Garden Aloes

Aloe aristata

Also Known As: Torch Plant, Lace Aloe, Guinea-fowl Aloe, Bearded Aloe

Category: Small to Medium Clumping Aloes

USDA Hardiness Zones: 7b - 11


The Lace Aloe, Aloe aristata, is a low-growing, small, clumping aloe native to South Africa and Lesotho. This aloe a stemless, no more than 8 to 12 inches (20 to 30 cm) tall, with dense rosettes of stubby, lance-shaped, dark green leaves which look similar to a Haworthia. Lace Aloe is a vigorous grower and because it grows in a variety of habitats it can tolerate a wide range of environmental conditions.


Aloe aristata is stemless and produces triangular, dark grey-green leaves densely packed in a rosette around the base of the plant. The leaves of this rosette are thickly lined with white cilia and a dense smattering of white bumps makes it resemble its relatives in the Haworthia genus. It is a small plant, usually growing to about 15 to 20cm (6-8 inch) in a tight rosette formation. The margins of the leaves are lined with white horny materials and minutely toothed with short, soft white spines. Its fleshy leaves retain water allowing the plant to get through periods of drought without trouble. If given room to spread, Lace Aloe will produce numerous new offsets around its base.


Starting in summer and into the fall Aloe aristata will produce showy 12 - 18 inches tall branched inflorescence. The tubular orange-red to pink flowers don’t produce a scent and may not last very long but it's nectar does attract bees and hummingbirds. The Lace Aloe's flowers are a wonderful addition to the arid garden.

Origin / History

Aloe aristata belongs to the Aristaloe genus of flowering plants native to South Africa and so appears similar to the Haworthia genus. It is native to mountains grassland of South Africa and is therefore best suited to warm, dry conditions.

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Care / Cultivation

Try planting this in-ground or in a pot to be kept outdoors in partial sun or indoors near a sunny window. Wherever you plant it, be sure that it has excellent drainage and avoid watering unless the soil is completely dry. There is no need to water this aloe during winter. If grown outdoors, choose a spot with filtered sunlight and avoid strong, direct sunlight. When grown indoors, consider choosing a west-facing or east-facing window. Indoor growth requires normal room temperature. Dry and well drained gritty soils will keep the Aloe aristata healthy. This genus is well known for its ease of cultivation, but they are sensitive to excessive irrigation.

Frost Tenderness

One of the few frost hardy aloes. Hardy to 5 F.

Use in the Garden

Grown primarily for its attractive succulent rosettes of yellow spots on green leaves with soft white spines. Best planted in the rock garden in a vertical crevice to help the rosettes shed winter moisture. This plant can also be planted in masses to create a slow growing ground cover. The Lace Aloe makes a great choice for patio gardens, small gardens and works well as a house plant.

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Learn More

The information on this page about Aloe aristata has been gathered and summarized from the sources below. Visit these pages to learn more.

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