Aloe arborescens. (Author photo)

Plant Description

Aloes are a diverse group of succulent plants that come in many shapes and sizes. Additionally, their flowers colors come in varying shades of orange, red, or yellow.

Aloe Care

Aloes are native to South Africa, which is a mediterranean climate. They do best in mild weather, and prefer soil with good drainage. Although drought tolerant, they may need regular water for at least the first two years after planting to get established.

Aloes are frost sensitive and need protection when temperatures dip below freezing. Protect aloe plants by situating them near a wall or fence. Alternatively, you can keep plants in pots. To cover a plant to protect it from frost, first build a frame around it. Then add the cover. The cover should not touch the plant.

Aloe barbadensis (aka Aloe vera). (

Plant for Pollinators

Most aloe species bloom in winter, when food sources for pollinators are scarce. Also, hummingbirds will appear more frequently in your landscape to happily sip on the nectar.

Drought Tolerant

Aloes make a great choice for drought tolerant landscapes. Combine them with other drought tolerant plants like agaves, lantana, salvias, hesperaloes, and last, but not least, drought tolerant California native plants. 

Cultivars of Note

There are so many different aloes, but not many are available at most nursery and garden centers. Sometimes they can order them for you, but most likely you’ll probably need to visit a cactus and succulent nursery to find them. 

Plant: common, botanical
USDA Zones: 9-11 
Height: varies
Width: varies
Sun/Shade: full sun
Water Requirements: regular water until established
Pruning: prune off flower stalks after bloom.
Other needs: Divide aloes in spring by gently removing the “pups.” Plant more in your yard, or share with your friends!

I hope you’ve found this post helpful. Please be sure to share your favorite aloe species and why in the comment section below!