Aloe Hybrid Update – New Additions and Growth Continued

Aloe Sidewinder

Written ByJen Greene

Posted: February 7, 2024
Continuing my update on the aloes and their winter growth, we’re going to look at more! This post will have more of my recent additions, all within 2023. I divided multiple plants last summer, including my “purple people eater”, “raspberry ruffles”, “krakatoa”, “mauna loa”, and “mauna kea”. I don’t think I’ll be hanging on to any mother plant “mauna” hybrids, but the rest I’ve kept. My “purple people eater” is taking ages to rebound, but it is producing more new growth, just slowly.

Aloe “Iridescent” 

I picked this up at the summer show and sale, and I believe it’s a Zimmerman hybrid. Most of my other aloes are Kelly Griffin hybrids, and for 2023 I was trying to branch out further than just having a collection of Kelly’s hybrids (beautiful as they are). 

I can’t find any mention of this hybrid online, but I do trust Tina, the seller I acquired this from, to have this accurately labeled.

Aloe Iridescent

This took a little while to get established and look hearty enough for me to consider repotting it, as did many of the aloes I purchased at the summer sale. My theory is that we had a long, cool spring that lasted well into early summer, so most of the local growers had the same conditions I did. When we almost immediately jumped into hot weather in July, a lot of plants had a bit of struggle for a while. 

This particular hybrid has developed a range of colors as it’s been exposed to sun and stress, likely the inspiration for its name! It’s a beautiful, spindly little hybrid, and on the slower growing side compared to some of my other acquisitions.

Aloe iridescent
Aloe krakatoa

Aloe “Krakatoa”

One of the older plants in my aloe collection, I divided this plant and propagated the pups in summer last year to allow it to regrow and refill the pot. It’s a fast growing hybrid, and rapidly produced new pups in no time. This is one that shows the variation that comes from full sun to shade very starkly. 

aloe krakatoa

In full sun, with a little water stress, Aloe “Krakatoa” is beautiful! Purple-hued base coloration with pale orange and peach texture with teeth of the edge of the leaves showing a brilliant red. The tall leaves make it look almost like a sea monster to my eyes, and it’s one of my favorites just for that. 

Very hardy, very easy to grow, and very forgiving of everything. 

Aloe “Lavender Star I”

While “Lavender Star II” has a more intense red color to it, I love the texture of the first clone of Lavender Star. It’s a beautiful, pinky-lavender plant with a heavily textured leaf that looks almost fuzzy from the lumps and bumps. 

Aloe lavender star I

Both Lavenders are slower growing, but “Lavender Star I” is a bit faster and pups more readily. It’s not overly large, and makes for a very attractive little potted plant that won’t get unruly too quickly. 

lavender star one

As with my other hybrids that back up against the greenhouse, the more shaded part of the plant is much greener in color. Even the green side is still attractive, with pink edges and pale raised texture on the body of the leaves. 

aloe lavender star II

Aloe “Lavender Star II”

Much slower growing, this hybrid makes up for it with much deeper coloration. With exposure to sun, it develops a blue-purple base very quickly, and the red texture of the ridges and leaf edges stands out in sharp contrast.

I have a pup of this plant that I set up in a show pot over a year ago, and it’s still too small and not grown in enough for me to consider actually bringing it in to show. Compared to my other hybrids, this is far and away the slowest growing, and the one that produces the fewest pups. It’s extremely pretty though, so it’s well worth the wait! 

Aloe “Piranha”

I purchased this as Aloe “Piranha”, so I’ll keep calling it that in these updates, but I continue to have my doubts as to whether that’s the correct name. Google shows a very different appearance in some plants, but is that due to the clone? How hard it was grown?

Aloe Piranha

The seller who had this listed had it as a Zimmerman hybrid, but I see it listed as a Rancho Tissue Culture plant, which makes it far more likely to be an older Kelly Griffin hybrid. My plant also does not resemble that Rancho Tissue plant at all, but does …almost? resemble some of the plants tagged here, at least on the shady side. 

aloe piranha

My plant doesn’t have the strong texture that almost resembles the “Mauna” family of hybrids, where it would look like a relative of “Mauna Loa”, so the speculation continues. The side that’s more exposed to the sunlight is my favorite, with the darker purples and striking red-orange-pink of the margins and texture. It pups profusely, but is on the slower growing side. Nearly two years after getting it, it’s just starting to reach a point where I might consider dividing it. I’ll probably give it another year, though, so the pups are mature enough to do well and I’ll have a strong central plant to repot and use to produce even more pups. 

