Aloe Species, Aloe Vera, Medicinal Aloe, Savila

Aloe vera

Family: Asphodelaceae (as-foh-del-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Aloe (AL-oh) (Info)
Species: vera (VER-uh) (Info)
Synonym:Aloe barbadensis
Synonym:Aloe chinensis
Synonym:Aloe elongata
Synonym:Aloe flava
Synonym:Aloe indica
View this plant in a garden


Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Cactus and Succulents

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade


Grown for foliage


Foliage Color:



18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Where to Grow:

Can be grown as an annual

Suitable for growing in containers


Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:

Bright Yellow

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Blooms all year

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

From softwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Haleyville, Alabama

Irvington, Alabama

Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Mesa, Arizona(2 reports)

Phoenix, Arizona(3 reports)

Queen Creek, Arizona

Scottsdale, Arizona

Tucson, Arizona(2 reports)

Clinton, Arkansas

Camarillo, California

Canoga Park, California

Carlsbad, California

Ceres, California

Clayton, California

Clovis, California

El Macero, California

Folsom, California

Martinez, California

Menifee, California

Merced, California

Mission Viejo, California

Norwalk, California(2 reports)

Oak View, California

Oakley, California

Palm Springs, California

Pleasant Hill, California

Reseda, California

San Diego, California(2 reports)

San Dimas, California

San Francisco, California

Santa Barbara, California

Santa Rosa, California

Simi Valley, California

Sonoma, California

Spring Valley, California

Thousand Oaks, California


Vista, California(10 reports)

Fountain, Colorado

Pueblo, Colorado

Bartow, Florida

Big Pine Key, Florida

Boca Raton, Florida

Brooksville, Florida

Delray Beach, Florida

Hollywood, Florida

Jacksonville, Florida(3 reports)

Key Largo, Florida

Kissimmee, Florida(2 reports)

La Crosse, Florida

Lake Mary, Florida

Lakeland, Florida(2 reports)

Lithia, Florida

Maitland, Florida

Mc Intosh, Florida

Miami, Florida(2 reports)

Naples, Florida

Niceville, Florida

Ocala, Florida

Oldsmar, Florida

Panama City, Florida

Pensacola, Florida

Pompano Beach, Florida

Port Richey, Florida

Rockledge, Florida

Saint Cloud, Florida

Saint Petersburg, Florida

Sarasota, Florida(2 reports)

Tampa, Florida(2 reports)

Titusville, Florida

Venus, Florida

West Palm Beach, Florida

Winter Garden, Florida

Winter Springs, Florida

Zephyrhills, Florida

Albany, Georgia

Savannah, Georgia

Valdosta, Georgia

Barrigada, Guam

Honolulu, Hawaii

Honomu, Hawaii

Kailua, Hawaii

Kaneohe Station, Hawaii

Maunawili, Hawaii

Paauilo, Hawaii

Prospect, Kentucky

Broussard, Louisiana

Franklinton, Louisiana

Gonzales, Louisiana

Hammond, Louisiana

Haughton, Louisiana

Kenner, Louisiana(3 reports)

Marrero, Louisiana

Metairie, Louisiana

Morgan City, Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana

Lewiston, Maine

Richmond, Maine

Cumberland, Maryland

Detroit, Michigan

Hattiesburg, Mississippi

Waynesboro, Mississippi

Henderson, Nevada

Las Vegas, Nevada(2 reports)

Deposit, New York

New York City, New York

Poughkeepsie, New York

Brevard, North Carolina

Lake Toxaway, North Carolina

Massillon, Ohio

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Forest Grove, Oregon

Grants Pass, Oregon

Portland, Oregon

Mc Keesport, Pennsylvania

Norristown, Pennsylvania

Pittsfield, Pennsylvania

Sellersville, Pennsylvania

Columbia, South Carolina

North Augusta, South Carolina

Austin, Texas(3 reports)

Brookshire, Texas

Bryan, Texas(2 reports)

Deer Park, Texas(2 reports)

El Paso, Texas

Fort Worth, Texas

Grand Prairie, Texas

Hereford, Texas

Houston, Texas(6 reports)

