Garden Aloes

Aloe cameronii

Also Known As: Red Aloe

Category: Red Aloes

USDA Hardiness Zones: 9a-11


Aloe cameronii (Red Aloe) is a medium-sized suckering aloe with many upright stems of open rosettes to 1 to 2 feet with narrow leaves that are medium to dark green and that turn a beautiful coppery red in summer. Regarded as one of the most attractive foliage Aloes and also bears attractive flowers.


The fleshy, gracefully curving leaves are a rainbow of colors ranging from green to a rich coppery red, depending on sun and water. This medium-sized aloe suckers readily with many upright stems and grows in open rosettes one to two feet in diameter. The leaves turn a beautiful coppery red in sunny weather and drought. Red Aloe gets its name from its attractive foliage colors - the curving leaves can range from green to copper to a deep red wine. Its narrow leaves turn deep red when grown in full sun and high heat.


Aloe cameronii’s bright orange-red flowers emerge in 1 foot tall spikes from late fall through the winter. While the flowers are truly beautiful, they are even more attractive in contrast with the deep red of Aloe cameronii leaves. The flowers produce nectar and are attractive to birds and bees.

Origin / History

It was first discovered in the central African country of Nyasaland (now Malawi) by Kenneth J. Cameron, an employee of the African Lakes Corporation, who first sent it to the Royal Botanic Garden at Kew in 1854 but was not described until it flowered there in 1903 when William Botting Hemsley (1843-1924), longtime gardener and keeper at Kew, was able to fully describe it though the original collection data was lost or not recorded.

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Care / Cultivation

Plant in full sun in a well-drained soil and irrigate only occasionally to enhance the red coloration of the foliage, which will remain bright apple-green if overwatered. Virtually disease free. Watch for scale insects and mealybugs.

Frost Tenderness

Aloe cameronii is a relatively hardy plant, handling down to the mid 20's without frost damage.

Use in the Garden

This aloe makes a nice specimen planting and provides a striking foliage color contrast in the succulent garden. Aloe cameronii is great for beds and borders, rock gardens, succulent gardens or Mediterranean gardens. This plant makes a handsome container plant when young. Leaves are brittle and can easily be broken so plan plant's location accordingly. Good for attracting nectar loving birds and insects when in bloom. This Aloe provides a colorful focal point in the xeriscape. Deer resistant.

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