Humans have been using and growing Aloe Vera for thousands of years. It is one of the most widely known plants because it is used both as a decoration and for medicinal purposes. Aloe Vera is native to the tropical region of North Africa.
But you can grow Aloe Vera in your home too! With just a little care, you can have a healthy and gorgeous looking plant.
Follow this in-depth guide, and you will be set to properly grow and care for your Aloe Vera plant.
Short-stemmed, Aloe Vera is a kind of succulent. They grow and form a rosette. It is sometimes called the “Wonder Plant” because Aloe Vera has many therapeutic properties. Extract of Aloe Vera is used in many skin and beauty products.
The gel of Aloe Vera is used for relieving sunburn and it even helps to heal a wound quickly. You will be glad to know that you can use your own potted Aloe Vera for sunburn and beauty care.
- Aloe Vera Quick Overview:
- Varieties of Aloe Vera
- Taking Care of Aloe Vera
- Common Problems & Pests
- Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera)
- Aloe Vera Care Guide
- Aloe Vera Plant Problems
- Community Comments
- How to Use Fresh Aloe Vera
- Aloe Plant Types – Growing Different Aloe Varieties
- Common Aloe Varieties
- Different types of aloe vera plant
- More than aloe vera, learn about 23 Types of Aloe Varieties to Grow in Containers that are low maintenance, drought tolerant, and BEAUTIFUL!
- 1. Sunset Aloe
- 2. Spiral Aloe
- 3. Guido Aloe
- 4. Carmine Aloe
- 5. Crosby’s Prolific
- 6. Lace Aloe
- 7. Short Leaf Aloe
- 8. Red Aloe
- 9. Candelabra Aloe (Krantz Aloe)
- 10. Cape Aloe
- 11. Coral Aloe
- 12. Tiger Tooth Aloe
- 13. Spider Aloe
- 14. Tiger Aloe
- 15. Aloe Capitata
- 16. Aloe Vera
- 17. Fan Aloe
- 19. Aloe Descoingsii
- 20. Soap Aloe
- 21. Somalian Aloe
- 22. Aloe Caesia
- 23. Climbing Aloe
- Aloe capitata var. quartziticola
- Aloe ciliaris
- Aloe vera
- Aloe x principis
- Arabian Aloe (Aloe rubroviolacea)
- Barbados Aloe (Aloe barbadensis)
- Cape Aloe (Aloe ferox)
- Cape Speckled Aloe (Aloe microstigma)
- Coral Aloe (Aloe striata)
- Crosby’s Prolific
- Fan Aloe (Aloe plicatilis)
- Golden Toothed Aloe (Aloe nobilis)
- Malagasy Tree Aloe (Aloe vaombe)
- Mountain Aloe (Aloe marlothii)
- Red Aloe (Aloe cameronii)
- Sand Aloe (Aloe hereroensis)
- Short-Leaf Aloe (Aloe brevifolia)
- Snake Aloe (Aloe broomii)
- Soap Aloe (Aloe maculata)
- Spiral Aloe (Aloe polyphylla)
- Sunset Aloe (Aloe dorotheae)
- Tilt-Head Aloe (Aloe speciosa)
- Torch Aloe (Aloe arborescens)
- Torch Plant (Aloe aristata)
- Tree Aloe (Aloe barberae)
- Van Balen’s Aloe (Aloe vanbalenii)
- Benefits of 13 Species of Aloe
- Check Your Inbox!
- Powers of the Aloe Plant
- Botany of Aloe Vera
- Botanic description
Aloe Vera Quick Overview:
|Name||Aloe Vera, also known as “Wonder Plant”|
|Fertilizer||Phosphorus heavy, diluted fertilizer|
|Max Growth||24-39 inch|
|Poisonous for||Oral ingestion of Aloe Vera is harmful to human and animals<|
|Light||Needs bright and indirect light|
|Water||Little water in the summer only if the soil is dry|
|Temperature||55 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit|
|Humidity||Bright sunny or average (dry climate is more preferable)|
|Pests||Aphids or tiny mites|
Varieties of Aloe Vera
Most of the Aloe species are popular houseplants because they need very little care to grow.
There are over 400 types of Aloe plant. Here are some of the most popular.
Stone Aloe – Aloe Petricola
Aloe Petricola (Stone Aloe) – Source: [email protected]
Aloe petricola or also Stone Aloe has vibrant red, orange, and yellow flowers. This is very unique, which makes it easy to identify. It will be a great addition to any type of garden. Stone Aloe also improves air quality and is often used to help heal minor burns and wounds.
Climbing Aloes – Aloe Ciliaris
Climbing Aloe – Aloe Ciliaris
Aloe ciliaris got its common name, Climbing Aloe, for its ability to climb to grow long up to 5 m (if supported correctly). It has large orange and red flowers, so it’s also easy to differentiate. Climbing Aloe attracts sunbirds and bees, which is great for enhancing the environment around the plant. Climbing Aloes bloom all year round, and if supported, it’s a good choice for a houseplant.
Cape Aloe – Aloe Ferox
Commonly known as Cape Aloe, Bitter Aloe, Tap Aloe or Red Aloe, this species is very popular because of its bitterness. Bitter aloes are useful for skin care and medicine. It grows red flowers that grow 1-4 feet above the leaves. Many well-known cosmetics use this particular aloe because it nourishes skin naturally.
Coral Aloe – Aloe Striata
Coral Aloe – Aloe Striata
Because of this Aloe’s pink tint or margin on blue-green leaves, Aloe striata is called Coral Aloe. Though sometimes it is mistaken with another Aloe plant (Aloe stiatula), it’s very different. Coral Aloes are very strong. They can survive in very dry and hot environments. It is a beautiful succulent, and it great for healthier air.
Lace Aloe – Aloe Aristata
Lace Aloe – Aloe Aristata
Aloe aristata is commonly known as Lace Aloe and Guinea Fowl Aloe. It’s a stemless succulent and has unique white speckles. It has deep green leaves and grows red-orange flowers. Its large flowers, which can be up to 20 inches, attracts a variety of birds, insects, and bees. It’s helpful to other plants around it. Its therapeutic roots are widely used in making healing medicines.
Candelabra Aloe – Aloe Arborescens
Aloe Arborescens (Candelabra Aloe) – Source: brewbooks
Candelabra Aloe can grow up to 10 feet tall, like a small tree. With multi-headed sprawling succulent that grow bigger than most others of its kind, it resembles a candelabra. It produces vibrant red-orange flowers and the flowers rise high above the leaves for a unique appearance. Studies have proven that Candelabra has elements that can fight harmful organisms.
Spider Aloe- Aloe Humilis
Spider Aloe – Aloe Humilis – Source: [email protected]
Aloe humilis has long and triangular leaves with white speckles, which grow and take the form of a rosette. It grows red, orange, and yellow flowers. It is one of the popular choices among gardeners. It looks very good with red and orange blooms. Its gel is an effective medicine for sunburn.
Taking Care of Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera is very popular with the modern gardener because of its medicinal benefits but also because it takes less time to care for it. By following these instructions, you can take care of your Aloe Vera plant without any trouble.
Aloe Vera does very well in 55 to 80 degree Fahrenheit temperatures. Not too hot or too cold. Average. In winter, it does well between 20-30 degrees Fahrenheit. It can tolerate dry seasons very well, but Aloe Vera needs full sun to flower.
Because it is a succulent, it needs very little water. Do not overwater or underwater it. Most house succulents die because of wrong watering practices. Succulents are equipped to tolerate drought but need a small amount of water to grow and flower.
