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Aloe Vera Succulent Types for Your Outdoor and Indoor Garden

Aloe Vera Succulent Types for Your Outdoor and Indoor Garden
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Aloe vera is no doubt one of the most commonly grown succulents worldwide. Did you know that we have been growing it for its healing properties for over 5000 years already?

We can find the earliest records of aloe vera in Chinese and Sumerian writings as early as 3000 B.C. Egyptians even deemed it as the “plant of immortality” for the medicinal purposes it serves.

Today, aloe vera goes by a different title: the wonder plant. Hence, we totally understand why you might want to explore this plant further. There is a variety of aloe vera succulent types to try.

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How Many Species of Aloe Are There?

According to research published by the journal, BMC Evolutionary Biology, there are over 500 aloe species. That makes it one of the “world’s largest succulent groups”. 

How this plant has achieved such amazing global genetic diversity is still unknown. What is sure, though, is that this evolutionary history has resulted in hundreds of varieties that we can plant in our own garden.

Aloe Vera Succulent Types To Consider

We list down some of our favorite varieties. For your easy reference, we’ll divide this quick directory into two parts, namely the varieties that you can grow outdoors and indoors.

Please keep in mind that this doesn’t mean that you can’t grow the species we have listed outdoors in your indoor container garden and vice versa. We have simply categorized them according to their full-grown size and ability to thrive even in limited soil space and lighting conditions.

For Outdoors

The following aloe vera succulent types can serve as excellent groundcover or as accent pieces for your landscaping needs.

Soap Aloe

This plant is also referred to in the botanical world as Aloe saponaria, coming from the Latin word “sapo” which means soap.

According to an article published by the University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, the sap coming from its leaves can be used as a soap substitute. Just a word of warning, though. Soap aloe is not safe to consume, even by pets, something you should consider if you have young children and furry friends at home.

How big can soap aloe grow?

In sunny conditions and warm climates, this plant can reach up to two feet in height and in width. Meanwhile, its flowering stem can grow up to three feet tall.

Under full sun, it can grow stunning pinkish-red foliage. In partial shade, you can expect its leaves to be bluish-green in color.

African Aloe

Looking for a towering aloe plant that can serve as an accent piece of your garden? Then you might want to try your hand at growing African aloe.

As its common name and scientific name (Aloe africana) suggests, this plant is native to South Africa. It is also known by its other names, spiny aloe and Uitenhage aloe.

How big can African aloe grow?

To call this type of aloe a plant is an understatement. After all, it can grow up to six feet in height with leaves reaching up to two feet long.

One interesting characteristic of the African aloe is its older leaves hanging over its trunk, looking like brown hair skirting around the tree. This thick brown covering is then crowned with green spiky leaves and towering, elegant flower stems that can reach up to three feet in height.

At a distance, it may seem as if this aloe plant has red-orange flowers but they are actually in a dazzling orange as buds that turn yellow just before blooming, creating a brilliant gradient that will liven up any outdoor space.

Clanwilliam Aloe

Tall, unique, and imposing, the Clanwilliam aloe stands out even in its natural habitat一just north of the town of Clanwilliam in South Africa, hence the name. However, you may also refer to it by its scientific name, Aloe comosa.

If you want to have this aloe tree in your garden, then take note that it is usually grown from seed. It is possible to grow roots from a truncheon cutting from its mother plant, but it will need extra care since its cuttings are prone to suffering from fungal stem rot.

How big can a Clanwilliam aloe grow?

This single-stemmed aloe tree can grow beyond six feet in height. What’s amazing is that their flowering stems can grow even higher, stretching upwards for up to ten feet resulting in a total height of more than 15 feet when grown in their ideal environment.

A Clanwilliam aloe can certainly add an interesting touch to any landscape, especially during the hottest weeks of summer when it flowers.

Mountain Aloe

Most of the aloe vera succulent types we mentioned above have tall, flowering stems that don’t really branch out. Wouldn’t it be more beautiful if each flowering stem could produce more flowers?

This is our thoughts exactly when we added mountain aloe to our garden. We were right. Its warm clusters of blooms looked breathtaking.

How big can a Mountain aloe grow?

Also known by its scientific name, Aloe marlothii, this aloe plant can grow up to 10 feet tall and six feet wide in its ideal environment. Already breathtaking on its own, this variety strongly attracts songbirds and hummingbirds that will add even more beauty and vitality to any garden.

