Aloe x ‘Lizard Lips’
(Aloe descoingsii x Aloe calcairophila) x Aloe bellatula
The Aloe x ‘Lizard Lips’ was my second Aloe and the first one I bought when I was living at the mansion in Leland, Mississippi. It was hybridized by John Bleck using the offspring of Aloe descoingsii x Aloe calcairophila and crossing it with Aloe bellatula.
Aloe descoingsii Reynolds is an accepted scientific name for one species that was used in this cross. It was named and described by Gilbert Westacott Reynolds in Journal of South African Botany in 1958. This species is native to Madagascar.
Aloe calcairophila Reynolds is an accepted scientific name for one of the species used in this cross. It was also named and described by Gilbert Westacott Reynolds in Journal of South African Botany in 1960. This species is also a native to Madagascar.
Aloe bellatula Reynolds is an accepted scientific name for one of the parents of this cross. It was also named my Mr. Reynolds and described in the same publication as the other two but in 1956. It is also a native of Madagascar.
Gilbert Westacott Reynolds
Mr. Reynolds was a South African optometrist (so was his father). He moved to Johannesburg with his parents in 1902. Later he attended St. Johns College under the name of Victor Ludorum. He enlisted in the military in WW1 and after the war, in 1921, joined his father’s practice. He had a great interest in bulbs and succulents of South Africa and after he started his own practice in 1930 was able to travel. He eventually narrowed his interests to Aloe and gained an extensive knowledge about the genus. He wrote the first comprehensive book about the Aloe genus, The Aloes of South Africa, published in 1960. He went on to publish two more books about Aloe and wrote many articles. He named several species of Aloe during his research and became one of the great legends of all time. He also spent time at Kew doing research.
After his death in 1967 at the age of 66, his collection of Aloe was transplanted in the Milwane Game Sanctuary and the National Botanical Institute in Pretoria.
Aloe x ‘Lizard Lips’ is an AWESOME miniature Aloe with green leaves and lots of white markings. The leaf edges are lined with tiny white teeth and the whole leaf is kind of rough feeling.
Zones: USDA Zones 10a-11 (30-40° F)
Size: Up to 6” tall x 6-9” wide…
Light: Sun to part shade
Soil: Well-draining potting soil amended with extra grit and perlite
Water: Moderate water during the growing periods and barely in the winter.
Flowers: Produces small orange tubular flowers any time of the year.
Propagation: Propagate by offsets
As with all Aloe, they need a well-draining soil. When grown in pots, they need a 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 summer dormant which means most of their growth occurs in early spring through early summer and again in late summer through fall.
During their growing period, they should be watered on a regular basis if there was no rain. Aloe species are dormant during the hotter months of the summer, but I still go over them each time I watered my potted plants. I watered my Aloe very sparingly during the winter while inside (depending on where I had them).
Many Aloe collectors grow their plants in full sun but I prefer morning sun and light shade the rest of the day. In Mississippi, they received a good amount of sun until about noon then they were shaded by the huge magnolia tree and the mansion the rest of the day. Here is much different. They get a little morning sun and the rest of the day they have light shade from being under an old Chinese Elm. As summer progresses and the beetles chew on the leaves of the trees, more light shines through. It works out pretty well even though I don’t care for the beetles.
We made it through another winter and Aloe x ‘Lizard Lips’ was glad to be back outside.
I removed this offset earlier so I could pass it along to a good friend and fellow plant collector.
By the end of the summer, Aloe x ‘Lizard Lips’ was looking very good.
Aloe x ‘Lizard Lips’ doesn’t like cooler temps and didn’t like in the house in the winter. Every winter it barely made it through.
I could never figure out why the other Aloe and succulents did very well in the sunrooms over the winter but not Aloe x ‘Lizard Lips’.
