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Aloe

Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
AL-oh
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Aloe is a genius with over 500 species of perennial succulent flowering herbs. The most widely know one is Aloe vera from which various pharmaceutical products are made. Most species have thick succulent leaves growing in a rosette and reproduce by offsets. They vary in size from small succulents up to tree forms. Tubular flowers are usually densely clustered along leafless stems in various colors.

Many are ornamental and are cultivated as house plants. If growing indoors, place in a south or west window. Most varieties need at least 6 hours of sun and grow best in full sun or very bright, indirect light. If moving your plant outdoors in the summer, gradually acclimate it to partial sun conditions. Allow the soil to dry between watering, then water well, allowing the water to drain from the pot. Use a potting soil appropriate for succulents and cacti and plant in a pot with several drainage holes; coarse, well-draining soil is a must. Clay pots are ideal. 

Aloes are an easy to grow houseplant requiring little maintenance.

Quick ID:

  • Rosette of fleshy, lanceolate leaves with white dots (maculation)
  • Serrate margins on the leaves
  • Soft and easily breakable with a gel-like sap inside

 

VIDEO Created by Laura Barth for "Houseplants, Succulents, and Cacti", a plant identification course offered in partnership with Longwood Gardens.

Profile Video:
See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
    A. vera Aloe barbadensis
  • 'Delta Lights'
    Small-sized hybrid with wide, grey leaves and white striping. May become pink-ish in bright light.
A. vera, 'Delta Lights'
Tags:
#houseplant#perennials#specimen#shrub#fleshy leaves#medicinal#interiorscape#well-drained soil#ornamentals#herbaceous perennials#container plants#hsc#hsc-s#tree
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
    A. vera Aloe barbadensis
  • 'Delta Lights'
    Small-sized hybrid with wide, grey leaves and white striping. May become pink-ish in bright light.
A. vera, 'Delta Lights'
Tags:
#houseplant#perennials#specimen#shrub#fleshy leaves#medicinal#interiorscape#well-drained soil#ornamentals#herbaceous perennials#container plants#hsc#hsc-s#tree
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Aloe
    Family:
    Liliaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    The gel from the plant is used in various skin and hair care products. It is also used in herbal medice.
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Africa
    Edibility:
    A Juice is made after the aloin has been removed.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Edible
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Perennial
    Poisonous
    Shrub
    Tree
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    Low
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Occasionally Dry
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Orange
    Pink
    Red/Burgundy
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Shape:
    Tubular
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    Flowers are tubular, pendant and borne in dense clusters at the apex of simple or branched, leafless stems. May take several years before blooming, but they bloom multiple times in their lifetime.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Blue
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    Variegated
    Leaf Feel:
    Fleshy
    Prickly
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Rosulate
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Description:
    Size and form varies by species, but most grow in a basal rosette of fleshy green to blue-green leaves. Some grow in a more fan-shaped alternate arrangement instead. They are thick, succulent, pointed, and may have stripes or mottling. They can be distinguished from Haworthia by the serrate margins and from Agave by the thickness and gel-like sap.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Houseplants
    Landscape Theme:
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Design Feature:
    Specimen
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Dry Soil
    Problems:
    Poisonous to Humans
    Problem for Cats
    Problem for Dogs
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    Poisonous through ingestion or dermatitis. Not all people have sensitive skin. Symptoms may include: Abdominal cramping, diarrhea, red urine; skin irritation from latex.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Anthraquinone glycoside
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    Yes
    Poison Part:
    Leaves
    Sap/Juice