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Aloe petrophila


Scientific Name

Aloe petrophila Pillans

Scientific Classification

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


This species is native to South Africa (found in Limpopo Province, where it grows in scanty soil, mostly in rock crevices or shallow soil pockets).


Aloe petrophila is a stemless succulent that forms dense rosettes of bright green leaves with linear greenish-white lines and scattered elongated white spots. It grows solitary or with few offsets that appear around the base to form small groups. Leaves are fleshy, triangular, slightly recurved towards the apex, and dark brown teeth along the margins. They are up to 10 inches (25 cm) long and up to 2.4 inches (6 cm) wide. Flowers are one of the most beautiful of all Aloes. They are coral-pink, white striped, and appear in late fall and winter crowded into up to 20 inches (50 cm) tall, densely capitate inflorescences.

This species is a part of the Saponariae series, together with Aloe davyana, Aloe greatheadii, Aloe maculata, and Aloe umfoloziensis.

The specific epithet "petrophila" derives from the Greek words "petros," meaning "stone or rock" and "philos," meaning "loving," and refers to the rocky habitat in which the species grows.

Aloe petrophila

Photo by Geoff

How to Grow and Care for Aloe petrophila

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 petrophila 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 using the offsets, cuttings, or seeds from a mature plant.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Aloe.

Toxicity of Aloe petrophila

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


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