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Aloe humilis (Spider Aloe)

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Scientific Name

Aloe humilis (L.) Mill.

Common Names

Blue Dwarf Aloe, Crocodile Jaws, Crocodile Jaws Aloe, Dwarf Hedgehog Aloe, Hedgehog Aloe, Spider Aloe

Synonyms

Aloe acuminata, Aloe acuminata var. major, Aloe echinata, Aloe humilis var. acuminata, Aloe humilis var. candollei, Aloe humilis var. echinata, Aloe humilis var. humilis, Aloe humilis var. incurva, Aloe humilis var. incurvata, Aloe humilis var. macilenta, Aloe humilis var. suberecta, Aloe humilis var. subtuberculata, Aloe incurva, Aloe macilenta, Aloe perfoliata var. humilis, Aloe perfoliata var. suberecta, Aloe suberecta, Aloe suberecta var. semiguttata, Aloe subtuberculata, Aloe tuberculata, Aloe verrucosospinosa, Aloe virens, Aloe virens var. macilenta, Catevala humilis, Haworthia fasciata var. armata, Haworthia ferox

Scientific Classification

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

Origin

Native to South Africa (Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, and Western Cape).

Description

Aloe humilis is a small succulent that forms dense clusters of stemless or very short-stemmed rosettes of pale blue-green leaves with irregular bumps and soft spines along the margins. The rosettes grow up to 8 inches (20 cm) in diameter. Leaves are triangular, erect or incurved, up to 4.8 inches (12 cm) long and up to 0.7 inches (1.8 cm) wide. It is a very variable species in size and shape of leaves and size, shape, and the number of bumps and marginal spines. Flowers are red-orange, pendulous, tubular, up to 2 inches (5 cm) long, and appear in late winter to spring on top of an up to 14 inches (35 cm) tall spike.

The specific epithet "humilis" derives from a Latin word meaning "low-growing or dwarf" and refers to the species' low-growing habit.

How to Grow and Care for Aloe humilis

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 a 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 humilis can withstand temperatures as low as 25 to 50 °F (-3.9 to 10 °C), USDA hardiness zones 9b to 11b.

Watering: These succulents do 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 humilis

Aloe littoralis is not listed as toxic for people and pets.

Hybrids of Aloe humilis

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