When watering Aloe Vera, check the soil by putting a finger 2 inches into the soil. If it feels dry, water it. If not, do not water. Water when the soil is completely dry. During winter, it requires a very little amount of water, so come back every 3 weeks to check the soil at that time.
Aloe Vera can adapt to low light, but to grow and to flower, it needs full sun. Place your Aloe Vera near a window where you have bright light all day long. Bright and indirect light is good for Aloe Vera. You can comfortably grow and nurture your Aloe Vera in an indoor environment.
Aloe plants originate from desert like places. So, naturally, they are adaptive to drought. They can survive in dry and poor soil. It can grow in different soil types. But as it is a succulent, rich and well-draining soil is best for it. We suggest building a mound before planting an Aloe. Mixing organic compost with the soil will help the Aloe grow fast and produce bright flowers.
You can give your Aloe plant an extra boost by fertilizing it. Aloe Vera does not generally need fertilizer to survive, but if you want to take good care of your plant and want to see bright flowers blooming, you should fertilize it once a year. Do not fertilize with standard fertilizer though; go for water-based and phosphorus-heavy fertilizer.
Before fertilizing your Aloe Vera, make sure you give it plenty of water and then drain it properly. Watering will protect the roots. Do not fertilize the leaves, flowers or the stem, only the soil.
Aloe Vera needs very little humidity as it is drought resistant. It can be grown indoors and outdoors.
Unlike other succulents, propagation of Aloe Vera is difficult. The usual method of using leaf cuttings do not always work when it comes to propagating Aloe Vera. The chances of a leaf of an Aloe forming roots and growing into a healthy plant is very low.
The best way to propagate Aloe Vera is through offshoots.
Follow the steps below.
1. Aloe offshoots or pups are basically baby plants that are attached to the main plant. Wait until the baby plant is big enough to cut it off from the mother plant.
The size that is required to remove it differs. Generally, the offset needs to be of one-fifth the size of the main or parent plant.
Look for leaves that have several sets of true leaves.
2. Once you find the right offshoot, remove dirt from the base of the pup.
3. Now, determine where you will make the cut. Cut the leaf at the base by using a sharp, clean knife. The removed leaf should have a complete root system attached to it.
4. Sharp and clean tools are very important because Aloe Vera has the risk of getting contaminated by pests or disease.
5. Now, leave the offshoots somewhere warm for a few days to a couple of weeks. Wait for a film to form over the cut. This film will protect the leaf from getting infected when you plant it in the soil.
6. Find a good pot with a drainage hole at the bottom.
7. Make your potting mixture with well-draining soil. Fill the bottom of the pot with gravel or bark to help the pot drain excess water.
8. Now, when the film has formed over the cut, place the leaf cut-side down into the soil. Stick about one-third of the leaf in the soil.
You can dip the cut-side into root hormones before planting if you want.
9. Now, place the pot with the offshoot someplace sunny, and water it.
For the first 4 weeks, you have to keep the soil moist. Once the leaf starts growing, follow the usual practice of watering it only when the soil is dry.
You will notice it start to shrink or die, but don’t worry; they do that when developing roots.
If everything goes well, you will see new leaves in 4-5 weeks.
Repotting always has the risk of damaging the plant. But you can do it.
Here’s the step-by-step guide.
1. To unpot the plant, first, loosen the soil around the plant either by squeezing the sides of a flexible pot or shaking the pot and using your hands.
2. Tip the pot and wiggle the plant out.
3. After removing the plant from the pot, examine the roots and shoots. Dark, brown oozy roots are not good. That means the roots are rotting away. Also, look for offshoots you can cut off. Cutting offshoots will help your Aloe thrive beautifully.
4. Follow the instructions from propagating to slice the pup or offshoots.
Be sure to keep them in a dry place, Aloe is slightly toxic to animals, so make sure no animals come in contact with it.
5. Prepare your pot with new soil that will drain well. Put gravel at the bottoms of the pot so that the pot can quickly drain the excess water.
6. Place the plant into the soil and loosely fill in the gaps with more soil.
You may find this video helpful for repotting
Most Aloe plants have tendril-like leaves that are fleshy and contain a gel-like substance. People prune other succulent to keep the plants shapely and beautiful. But for Aloe Vera, people prune it to harvest the gel in the leaves.
Follow these steps for pruning.
1. You need a sharp and clean pair of pruning sheers or a knife. One good tip is to wipe the cutting tools with rubbing alcohol so that the leaves of the Aloe Vera do not get infected.
2. Look for leaves that are brownish or that have brown tips. Trim them off. Sometimes, you have to cut out a whole leaf. These parts turn brown when they are dying. By removing them, you will help the plant to stay healthy. Do not worry about the open cuts of the plant. They will heal in their own time.
3. Cut out a section of a leaf to harvest its gel. Cut out larger sections if you need to. But remember not to prune more than one-third of the Aloe Vera plant at a time.
4. Besides harvesting, cut out offshoots to propagate them.
Common Problems & Pests
Taking care of an Aloe Vera plant is not difficult, but there are some problems you might face in caring for your Aloe plant.
Aloe Vera plant is not growing.
If you notice a difference in your plant, here are some issues to look out for.
1. You are not watering correctly. A mature Aloe Vera needs water, but not that much. Overwatering can kill it as easily as underwatering.
2. Check if the pot is draining the extra water. If the pot holds water in it, too much water or damp soil will rot the roots.
3. Your soil in the pot could be too alkaline. This can prevent your plant from growing. You can solve this problem by adding sulfur.
4. It might need better sunlight. Aloe Vera does not do well in direct sunlight, so place your plant in a place where you can get indirect light all day long.
5. The roots might be bound by the pot. It could be possible your plant is not growing because the pot is too small. Try re-potting it.
Like other succulents, Aloe Vera is susceptible to overwatering. You have to be careful with watering your Aloe Vera. Only water it when the soil is dry. Do not keep the water in the catch tray or saucer. it is same as over watering the plant. Water your plant and then let it drain completely.
Like other plants, Aloe Vera is prone to disease and pests. Some common pest problems include:
Aphids: they feed on the leaves’ gel and prevent Aloe Vera from growing. To solve this, use pyrethrin-based insecticide spray.
Scale Insects: scale insects can re-produce over and over if not treated carefully. This causes small, yellow and brown bumps on the leaves. Solve the problem with rubbing alcohol.
Fungus Gnats: these are often a sign of overwatering. They do not hurt the plant. To solve this problem, keep the surface of the soil clean and adjust your watering routine.
Mealy Bugs: like scale insects, use rubbing alcohol to get rid of mealy bugs.
Toxic for Humans and Pets
Though Aloe Vera is safe to use with no side effects oral ingestion of Aloe Vera is not safe. It can cause diarrhea and decrease the absorption of medicine. Aloe Vera is also not safe for pets or animals. It’s best to keep the pets away from the plant.
Here are some of the most common questions people have when growing Aloe Vera.
1. How much water (in liters) does an Aloe Vera plant need?
Aloe Vera is a succulent and it is drought tolerant. Aloe Vera does not need much water. What they cannot tolerate are frost and too much water. It will kill them.
There is not an accurate measurement of how much water you should use.
What you can do is check whether the soil is wet or dry. It’s the only and best way to know when to water. Water until the soil looks wet. Drain it of excess water both from the pot and the saucer at the bottom.
2. How long can you preserve Aloe Vera gel without a refrigerator?
The best way to store the gel is by refrigerating, but if you want, you can store extracted get in an airtight container for up to 7 days. The benefits of the gel will decrease after that.