I was facing a very hard decision when the above photo was taken. I had sold the mansion to a group that bought it to turn it into a bed and breakfast (the Thompson House Bed and Breakfast). My dad asked me to move back to the family farm in mid-Missouri so I agreed. I told him I had a lot of plants and he said, “OK”. Well, he is very hard of hearing and I am not sure if he heard what I said. SO, I repeated myself only louder. He again said, “OK.” I had to give up several hundred potted plants but I did take most of my succulents, a few perennials, Alocasia, Colocasia esculenta, and several other plants.
Well, despite the fact that the trip to Missouri in late February took 8-9 hours in 30-degree temperatures, the Aloe x ‘Lizard Lips’ came through fine.
The bigger plant that was in the center had previously died, but the remaining rosettes did fine over the winter.
It always amazed me how well this plant did so poorly over the winter but would perk back up during the summer.
Finally producing more offsets!
The Aloe x ‘Lizard Lips’ looking very good toward the end of summer and still flowering.
Inside for the winter once again. 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.
Darn near completely lost it by the time winter was over in 2014. The plant in the above photo was all that was left.
I gave up most of my plants in the late summer of 2014 including this Aloe x ‘Lizard Lips.
I was very glad to see another Aloe x ‘Lizard Lips’ at Wagler’s Greenhouse. I had given her one of the offsets before, which may actually be this plant.
As usual, it didn’t like being in the house for the winter and very glad to be back outside.
Well, we went through the winter and as usual, Aloe x ‘Lizard Lips’ didn’t approve. But, as usual, it perked back up. Well, at least it was looking better.
Then much better…
Then AWESOME AGAIN!
The Aloe x ‘Lizard Lips’ did very well over the summer but cooler temperatures were approaching. It is about time to bring the plants inside for the winter.
I took the plants into the basement on October 17 (2017) to get them ready to move upstairs. Some plants do better in the basement while others don’t. I measured the cactus and succulents before moving them and the clump of Aloe x ‘Lizard Lips’ was 4 1/2″ tall x 10″ wide.
Aloe x ‘Lizard Lips’ did very well in my bedroom over the winter, much better than previous winters. It was in bright light in a south facing window.
I moved all the plants outside on April 29 and they were all very happy to be in the fresh air. I put the Aloe x ‘Lizard Lips’ in a larger pot to give it more room.
The Aloe x ‘Lizard Lips’ must be happy. It is growing 5 new flower stems.
I moved the potted plants to the front and back porch on July 4 after a Japanese Beetle invasion. The Aloe x ‘Lizard Lips’ is just as happy as ever on the front porch.
As cooler temps were heading our way, I moved the potted plants inside on October 10. I always like to take all their photos and get some measurements before I take them inside.
The Aloe ‘Lizard Lips’ made it through the winter just fine. I haven’t taken any updated photos of it for 2019 yet but I will soon.
In my experience, Aloe ‘Lizard Lips’ can be a bit weird at times. It likes its conditions “like so” and can be somewhat moody. If you are new to this plant, just be prepared for a few ups and downs. Just hang in there and don’t necessarily treat it any differently than any other Aloe (as far as care is concerned) because you think something is wrong. It probably isn’t you…
It seems to prefer a close-knit family so I have rarely divided it. I did a few times when I first started with this plant in 2009, but not since. When I brought home my second plant in 2016 the only thing I have done is put it in a larger pot a couple of times. I just lift it out of the old pot and put it into a larger one, making sure their is ample soil below and tuck new soil around the roots. That’s just about it.
Overwintering can be tricky, but you just need to remember it does NOT like it cool and damp, like most succulents. Don’t water unless absolutely necessary and then only a little. Give normal watering over the warmer months, allowing the entire pot to soak and drain completely, and allowing the soil to dry between watering. Of course, if your pot is outside in the open, it is kind of hard to control the rain, which seems OK for the most part.
Grow this plant in light to part shade, in my opinion, as its leaves will burn, turn brown, curl, and burn the tips.
I will continue adding more photos and information as time goes by.
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.