Huntsville, Texas

La Porte, Texas

Lampasas, Texas

Marquez, Texas

Mcallen, Texas

Mission, Texas

North Richland Hills, Texas

Red Oak, Texas

San Angelo, Texas(2 reports)

San Antonio, Texas(4 reports)

Shepherd, Texas

Spring Branch, Texas

Willis, Texas

Jonesville, Virginia

Leesburg, Virginia

Midlothian, Virginia

East Hill-Meridian, Washington

Kalama, Washington

Stanwood, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On May 31, 2019, newman00 from Monroe, LA (Zone 8b) wrote:

I bought a small juvenile Aloe vera in August 2017 and keep it outside on my north-facing balcony thats also exposed east (morning sun) and west (late afternoon/evening HOT sun in summer/fall), but midday bright shade. Potted up a size in May 2018 and the plant nearly doubled in size within a few weeks. 6 months later I potted it up again before bringing it inside for winter, so its now in a 20-inch barrel. It went back outside in late March. In my climate (north Louisiana), May seems to be its prime growth period. Its currently flowering for the first time! Lovely yellow flowers at the top of a tall spike. Its also put off 2 pups so far. I water deeply every 1-3 weeks throughout the most brutal hot season (May-October) when the top 3 of soil feels dry, as its protected from heavy ra... read more


On Oct 19, 2018, woodspirit1 from Lake Toxaway, NC (Zone 7a) wrote:

I'm trying to find out what kind of fertilizer should be used on aloe..


On Dec 7, 2016, Engarden from Santa Rosa, CA wrote:

Aloe Vera is supposed to be a house plant and not take frost. However, I saw occasional plants in the ground in Santa Rosa, Ca., although they were growing right up against the house. Had yellow flowers. These plants were taller, with less juicy leaves and of a pinkish tan color in full sun. It is my opinion that the spotted leaf plants are juvenile forms, and eventually may revert to the taller, tougher form that can be grown in the ground outside, at least in our zone. Once it reaches this adult form, it may not produce any more pups of the spotted medicinal form.


On Jul 21, 2016, greenman62 from Kenner, LA (Zone 9a) wrote:

after doing some extensive reading and growing

this plant does better in part shade.
everyone says it needs full sun. thats not true.
some of the companies that grow them force them in full sun to try and make them grow faster, but they are carefully watched, watered, and fed.
from what i read they do much better in dappled light, %40 to %50 shade., especially in areas of high heat summers.

after 30 yrs of reading and growing medicinal plants, this is one of the most powerful
eat 1/2 leaf per week. and it will cleanse your intestinal tract. there are dozens of compounds that make this powerful medicine.
do NOT eat the green part.
only eat the clear part on the inside of the leaf. let it sit in water for 5 mins or more ... read more


On Jul 30, 2013, IslandTransplant from Staniel Cay,
Bahamas (Zone 12a) wrote:

This plant is grown extensively on the Exuma cay where I live. It is used medicinally both orally and topically. It is very hardy and almost impossible to kill down here. It grows in the shade, in the full sun, in sand, holes in the rock, and in "good" soil. It is an excellent source of food for local birds. The Bananquits and Hummingbirds love it!


On Mar 5, 2013, dvcmck from white oak, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

I have Chinensis variety. Some call it Indian Medicinal Aloe. It has orange flowers. It looks exactly like the juvenile aloe vera but never grows very large. I've never seen it much over a foot tall. It offsets to the point that a pot of it always looks jammed full of plants. I've never seen this plant for sale retail. It appears to be a pass-along plant. Since it stays small it is easily grown on a windowsill. Very easy to grow and propagate. It has the medicial properties of the large yellow flowered aloe vera but is much easier to accomodate as a house plant due to its smaller size.


On Oct 24, 2012, glb360 from Grand Prairie, TX wrote:

I live in Grand Prairie, TX (zone 8b). What started as a "rescue" from the big-box store's clearance rack in the garden department, has turned into a beautiful plant that's ready for a bigger pot. The only "negative" I have experienced is that the tips received a little frostbite during the winter (I leave it outside) but it came back to life in the Spring and handled the drought with flying colors. Now I am waiting for it to bloom.