3. I planted my aloe in my garden. I found some bugs in the soil this morning. What can I do?
Aloe Vera is vulnerable to pests and diseases outside, and your plant’s tips could be drying up because of a new environment. You can prune them if they turn brownish color. One way to keep the insects away is by sprinkling eggshell crumbles around the base of the Aloe plant.
Aloe Vera makes a great addition to any house or public area. Not only can you use for decoration, but it is one of the most recognized medical plants, and it improves air quality around it. So, why not have one in your home? It’s not difficult to care for, and you can grow more from one.
Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera)
Aloe Vera Care Guide
Sitting your Aloe Vera plant in any South facing window is a great choice because it will get lots of sunlight. Like most succulents, it’s literally designed for such places and as a result you will get lots of good quality and even growth.
However Aloe’s will also be quite happy in a north facing aspect, growth will be slower and you will have to rotate the plant pot every month or so to ensure an even look. In general the Aloe Vera plant is adaptable when it comes to light and it’s difficult to go wrong.
Good strong light – even with some direct sunlight – will help you to grow a quality looking Aloe
During Spring and Summer water thoroughly every time the soil has dried out. Where you decide to put the plant will dictate how long it takes for the soil to dry out and therefore how long you need to wait between watering’s. Anything from a week up to three would be normal.
Aloe’s can use a lot of water in hot weather so don’t let the watering can be a stranger.
In Autumn (Fall) and Winter, water much less frequently. Some people don’t water their plants at all during Winter and if it’s in a very cool spot this is probably a very good idea in order to prevent root / stem rot.
Humidity is really not important for almost all succulents and this includes the Aloe Vera plant.
Too much fertiliser on Aloe Vera’s can produce very soft and bendy leaves which is normally undesirable in the rigid structural striking varieties. It’s a good idea therefore to feed only once in Spring and once again in Summer with either a cactus or an all purpose feed. Only feed established plants.
Like it’s light requirements, an Aloe Vera will take very high temperatures in its stride so don’t worry about overheating. It will expect a cooler temperature in Winter though, but not less than 5°C / 41°F.
In a short space of time, Aloe Vera plants usually produce a lot of offsets or suckers which will gradually fill the pot. Repot when the pot becomes very congested.
You can either keep all the plants together in a bigger pot if you prefer a “busy” appearance, or separate some of the offsets for propagation or to give away as gifts.
When it comes to Aloe Vera plant propagation it’s good news. It’s very easy! Offsets or suckers from Aloe’s are very straight forward to get going, as they do it mostly by themselves with little assistance from us.
When you repot, gently separate the offsets from the parent ensuring each one has at least a few roots of its own. Use a free draining compost mix and water well, wait a few weeks before you water again and never heavily until the offset has properly established.
Speed of Growth
Your Aloe Vera plant growth will be moderately fast in good conditions. Very little growth should be expected if conditions are poor and of course over the Winter months when everything slows down.
Height / Spread
They normally only reach 45cm / 18in in height. But spread (over many years) can be immense due to the offsets which fan out around the plant.
The Aloe’s do sometimes flowers indoors. Some types will flower annually and others less.
To flower the plant needs to be established and have reached maturity (4 – 6 years old). Good light conditions are also needed. They can flower at any time of the year and the flowering stem comes shooting out so quickly you might not notice it until it’s already pretty long.
Aloe variegata or the “Tiger Aloe” with flower buds that are just days from opening
Is Aloe Vera Poisonous?
Some people can have adverse skin reactions to the Aloe Vera sap, but most people don’t have any issues when it’s applied topically. However it can be toxic in high levels when consumed and the plant is poisonous to cats and dogs.
These plants get heavy. Really heavy. You’ll save yourself a lot of trouble if you pick a pot which is wider than it is tall, i.e. a typical cactus style bowl that is wide and shallow. This will drastically help prevent the plant from tipping over when it starts to become unbalanced. Failing that, be sure that the container is heavy otherwise it will tip over at some point.
Aloe Vera Plant Problems
There are black spots on my Aloe Vera leaves
Normally this is caused by over watering.
Mushy leaves / Plant death
Again normally caused by over watering, or exposure to sub zero temperatures.
Wrinkly / droopy / almost transparent leaves
In most cases this is the plant begging for water. It normally only gets like this when all its internal water supplies (inside the leaves) are depleted. This will be some weeks or even months after you last watered it.
However if you’re sure you’re watering the plant often, it is quite possible you have actually overdone it instead. Take the Aloe out of its pot and check the roots, if they are dead or mushy then you have Root Rot and this is the cause of your wrinkly / droopy leaves.
– Take the plant out of its pot to get a look at the roots. If most of the roots are healthy cut off the dead and mushy ones and then repot with fresh gritty compost. Go easy on the watering going forward. Your plant should reestablish itself quickly.
– If most or all of the roots are dead, you are likely going to lose the plant. Either try the first point, and hope for the best, or cut off the biggest leaves reducing the plant size by about half. While not a guarantee, it’s possible with less leaves for what little roots are left to support them, the plant will pull through.
Broken / snapped off leaves
This has probably been caused by naughty people, perhaps curious about the Aloe Vera gel inside the leaves. If you know who it was and you have an offset to share, give them a plant of their own!
About the Author
Over the last 20 years Tom has successfully owned hundreds of houseplants and is always happy to share knowledge and lend his horticulture skills to those in need. He is the main content writer for the Ourhouseplants Team.
Also on Ourhouseplants.com
(Gallery) Credit for the photo of the massive Aloe blooming in her front room to Miss Gelly
(Article) Credit for the second Aloe Vera photo to Sweet Succulents
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How to Use Fresh Aloe Vera
There are plenty of ways you can use aloe vera, both topically and internally.
1. Heals burns
Due to its soothing, moisturizing, and cooling properties, aloe vera is often used to treat burns.
A 2013 study with 50 participants found that people who used aloe vera gel to treat superficial and partial thickness burns showed better results than the group that used a 1 percent silver sulfadiazine cream.
The aloe vera group showed earlier wound healing and pain relief. Plus, aloe vera had the benefit of being inexpensive.
More research is needed, but the available evidence suggests that aloe gel can be beneficial for burn wound healing.
If you have a sunburn or another mild burn, apply aloe vera a few times a day to the area. If you have a severe burn, seek medical help before applying aloe.
2. Improves digestive health
Consuming aloe vera may benefit your digestive tract and help to soothe and cure stomach ailments, including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
A 2018 review looked at three studies with 151 people. Results from the studies showed that aloe vera significantly improved symptoms of IBS when compared to a placebo. No adverse effects were reported, though more research is needed using a larger study size.
Additionally, aloe vera may help inhibit the growth of H. pylori bacteria, which is found in your digestive tract and can lead to ulcers.
3. Promotes oral health
Aloe vera toothpaste and mouthwash are natural options for improving oral hygiene and reducing plaque.
Results of a 2017 study found that people who used an aloe vera toothpaste showed significant improvements to their oral health.
The study included 40 adolescents who were divided into two groups. Each group used either an aloe vera toothpaste or a traditional toothpaste containing triclosan twice daily.
After 30 days, the aloe toothpaste was found to be more effective than the triclosan toothpaste in lowering levels of candida, plaque, and gingivitis.
People who used the aloe vera toothpaste showed better overall oral health without experiencing any adverse effects.
4. Clears acne
Using fresh aloe on your face may help clear up acne. You can also purchase aloe products designed for acne, including cleansers, toners, and creams. These may have the extra benefit of containing other effective ingredients, too.
Acne products made with aloe may be less irritating to the skin than traditional acne treatments.
