Garden Aloes

Aloe petricola

Also Known As: Stone Aloe, Rock Aloe

Category: Single Head Stemless Aloes

USDA Hardiness Zones: 9b - 11


Aloe petricola is solitary, stemless, growing to 2 feet high (60 cm) and up to 3 feet (90 cm) wide which is native to the east transvaal in South Africa. This Aloe has thick, stiff, non-bending pale blue-green leaves with sharp, widely spaced small reddish marginal teeth and an overall ball-like, rounded form.


Aloe petricola is generally a stemless aloe, or a very short-stemmed aloe. This is usually a solitary, eventually suckering, aloe that can get a lot of blue coloration. Aloe petricola is a medium sized plant that grows fairly low to the ground reaching anywhere from 18-24 inches in height and can reach a little over a meter in width. The plants grow as single, densely leafy rosettes. The rosette has a rounded appearance caused by the upper parts of the leaves that are curved inwards. Rosette gives rise to bicolored racemes of white and orange. The leaves are greyish green and long, with broad bases and narrow tips. The leaves have occasional very small teeth on the upper leaf surface with usually more on the lower and sharp brown teeth along the margins. The colors on these plants are bright and vibrant, and they change as they begin to open, revealing more of the yellow color towards the bottom. It has a nice patina on it giving it the bluish color that can be rubbed off revealing the green beneath. Plants flower at a fairly early age (4-5 years from tiny seedling stage), but take another 3-5 years to start suckering.


This particular aloe is a flowering species with unique and distinct inflorescences, which make the plant easy to identify and distinguish from other Aloe plants. In mid to late winter appear the distinctly bicolored flowers, which are reddish orange in bud, opening to cream to pale yellow with faint green striped petals. In some forms though, the buds can be orange and the open flowers yellow. The inflorescences are tightly packed with dark brown anthers, and typically include at least two colors, usually a deep red towards the top where the buds are seen, and cream-yellow color at the bottom towards the base, reaching the stem of the flower. Inflorescences can reach about 4 feet, surpassing the height of the plant's fleshy leaves. In young plant there is just one inflorescence, while in older ones the inflorescence are 4-6. Flowers on the Aloe petricola plant are tube-shaped, about 30mm long and open from the bottom to the top.

Origin / History

Aloe petricola has a fairly restricted distribution between 1,600 to 3,300 feet elevation where it is found in large colonies on rocky slopes and outcrops in the Eastern Transvaal in South Africa. The latin name petricola, means ‘inhabitant of rocky places’, referring to this aloe’s preferred habitat of sandstone slopes and granite outcrops The plant was first described in 1917 by South African botanist Dr Illtyd B. Pole-Evans (1877–1968). This species is not threatened and its population is stable.

Discover more South African Aloes

Care / Cultivation

Plant in full to part sun in a well-drained soil and water occasionally to infrequently - quite drought tolerant. Aloe petricola is more tolerant to different types of soils than other Aloes; it grows in different soil types, from clay-like soils to sandy soils. For optimum growth, they need a well-drained soil with a pH that is either acidic, neutral (pH=7), or very slightly basic. The plants will benefit from a regular mulch of compost. Aloe petricola needs to be exposed to bright light. A combination of factors can lead to unhealthy plants; they include incorrect watering, poor drainage or too much shade. It can lead to attack by pests and diseases. Stressed plants are susceptible to white scale, aloe cancer, aloe rust and the aloe snout beetle. Pay attention not to wet the leaves while watering, because they are also sensitive to rotting. Aloe petricola grows easily from seed. Let the pods dry on the plant, and when completely dried, break open and collect the seeds.

Frost Tenderness

Aloe petricola is hardy to at least 25F., but to avoid damage in colder climates it’s better to protect it or move it indoors for the winter.

Use in the Garden

Aloe petricola is very popular for gardening because of its beautiful and radiant colors. Aside from its simple upkeep, this aloe grows quite well in cultivation and looks outstanding either on its own or bunched in groups. The plant's striking and luminous red, yellow, green, and white colors stand out, while they add beauty and elegance to any garden. The rock aloe, true to its name, is perfect for rocky areas in the garden, producing beautiful bicolored flowers that will attract nectar-feeding birds to your garden. They are also well suited to sloping banks and even in containers. Planting them in groups make for a spectacular sight when they are in full bloom. These plants are full sun aloes and are excellently adapted to very hot climates. Aloe petricola, is used as a remedy to heal stomach ailments. The sap-filled leaves are used for this, as well as for treating wounds and minor burns.

Read about more Aloes that can be used as a focal points in your garden.

Learn More

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

Aloe petricola for sale

Buy Aloe petricola for your garden.

Back to all Aloes