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Aloe arborescens (photo courtesy of Kimberley Navabpour)
Aloe arborescens (photo courtesy of Kimberley Navabpour)

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Zone
Zones 8, 9, 12-27, H1, H2
Full SunPartial Sun
Full, Partial
Regular WaterMinimal Water
Moderate, Minimal

Aloe vera

Medicinal Aloe, Barbados Aloe
Liliaceae
Cacti and succulents, Perennials

ALOE

Primarily South African natives, the aloes range from 6-in. miniatures to trees; all form clumps of fleshy, pointed leaves and bear branched or unbranched clusters of orange, yellow, cream, or red flowers. Different species bloom every month; biggest show comes from midwinter through summer. Leaves may be green or gray green, often strikingly banded or streaked with contrasting colors.

Showy and easy to grow in well-drained soil in reasonably frost-free areas; need little water but can take more. Except as noted, give full sun in cooler climates, light shade in hotter regions. Where winters are too cold for all-year outdoor culture, grow in pots and shelter from frosts. Most kinds make outstanding container plants. Highly valued as ornamentals, in the ground or in pots.

Aloe vera (photo courtesy of Laura Dunkin-Hubby)
Aloe vera (photo courtesy of Laura Dunkin-Hubby)

Click to Enlarge

Aloe vera

Clustering rosettes of narrow, fleshy, stiffly upright leaves to 1–2 ft. long. Yellow flowers in a dense spike atop a 3-ft. stalk, spring and summer. This is a favorite folk medicine plant used to treat burns, bites, inflammation, and a host of other ills. Among the best aloes for Zones 12, 13. Survives without extra water but needs some to look good.

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