The Aloe Black Gem, or Alworthia Black Gem, is a stunning hybrid succulent with dark, fleshy leaves and a compact growth habit. This versatile plant adds elegance to any space and is relatively easy to care for.
How to Care for Aloe Black Gem
Aloe Black Gem thrives in bright, indirect light. Place it near a south or west-facing window with filtered light or under a grow light to ensure optimal growth. Direct sunlight may scorch its leaves, so be cautious of excessive exposure.
Watering Aloe Black Gem
Allow the soil to dry out completely between waterings. Overwatering can lead to root rot. Typically, watering once every 2-3 weeks during the growing season (spring and summer) and once every 4-6 weeks during dormancy (fall and winter) is sufficient.
Soil and Potting Mix
A well-draining soil mix is crucial for Black Gem. Use a commercial succulent mix or create your own by combining equal parts potting soil, coarse sand, and perlite. Plant your succulent in a pot with drainage holes to prevent standing water and root rot.
Temperature and Humidity
This succulent prefers temperatures between 65-80°F (18-27°C). Protect it from extreme temperature fluctuations and frost, as it’s not frost-hardy.
Aloe Black Gem can tolerate a range of humidity levels but thrives in moderate to low humidity. Avoid overly humid environments or consider using a dehumidifier if needed.
Aloe Black Gem requires bright, indirect light, well-draining soil, and infrequent watering. Thriving in 65-80°F (18-27°C) temperatures and moderate to low humidity, this succulent is sensitive to frost and overwatering.
How to Propagate Aloe Black Gem
- Choose a healthy, mature leaf and gently twist it off the mother plant.
- Allow the leaf to callus by leaving it in a dry, shaded area for a few days.
- Place the callused end of the leaf on well-draining soil.
- Keep the soil slightly moist and avoid overwatering.
- In a few weeks, roots and new growth should emerge from the callused end.
- Look for offsets growing around the base of the mother plant.
- Gently remove the offset by loosening the soil and using a clean, sharp tool to separate it from the mother plant.
- Allow the offset to dry and callus for a day or two.
- Plant the offset in well-draining soil, and water sparingly until established.
Propagate Aloe Black Gem through leaf cuttings or offsets (pups), allowing them to callus before planting in well-draining soil and watering sparingly.
Fertilizing Your Aloe Black Gem
Fertilize your Black Gem sparingly during the growing season. Use a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer diluted to half-strength once every 4-6 weeks from spring to early autumn. Do not fertilize during dormancy.
Common Pests and Diseases
Aloe Black Gem is relatively pest-resistant but can occasionally be affected by mealybugs, aphids, and spider mites. To prevent infestations, maintain good air circulation and avoid overwatering. If you notice pests, treat the plant with a diluted solution of insecticidal soap or neem oil, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
Root rot is a common issue with succulents, usually caused by overwatering. Ensure proper drainage and allow the soil to dry out completely between waterings to prevent this problem. If you suspect root rot, remove the plant from its pot, trim away any affected roots, and repot in fresh, well-draining soil.
Fertilize Aloe Black Gem sparingly during growing season. Prevent pests and diseases with good air circulation and proper watering. Treat infestations with insecticidal soap or neem oil.
Where to Buy
Buy Alworthia Black Gem at Mountain Crest Gardens