The Tiger Tooth Aloe is considered as one of the most attractive aloe variants because of its distinguishable white spots and spiky leaves which turn into red-brown color when it is happily stressed. But how do we take care of Aloe juvenna?
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Before getting to the technical, let us know more about the Tiger Tooth Aloe through these quick facts:
1. It is summer dormant.
This is quite expected for many succulent variants including the aloe family but the Aloe juvenna really goes dormant during summers. While all the other succulents have slow growth phase during summer, the Tooth Tiger really hibernates and stops growing during this season although it receives the right amount of water it requires. The ironic thing though is that, it is drought-tolerant.
2. It does not bloom often.
The Tiger Tooth does not bloom once a year. Sometimes, it does not even bloom at all. But when it does, it normally blooms during late summer and the whole of autumn.
3. It is a native of Kenya.
The country of Kenya is considered as the home country of the Aloe juvenna which is quite understandable because it loves the sun. It was discovered by two European botanists, Brandham and S. Carter that is why its official scientific name is Aloe juvenna Brandham and S. Carter.
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#1. When to plant?
The active growth phase of the Tiger Tooth is the whole of spring with slow-paced growth on the onset of autumn. It will go dormant in summer and will have a hard time surviving the winter when it gets too harsh because it is not cold-hardy nor cold-tolerant. As is the case, the best time to propagate the Tiger Tooth is during early spring.
#2. Where to plant?
The Tiger Tooth is considered as a sunny succulent and being a native of Kenya makes it just right for it to be planted in warm or dry areas/climates. Its minimum sunlight requirement is at least six hours every day so you need to think of a space in your greenery where it would get just that.
#3. How to plant
You may plant the juvenna using seeds sowed in sandy mix in terracotta pots. Aside from this, you can also plant Tiger Tooth using offsets from other juvennas. All you have to do is to let these offsets dry for two days and when it is completely dry, you can now lay them in sandy soil mixes.
The drench and dry method will only become successful if you use a fast draining soil mix. The best soil mix for this succulent is sandy mix.
#2. Light and temperature
As has been said, the juvenna needs at least six hours of sunlight a day with partial shade. As time progresses, or after it grows to three to four inches, the juvenna would have been acclimated to the sun and as such could now tolerate more sun. In terms of temperature, it can only tolerate up to -1.1 degrees Celsius which means that beyond that, it can wilt or die especially if it is grown outdoors.
#3. Water and humidity
The Aloe juvenna also follows the logic of the higher the humidity level of the area, the more frequent will the watering intervals be and of course, the lower the humidity level, the less frequent shall the watering intervals occur. In the same way, the Aloe juvenna also follows the drench and dry method in which you should first make sure that the soil has completely dried out before the next watering commences to avoid overwatering.
Fertilizing the Tiger Tooth is an essential part in the propagation process. After repotting the Aloe juvenna and having removed all the dead roots, you will need to spray on a complete fertilizer which goes by labels of 8-8-8 or 10-10-10. Alongside fertilizing, it is also advisable that you also spray it with fungicide just to make sure that the newly propagated juvenna would not wilt due to pests.
Unlike other succulents, the aloe family cannot be propagated using leaves or stem cuttings but through offsets or also known as pups. These offsets are the small rosettes that grow out of the Aloe juvenna. To propagate, you need to carefully cut the pups from the stem and dry them for two days before planting them on a sandy mix.
The pruning process for the Tiger Tooth is quite connected to propagation because what you will prune out of the juvenna would be the pups. The pups make the pot crowded and become vulnerable to root rot because of uneven distribution of minerals. To prevent this, you must prune the plant by cutting the pups off which you can use to propagate another juvenna in another pot.
#1. Growing Problems and Diseases
The common growing problem of the juvenna is root rot due to overwatering and under-watering so it is advised that you follow strictly the drench and dry method or simply making sure that the soil is dry before it can be watered again. Root rotting will lead to fungal diseases that will cause wilting and even death.
#2. Aloe juvenna too tall
At maximum, the Aloe juvenna will have a height of 12 inches. Sometimes, it could grow taller than this but that is no longer recommended. As a matter of fact, at 12 inches, it is required for you to prune because of overcrowding which will not be good in the flow of minerals in the pot.
The most common pests attacking the Tiger Tooth would be mealybugs and aphids. Its wide leaves and rosettes are good habitats for these pests and they could easily hide or camouflage within the leaves.
#1. Is the Tiger Tooth medicinal?
Unfortunately, there are no known medicinal uses for the Tiger Tooth. Aside from the Aloe perryi, Aloe ferox and Aloe vera, there are no known Aloes with medicinal uses.
#2. What is the main difference between the Aloe juvenna and the Aloe squarrosa?
It would be the leaves. The juvenna has leaves that curve outwards while the squarrosa has leaves that curve backwards.