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Origin and Habitat: Garden origin, hybrid. This Kelly Griffin hybrid is what Kelly calls a multi-generation hybrid that possibly includes the legendary and beautiful Aloe 'Doran Black' as a parent or at the least shares some of its appearance - 'Doran Black' is a Dick Wright hybrid that involved hybrid plants of Aloe rauhii crossed with A. descognsii. 'Christmas Carol' has all the beauty of 'Doran Black' with the addition of vibrant red colours in the leaves.
Description: Aloe 'Christmas Carol' is a small hybrid aloe with with festive colour, that capture perfectly the Red and Green theme of Christmas. It has small rosettes to under 30 cm tall and wide, with intriguing, raised dark red markings, some soft but spinelike, down the centre and along the leaf margin. Tubular pink to reddish-orange flowers add to the show.
Leaves: Lance-shaped, up to15 cm long, deep green, featuring deep crimson raised spots and trimmed in bright red. This hybrid shows mostly green during the grey skies of winter, but at the end of summer in full sun, it's decked out in festive red.
Flowers: Vibrant pinkish-red to orange.
Blooming season: Autumn.
Bibliography: Major references and further lectures
1) San Marcos Growers contributors “Aloe 'Christmas Carol' ” San Marcos Growers <http://www.smgrowers.com/products/plants/plantdisplay.asp?plant_id=3483>. Web. 27 Sep. 2014.
Aloe cv. Christmas Carol Photo by: Diego Armentano
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Cultivation and Propagation: Aloe cv. Christmas Carol is an attractive and interesting little aloe cultivated typically as a potted plant in greenhouses or outdoors in mostly frost-free regions. It is easy to grow and suited for any well drained soil, requires little care, and a hardy, easy little suckering plant. This exquisite little plant is much tougher than it looks, growing happily in full, all-day sun. It should prove a great plant for a small scale ground cover, in the rock garden or for container gardening. This is a spectacular hybrid- one of the most colourful Kelly Griffin creations. Its unique colouration is very stable and will remind you and your friends of the glory of the Christmas Holiday again and again throughout the years.
Growing rate: It grows slowly, but not agonisingly so. In the garden it is often in danger of being overgrown, smothered and killed by faster growing plants in its vicinity (can get lost in busy landscape).
Soil: Requires a loose, humusy soil with plenty of drainage chips at the bottom of containers. It prefers soil of a medium or slightly acidic pH.
Fertilization: It needs a perfect fertilizer diet in summer. Use preferably a cacti and succulents fertilizer with high potassium content including all micro nutrients and trace elements or slow release fertilizer.
Exposure: Plant in full sun to light shade (color best with brighter light),and a plant that has been growing in shade should be slowly hardened off before placing it in full sun as the plant will be severely scorched if moved too suddenly from shade into sun. In summer it is advisable to position this plant in a partially shady place, where it is exposed to direct sunlight only during the coolest hours of the day.
Watering: It tolerates weekly (or more frequent) watering in the summer; once a month, or not at all in the colder months of winter. Can withstand periods of drought, but it will thrive and flower more profusely if watered in the correct season.
Pest & diseases: Incorrect watering, poor drainage or too much shade can lead to attack by pests and diseases. Rot it is only a minor problem with aloes if the plants are watered and “aired” correctly. If they are not, fungicides won't help all that much.
Hardiness: Likely hardy to -6° C (if the soil stays completely dry), but not well documented. Therefore in the Spring it is best to set it outside only when the temperatures are above 5°C.
Gardening and landscaping: In mild climates it can be cultivated outdoors for use in landscaping with a climate not too cold, and not too wet. It can be grown in containers too.
Propagation: By cuttings. Cuttings must be dried out for at least 1 weeks before planting in river sand.
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