Aloe Purple Haze

Aloe “Purple Haze”

This is on the slower growing side, along with “Purple People Eater”, but it’s gorgeous and worth the wait. It easily blushes to a lavender purple base, with pink texture and peach leaf margins. It’s a compact grower when kept in adequate light, and can turn a more burnished burnt orange color with too much sun stress.

aloe purple haze

I keep mine with pretty consistent sun exposure, on an upper shelf of my aloe rack, and in summer it does tend to sun-darken to a more brown hue. In winter, though, it’s absolutely beautiful and easy to see where the name comes from. 

I love all the little heads and pups it produces, and no single head seems to dominate the plant. It’s taken about 3 years to reach this point, and seems ready to be divided and repotted. I just have to steel myself to accept that it’ll be a year or two before it looks this good again! 

Aloe “Raspberry Ruffles”

This little hybrid was one I picked up and then divided almost immediately. The pups rooted quickly, and the main stem very rapidly produced a ton of new heads to fill the pot. 

Raspberry Ruffles

This looks like a middle ground between the two Lavender Star clones, and easily develops the beautiful pink and purple tones that gave it its name. I think this original main plant was left on a shelf and forgotten about for a couple months and still produced a slew of new pups. It’s extremely hardy and fast growing, making for a nice, compact little container plant. 

aloe raspberry ruffles
Aloe Sidewinder

Aloe “Sidewinder”

My beloved Aloe “Sidewinder”! Still at the top as one of my absolute favorite hybrids. Fast growing, pups profusely, and just look at those colors! Purple, pink, peach, and orange, and it’ll even develop some red tones with heat and sun stress in summer. What’s not to love? 

Aloe sidewinder

I divided this plant just a year ago, thinking it would take a bit of time before I needed to do so again, but it’s already overflowing its pot. I think with the next repot I’ll put it into a larger, bowl-shaped pot, to let that center rosette really reach its peak size potential. 

Or maybe I’ll pot it into a show pot, purely because I just adore this hybrid. 

aloe sidewinder

I try to always keep it with exposure to more sunlight to keep it semi-stressed at all times. Considering how rapidly it’s grown, I don’t think it minds the light stress in the slightest. It did get a bit sad in summer, with some pronouced leaf curling from being under-watered, but it bounced right back. 

Aloe “Sky Dragon”

I continue to have no idea how legitimate this hybrid is, as there’s nothing online about it except me talking to myself. 

That said, now that it’s established, this is quite a pretty little hybrid! Even in shade, it grows in a purple-lavender color. 

Aloe Sky Dragon

It’s slower growing, but not as slow as “Purple People Eater” or “Lavender Star II”. It’s only slightly faster than either one, and pups only a little more than “Lavender Star II”. It took some time to establish, again a likely result of the long cloudy spring and immediate jump to hot summer weather. Now that it’s well-rooted, the pups are coming in, so my evaluation of its growth speed may change by this time next year! It’s overdue for a pot-up into a terra cotta pot, so this spring it’ll be getting an upgrade. 

aloe sky dragon
aloe sunrise

Aloe “Sunrise”

This cute little hybrid continues to be beautiful, easy, and clump happily in its pot. It’s an older Kelly Griffin hybrid from before his work at Altman Plants, but continues to have the texture and color that consistently shows itself in his hybrids.

With more sun stress and less water, the colors get significantly more intense, but with winter rains and cooler temperatures it’s not as vivid as it was in summer.

The photo below shows the difference in color between the shaded side and the sun side, as with many of my aloes, this one also has a distinct “side” to the more intense colors. 

aloe sunrise

Aloe “Wily Coyotee” 

A Karen Zimmerman hybrid, that spelling is the correct one according to the Huntington! It is named for “Cody Coyotee Howard”, which explains the extra e in coyote. As with all aloe hybrids, it varies in color depending on the season and stresses.

aloe wily coyotee

According to the Huntington, as well as what I’ve seen of this plant, it varies from this beautiful slate gray background in winter to a more greenish hue in summer, regardless of sun stress. The sharp, pronounced leaf edge teeth are a striking red-pink, and never really seem to lose their intensity. I keep mine in too much sun for it to turn as green as some of the specimens the Huntington pictures, but it does have a seasonal change that I’ve noticed. 

On the slower end of the growth spectrum, but not as slow as “Sky Dragon”. It also does not pup as readily as other hybrids, so I’ve found it to be less commonly available. Beautiful plant, and also ready (finally) to be potted up into terra cotta this spring. 

aloe wily coyotee

And with that beautiful “Wily Coyotee” hybrid, I wrap up my aloe hybrid update! 

I am still working on my shop, and will have an update later in February with more of my seed grown cacti, lithops, and established plants. Look for divisions from my aloe hybrids later in spring, once I’ve had a chance to repot the larger plants and the pups have somet time to build up their roots. 

If you’re local in San Diego, come say hi at the next meeting! San Diego Cactus and Succulent Society meets every second Saturday, and we’d love to have you. 

You may also like…