For Indoors

We understand that despite our dreams of growing aloe vera-type trees, most of us simply don’t have the space. Does this mean that we should give up on growing these types of succulents? Not at all.

Here are five varieties that are known to thrive even in small containers and indoor lighting conditions.

Lace Aloe

Instead of growing six to nine feet tall like the previously listed plants, the lace plant only grows from six to nine inches. Don’t be fooled by its size, though. The lace aloe is known for being resilient, except during the winter.

Its scientific name was formerly known as Aloe aristata but later changed to Aristaloe aristata

How can you make a lace aloe thrive in a container?

This plant requires more moisture while it’s still growing, but it is critical to reducing your watering once your lace aloe is fully grown. The soak-and-dry method of watering is highly recommended.

As for the lighting, it thrives under well-lit conditions. Be sure to place it in a spot where it can get long hours of direct sunlight even while indoors. In fact, its hunger for bright sunlight is one of the reasons why it is also referred to as a torch plant.

Spiral Aloe

The beauty of the spiral aloe is hypnotic and mesmerizing. This makes it our favorite to plant in rock gardens and other meditative spaces. You have to wait for this medium-sized plant to grow to at least eight inches before you see it form its signature spiraling pattern, though.

How can you make a spiral aloe thrive in a container?

You need to remember that this plant can grow up to 24 inches wide when you’re choosing the container you’re going to plant it to, especially if you want to maximize those spirals. If you’re lucky, your spiral aloe may even sprout salmon-pink blooms stemming out of its triangular leaves.

While it doesn’t require as much light as other succulents, it will need a more stable temperature, making it perfect for indoor growing. The spiral aloe doesn’t tolerate extreme heat and cold. Thus, it’s best to place it in a spot that has a steady temperature with enough indirect light.

Guido Aloe

An aloe plant doesn’t have to grow to a massive scale before it becomes show-stopping. Take this hybrid variety, for instance.

The guido aloe is known for its green leaves with white, elongated patterns that remind us of a delicately patterned fabric. The best part is, it only grows up to eight inches in height.

How can you make a guido aloe thrive in a container?

This variant is one of the easiest aloe vera plants to grow. It can do well, even in partial shade and dry soil.

However, just like other succulents, overwatering can lead to root rot. Hence, it is ideal to plant it in a well-draining container.

Carmine Aloe

Here’s another excellent addition to your rock gardens. Carmine aloe definitely has one of the most interesting leaf patterns you’ll find in aloe-type succulents. Its fleshy leaves have deep green with patterned bumps resembling drops of water surrounded by bright orange spikes all around.

Like the guido aloe, this is also a hybrid variety that can stay contented even while growing in a small pot.

How can you make a carmine aloe thrive in a container?

This plant loves the sun, so if you’re going to keep it indoors, then make sure you place it less than a foot from your sun-facing window. You can also compensate by using artificial light sources to give it an added boost.

You can keep it within a small container, but if you really want to maximize its growth and even grow flowers, you will eventually need to transfer it to a larger pot once it has already grown double the size of its current vessel.

Re-potting will also ensure that your plant will get freshly nourished soil to enjoy. It is best to keep in mind that this plant rarely needs watering as well. For instance, we only give our’s half a cup of water every 12 days.

Crosby’s Prolific

We get it. This plant’s name doesn’t sound like an aloe at all. However, this spiky aloe hybrid is indeed named Crosby’s Prolific.

It is a beginner-friendly plant with deep green leaves with white spots and almost translucent, white teeth-like spikes growing all over.

How can you make Crosby’s Prolific thrive in a container?

This plant doesn’t really need a lot of care and attention. As long as it is planted in a well-draining potting mix, gets enough direct sunlight, and you don’t overwater it, it can easily grow for up to 18 inches depending on the size of its container.

Different Types of Aloe Vera Plants

There is more to the aloe family other than aloe vera. As mentioned, there are over 500 of them growing worldwide, especially in warm or tropical locations. Most of them are endemic to South Africa, though.

Some of them can fit a teacup quite nicely, while others can reach towering heights. It is simply up to you to decide which variety best fits the space you have in your succulent gardens, whether they are indoors or outdoors. Have fun gardening!