Aloe aristata is a perennial evergreen species of aloe that is also known as the ‘torch plant’, as well as its common name, lace aloe. Its name is of Arabic origin, with aristata meaning ‘bearded’.
Aloe aristata is a succulent plant with a rosette of green grey leaves that are covered in tiny white spikes all over. The flowers are a reddish pink colour with tubular petals, set on long stems.
Aloe aristata is native to South Africa and is therefore best suited to warm, dry conditions. Its fleshy leaves retain water allowing the plant to get through periods of drought without trouble. It is a small plant, usually growing to about 6 to 8 inches in a tight rosette formation.
Aloe aristata blooms in late spring and early summer and is easily propagated. It produces offsets that can be gently removed from the parent plant and cuttings can also be taken. In both cases you should leave the new plants for a few days to dry before planting to allow the cuts to recover.
The family is Aloaceae, the genus is Aloe and the species is aristata. It is a dwarf version of the Aloe genus.
In order to grow Aloe aristata in temperate climates you will need to bring it in during the coldest weather and keep it in bright sunlight during the summer. It is hardier than many other Aloes but will still appreciate the warmth. It requires very little maintenance, making it an ideal choice for novice gardeners.
Water carefully, especially during the dormant season, as it is prone to rotting; a thin layer of gravel on top of the soil will help to prevent this. Sandy free draining soil will keep your Aloe aristata healthy. Use cactus compost or add sand.
Did You Know?
Aloe aristata flowers are nectar rich and are particularly attractive to birds, bees and wasps.
The tiny white spikes that cover the leaves are what give it the common name of lace aloe, although Aloe aristata is also commonly known as ‘Serelei’, which means slippery one, possibly in reference to the fact the plant’s spiky leaves are hard to grasp.