If you want a nice chunky aloe on your windowsill, Cosmo is the one for you, forming a large and beautifully symmetrical rosette of pointed triangular succulent leaves liberally spotted with white, which looks good all year round. Just to spice things up, he will on occasion poke up a spike of reddish orange tubular flowers by way of decoration, often during our winter. As he's native to South Africa, such apparent confusion about when to flower is perfectly understandable, and we will forgive him for it. An indoor plant, though Cosmo can be placed outdoors in the warmer months. Sunny or well lit position. 6 in (more in flower). 1 litre (13cm) pot.


As with other aloes, Cosmo thrives on neglect. Occasional watering should be enough to keep him happy, and feeding once or twice a year is all that's needed. Other than that, leave Cosmo to his own devices, other than to offer a friendly word, perhaps a compliment, every now and then.

We consider Cosmo to be a variety of Aloe Aristata, though some relate it to Aloe Vera, but we haven't tried overwintering Cosmo out of doors, as we do with Aloe Aristata. The latter copes with the cold - and, indeed, the wet - surprisingly well and perhaps so would Cosmo, but we just like it in a pot on the kitchen windowsill, where he seems very happy indeed.

You will find that offsets form around the base of the rosette. Let them chuck up a bit, then cut or tear them away from the parent plant and pot them up to form new specimens. As for potting, a well drained compost or growing medium is essential, as with succulents in general, so either buy a proprietary cactus and succulent compost, or make your own mix incorporating things like grit that will create sharp drainage.

Aloe Cosmo is a succulent plant with a rosette of white-dotted leaves and orange red flowers, suitable for growing indoors or in a greenhouse.

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