Aloe x ‘Crosby’s Prolific‘
Aloe x nobilis X Aloe humilis
AL-oh x NO-bil(BIL)-iss X HEW-mil-is var. ek-in-AY-tum
I brought this Aloe x ‘Crosby’s Prolific home from Lowe’s in Sedalia, Missouri on April 20, 2013. There were several HUGE pots with really nice clumps, but I didn’t want to pay $10.00 so I took a small pot home. Although they grow to only about 6″ tall, they quickly form a large clump. Information on the internet says they are one of the fastest-growing Aloes.
THERE ARE SEVERAL LINKS AND GROWING RECOMMENDATIONS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE FOR FURTHER READING.
As soon as the temperatures permitted, I moved my plants back outside for the summer. I repotted my new Aloe x ‘Crosby’s Prolific into a somewhat larger pot.
I really liked this nice little aloe with its bright green leaves. It has plenty of translucent teeth to provide additional interest.
Somewhere in my earlier research about Aloe ‘Crosby’s Prolific’, I found where it was a cross between Aloe x nobilis and Aloe humilis var. echinatum. Aloe x nobilis itself is a very old hybrid of uncertain parentage and should be written as Aloe x nobilis. An older article I found said some think it is a cross between Aloe mitriformis and A. brevifolia while others think maybe Aloe distans and A. brevifolia. Aloe mitriformis is now considered a synonym of Aloe perfoliata. Aloe humilis var. echinatum is also not accurate because there is no species by the name of A. echinatum maybe because of an incorrect spelling… The correct infraspecific name is Aloe humilis var. echinata but that name now is a synonym of Aloe humilis. Another website says A. ‘Crosby’s Prolific’ is a cross between Aloe perfoliata x Aloe humilis which is kind of true in a roundabout way. Some believe since Aloe x nobilis is an older hybrid and widely grown it should have a correct and accepted name. Well, if it is that old and no one knows who the parents are, how do they even know it is a hybrid and not a species. Who is “they” anyway? I am going to stick with Aloe x nobilis X Aloe humilis even though it looks weird…
As with all Aloe, they need well-draining soil. When grown in pots, they need soil that absorbs and drains quickly. Even though they are drought tolerant and require little water if grown in the ground, pot-growing is somewhat different. Aloe are listed as summer dormant but some say that depends on whether the species is native of a summer or winter rainfall region. Either way, they supposedly do most of their growing in the spring and late summer to early fall.
Information online says they are easily proposed from cuttings. That is a new one and I have never attempted to root Aloe that grow like this from cuttings. I always allow my clumping Aloe, such as this one, to form a natural colony of rosettes from their offsets. If one happens to come loose while I am repotting I may put it in another pot or just stick it in the same pot.
Aloe x ‘Crosby’s Prolific’ on 8-23-13, #178-12.
During their growing period, they should be watered on a regular basis if there was no rain. That is just my opinion because some websites say they need very little watering. Even though they are drought-tolerant, regular watering does make them grow better.
When I first moved back to the family farm in 2013 I had to first decide where I was going to keep my plants. I put them behind a shed on tables I brought with me from Mississippi. There was an old Chinese Elm behind the shed that gave light shade for the plants which was good. The Japanese Beetles start eating the leaves in about June which starts adding more light as summer progresses.
The leaf tips of the Aloe x ‘Crosby’s Prolific’ turn reddish-brown in brighter light.
Aside from an occasional cricket taking a bit out of the leaves at night, I had no problems with the Aloe x ‘Crosby’s Prolific.
By October I had to start planning where I was going to put all the potted plants for the winter. I had to get used to the idea of an “F” in October in Missouri instead of December in Mississippi… GEEZ!
I put most of my succulents on a table in the front bedroom. It was a west exposure so they received a good amount of afternoon sun and the room would sometimes get quite warm. That is not really a good combination for some succulents as they should be slowing down. It caused many succulents leaves to stretch.
All the plants were happy to be back outside for the summer. I believe those brown spots are old war wounds between the Aloe x ‘Crosby’s Prolific’ and hungry crickets. They just ruin the appearance of the plant. In time the leaves will get old and turn brown and be replaced by new leaves…
I had no problems with my Aloe x ‘Crosby’s Prolific’ companion. As I mentioned earlier, the only issue was with the crickets. Unfortunately, I gave up most of my plants shortly after the above photo was taken. Now I am starting over and hopefully, I will run across another Aloe x ‘Crosby’s Prolific’.
