Aloe is spiky and fleshy-leaved, grown mainly for the foliage effects of the speckled, splashed, and spotted leaves with typical soft teeth along the edges of them
In the right conditions, they’ll surprise you with their flowers which form on an excessively long stalk.
They generally bloom at the same time every year, once they reach blooming size.
These plants are not generally cold-hardy, so need to be kept indoors in the winter. Hold off on the water to let them toughen up, and, as usual, check for any pests that may be hitchhiking on them if they’ve been outdoors for the summer.
They require bright light for the winter months, in either a sunny window or under fluorescent grow lights on a timer. Sunny windows, unless you’re near the equator, won’t be enough to keep them happy.
Outside for the summer months, they’ll love full sun on your patio or deck but don’t mind a bit of shade in the afternoon.
Get ready to be swarmed by hummingbirds if you’re lucky enough to have them bloom as they’re one of the best plants for hummingbirds.
Use well-drained soil (cactus soil is best), and water thoroughly but infrequently, even less in winter.
Don’t let them sit in a saucer of water – ever!
With their fleshy roots, they have no defense against excess moisture.
Water with lukewarm (tempered) water, preferable rainwater, allow it to percolate through the soil, water again, and let it drain out the bottom of the pot.
To open the gallery and see larger images, click on any picture:
Aloe ‘Black Gem’
Aloe deutrocohia longipetola
Aloe hechtia – close up
Aloe ibitensis – close up
Aloe ‘Starfire’ – close up
No matter which species or variety of Aloe you end up with, they’ll need some care, even if they are one of the lowest maintenance of plants.
See more on how to grow and propagate them on the Aloe plants page.