Hummingbird near blooming aloe vera in Laguna Beach, California
© Aurora Photos/Offse
April hums to a close. Aloe in bloom
The bright flowers of these aloe vera plants offer a striking contrast to their more recognisable green, spiky stems. Native to Africa and the Mediterranean, aloe vera is now grown outdoors in many locations that boast mild-winter climates. It can bloom at any time throughout the year. And yes, even indoor potted aloes can be encouraged to bloom with the right amount of sunlight, water, and fertiliser.Aloes, like most of the world’s flowering plants, need help with pollination, which is essential for maintaining biodiversity and our food supply. That’s where this buzzing little hummingbird comes into play. As it feeds on the aloe’s flowers, it pollinates the plants, too. But, broadly speaking, pollinator populations are declining, whether they’re bees, butterflies, or birds. You can help by planting a pollinator garden and avoiding pesticides, which can harm the pollinators.