A small 2014 study found that a cream combining conventional acne medication with aloe vera gel was significantly more effective than acne medication alone or a placebo in treating mild to moderate acne.
In this study, improvements were seen in lower levels of inflammation and fewer lesions in the group who used the combination cream over a period of eight weeks.
5. Relieves anal fissures
If you have anal fissures, applying an aloe vera cream to the affected area several times throughout the day may help promote healing.
A 2014 study found that using a cream containing aloe vera juice powder was effective in treating chronic anal fissures. People used the aloe cream three times a day for six weeks.
Improvements were shown in pain, hemorrhaging upon defection, and wound healing. These results were significantly different from those of the control group. While this research is promising, further studies are needed to expand upon this research.
Aloe Plant Types – Growing Different Aloe Varieties
Most of us know about the aloe vera medicine plant, possibly from childhood when it was usually located in a handy spot to treat minor burns and scrapes. Today, aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis) has a wealth of uses. It is included in many cosmetic products. Juices of the plant are still used for burns but is also used to flush the system. It is known as a superfood. We may be familiar with other aloe plant types, too, and even grow them as houseplants or in the landscape. Here is a run-down of some of the more commonly grown varieties.
Common Aloe Varieties
There are many common varieties of aloe and some that are rare or difficult to find. Most are native to various parts of Africa and nearby areas and, as such, are drought and heat tolerant. The aloe vera plant has been around and in use for centuries. It is mentioned in the Bible. Aloe vera and its derivatives have currently reached an all-time high for both internal and external use. So it is no surprise then that many gardeners are now exploring different types of aloe.
Growing the following aloe vera relatives may be something you’d like to consider adding to your indoor or outdoor garden:
Sudan aloe (Aloe sinkatana) – The juice from this plant is used in much the same way as that of the aloe vera. This stemless, rosette shaped plant grows quickly and is one of the most valuable aloe vera relatives to landscapers, as it is said to flower often and produce long-lasting blooms. It readily offsets at the base.
Stone aloe (Aloe petricola) – This aloe grows to two feet (.61 m.) with impressive bi-colored blooms, making it twice as tall. Stone aloe is so named because it grows well and thrives in rocky areas. The plant blooms in mid-summer, just when fresh color is often needed in the landscape. Add several as a background in a rock garden or other partially sunny spot. Juices from Stone aloe are also used for burns and digestion.
Cape aloe (Aloe ferox) – This aloe vera relative is a source of bitter aloe, coming from a layer of the inner juices. Bitter aloe is an ingredient in laxatives, as it contains a powerful purgative. In the wild, this substance discourages predators. Aloe ferox also has a layer of juice similar to those in aloe vera and is used in cosmetics. Growing this variety provides a showy succulent in the landscape in zones 9-11.
Spiral aloe (Aloe polyphylla) – The Spiral aloe plant is one of the most attractive of the species, with perfect spirals of pointed leaves forming the plant. If you own one of these, take special care to keep it healthy. It is rare and classified as an endangered species. Flowers are showy and may appear in spring on well-established plants.
Fan aloe (Aloe plicatilis) – So named because it has leaves in a unique and attractive fan shape, this aloe attracts birds and bees to the garden and is useful as a backdrop for other succulent plants. Aloe plicatilis is an endangered species and is protected from common uses.
Different types of aloe vera plant
Aloe vera is one of the most complete plants and our favorite. On many occasions we have told you about the benefits and properties that it has in the body and the uses we can give it, not only for beauty and cosmetics but also in nutrition. However, there is no single variety of aloe vera. There are more than 300 types of aloe in the world with different characteristics and healing properties.
Aloe Barbadensis Miller
It is the most common aloe vera species. You can distinguish it from the others, because its leaves have white spots, which can also serve to know the age of the plant as these spots disappear as the aloe vera plant becomes adult.
This aloe begins to bloom in spring and summer, and its flowers are yellow. The healing and beauty properties of this type of aloe vera are greater than any other variety, and therefore it is the most widespread, known and used.
Also known as: candelabra aloe, candelabra, arborescent aloe or octopus plant. This species of aloe vera blooms in winter and produces red flowers inside which seeds are stored.
Its appearance is more similar to a cactus and has a woody trunk that can reach up to four meters. It has beneficial medicinal and healing properties, and is especially used to soothe burns.
In addition and according to some studies, aloe arborescens helps in the proliferation of cells. It can benefit cancer patients since its intake improves the effects of chemotherapy, increasing its effectiveness. However, you should always consult with your doctor to know the primary and secondary effects of this crop.
It is known as real pita or aloe maculata. His pens are arranged in a rosette, that is, in a circular form. All the leaves grow at the same height and are bluish green. They are very broad, with white spots, jagged and fleshy, so it produces a lot of aloe vera juice.
It flowers from the summer season until spring. Its flowers are orange-red and grow in clusters. The species Aloe Saponaria does not grow in the same way in open land as in a pot, in the latter it does not grow easily, so it is advisable to plant it in a wide area.
Aloe Saponaria is used to treat all types of skin conditions. And it is one of the most used types in cosmetics due to its high level of juice.
If you want to know and try the properties and benefits of aloe vera, do not hesitate to visit Verdeaurora Bio Farm. We will be happy to help you!
Tags: aloe, cometic, cosmética, health, Islas Canarias
More than aloe vera, learn about 23 Types of Aloe Varieties to Grow in Containers that are low maintenance, drought tolerant, and BEAUTIFUL!
From over 500 species from aloe genus, we’ve selected 23 types of aloe varieties that you can grow in containers, indoors or outdoors.
1. Sunset Aloe
Botanical Name: Aloe dorotheae
Ultimate Height and Spread: Around 12 inches tall and 18 to 24 inches wide
Container Size: Small to Medium
Sunset aloe is an evergreen succulent variety that turns light green when grown in partial shade but terrific glossy red in full sun. The leaves develop white spikes along its edges. Greenish yellow flowers are generally seen in winter and spring.
2. Spiral Aloe
Botanical Name: Aloe Polyphylla
Ultimate Height and Spread: Usually 12 inches tall and 24 inches wide
Container Size: Medium
Aloe polyphylla is a unique aloe variety that forms a rosette of bluish-green leaves. As the plant ages, it forms an alluring spiral pattern in either clockwise or anticlockwise direction. Also, it flowers sporadically, but once it does, it’s a sight to withhold.
3. Guido Aloe
Botanical Name: Aloe ‘Guido’
Ultimate Height and Spread: 6 to 8 inches tall and wide
Container Size: Small
Guido aloe is an exquisite hybrid aloe variety with attractive green and white colored rosette-shaped patchy foliage. This mini aloe can live well in small decorative containers.
4. Carmine Aloe
Botanical Name: Aloe ‘Carmine‘
Ultimate Height and Spread: Usually 8 to 10 inches tall and wide
Container Size: Small
This miniature hybrid variety can be an excellent addition to your indoor or outdoor garden. The leaves are striking dark orange at edges with toothed margins and go well with containers of contrasting colors.
5. Crosby’s Prolific
Botanical Name: Aloe ‘Crosby’s prolific’
Height and Spread: No more than 6 inches tall and 9 to 12 inches wide
Container Size: Small
Another impressive miniature aloe that forms the rosette of deep green foliage with a lot of teeth and speckled skin. If kept in sunlight, the leaves turn into the alluring reddish orange.
