lasting accents of color needing little space and little water.
Aloes grow well in many of San Diego county’s inland areas such as El Cajon, Lakeside, Crest, Alpine, Rancho Bernardo, Poway, and Escondido. However, a great point about them is that they also thrive in coastal areas like La Jolla, Carmel Valley, Encinitas, Carlsbad, and Oceanside. The fact that they grow slowly and require very little care make the modern Aloe varieties with their colorful “sparklers, spears, and antlers” the perfect candidate for today’s smaller yards and busy homeowners.