Ask a Question forum: Is this an Aloe or Cactus?

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Name: Stel Venetoulis
Baltimore, MD
Stelios369
Apr 29, 2017 3:28 PM CST
I have this strange little cactus/aloe type plant, but I don't know what it is. Image galleries make your eyes go crossed sometimes b/c everything looks the same after a while.
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Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
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plantmanager
Apr 29, 2017 3:40 PM CST
I'd say it's definitely an aloe. It reminds me of Climbing Aloe (Aloe ciliaris), but I am not great at ID'ing aloes. There are too many of them! You have a very nice one!
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Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Apr 29, 2017 3:44 PM CST
It is an aloe of the rambling/creeping type (there are a few in that category which share this behavior). It looks like the plant would enjoy more light, which would shorten the stems and make them more manageable, maybe? If at any time your aloe goes wildly out of control (unstakeable) then you can definitely restart it from a cutting of the terminal rosette.

I have given up on growing this type of aloe in containers (prone to instability) but the ones in the ground form tremendous sprawling mounds of stems over time. In the right place, a good filler, and the flowers are pretty when they appear dozens at a time. Smiling For example this is a ciliaris-like plant (presumably a hybrid).

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[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Apr 29, 2017 3:51 PM (+)]
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