On Sep 11, 2012, Dinu from Mysore,
India (Zone 10a) wrote:

The gel in the leaves makes a very good material for shaving the beard. Instead of shaving cream, this can be used to wonderful effect. Very useful plant to have in the yard.


On Jul 18, 2012, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

according to Aloes, the Definitive Guide (2012), Aloe vera plants with red flowers are no longer Aloe vera, but more likely Aloe officinalis. I am hesitant to request all red flowering plants be moved yet, though, as this is the first I have heard of this. Anyway, they are saying that Aloe vera only make yellow flowers.

Interestingly this is one of the only Aloes (perhaps the only one) that cannot be grown from seed. Aloe vera does not produce viable seed and has not for centuries... all new plants are the result of offsets. It is a prolific off-setter, though. It is presumed that constant genetic manipulation over the eons has lead to this sterile 'species' we now recognize as Aloe vera.


On Jul 17, 2012, jazzy1okc from Oklahoma City, OK wrote:

I, too, was an aloe vera murderer until I realized that they like cactus soil, good drainage, infrequent watering, and indirect sun when placed outside for the summer. When our Ukrainian college student fell in love with a tiny aloe vera in a very tiny pot three years ago, I was terrified that I would somehow kill the poor thing. However, since that time, it has outgrown three pots and now resides in a 14 inch pot where it is raising its babies with the help of this proud grandma! Our "daughter" Lyuba has since married and moved to France, but Hello Vera is here to remind us of the joy she brought to our home.


On Jun 30, 2011, sassypants from Clinton, AR wrote:

I love my Aloe plant! I bought it when it was only about 2 inches in height and in a very tiny pot. That was about 4 yrs ago. It has since been transplanted to larger and larger pots. I waited til she was root bound and gave her a bigger home. That night she seemed to relax and spread out and say "oh thank you!" The last time I transplanted her she produced several babies. I finally transplanted them and they are thriving also. She has produced more. So far she has produced 12.
I use to kill every Aloe Vera plant I got. I finally realized there is a reason for it. Since it is the right kind to use for Aloe Vera juice. I have started drinking it and have already noticed the difference in my energy level, curbing my appetite and my allergies and asthma don't seem to be as... read more


On Apr 18, 2011, tinkerbelle122 from Las Vegas, NV (Zone 9a) wrote:

Bought four 1 gallon plants at Star Nursery here in Vegas last spring and planted them in our newly redesigned desert/xeric front yard landscape.. Just yesterday I removed the 19 YES, 19 baby plants these four plants produced, some of which are quite large~ I plan on using them in the backyard landscape and should have plenty to trade/share!! These plants made it through the winter here nicely and I didn't cover them. I have them on a drip system and each has their own emitter. They are watered twice a week for five minutes and I'll check with my husband... but more in the middle of the summer. I'll post some pics. Mine seem a little more purple/grey/ brown than the other pic on here but I just checked the receipt and it says, "Aloe barbadensis" These are a GREAT bargain for your mon... read more


On Mar 21, 2011, annlof from Camarillo, CA wrote:

Aloe vera is extremely tough, and the yellow flowers are attractive for several months in the wintertime. However, this plant becomes a veritable Hilton Hotel for snails! Although they don't seem to bother the aloe itself, they love to hide in the dark crevasses between the leaves by day, and after dark come forth to munch on other plants. It's impossible to pick them out by hand as the leaves are quite spiny.

These plants can go a long time without irrigation if nights are cool, but I try to give mine a good soaking every couple of weeks in the summer to keep the leaves plump and looking fresh.


On Jul 1, 2010, tvksi from Paris, TX (Zone 7b) wrote:

I use aloe vira Medicinal leaves immediately when cold sores appear, sunburn, poison ivey rash, scrapes, small wounds, and skin conditioner. Allways have excellent results.


On Nov 21, 2009, bonehead from Cedarhome, WA (Zone 8b) wrote:

No household should be without an aloe plant. I keep mine indoors as a winter houseplant, moving it out to the front porch during the summer.