Also Read: How to Re-pot Aloe Plants
6. Lace Aloe
Botanical Name: Aloe aristata
Height and Spread: 6 to 10 inches tall and wide
Container Size: Small to Medium
The distinct characteristic of this plant is that the leaves have raised white dots, which are somewhat spiny near the base. It becomes a beautiful houseplant and requires no care if kept in a warm spot that receives some sunlight.
7. Short Leaf Aloe
Botanical Name: Aloe brevifolia
Ultimate Height and Spread: Around 6 to 12 inches tall and 24 inches wide
Container Size: Small to Medium
This rosette-forming succulent has short gray-green fleshy leaves in part sun, which turns into reddish pink in full sun. Grow it in a small decorative container alone, or in combination with other succulents.
8. Red Aloe
Botanical Name: Aloe cameronii
Ultimate Height and Spread: 12 to 24 inches tall and 24 to 36 inches wide
Container Size: Medium to Large
This slow-growing aloe variety has low watering needs, and if you’ve got a spot where it can receive full sunlight, it’ll reward you with beautiful copper red foliage, the most attractive in all the aloe species.
9. Candelabra Aloe (Krantz Aloe)
Botanical Name: Aloe arborescens
Ultimate Height and Spread: 6 to 10 feet tall and 4 to 6 feet wide
Container Size: Large
One of the tallest aloe species. This shade tolerant shrub-like succulent also bears attractive flowers in the vibrant shade of red and orange.
*Not only that, some studies suggest that aloe arborescens is effective against cancer alongside chemotherapy. Check it out here!
10. Cape Aloe
Botanical Name: Aloe Ferox
Ultimate Height and Spread: Can grow over 10 feet tall and 4 to 6 feet wide
Container Size: Large
Cape aloe, bitter aloe, and tap aloe are some of the common names this aloe goes with. This is another giant aloe variety that presents a great architectural show when grown outside in a frost-free climate. Majestic!
More than that, bitter aloe has great medicinal uses. Here is the research published on the physical and chemical characteristics of Aloe ferox.
11. Coral Aloe
Botanical Name: Aloe Striata
Ultimate Height and Spread: 12 to 18 inches tall and 24 to 36 inches wide
Container Size: Medium
The pink shade on its appealing big broad leaves is the reason why this plant is known as “Coral Aloe.” Unlike other common aloe varieties, coral aloe is toothless and contains no spikes on leaf edges. It’s one of the best cold hardy aloes that grows well in a shaded and sunny location both. However, the true rosy pink color appears in full sun.
12. Tiger Tooth Aloe
Botanical Name: Aloe juvenna
Ultimate Height and Spread: Around 12 inches tall and wide similarly
Container Size: Small to Large
Tiger tooth aloe is one of the most beautiful aloe varieties for containers. It’s a small clump-forming succulent that is native to Kenya, which means it prefers hot growing conditions. Grow it as a houseplant or outside in containers in a warm spot that receives some sun.
13. Spider Aloe
Botanical Name: Aloe humilis
Ultimate Height and Spread: Around 6 inches tall and 6 to 8 inches wide
Container Size: Small
Also known as hedgehog aloe, this low growing variety has beautiful clusters of stemless rosettes growing closely. The leaves are small and covered with irregular tiny white spines. This lightly frost tolerant succulent also bears flowers in the shades of red, orange, and bright yellow.
14. Tiger Aloe
Botanical Name: Gonialoe variegata
Ultimate Height and Spread: Grows between 6 to 12 inches tall and 6 to 9 inches wide
Container Size: Small
One of the most beautiful aloe varieties to grow in containers. Tiger aloe has a distinctly small sword shape fat foliage adorned with amazingly white strips marked on green leaves.
15. Aloe Capitata
Botanical Name: Aloe Capitata var. quartziticola
Ultimate Height and Spread: Can grow up to 2-3 feet tall and wide similarly
Container Size: Medium
This stemless rosette-forming aloe variety has a union of showy fat leaves splashed with a vibrant bluish pink shade, which turns into the deep pink or light red in full sun. It has red margined edges that are adorned with sharp but small teeth. The biggest asset of this aloe species is its bell-shaped flowers of orange shade.
16. Aloe Vera
Botanical Name: Aloe Barbadensis
Ultimate Height and Spread: Can grow up to 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide
Container Size: Small to Medium
This aloe variety needs no introduction. It is available with so many names like aloe vera, true aloe, Indian aloe, Chinese aloe, and first aid plant. Not only it’s an ornamental plant, but it’s also one of the most valuable medicinal plants in the world.
17. Fan Aloe
Botanical Name: Aloe plicatilis
Ultimate Height and Spread: 6-8 feet tall in a pot and up to 15 feet on the ground
Pot Size: Large
If you’re looking for a decorative statement plant for your garden or entryway, grow fan aloe. Growing fan aloe in a pot is not difficult, keep it in a large pot in a warm location that receives some sun. If you’re living in a cool region, shift the plant indoors for winter protection.
19. Aloe Descoingsii
Botanical Name: Aloe descoingsii
Ultimate Height and Spread: 3 inches tall and wide similarly
Container Size: Small
Aloe descoingsii is the smallest of all aloe species. The tiny rosettes of it only grow to about 2-3 inches long. The dark green leaves have magical white spots on them along with serrated white edges, coming out from the center as if they’re entwined together. Yellow to orange colored flowers appears on 6 inches tall racemes during spring to summer, making it more beautiful.
20. Soap Aloe
Botanical Name: Aloe maculata
Ultimate Height and Spread: Grows up to 18 inches tall and 24 inches wide
Container Size: Small to medium size container
Grow this evergreen succulent perennial for the year-round show of foliage and flowers. It’s deep bluish-green foliage perks up perfectly in a part shade spot outdoors or indoors.
21. Somalian Aloe
Botanical Name: Aloe somaliensis
Ultimate Height and Spread: Grows up to 6 to 12 inches tall and 18 to 24 inches wide
Container Size: This slow-growing aloe can be grown in small pots
Somalian aloe is a beautiful ornamental aloe variety decorated with green and white textured foliage. It bears pink to red tubular flowers in summer.
22. Aloe Caesia
Botanical Name: Aloe x principis
Ultimate Height and Spread: 4 to 8 feet tall and 3 to 6 feet wide
Container Size: Medium to Large
It is a cross between Aloe ferox and Aloe arborescens and has kept somewhat improved characteristics of both varieties. It grows high but not as heavy as aloe ferox and also shows much orderly growth than Aloe arborescens.
23. Climbing Aloe
Botanical Name: Aloiampelos ciliaris
Ultimate Height and Spread: Doesn’t grow above 10 feet tall in pots
Container Size: Medium to Large
It’s a rare climbing variety of aloe. The woody stems and greatly recurved leaves help this plant to climb on nearby trees or any structural support. If there is no support in the vicinity, it shows a straggly growth. It also produces unique tubular-shaped flowers when exposed to direct sun, in the charming shade of red with creamy yellow tips.
We all know the aloe vera plant and its immense health benefits, but not its many different types. Read on to discover what these are.
Aloe vera has around 250 species, of which four are grown for their health benefits. Aloe Vera Barbadensis is the most cultivated of the species and is native to North Africa. Wild species of aloe vera can live for a century.
The plant produces two substances: the aloe vera gel, which is 96 percent water, and the latex, which is used as laxative. It is said that Cleopatra, known to be “a woman of surpassing beauty,” applied aloe vera gel on her skin as part of her beauty regimen.
Related: 23 of my favorite indoor cactus options
Aloe capitata var. quartziticola
With tapered grey-green leaves that turn blue-grey when it’s cloudy and purple-tinged when it’s sunny outside, this aloe produces a flower stalk that gets up to 3 feet in height. The flowers have round heads and are bright-yellow with darker shades of orange towards the center. The plant can get up to 3 feet tall and 3 feet wide, and it is both deer-resistant and attractive to bees and birds.
