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Aloe humilis (Spider Aloe)

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Scientific Name

Aloe humilis (L.) Mill.

Common Names

Spider Aloe, Blue Dwarf Aloe, Hedgehog Aloe, Dwarf Hedgehog Aloe

Synonyms

Aloe echinata, Aloe incurva, Aloe macilenta, Aloe perfoliata var. humilis, Aloe suberecta, Aloe subtuberculata, Aloe tuberculata, Aloe verrucosospinosa, Aloe virens, Catevala humilis, Haworthia ferox

Scientific Classification

Family: Asphodelaceae
Subfamily: Asphodeloideae
Tribe: Aloeae
Genus: Aloe

Description

Aloe humilis is a low-growing succulent that forms dense clusters of 10 or more, stemless or very short-stemmed rosettes. The leaves are a pale blue-green, erect or incurved, up to 5 inches (12.5 cm) long, with short, translucent, white "teeth" along the edges. There are many small, white prickles and nodules on both sides of the leaf. The flowers are tubular, up to 2 inches (5 cm) long, scarlet, orange or yellow and arranged loosely on top of a up to 14 inches (35 cm) tall spike. They appear in late winter to spring.

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zones 9b to 11b: from 25 °F (−3.9 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Aloe is a very forgiving plant, and a well-grown plant can be quite beautiful. As with all succulents, it is essential that Aloe is never allowed to sit in stagnant water, and the plant should be carefully monitored to watch for signs of overwatering.

These succulents are not particularly fast-growing and will only rarely need repotting. Repot Aloes in the spring that are tipping over their pots or have ceased growing. Use a fast-draining potting mix with one-third sand or pebbles. During repotting of a larger plant, it is possible to carefully divide the root ball. Some varieties of Aloe will send off offsets that can be potted independently.

Aloe plants need strong, bright light. They can withstand full summer sun, once acclimated. In the winter, provide bright light. It prefers warmer temperatures of 70 to 80 °F (21 to 27 °C), but will survive down to 40 °F (4.5 °C). Feed with a succulent fertilizer in the summer only. Suspend feeding in the winter as the plant goes dormant.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Aloe.

Origin

Aloe humilis is native to South Africa (Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Western Cape).

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