On Aug 17, 2009, DracoVolans from Crestline, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

As a testement to the durability and sheer unkillableness of this plant, I'll tell you how I got mine. I'm an occasional "dumpster-diver" and I've retrieved many a poor, neglected plant over the years. I acquired a very wilted, nearly dried out aloe vera this way and I've since had this plant, or portions of it, for nearly twenty-years. I've divided and sub-divided it a half-dozen times since I got it, gave away I don't know how many spawn and it's STILL going strong.

In fact, since I've moved to California (bringing yet another series of spawn, leaving the parent back in Winnipeg with my ex-roomie), my aloe has not only changed in colour to a lovely green-and-pale red, it's thickened and shot up at least six inches, making it more than a foot high. I'm not sure how big ... read more


On Oct 8, 2008, agentdonny007 from Las Vegas, NV (Zone 8b) wrote:

Great plant for desert landscape or container gardening. I've found the leaves look happier with protection from full day sun and regular water. Be careful watering any plants in the desert with high temperatures due to susceptibility to root rot. I've learned the hard way over the years...LOL:) High temperature and lots of frequent water does not equal happy plants. Protect from frost or it will usually come back from roots.


On Aug 19, 2008, JamesPark from Auckland,
New Zealand (Zone 9a) wrote:

Aloe Barbadensis grows well in the Southwest of the United Kingdom. During a wet winter, the leaves may turn slightly yellow but quickly recover during spring. Plants produce many offsets in one growing season and can fill the surrounding area in a few years.


On Aug 10, 2008, debnsheba from New York, NY wrote:

So far I love my aloe plant. I haven't had it long so I have not yet propogated. I keep reading about aloe vera plants "throwing babies". What does that mean?!


On Jun 8, 2008, mcdannells from Central Oregon, OR wrote:

I love this plant and had always tried to keep at least one around.
My "mother" keeps throwing "babies" and this is a big trader of mine in are area.
I use this plant on scraps and boo boos almost daily. I have also frozen the leaves to use at a later date.
Only thing to watch out for is root rot.
This is inside plant for me.
If letting one "baby" take off with thinning ("babies") it does give off a thicker even darker green appearance. At least in my garden. In containers it seams to like to be "snug". I transplant when I see roots growing out the bottom.
I have many of these plants for I use them. I am trying to leave one alone to see how it grows.......see if I can?

This is growing in a controlled environment temps are 80 and r... read more


On Oct 2, 2007, nolafwug from Metairie, LA wrote:

Our aloe survived Hurricane Katrina. When we finally got back to our apartment it was almost completely gray/brown, I think because trees came down and exposed it to too much sun and there was no rain for weeks. I kept it and it has actually rejuvenated to a brilliant shade of green and grown nicely since then. It is a symbol of hope and rebirth to us now.


On Nov 3, 2006, mneumann from Houston, TX wrote:

I've cured an abscess the size of a golfball on the foreleg of a feral cat using a 50/50 mixture of the 'clear' Aloe-vera gel (not juice) and olive oil which was added to it's food twice a day (1 tablespoon each time).

Before treatment, the injury was oozing/not healing for the good part of a year before the severe swelling from infection occured. The wound was healed in '2 weeks' with the aloe laced food and as a side effect all the cats eating this mixture had developed beautiful glossy thick fur.

As a cautionary note: the yellow juice may be poisonous to many animals so use only the 'clear gel' found in the leaves, rinsing the juice off the gel (in a strainer or similar) with cold tap water. The juice is primarily found in the lower portion or base of the l... read more


On Oct 15, 2006, bpereztab from Lakeland, FL wrote:

I live in central Fl and a neighbor gave me an aloe years ago. These plants do well in clay pots. They grow and multiplied quickly in poor soil with minimal care.. When we moved, I took the plants with us. These prolific mutipliers have since taken over. I do mind because they stay in one area. Shallow roots make transplanting easy - my aloes have small sharp spikes along the leaf's edge, so I use gloves when handling them. I use the aloe to treat skin irritation. I snip off a leaf, remove the spikes by running a sharp knive along the leaf's edge, and apply the sap right onto the burn or insect bite. The sap stops the pain immediately. These plants are very handy to have in the garden - they are hardy, beautiful, and useful.