Also known as the common climbing aloe, this plant is thin and tough and grows incredibly fast. It produces tubular flowers that are bright red-orange in color and have creamy-yellow tips. Bees and birds love it, and it makes a great garden plant for this and for many other reasons. The leaves are bright-green and have soft, hair-like teeth, and they perfectly complement the flowers when they are in bloom.
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The aloe vera plant is known for its sap that is helpful in easing a sunburn and many other types of skin ailments. Because other aloe plants can be toxic, this one is the best one to use for medicinal purposes, and it is well-suited to being a houseplant. In addition, the Aloe vera does well in dry conditions with little light, although it is frost-tender, so it needs to be protected when it’s cold outside.
Aloe x principis
Growing up to 9 feet in height, this aloe produces spikes in the Winter that are bright scarlet or orange in color and therefore it brightens up any Winter garden. Native to South Africa, the plant is deer-resistant, attractive to birds and bees, and it looks beautiful in Mediterranean or succulent gardens, not to mention as accents or borders. Like most other aloe plants, this one does best in full sun and well-drained soil.
Arabian Aloe (Aloe rubroviolacea)
With thick, blue-green leaves that arch outwards, this aloe has reddish teeth and margins, and the leaves go from purple-tinged in the full sun to brilliant violet-red in Winter. Growing up to 3 feet high and 6 feet wide, the plant does best in soil that is well-drained and in bright, full sun. It can highlight rock gardens, borders, and succulent gardens, and tolerates soils with most types of pH balances.
Barbados Aloe (Aloe barbadensis)
This type of aloe has a unique look, with its leaves facing upwards towards the sky and beautiful spikes in greenish-yellow that reach up alongside them. The leaves are light green but turn a reddish-purple in Spring and Summer when they are dry, and the plump leaves contain gummy sap that has been used for thousands of years for a variety of cosmetic and medicinal purposes, making this plant valuable as well as beautiful.
Cape Aloe (Aloe ferox)
Native to South Africa, this type of aloe consists of blue-green leaves that often have tinges of rose and get up to 3 feet long. When the older leaves dry out, they remain on the plant and form a petticoat on the stems. Bright red-orange, tubular flowers appear in the Winter, which perfectly complement the orangish teeth surrounding each stem. The aloe is known for its valuable gel and can get as tall as 9 feet high.
Cape Speckled Aloe (Aloe microstigma)
With blue-green leaves that turn reddish-brown when they are stressed, this aloe grows beautiful spikey flowers that get up to 3 feet tall and start out as red buds, then turn yellow-orange and orange in color later on. Their bi-color look makes them eye-catching and unique, and they are virtually disease-free but very attractive to birds and bees. They also make beautiful borders and accent plants, and deer will stay away from them.
Coral Aloe (Aloe striata)
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Growing up to 18 feet high and 18 feet in width, this aloe has flat, broad leaves that are pale grey-green in color but which turn pink in the sun and a more bluish color in the shade. It has purple-pink margins and produces beautiful, tubular, coral-orange flowers in late Winter to early Spring. The plant looks beautiful in containers and in sunny borders, and it does best in well-drained soil and full sun or partial shade.
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A beautiful dwarf aloe, this plant has long green leaves that contain translucent teeth along its edges. It gets up to 12 inches high and 15 inches wide, and it has fleshy leaves that get redder when it is sunny and hot. Tubular, bright-orange flowers grow on the stalks, which can brighten up any garden. A hybrid aloe, it is deer-resistant and virtually disease-free, lending to its popularity.
Fan Aloe (Aloe plicatilis)
Like its name suggests, this aloe consists of slender, long leaves that form a fan-like structure. The leaves are blue-grey in color and have bright-orange tips, and spikes of orange-red flowers grow in late-Winter to the Spring. Once you see this plant, you’ll understand why it has won several international flower awards. The plant grows to 8 feet in height and looks like a small tree, and it is both deer-resistant and virtually disease-free
Golden Toothed Aloe (Aloe nobilis)
This aloe has triangle leaves that are bright-green in color and include whitish teeth along the sides, and the leaves turn an amazing orange color when they are in the full sun. Bright-orange tubular flowers appear in the Spring, which can get up to 2 feet high, and the plant grows profusely to provide a very large display, making it perfect for groundcovers and borders. They do best in full sun and in soil that is sandy and gravelly.
Malagasy Tree Aloe (Aloe vaombe)
An unusually large aloe, it can get up to 12 feet high and 5 feet in width. Its leaves are fleshy and have white teeth, and they turn from dark-green to a vibrant deep-red when they are in full sun. They also produce beautiful red flowers that stand out, and because of their color they make beautiful focal points for any garden. They are native to Madagascar, and are virtually disease-free.
Mountain Aloe (Aloe marlothii)
This is a truly majestic succulent that forms a dense cluster of grey-green leaves that each taper to a strong point. With reddish-brown spines and tubular flowers that appear in the Winter, this aloe grows up to 10 feet high and is perfect for accents, borders, and containers. The flowers start out bright orange-red but turn to yellow or bright-red later on, and they are very attractive to birds and bees.
Red Aloe (Aloe cameronii)
With upright stems and graceful, curvy leaves, this type of aloe consists of colors that range from green to copper-red, with bright orange-red flowers appearing in early Winter. Growing up to 2 feet high and 4 feet in width, the Red Aloe looks beautiful in rock gardens and as borders, and because of the nectar it produces, birds and bees love it. It does best in full sun or partial shade and in soil that is sandy and gravelly.
Sand Aloe (Aloe hereroensis)
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Both the leaves and the flowers of this plant are unique, with the leaves decorated with fine lines throughout and the flowers consisting of orange-red tubular flowers that have a tall, green, protruding center which often looks like a pine cone. A truly stunning plant, the Sand Aloe gets up to 2 feet tall and does best in soil that is alkaline and well-drained. Best if not over-watered, this aloe looks great in Mediterranean gardens and rock gardens, not to mention containers.
Short-Leaf Aloe (Aloe brevifolia)
These round-shaped perennials make a beautiful addition to your garden, especially if you have a dozen or so planted together. Their leaves are pale-blue in color but turn rose-pink and golden-yellow in the sun, so they are quite a spectacle. In late Spring, tubular flowers orange in color appear, and they can grow up to 2 feet tall and 2 feet wide. They are deer-resistant and virtually disease-free.
Snake Aloe (Aloe broomii)
This robust succulent is one of the most eye-catching aloes there are, getting up to 1 foot wide and consisting of long, beautiful light-green leaves. Reddish-brown teeth adorn the edges, and it takes roughly 5 or 6 years to reach its full size. Frost-resistant, the Snake Aloe is perfect for arid and semi-arid regions and makes a great focal point for anyone’s garden. it is virtually disease-free and perfect for sandy and well-drained soils.
Soap Aloe (Aloe maculata)
With sword-shaped leaves that are blue-green in color and covered with white blotches and white teeth on the edges, this aloe’s leaves get pink-red when it is in full sun. Hummingbirds and bees love this plant, and it is both salt- and drought-resistant. It grows up to 18 inches high and in the Winter, it sets tubular flowers in bright coral-orange that love to show off, as they often bloom several times throughout the year.
