As there are numerous types of succulents, Aloe comes in various shapes and sizes. In this article, we gathered 15 of the most spectacular types of aloe that could turn you from an aloe fan to an aloe collector and a fanatic.

1. Candelabra Aloe – Aloe arborescens – Asphodelaceae Family

Aloe Candelabra

Image by Ernest McGray, Jr. license under CC BY-SA 2.0

 

While you find the candelabra aloe in many varied habitats these days, its native environment and favorite places are mountainous areas such as exposed ridges and rocky outcrops. It is also a plant that grows and blooms in winter which makes it specifically attractive to gardeners. It’s name – arborescens – describes the plant’s tree-like aspect. The candelabra aloe is also called the krantz aloe. This name comes from Afrikaans and translates to “rocky cliff”.

Light requirements

Light Requirements:

Bright, full sunlight
Water requirements

Water Requirements:

Medium - the soil must be kept moist but not overwatered
Temperature

Temperature Range:

Ideal - 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Never expose to temps below 50 degrees Fahrenheit
Native to

Native to:

Southern Africa

2. Hedgehog Aloe – Aloe humilis – Asphodelaceae Family

Hedgehog Aloe

Image by Forest and Kim Starr license under CC BY 2.0

 

Don’t be fooled by their as this type of aloe is anything but humble. The term “humilis”translates into “low growing” and is a direct reference to the fact that this species does not grow too tall in height as it instead prefers to keep closer to the ground. In turns, it blooms more than most other types of aloe and when it does, it produces clusters of vividly colored and large blooms. The hedgehog aloe is also known as the spider aloe. 

Light requirements

Light Requirements:

Strong, bright light - direct only once acclimated
Water requirements

Water Requirements:

Low - never leave them in stagnant water
Temperature

Temperature Range:

Ideal - 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Never expose to temps below 40 degrees Fahrenheit
Native to

Native to:

South Africa

3. Spiral Aloe – Aloe polyphylla – Asphodelaceae Family

Spiral Aloe

Image by brewbooks license under CC BY-SA 2.0

 

The spiral aloe is one of the most striking types of aloe as this striking evergreen is easily recognizable. It is surprisingly symmetrical and will always grow in a five-pointed spiral both clockwise and anti-clockwise. It is also stem-less. The species is endemic to mountainous slopes and high altitudes and as such, thrives at lower temperatures. While stunning to look at, the spiral aloe is difficult to grow and dies easily once removed from its natural habitat.

Light requirements

Light Requirements:

Light shade
Water requirements

Water Requirements:

Low - moderate watering during growth and rare watering when dormant
Temperature

Temperature Range:

Ideal - 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Never expose to temps below 10 degrees Fahrenheit
Native to

Native to:

the Kingdom of Lesotho (near South Africa)

4. Tiger Tooth Aloe

Tiger Tooth Aloe

Image by Leonora (Ellie) Enking license under CC BY-SA 2.0

 

Continuing the series of unusual yet attractive types of aloe, we present to you the Tiger Tooth aloe. This aloe gets its name from the fact that its initially vertical and erect stems begin to arch over and get covered by leaves with different patterns. This aloe also blooms, but only irregularly. Its origin is just as interesting as its look as, while long cultivated, many were unsure of the plant’s origin. As many believed it to be a ‘juvenile’ aloe, it got the name “juvenna”. This soon became its official denominator and still stand even after the Tiger Tooth’s endemic location was confirmed. 

Light requirements

Light Requirements:

Direct light and/or partially shaded light
Water requirements

Water Requirements:

Very Low - only water sparingly
Temperature

Temperature Range:

Ideal - and degrees Fahrenheit. Never expose to temps below degrees Fahrenheit
Native to

Native to:

Kenya

5. Aloe Haworthioides

Aloe Haworthioides

Image by stephen boisvert license under CC BY 2.0

 

The Aloe haworthioides gets its name from the fact that it resembles the Haworthia species of succulents (interlinking?). It is a low growing type of aloe that grows upwards in small, stemless clumps and has leaves covered in soft spines. The haworthioides will sport orange and highly fragrant blooms. 

 

Light requirements

Light Requirements:

Strong, Bright light
Water requirements

Water Requirements:

Low to Very Low - never allow it to sit in stagnant water or wet the leaves
Temperature

Temperature Range:

Ideal - 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Never expose to temps below 40 degrees Fahrenheit
Native to

Native to:

Madagascar

6. Aloe Khamiesensis

Image by Andrey Zharkikh license under CC BY 2.0

 

This is not a common type of aloe as it has a fairly restricted area of distribution. It was first discovered in the Khamiesberg and Khamieskroon locations (which gave it its name) and any cultivated specimens are usually grown from seed. One of the interesting things about this type of aloe is that it blooms in mid-winter when conically-shaped orange and red flowers appear to delight those that see them. The Aloe khamiesensis is also called the tweederly, wild aloe, or aloeboom.

Light requirements

Light Requirements:

Full, bright light
Water requirements

Water Requirements:

Very Low
Temperature

Temperature Range:

Ideal - and degrees Fahrenheit. Never expose to temps below 25-30 degrees Fahrenheit
Native to

Native to:

South Africa

7. Aloe Barbadensis

Image by Thamizhpparithi Maari license under CC BY-SA 2.0

 

After so many exotic and quite rare types of aloe, we are returning to more easy to find species by telling you a bit more about the Aloe barbadensis or, as everyone knows it, the Aloe Vera. There is little left to say about such a well-known plant – just that if you try and harvest its medicinal and curative properties, we’d recommend first seeking for specialized help. 

