Aloe 'Erik the Red' - A large growing aloe to 6 feet tall or more with its stems topped by rosettes to about 2 feet wide with dark to mid-green leaves that have a prominent, but not dangerous whitish-green teeth along the leaf margins. The main stem often has new shoots early on to create a full shrubby plant, but older stems are more solitary. The tall branching inflorescences of blood-red flowers appear in early winter and continue through to early spring with dark red buds as attractively colored as the flowers. The open flowers are one and a half inches long with yellow exerted stamens.
Plant in full sun in a well-drained soil. Can get by with occasional to very infrequent irrigation, but also tolerant of more regular gardening watering. We have not had this plant through any very cold winters, but it is noted as hardy to a medium frost so likely cold tolerant to temperatures down to the mid to high 20's F. Removing side shoots on the main stems can neaten up the plant and promote earlier flowering. This very attractive flowering aloe is a great addition to any garden! We so like it that we used a painting of it for the cover of our 2012 catalog
This sensational large aloe with dark red flowers that contrast well against the long dark green leaves comes from the breeding program of Leo Thamm of Sunbird Aloes in Johannesburg, South Africa. This program was first introduced into the US in 2012 and also included other very nice aloe cultivars 'Fairy Pink', Moonglow ['LEO 3151A'], Scarlet Rockets ['LEO 3711'] and Topaz ['LEO 4120']. Aloe 'Erik the Red' is a complex hybrid involving Aloe mawii, which contributed its dark red color combined with A. petricola, A. marlothii (red form) and A. arborescens. It was named after the breeder's eldest son, whom he notes is "also a tall fella" and was awarded the Gold Medal at the Brisbane Horticultural Show in Australia. A painting of this plant done by our nursery founder Marcia Constance graced the cover of our 2014 catalog.
Information about Aloe 'Erik the Red' displayed on this page is based on our research about it conducted in our library and gathered from reliable online sources. We include observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery gardens and in other gardens that we have visited, as well as how the crops have performed in containers in our own nursery field. We will also incorporate comments that we receive from others about this plant when we feel it adds information and particularly welcome hearing from anyone who has any additional cultural recommendations that would aid others in growing it.