I hope you enjoyed this page and maybe found it useful. If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, I would like to hear from you. Please click on “like” if you visited this page. It helps us bloggers stay motivated. 🙂 You can check out the links below for further reading. The links take you directly to the genus and species of this plant.
Zones: USDA zones 9b-11 (25-40° F).
Size: Up to 6” (some information says up to 12”) x 9-15” wide.
*Light: Light to part shade
***Soil: Very well-draining soil. Good quality potting soil amended with pumice (50/50) or additional pumice and chicken grit (2-1-1).
***Water: Regular watering during the growing period and very little during the winter months.
Flowers: Red-orange flowers on 18” stems.
Aloe and their cousins are some of my favorite plants. They are very easy to keep as companions as long as you follow a few basic rules. Even so, there have been a few I have had ups and downs with but eventually, we get it figured out, or at least we agree to disagree. Normally, it has something to do with water. You can’t lump all succulents in the same category when it comes to care because many are very unique in their preferences…
Aloe and their cousins are considered a summer dormant/winter growing species but for me, they seem to grow pretty much year-round. I read where Aloe hybrids don’t go dormant and whether they are summer or winter dormant depends on where the species are native. Personally, I think most Aloe will grow year-round if given the opportunity but I am no expert. For me, I think they do most of their growing while outside from May through mid-October, but most show no sign of being dormant while inside for the winter. Their growth does slow down while inside over the winter and I pretty much withhold their watering to a little once a month if necessary.
*LIGHT: Most information online says Aloe “prefer” full sun but I keep mine on a west-facing front porch during the summer. There is a roof and two maple trees in the front yard that provide shade part of the day, but they still receive a few hours of direct sun. I guess you would call this “light shade”. The reason I keep them on the front porch instead of the back deck where the cactus are is because I don’t like their leaves to burn. Some species need bright light so their leaves won’t stretch, but not so much that their leaves burn. Of course, it all depends on your climate and you will just have to experiment. If you are keeping your Aloe inside for the winter and want them in the sun during the summer, you will have to allow them to get accustomed to brighter light gradually… From mid-October through April, sometimes into May, most of the succulents are sitting on shelves in a cool bedroom in front of a south-facing window.
**SOIL: As with any cactus and succulent, they need fast-draining soil. Some Aloe grow a massive root system and aren’t that particular about their potting soil. There are MANY recipes online for cactus and succulent potting soil and some can get pretty elaborate. Since 2018, I have been using 50% Miracle Grow Potting soil and 50% pumice that I ordered from General Pumice online. For many years I used 2 parts Miracle Grow or Schultz Potting Soil with 1 part additional perlite and 1 part chicken grit. If you are going to use sand in your mix, use a very coarse builders sand as the fine stuff fills in the air space between coarser ingredients. The idea is to have a lightweight potting mix that drains quickly and will dry out within a few days. As far as re-potting goes… If your plants are outgrowing their pots, you can re-pot any time. I usually re-pot my cactus in the fall and winter because peat-based mixes get hard when you stop watering. That way, their potting soil is nice and airy over the winter. Depending on their root system, increasing the diameter of the pot by 1/2-1” is enough once you remove the old soil from their roots. But, that depends on your plant… Not adding too much depth is more important because you don’t want damp soil below their roots which can lead to rotting…
***WATER: I water my succulents on a regular basis during the summer but there are many times I get busy and they get neglected. Being on the front porch with a roof, they don’t get that much rain unless it blows on them. I usually give them a good soaking a few days before an “F” is in the forecast when I have to bring them inside for the winter. From mid-October through April I water my cactus and succulents very sparingly if at all. Normally, I “may” give the Aloe a little water once a month, but for most of them I don’t give water until December or January. Aloe store water in their leaves, so they can go for a long time without additional moisture. Better to be safe than sorry over the winter months… You can tell by their leaves if they need water. If they start to curl inwards along their margins then they are needing a little water.
When you bring your new plants home from the store, you need to check their roots and the soil to see if they are wet. If so, you may want to re-pot it right away. It is advisable to re-pot them in a better potting soil more suitable for cactus and succulents. Always check for critters that may come home with the plants and keep an eye out during the winter months…
I hope you enjoyed this page and maybe found it useful. If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions, I would like to hear from you. Please click on “like” if you visited this page. It helps us bloggers stay motivated. 🙂 You can check out the links below for further reading. If you see I have made an error, please let me know in a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.