On May 29, 2006, Newme from Alexandria, NH (Zone 4b) wrote:

The only way this plant will die is to overwater it. I bought a 3 inch plant at Walmart, now I have 60. Not counting the ones I gave away. Anyone who comes to my house takes one home. I have cut the plant at the root, the root grew the top grew, and a lot of shutes. I cut them off, stick them in potting soil, made the mistake of using Mericalgrow), they are everywhere. The largest one is 2 1/2 ft., needs a larger pot.
I use the sap on bug bites, cuts, sun burns, and any other skin problem. I just cant through any plant away.


On Feb 9, 2006, RWhiz from Spring Valley, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

This plant grows well in full sun in Southern California. It is easily rooted in potting soil with warmth.


On Aug 20, 2005, 4reeAloeGuy from Oxford, GA wrote:

Aloes are hardy. Overwatering is the only danger besides, of course, freezing. Aloe vera is great as a natural firstaid. Aloe plants multiply at an astonishing rate. Aloes make excellent house plants, requiring minimal care and indirect lighting. Propagating aloes so simple a child can do it, they tolerate some rough handling. You can strip a plant down to its bare roots and leave it in a dark corner for several days, then transplant it and it will re-root itself. Very resilliant.


On Aug 5, 2005, heycharlie from San Jacinto County, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

We started off with a single plant several years ago and have given away hundreds since.
For personal use, we peel, put in a blender and drink mixed with orange juice daily.
Friend swears it cured him of an ulcer. We have used it on open wounds.
We cut the bottom, older leaves.


On Feb 19, 2005, cacti_lover from Henderson, NV (Zone 9b) wrote:

No one seems to know where this hybrid came from, what the parent plants were, or if its a hybrid at all. According to the book "Landscape Plants for Dry Regions by Warren Jones & Charles Sacamano" they stated that this orange flowered Aloe vera is probably a hybrid.
I've seen this plant sold everywhere by the name of Aloe vera or Aloe barbadensis with out any hybrid indication( an 'x' at the end).


On Jul 26, 2004, greenlarry from Darlington,
United Kingdom wrote:

Qutie a large plant with sharp spikes along the edges of the leaves.


On Jul 11, 2004, foodiesleuth from Honomu, HI (Zone 11) wrote:

I have always kept some as both houseplant and outside plants. I give them no care whatsoever and they still thrive.


On Jul 10, 2004, punaheledp from Kailua, HI (Zone 11) wrote:

Have always keep some around, mainly in case of sunburn, tucked away and ignored unless needed. It can take daily water, rare water, sun, little sun... and be there if needed... good plant.


On Apr 27, 2004, teachaholic from Devon,
United Kingdom wrote:

Aloe vera, one name that appears to cover plants with numerous appearances. I have quite a large plant that spreads out and only holds it centre new leaves vertically. I worried to begin with that this was not healthy but the plant continues to grow.

It is one of few houseplants that release oxygen at night so make a good addition to the bedroom. They dont appreciate cool temperatures and like plenty of light. I have been away for a week so could not give the plant its daily visits to my sunlounge, a few of its leaves are going dark and mussy, any suggestions please?


On Jan 24, 2004, maisoui11 from Modesto, CA wrote:

i have had a lot of success with this plant in coastal southern california. however, i brought some with me in a pot to florida, and i lost most of it due to overwatering in the humid climate. now i have rescued a small bit, and just today repotted it. i hope that it grows, as i love this plants look and the ease at using its gel.


On Jan 21, 2003, Lavanda from Mcallen, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

In popular Mexican floklore, it is said that if you can't
be successful in growing common medicinal aloe, then you are hopeless for growing any plant, due to its easy culture.


On Oct 27, 2001, Baa wrote:

A spreading succulent which has been used for many centuries and the origin of this plant appears to have been lost.

Has a stemless base which forms rosettes of lance shaped, fleshy, light to grey green, tooth edged leaves often spotted with white when young. Bears spikes of tubular yellow or orange flowers.

Flowers June-August.

Likes a well drained, gritty soil in full sun. It is not hardy and will only stand a minimum temperature of 50F.

This little plant has had a very long history and seems to have returned to its status as a current medicinal/cosmetic plant with the ever increasing search for new and potentially age defying cosmetic products.

Said to be one of the herbs Cleopatra used in her beauty regime, it... read more