Aloe maculata All.
Soap Aloe, Zebra Aloe
Aloe maculata subsp. maculata, Aloe saponaria
Aloe maculata, formerly known as Aloe saponaria, is a succulent plant that forms rosettes of lance-shaped, green leaves with many pale spots in irregular transverse rows. The rosettes are usually stemless and grow solitary or suckering to form a dense clump. The leaves have a flat to slightly channeled upper surface and a convex lower surface with fewer spots or unspotted. They are variable in length and shape, up to 20 inches (50 cm) long and 4.8 inches (12 cm) wide, and mostly recurved towards the usually dried, twisted tip. The margins of the leaves are lined with deltoid, brown teeth.
This species is variable, but its flat-topped inflorescences and usually uniformly colored flowers distinguish it from the other spotted Aloes. The inflorescences usually have 4 to 12 branches. The stalks of the open flowers are longer than those of the buds. The flowers range from yellow and orange to pink or red. Flowering occurs in winter or spring and summer.
USDA hardiness zones 8a to 11b: from 10 °F (−12.2 °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. However, as with all succulents, Aloe must never be 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. However, in the spring, repot Aloes tipping over their pots or have ceased growing. Use a fast-draining potting mix with one-third sand or pebbles. When repotting a larger plant, it is possible to divide the root ball carefully. Some varieties of Aloe will send off offsets that can be potted independently.
Aloe plants need strong, bright light. They can withstand full summer sunlight 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.
Cultivars and Hybrids
- 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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