Lace Aloe, Guinea-fowl Aloe, Torch Plant, Bearded Aloe, Hardy Aloe, Bristle-tip, Torch Aloe
Scientific Binomial Name
Description of Lace Aloe, Aloe aristata
The Lace Aloe is a wonderful stemless succulent with soft lanceolate leaves growing in rosette patterns. It has soft green triangular succulent leaves with raised white spots that dominate especially on the underside. Depending on the growing environment some leaves show cream colored mottled zigzag markings. They often have a bristle-like growth on the tips of the leaves. The edges of the leaves are minutely or finely saw-toothed. In time the offsets will form a clump with interesting architectural patterns.
This succulent is considered a dwarf in the Aloe genus.
Mature Size: Height 6”; Spread 6”
Outside Spacing: 12”
Pot Size: These are commonly grown indoors in 6” pots but can do fine in smaller or larger containers.
Uses: It is commonly grown outside as a garden plant and in xeriscapes. It is also frequently used as a houseplant in smaller containers. Since it is drought tolerant and easy to care for it is ideal as one of the best plants for an office.
The following video is not very high quality but it does have some good close-up views of the Lace Aloe. It also has some general information and helpful growing tips.
Growing Conditions for Lace Aloe, Aloe aristata
Light: It thrives in bright light and struggles in low light.
Soil: Gritty dry well drained soils work best. Cactus soil preparations can be used.
Flowers: Sometimes orange-red flowers will bloom in the fall. Healthy plants in ideal environments will flower every year. This succulent will produce more flowers if you “rest” it during the winter. Keep the plant below 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius) and do not fertilize it during the winter.
Hardiness Zones: 9 – 11
General Care for Lace Aloe, Aloe aristata
Water: Water only to keep the soil moist. Let it dry completely before watering again.
Fertilizer: Needs very little if any fertilizer.
Care: These plants require very little ongoing maintenance. During the coldest weather they should be brought indoors.
Pests and Diseases: Scale insects and rarely affected by mealybugs.
Propagation: The Lace Aloe can be propagated from the many offsets it produces. The pups usually form from underground stolons. Be sure that in two to three weeks the roots are established and you see the leaves forming their rosette shape before you separate it from the stolon. Lace Aloe can also be propagated successfully by seed.
Repotting: The Aloe aristata may need to be repotted to larger pots every spring.
Signs of Stress and Poor Health
Overwatering will cause the leaves to turn yellow and may start the base of the plant to rot.
Medicinal and Other Uses
Some people use Lace Aloe juice diluted with water to wash their whole body. It is reported to have a refreshing tonic effect. Similar to the Aloe vera, the Aloe aristata is used for wound healing.
The Journal of Medicinal Plants Research published a study that thoroughly examined the A. aristata’s ability to enhance wound healing and other skin conditions, “Plant materials (leaves, stems, bulbs and roots) of many species of medicinal plants are used in the treatment of skin conditions and wound healing. Indigeneous people are known to widely use the crude extracts of many plants. A large number of plants have been identified for their antimicrobial activities for various medicinal ailments particularly for skin conditions and wound healing. Plant extracts of Aloe arborescens, Aloe aristata, Bulbine natalensis, Bulbine frutescens and Scilla natalensis were tested for antibacterial activity against 5 strains of Gram positive (Bacillus subtilis, Micrococcus kristinae, Bacillus cereus,Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis) and 4 strains of Gram negative (Escherichia coli, Proteus vulgaris, Enterobacter aerogenes and Shigella sonnei) bacteria and antifungal activity for 6 fungal cultures: Candida albicans, Candida tropicalis,Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus glaucus, Trichophyton mentagrophytes and Trichophyton rubrum.”
The Lace Aloe grows up to 7500 feet (2300 meters) in the grasslands and mountains of South Africa. Harvesters and collectors have caused the Aloe aristata to become rare to find in the wild.
The Aloe aristata is not patented.
Synonyms are Tulista aristata, Aloe ellenbergeri, Aloe longiaristata and Aristaloe aristata.
The Aloe aristata plant is good at attracting hummingbirds and bees.
This is an ideal starter plant for beginners and children.