Aloe ferox Mill.
Alligator Jaw Aloe, Bitter Aloe, Cape Aloe, Cape Prickly Aloe, Cultivated Aloe, Medicinal Aloe, New Aloe, Red Aloe, Tap Aloe
Aloe perfoliata var. ferox, Busipho ferox, Pachidendron ferox, Pachydendron ferox
Aloe ferox is a succulent with an erect, unbranched stem topped with a rosette of thick fleshy dull blue-green leaves, often with a red tinge. The leaves can grow up to 3.3 feet (1 m) long and 6 inches (15 cm) wide. They have reddish-brown spines along the margins and smaller spines on both surfaces. The leaves of the young plant are covered in spines, and as the plant gets taller, they begin to lose spines from its surfaces. The stem grows to 10 feet (3 m) tall, usually covered by the withered old leaves.
Flowers are tubular, yellow-orange to bright red, and appear in late fall to mid-winter on an erect, candelabra-like inflorescence with 5 to 8 racemes.
The specific epithet "ferox (FER-oks)" means "warlike," and refers to the sharp spines of the leaves.
How to Grow and Care for Aloe ferox
Light: When growing Aloes indoors, place your plants near a southern or southwest-facing window that gets plenty of bright, indirect light. Outdoors provide light shade, especially during the hottest parts of the day.
Soil: Plant Aloes in well-drained soil specially formulated for cacti and other succulents or make your soil mix. Drainage is essential because too much moisture around roots can cause root rot.
Hardiness: Aloe ferox can withstand temperatures as low as 20 to 50 °F (-6.7 to 10 °C), USDA hardiness zones 9a to 11b.
Watering: These succulents need regular watering but are very tolerant of drought conditions for short periods. Water deeply, but only when the soil is dry. Cut back on watering during the winter months.
Fertilizing: Aloes generally do not require fertilizer but may benefit from the extra nutrients.
Repotting: These plants are not particularly fast-growing and will only rarely need repotting. Repot them in the spring in a container a few inches larger in diameter every few years to keep it from becoming rootbound.
Propagation: Propagating Aloe can be done by using the offsets, cuttings, or seeds from a mature plant.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Aloe.
Toxicity of Aloe ferox
Aloe ferox is not listed as toxic for people and pets.
Hybrids of Aloe ferox
- Back to genus Aloe
- Succupedia: Browse succulents by Scientific Name, Common Name, Genus, Family, USDA Hardiness Zone, Origin, or cacti by Genus
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