Aloes: How To Grow & Varieties

Photos and descriptions of the most popular aloe varieties

About Aloes

There are dozens of species of Aloe, from tall trees to dwarf cultivars.

Aloes typically have juicy, triangular leaves that form starfish-like rosettes. Some are smooth, others toothed and prickled. Such protrusions, like hardened wax, are seldom dangerous.

Flowering

Most of my 80+ aloe photos show the plants in gardens and in bloom. After all, aloes’ large, vivid flowers are a significant reason to grow these succulents from South Africa. Aloes bloom mainly in winter, but there’s at least one variety in bloom at any time of the year.

The inflorescence (bloom spike) of an aloe consists of numerous tubular flowers that open from the base upward.

All shades of red and orange predominate; yellow, cream and pink are less common.

Growing Conditions

Aloes, in general, need well-draining soil. They like regular water but are in danger of rot if overwatered.

Pests & Problems

The plants are relatively pest-free, but aloe mite, which causes bumpy, cancerous growth, is a problem in some areas. Should signs of mite appear, don’t let it spread. Cut out the diseased tissue and bag it for the trash.

Resources

Where to Buy

Most of these were photographed in Southern CA, but not all are readily available. Find out which are recommended by landscape professionals such as Bill Schnetz (see Aloe Superstars: A Landscape Designer’s Favorites). 

Aloe Photos

Use my photos of aloes and other succulents to…

  • Learn plants’ names and recognize them.
  • Create a wish list (maybe a private Pinterest page) of those you want for your garden.
  • Make a custom greeting card, painting or other work of art.
  • ID what you already have.

Aloes hybridize readily, which can make them difficult to ID, so if you disagree with any of my IDs, please let me know.

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