Spiral Aloe (Aloe polyphylla)
The grey-green leaves on this aloe form a perfect spiral shape, and the leaves have white to pale-green spines along the edges and dark, purple-brown at their tips. Although it rarely flowers, when it does the flowers are salmon-pink and tubular. The winner of several international flower awards, the Spiral Aloe does best in full sun and is both drought-tolerant and deer-resistant.
Sunset Aloe (Aloe dorotheae)
Very colorful and eye-catching, this type of aloe has bright-green leaves that turn bright-red in the full sun. Getting up to 1 foot high and 2 feet in width, it produces spikes of greenish-yellow flowers when Winter arrives, and it looks beautiful in containers or as groundcovers. The Sunset Aloe also has flowers that produce nectar and therefore, it is attractive to bees and birds, and it is virtually disease-free as well.
Tilt-Head Aloe (Aloe speciosa)
This aloe has blue-green leaves that often have pink tinges at the tips and edges. The leaves are quite large, getting up to 3 feet in length, and from them grow thick, dense spikes that have colors such as deep-red, brownish-red, and creamy-yellow, giving it a beautiful tri-color look. The plant itself can get up to 10 feet high, and hummingbirds love it. Because of its size and beauty, the Tilt-Head Aloe makes the perfect specimen plant for gardens of any size or type.
Torch Aloe (Aloe arborescens)
This is a unique plant in that it has both attractive foliage and colorful flowers that attract attention. It has sword-shaped leaves with pale-colored teeth along the edges, and in winter it sets beautiful spikes in deep orange-red that perk up the foliage. Its shrubby habit grows to 10 feet high and 10 feet wide, and it makes a beautiful accent plant or border, as well as a great addition to any containers you may have.
Torch Plant (Aloe aristata)
A succulent evergreen, this type of aloe has incurved, lance-shaped leaves that are pale green but turn much darker when it’s sunny. Each leaf has white spots throughout it, as well as white spotty trim around the leaf, and it produces cone-shaped clusters of bright orange-red flowers in the Winter. Between its rose-like shape and its beautiful flowers, the Torch Plant is the perfect addition to any Winter garden.
Tree Aloe (Aloe barberae)
Tree aloes can grow up to 60 feet high and 10 feet in width, and they grow small red flowers with green spots during the Winter months. There are different types of tree aloes, including the Aloe pillansii, which grows to 30 feet in height and looks like a cactus; and the Aloe dichotoma, also called a quiver tree, which is one of the largest of all the aloe plants.
Van Balen’s Aloe (Aloe vanbalenii)
Looking similar to an octopus, this type of aloe has curling leaves that are bright-green with copper-red edges and which turn to dark-red when it’s sunny. It grows up to 3 feet in height and produces tubular flowers in Winter to early-Spring that are yellow or yellow-orange in color. The plant is native to South Africa and is attractive to bees and birds, and it is also deer-resistant.
Related: Types of Indoor Cactus | How to Make Succulent Terrarium
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When it comes to Aloe vera, not all plants are the same. There are several hundred species of Aloe and many varieties within each species.
Barbadensis-miller is well established as the best Aloe species, for both topical and internal consumption. But of the hundreds of varieties of barbadensis-miller, which is the best and how can you tell the difference?
Rodney Stockton, The “Aloe Pioneer“, searched the world, testing many species and varieties of Aloes. Among the many varieties of barbadensis-miller plants, one stood out prominently for it’s “medicinal qualities”. This plant came to be called “barbadensis-miller-stockton” (barbadensis-miller species, stockton variety).
Stockton made further determinations about the factors that contribute to the medicinal properties of Aloe — including the plant maturity, climate, soil, and more — but for the sake of this article, we’ll focus on species and variety.
We often get inquiries from Aloe advocates who want to know how to identify the species and variety of a plant they are growing.
Consider this question from Lucila. She wrote:
Question: How do I know which Aloe species I am growing?
I have about 10 plants of Aloe in my back yard. I want to know if I have the correct Aloe plant, meaning the one you are selling and cultivating. My plants have white dots or spots. When I looked at your video how to slice the aloe, the plant you are using looks completely green. But when I go to the website to order, I see that the little bud you are selling looks like my plants. I am a little confused, please advise…
Answer: How to identify your Aloe plant:
The barbadensis-miller-stockton plants do have white spots when they are pups – but the spots go away as the plant matures. I have seen this role reversed in other varieties. The leaves of the barbadensis-miller-stockton plants are green, and not blue-green. Another distinguishing feature is that the flower has yellow petals, with no stripes nor dots on the petals.
Oh, that means my plants are not barbadensis-miller… They are 24 inches tall and they still have the white spots, and the flower is pink. What do you think is the name of them?
They might be barbadensis-miller… but there are several hundred varieties. They aren’t the Stockton variety, that’s what we know so far.
Even though Aloe vera has been used medicinally for thousands of years, scientists still understand little of its secrets — and pharmacologists have yet to figure out how to synthesize the plant (and patent it for the pharmaceutical companies to sell at an inflated price).
It is important to be careful with any wild plant. Some species of Aloe are toxic. Moreover, since each person can be sensitive to different things, any new food or herb should be tested cautiously for potential allergic reactions. The succulent plant website shows many pictures of Aloes. You may be able to find your variety there.
Many species of aloe are popular houseplants because they are versatile and able to thrive indoors without requiring much care. This is beneficial because live plants like aloe can improve air quality and help promote a healthier indoor environment. In fact, indoor plants are one of my recommendations for protecting yourself against sick building syndrome. But that’s not all these plants are good for.
In the U.S., aloe is well-known in for its benefits to the skin. In many cultures around the world, people use a variety of aloe species (there are over 400 such species after all!) for their nutritional and therapeutic properties. Aloe vera is the most encountered species of aloe and the most well known for delivering powerful benefits to your health. In addition to using aloe vera to care for their skin, many people are beginning to enjoy the plant for its nutritional benefits. You may be surprised to learn that aloe vera is a superfood. Few supplements today rival the complete nutritional benefits of this plant.
Of course, many of the lesser known aloe species boast health benefits of their own. Here we will show you 13 of these and explain some of the ways that they can benefit your health.
Benefits of 13 Species of Aloe
1. Aloe Arborescens
Often called the “candelabra aloe”, aloe arborescens can grow up to 10 feet tall and become as big as a small tree. Vibrant red-orange cylindrical flowers rise high from the plant’s leaves to give it a distinctive look. As with many aloe plants, researchers report a variety of healing properties. Aloe arborescens aids in the healing of wounds in animals and shows action against harmful organisms. A study from Italy also showed that when used as a nutrient therapy, it supported the immune system and other health benefits.
2. Aloe Ferox
Aloe ferox is also known as “cape aloe”, “red aloe” or “tap aloe”. Another tree-like aloe plant that can reach 10 feet in height, its red flowers grow 2 to 4 feet above its leaves. Extracts from this plant have natural laxative properties and studies show it as effective against occasional constipation. Researchers have found that oil from the seeds contains high levels of linoleic, stearic and oleic fatty acids used in many cosmetics and may offer a natural way to nourish and rejuvenate the skin.
3. Aloe Striata
This small, stemless aloe plant is called “coral aloe” because of the pink tint on its leaves. Aloe striata have wide, smooth leaves. This is a far cry from the “teeth”, or small spiky-projections, found in many aloe varieties. This particular species survives in hot, dry environments and is well-known for its ability to store large amounts of water. It’s a hardy plant that gardeners absolutely love. Research suggests it may support digestion.