Light requirements

Light Requirements:

Full Sun and/or Light Shade
Water requirements

Water Requirements:

Low - allow soil to dry before watering
Temperature

Temperature Range:

Ideal - 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Never expose to temps below 40 degrees Fahrenheit
Native to

Native to:

the Arabian Peninsula

8. Aloe Aculeata

Image by Peter O’Connor aka anemoneprojectors license under CC BY-SA 2.0

 

The Aloe aculeata is the perfect name for this species as aculeata means ‘prickly’ – which is exactly what this plant looks like. Its native habitats are dry bushveld and rocky grassland outcrops which means it is drought-resistant (but sensible to frost) and also good for xeriscaping. An interesting thing about it is that the Aloe aculeata used to be featured on the back of the South African 10 cent coin. 

Light requirements

Light Requirements:

Light shade
Water requirements

Water Requirements:

Low but regular watering during summer and rare in winter
Temperature

Temperature Range:

Drought-resistant
Native to

Native to:

South Africa

9. Aloe Africana

Image by Jungle Rebel license under CC BY 2.0

 

The Aloe africana is an arborescent (tree-like) type of aloe vera which grows unbranched and solitary. While similar to other types of aloe, this can be easily distinguished thanks to its very specific flowers. As with other species on this list, the Aloe africana blooms during winter and while the colors of the flowers are the somewhat expect red, their position is not. Each flower will be inclined downwards but also be pointed upwards towards the tips. 

 

Light requirements

Light Requirements:

Full Sun
Water requirements

Water Requirements:

Thrives in humidity
Temperature

Temperature Range:

Do not tolerate frost and frosty winters
Native to

Native to:

the Eastern Cape Province

10. Aloe Massawana

Image by Forest and Kim Starr license under CC BY 2.0

 

The Aloe massawana is a very resistant plant that can go several weeks without water and in the drought and generally, in a variety of environments. As it is so tough, it can cover quite large areas all by itself – if left alone. As it is so similar to the more common aloe vera, they are quite frequently mistaken for one another. Also, know that the Aloe massawana is ranked as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species

Light requirements

Light Requirements:

Bright Light and/or Light Shade in summer months
Water requirements

Water Requirements:

High during growth periods
Temperature

Temperature Range:

Drought-resistant but sensitive to frost
Native to

Native to:

Kenya and Tanzania

11. Aloe Broomii

Image by Dr. Alexey Yakovlev license under CC BY-SA 2.0

 

The Aloe broomii is also more commonly found under the names snake aloe or mountain aloe thanks to both the area where it stems from and because of its odd inflorescence. This flowering type of aloe usually grows on hilly and mountainous rocky slopes. Its inflorescence is considered bizarre because the plant’s extended bracts act to hide away the flowers and give this aloe a snake-like, sinuous look. 

Light requirements

Light Requirements:

Full Sun
Water requirements

Water Requirements:

Deep water during growth period and then reduce the watering
Temperature

Temperature Range:

Drought and Frost Resistant
Native to

Native to:

Southern Africa

12. Aloe Brevifolia

Image by Enrest McGray, Jr. license under CC BY-SA 2.0

 

The Aloe brevifolia is also commonly called the short-leaved aloe as it will not grow more than 4 inches tall. Despite its short stature, it grows in size and spread horizontally so you can expect it to form large clumps of aloe. Its colors are one of its distinctive features as while they are pale blue and green in light shade, they can turn rosy pink and even golden yellow when exposed to full sun. Also, while listed as Vulnerable in the IUCN Red List for its natural habitat, it is an increasingly more common houseplant and rockery plant in temperate areas. 

Light requirements

Light Requirements:

Full Sun
Water requirements

Water Requirements:

Moderate to Low
Temperature

Temperature Range:

Never expose to temps below 20 degrees Fahrenheit
Native to

Native to:

Western Cape, South Africa

13. Aloe Bakeri

Image by Ryan Somma license under CC BY 2.0

 

The aloe bakeri is a somewhat odd-looking type of aloe that grows in multiple rosette branches. Already a combination of green and reddish-green and white all on its own, in the summer, it also turns even redder as it blooms and produces red or orange tubular flowers. Two interesting things about it are that it must be grown under glass in temperate areas and that it received the Award of Garden Merit from the Royal Horticultural Society.

Light requirements

Light Requirements:

Full Sun
Water requirements

Water Requirements:

Moderate - when in growth period and very rare afterwards
Temperature

Temperature Range:

Never expose to temps below 50 degrees Fahrenheit
Native to

Native to:

Madagascar

14. Aloe Striata

Image by Renee Grayson license under CC BY 2.0

 

The Aloe striata or the coral aloe, as it is most commonly known, is a ‘toothless’ species of aloe characterized by the long stripes on its leaves. These flat and broad leaves change their tint depending on the light as their normal pale gray-green hue turns blue-gray when in full shade or go pink in full sun. Also, in late winter or early spring, the Aloe striata blooms in extraordinary clusters of coral flower that rise up to 2 feet above the plant itself for a candelabra-like look. 

Light requirements

Light Requirements:

Full Sun and/or Light Shade
Water requirements

Water Requirements:

Low to Average
Temperature

Temperature Range:

Drought and Salt Resistant
Native to

Native to:

South Africa

15. Aloe Ferox

Image by brewbooks license under CC BY-SA 2.0

 

The Aloe ferox is almost as famous and popular as Aloe Vera and has just as many medicinal properties too! Besides its use in cosmetics and as a food supplement, it is also the main ingredient of bitter aloes, a purgative medication. Still, this slow growing but magnificent plant is most commonly left to grow and amaze us all with its splendour!

Light requirements

Light Requirements:

Full Sun
Water requirements

Water Requirements:

Low
Temperature

Temperature Range:

Drought-Resistant
Native to

Native to:

South Africa
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