Most people have been introduced to aloe plants are some point because of their medicinal properties. Aloe plants not only offer therapeutic benefits, but they also make a delightful addition to any desert-like garden. All types of aloe plants have been growing for thousands of years, and since then they’ve been producing a slew of benefits for humans and surrounding wildlife.
Aloe plants are simple to care for and make an exotic addition to any home or garden space. While there are several hundred different types of aloe plants to choose from, in this article we outline 19 of the most popular ones.
What is an aloe plant?
Although aloe plants are known for their healing capabilities, they are first and foremost beautiful succulents.
Known for growing in warmer climates, aloe plants produce a gel that is commonly used to promote health and well-being.
People often rub aloe on their sunburns or use it for dry, irritated skin. Aloe has healing properties which can be beneficial in a variety of situations.
It’s no surprise that aloe is also known as the “wonder plant.” The medicinal capabilities and tropical flair that the plant can add to any indoor or outdoor space make aloe incredibly common in households across the US.
Aloe plants are easy-going, don’t require a ton of maintenance, and can be grown at home even if you aren’t a gardening expert. If you’re looking to plant a garden, these characteristics make these a wonderful beginner garden plant.
Aloe Plant Care Tips
Sure, aloe plants are low maintenance, but they still require attention to grow and thrive to their full potential just like any other plant. Below are some basic care tips:
- Terra cotta planters are best for aloe, as they dry quickly. Plastic or glazed potting containers can potentially retain too much moisture.
- Aloe plants will be especially healthy with an equal mixture or sand and potting soil. You can also use a specialty succulent mix.
- Aloe needs a bright, sunny spot to remain alive. They don’t require a ton of watering but will need a thorough dousing every couple of weeks.
- Remember that aloe is a desert plant, so overwatering will cause brown, limp leaves.
- Aloe plants do well in snug conditions. You don’t need too much space to watch your plant grow to its full potential.
It’s best to place your aloe plant in a bright, sunny spot. During the hot summer, you may need to move the plant out of direct sunlight from time to time.
It’s also recommended that you rotate your plant if it’s in a container, as to give the plant equal sunlight for optimal growth.
Now let’s look into types of aloe plants with pictures.
19 Types of Aloe Plants With Pictures
Below are some of the most popular aloe plants. It’s a small portion of the more than 550 species that exist!
1. Aloe Barbadensis Miller
- Gel from the leaves helps to quickly heal burns.
- The gel can also resolve skin and hair issues, such as irritation and inflammation.
- This aloe plant occasionally grows yellow flowers.
2. Aloe Rubroviolacea
- This plant is drought-tolerant, and is often found in southwestern states in the US.
- Often found as decoration on patios and in containers.
- Spires of red flowers grow from the plant.
- When put in full sun, the leaves turn purple.
3. Aloe Crosby’s Prolific
- Known as a miniature or “dwarf” aloe plant.
- Leaves are lined with translucent spikes.
- The leaves turn red in the sun, and orange flowers sometimes grow from the plant.
- Thrive in containers and flower beds.
4. Aloe Aculeata
- Also known as “red hot poker aloe” because of the red-tipped leaves.
- Originates from South Africa.
- The leaves are riddled with sharp teeth.
- Between August and October, lovely yellow-orange flowers will bloom.
5. Aloe Ferox
- Produces brilliant orange flowers.
- Also known as “cape aloe.”
- Leaves are full of spines, especially on the bottom section.
- The gel is used in ointments and other skin products, as well as in supplements for health.
6. Aloe Microstigma
- When the plant is stressed, parts of it turn purple or red.
- The leaves are spotted and lined with teeth.
- Easy to maintain with limited watering.
- Bloom reddish-orange flowers in the winter.
7. Aloe Cameronii
- Red copper leaves make this a popular aloe plant.
- The color of the leaves depends on exposure to sun and water.
- Orange flowers will bloom in the fall.
8. Aloe Broomii
- Also known as “snake aloe.”
- Popular ornamental plant due to its attractive light green leaves.
- Flowers bloom with a delightful lemon scent.
- Common in gardens with a desert landscape.
9. Aloe Plicatilis
- It has light blue-green leaves with yellowish edges.
- The bright pink flowers are full of nectar and will attract local birds.
- The plant has a fan-like leaf arrangement, and a separate cluster grows the flowers.
10. Aloe Aristata
- Also known as “torch plant” or “lace aloe” because of its unique look and shape.
- Leaves are green and will turn dark green when exposed to full sun.
- The leaves curve inward and are lined with sharp, white teeth.
- In the winter, red-orange flowers bloom from clumps in the plant.
11. Aloe Marlothii
- This is a massive aloe plant, with the leaves spanning upwards of five feet high.
- The large leaves have spines on them, so it’s probably best to keep your distance.
- Grows flowers in a variety of colors, which attract avian life.
12. Aloe Maculata
- Also known as “soap aloe.”
- Boasts spotted leaves that can be green or red.
- Used by locals to create a soapy lather in water.
- The seeds are poisonous, but the plant does bloom gorgeous reddish flowers.
13. Aloe Arborescens
- The name means “tree-like” because this aloe plant can grow to the size of a tree!
- Blooms vibrant red flowers.
- Known to have therapeutic properties for humans, but it’s best to consult your doctor before using it for medicinal purposes.
14. Aloe Petricola
- Commonly known as “stone aloe.”
- Low maintenance, and grows well in gravel.
- Flowers bloom from this aloe plant in July.
- Blue-green leaves with hints of orange and red makes this a common aloe plant in gardens and yards.
15. Aloe Ciliaris
- Grows extremely fast, as the name means “climbing aloe.”
- Blooms bright orange flowers between the months of April and November.
- Attracts bees and butterflies, a welcome addition to any garden.
- Very easy to grow and maintain.
16. Aloe Striata
- Pale green leaves turn into a pastel pink color in the sun.
- From spring to winter, coral-colored cluster flowers bloom.
- This aloe plant has flat, broad leaves, and they don’t have spikes or teeth like many other aloe plants.
17. Aloe Polyphylla
- Leaves grow in a spiral pattern.
- Doesn’t bloom often, but you will see the occasional pink flowers that will attract bees.
- Can grow up to 150 leaves in a distinct ranking system.
18. Aloe Hereroensis
- Otherwise known as “sand aloe.”
- Leaves turn into a pretty rose color when exposed to sun.
- Reddish spines line the leaves, so be sure to wear gloves!
- Blooms brilliant red flowers.
19. Aloe Brevifolia
- Will thrive in partial shade.
- Can be grown in beds and containers.
- In late spring, you may see tubular orange flowers blooming.
- Leaves turn rosy-pink in the sun.
Aloe vera plants have been used to treat various medical conditions effectively for thousands of years. These common and popular plants not only soothe skin, but they also improve air quality and bring a source of life and beauty to any yard or home.
While these plants don’t require daily maintenance, it’s important to remember that they are living beings, and still do need sunlight and water to survive.
Overall, when choosing which aloe plant will be best for you, it’s crucial to understand the differences between each plant so you can make the most appropriate choice.
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