4. Aloe Aristata
The stemless aloe, also called “lace aloe” and “guinea-fowl” aloe, is known for its deep green, saw toothed leaves and their unique white speckles. It looks a lot like another common succulent, the haworthia, and is often confused with this distant cousin. Its large orange flowers attract a variety of birds and insects, especially bees, that encourage the health and longevity of this plant and other plants in its immediate area. That makes it another excellent plant for gardens, as it requires little care and thrives in warm and cool climates. The aloe aristata also has therapeutic roots, as it is used it for wound healing in Ayurveda.
5. Aloe Marlothii
Known as “mountain aloe”, aloe marlothii can reach heights of 20 feet tall. It features robust, spiky-grey-green leaves that can reach 5 feet long that grow from a central “head”. Its flowers range in color from orange to yellow to a vibrant red. A recent study found that aloe marlothii can be used to moisturize skin and may promote overall skin health similar to aloe vera.
6. Aloe Polyphylla
While many species of aloe are used in cosmetic products, you won’t find the aloe polyphylla in your local beauty shop. Highly coveted for its beauty, overuse as an ornamental plant has greatly over-extended this particular aloe and has led to a severe decline in its population. Frequently called “spiral aloe”, this plant has a distinct, 5-point growing pattern with flowers of different shades of red and leaves with serrated edges and sharp tips.
7. Aloe Plicatilis
Another aloe that has been all but depleted by its widespread use as a decoration, aloe plicatilis is known for its fan-like leaves that inspired its common name “fan aloe”. This particular species can grow to be over 10 feet tall. Today, this plant is protected from common uses, such as becoming an ingredient in cosmetic or therapeutic products. That’s because the aloe plicatilis is now an endangered species.
8. Aloe Dichotoma
Aloe dichotoma, or the “quiver tree”, is a tall aloe species that grows tall and branches out like a tree. Once frequently used in landscaping to provide support for its the surrounding environment, this aloe was labeled “critically endangered” in 2011.
Photo property of DavesGarden.com, credited to Geoff Stein.
9. Aloe Petricola
The aloe petricola plant is a popular addition to any garden because of its vibrant orange, yellow and red flowers. Known as the “stone aloe”, this particularly species is a great environmental booster. Never underestimate the power that plants can have on the other living things in their immediate vicinity!
10. Aloe Ciliaris
Aloe ciliaris, frequently called the “common climbing aloe”, is a thin, tough plant that is known for growing incredibly quickly. It also boasts tubular red flowers and has soft, hair-like teeth. Aloe ciliaris is another aloe that does well in a garden, as it is known for attracting bees and birds that enrich and support other surrounding plant life.
11. Aloe Maculata
Referred to as “soap aloe”, the sap of aloe maculata makes a soapy lather in water. Another popular nickname for this particular aloe is the “zebra aloe”. You can recognize this aloe species by its long tubular flowers that range in color from red and green with spots that look like the letter “H”. One unique attribute of this particular species of aloe is that its pollen generation can be increased by smoke making it incredibly widely available. This makes the aloe maculata a popular choice among gardeners who are able to utilize this plant’s unique ability to support its surrounding environment.
12. Aloe Humilis
The aloe humilis plant has long, narrow triangular leaves lined with white teeth. Its stem also sprouts clusters of red, orange, and yellow flowers. The fresh gel of this particular plant has been shown to relieve sunburns as well as popular gels made from another popular aloe, aloe vera.
13. Aloe Barberae
This “tree aloe” is often cross-bred with aloe dichotoma to produce a popular hybrid called “Aloe X Hercules”. Aloe barberae itself grows over 50 feet tall, features rose-pink flowers with green tips and can be used to support your health in a number of different ways. Studies show it’s powerful against harmful organisms and has ultra soothing properties.
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Powers of the Aloe Plant
Remember, there are over 400 species of aloe with each plant providing unique health benefits. We’ve only introduced 13 of these here. Nutrient-dense plants like aloe vera offer effective ways to consume important vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that support your overall health and well-being. Aloe vera juice has become a popular way to take aloe, but I recommend Aloe Fuzion™. This is a new bioactive aloe vera supplement I created to make it easier to get the nutrients that will benefit you the most. Aloe Fuzion is made from 100% organic inner aloe vera leaf and has a bioactive profile similar to pure aloe vera.
Which aloe plant do you like the most? Let us know in the comments below!
- University of California Davis, “The Genus Aloe”, Botanical Notes, (2009): 1.
- Jia Y1, Zhao G, Jia J. Preliminary evaluation: the effects of Aloe ferox Miller and Aloe arborescens Miller on wound healing. J Ethnopharmacol. 2008 Nov 20;120(2):181-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2008.08.008. Epub 2008 Aug 15.
- Lissoni P1, Rovelli F, Brivio F, Zago R, Colciago M, Messina G, Mora A, Porro G. A randomized study of chemotherapy versus biochemotherapy with chemotherapy plus Aloe arborescens in patients with metastatic cancer. In Vivo. 2009 Jan-Feb;23(1):171-5.
- Wintola OA1, Sunmonu TO, Afolayan AJ. The effect of Aloe ferox Mill. in the treatment of loperamide-induced constipation in Wistar rats. BMC Gastroenterol. 2010 Aug 19;10:95. doi: 10.1186/1471-230X-10-95.
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- Fritz Light, “Aloe Striata Plant Defense Compounds Produced in Response to Jasmonic Acid, Salicylic Acid, and Eriophyid Mite Salivary Extract Elicitor Compounds” (MS diss., California Polytechnic State University, 2012).
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- Fox LT1, du Plessis J1, Gerber M1, van Zyl S2, Boneschans B2, Hamman JH1. In Vivo skin hydration and anti-erythema effects of Aloe vera, Aloe ferox and Aloe marlothii gel materials after single and multiple applications. Pharmacogn Mag. 2014 Apr;10(Suppl 2):S392-403. doi: 10.4103/0973-1296.133291.
- Kumari A1, Papenfus HB1, Kulkarni MG1, Pošta M2, Van Staden J1. Effect of smoke derivatives on in vitro pollen germination and pollen tube elongation of species from different plant families. Plant Biol (Stuttg). 2015 Jul;17(4):825-30. doi: 10.1111/plb.12300. Epub 2015 Jan 23.
- University of California Irvine. Aloe Humilis.
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†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.
Botany of Aloe Vera
The cactus-like succulent aloe vera belongs to the genus of the liliaceous plants. The plant is either stem-less or very short-stemmed (stem up to 25 cm long) with an average about 20 leaves in a straight, dense rosette. The leaves grow to up to 40 – 50 cm long and 6 – 7 cm wide. The leaves are rather thick, fleshy, water retaining; concave on the top side, grey-green often reddish and young plants are often speckled. The underside of the leaf is convex with a pale pink rim that is dressed with 2 mm long thorny teeth spaced at every 10 – 20 mm. One leaf can weigh as much as 1.5 to 2 kg. The succulent leaf of the aloe is an adaptation to the very dry conditions of its habitat. The roots of the aloe are relatively short and lay flat embedded in the earth.
The inflorescence is simple or a simple or double raceme and grows up to 60 – 90 cm.
The raceme is dense, cylindrical and narrowing towards the top. The racemes grow up to 40 cm long. The pherophylls are white, the blossoms about 3 cm long and bright yellow to red. The fruit of the plant are loculicilade capsules. The aloe grows numerous adventitious buds which the plant later uses for reproduction in a vegetative way. All approximately 200 different species of aloe are protected by the Washington Convention as of March 3, 1973, in their natural habitats. Exempt are, in addition to seeds and cell cultures and the like, “single leaves as well as parts and products thereof which derive from plants outside of their natural distribution area or from artificially reproduced aloe plants of the species “vera””.