Aloe Plants

and How to Grow them

Aloe plants are well known succulent house plants – distinctive and boldly spiky, they can add height and drama to a collection of Echeveria and other succulent plants.

Even though they're spectacular in bloom, generally they're grown for their spiky shapes and characteristically marked foliage.

The Many Faces of Aloe...


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Aloe Plant Care

Your Aloe plant will require a few basic things; fast draining soil with lots of aggregate like pumice, lava rock or small gravel mixed in, and bright light.

They require ample water, but then the soil must be allowed to dry almost completely as their fleshy roots will rot if there is too much moisture around them . See the page on succulent soil for more.

Provide the brightest light possible in your house, such as a south or west facing window, or grow lights if the natural light isn’t enough.

Things to watch out for are if it starts to lean or stretch towards the light, as this indicates that it needs more light. Aloe plants absolutely must have bright light to stay healthy.

Luckily, if it does etiolate – stretch – then it’s easy to fix. Simply unscrew the top five to eight leaf cluster at the top of the stem, just like a light bulb.

Aloe plant propagationAloe plant propagation
Roots in closeup viewRoots in closeup view

If you look closely, you’ll see pale yellow to white nubs, which are the adventitious roots that all Aloe plants have. When these are planted into the soil, the roots emerge to anchor the plant.

Aloe plants are unique in this feature – the only similar plants are Haworthia, another member of the lily family.

The added bonus of regular pruning like this is that it will cause the buds below the break to emerge, making a nice bushy Aloe plant.

Without this continual pruning, the tendency is for the plant to simply continue to grow with one long stalk, eventually becoming completely unwieldy and awkward.

Sometimes the lower leaves die off, getting crispy and brown. Pull these off the stalk, rather than cutting them. Any pieces left on the stem may rot, disfiguring or even injuring the plant. A leaf pulled off will heal much faster.

In the summer, your Aloe plants can live outdoors. They relish the warmth of a south facing patio, and are fantastic in mixed containers for succulents. Combine them with Kalanchoe thryrsiflora, Aeonium and Crassula for a textural succulent planter.

Being exposed to the elements can trigger blooming in some of the larger types, an experience not to be missed for the number of hummingbirds they attract.

Drooping bell shaped blooms attract hummingbirds

See some of my favorite Aloe species and varieties on the Aloe Succulent Plants page. They range from teacup sized, to the size of a tree and everywhere in between. For growing Aloe as a succulent houseplant choose some of the smaller types like Aloe juvenna, Aloe ‘Black Gem’ and Aloe andongensis to start.

An Aloe that pretty much everyone has heard about for medicinal use, cosmetics and burn treatments is Aloe vera. This species can also be used as a houseplant - every kitchen should have one for its antiseptic properties. See this page for more on Aloe vera use in your home. (This link opens in a new window)

Look at these other pages below...

Click on each link to find out more...

What kind of Aloe is this? 
I've had this Aloe for probably 8-10 years. It started very small, and it's gotten very large! It just started "having pups" this year. It doesn't look …

Mini Mutated Aloe Vera? 
The leaves remind me of tiny little Aloe Vera leaves but the plant itself grows much differently, almost in curving vines of tiny Aloe leaves. It has never …

long thin leaves with thorns along them...stalk has round orange seed pods..look like mango flesh inside..and some round black seeds 
its long slender "leaves" with thorns..solid green color..tall spike in center with orange seed pods..have a sort of sweet taste..didn't eat one! just …

Found small succulent at a free pile...looks like a crazy scientist 
It's a relatively small plant. Roughly less than half a foot tall. Tips are real sharp and pointy, needle like. Green thick waxy type leaves are edged …

Old Aloe? 
I aquired this plant and was told it was aloe. Recently i was told it was agave. Im kind of confused. It has a longer trunk than any other aloe …

Is it an aloe with spikes? 
This is cold tolerant, looks like an aloe with similar growth and leaf markings, but has the most vicious spikes along each leaf. Look closely and see …

Some sort of Haworthia? Green spear-like leaves with white bumps 
This guy is about 6 inches in total height but has quite a broad wing span with leaves that fan out horizontally in all directions. It has white dash-like …

Spike-like leathery leaves growing upward - with orange flowers 
I have seen this plant as a much larger version at Rogers Gardens in Southern California and it was extremely expensive. It has blue green spike-like …

Another plant Grows in Egypt (need to know its Name ) ???? 
Hello Jacki..hope your fine....Ok this one is very beautiful it goes by the local name "the star Cactus" , it has a single special organ erects upward..!! …

Orphaned spikey plant in office 
Spikey, succulent, beautiful variegated leaves, leaves form a feathery appearance, top heavy so it tends to sprawl out and tip the pot over, each individual …

like aloe vera  
Even tho it looks a little like aloe vera it is smaller with more branches. It grows up and then spreads out. My neighbour cut hers back, it seemed …

Succulent? Cactus? 
My husband has several cacti growing in our backyard. We would like to find both the scientific and common name of this plant. Drought Smart Plants …

Identify Me! 
This plant was purchased about a month ago at a bazaar. It has thick leaves with pale green spot-like patterns on both sides. Its height is only about …

Tall stalk with spikey leaves 
Can't remember where we got this, but it keeps growing. It's got a singular stalk with leaves with little points on them. Any idea what it is and how …

Plant Identification - havorthia? 
hi. could you help me with Plant Identification? thank you could you also tell me what lamps should I use to propagate variegated crassula from cuttings …

Some sort of aloe?? 
I bought this today at Lowe's on clearance. I suspect that it is some sort of aloe, but I am not sure. Any idea what it may be? Hi Kelly, there are …

Hummingbird Succulent 
Gets a tall spike with small tubular orange flowers (hummers like) This is one of the most popular genus of succulent plants, and one which many people …

Abandoned succulent? 
Orphan plant was pretty brown/red/tired out in the alley. Brought it inside and gave it water and it is getting green pretty magically. I expect it to …

Is it an Aloe Vera 
I was given a baby plant by my uncle; he told me he thought it was an Aloe vera. Since then I have 2 adult plants and many saplings which originated from …

Browning Aloe Vera.. HELP Please! 
I am very concerned about my Aloe plant… My Aloe Vera plant has brown specks that look similar to an aging banana. Only the outside pieces have the …

Strange looking plant 
I have no real knowledge of plants. I was wondering if someone could help me identify this plant. Drought Smart Plants reply: Hi Aarti, that looks …

Tall and spikey, not doing well 
I received this plant from a local store and they didn't now know the specific name of it. Since bringing it home though, it has not done well. The …




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