Whether a beginner or a seasoned gardener, Aloe ferox is sure to be a beautiful addition to your home. If you’ve got the right conditions and know exactly what to do, this hardy Aloe will thrive for years.
Learn what you need to know to properly care for Aloe ferox, whether you want to keep it in the ground outdoors or get started growing it indoors.
in this article:
About Aloe ferox
Aloe ferox, or Cape Aloe, is a succulent plant that grows in the wilds of South Africa and Lesotho. The indigenous people of these regions and early European settlers have used these plants for centuries. both medicinally and as an aesthetic plant.
Cape Aloe is popular as a garden feature or an indoor ornamental plant because of its huge, showy red-orange flowers.
Its leaves are lined with sharp brown teeth along the edges and on the back. They are incredibly sharp and need to be handled with care.
Related Article: Different types of Aloe succulents and common varieties
|Botanical Name||Aloe ferox|
|Common Name||Cape Aloe, Bitter Aloe|
|Origin||South Africa, Lesotho|
|Bloom season||Winter, Spring|
|Bloom color||Red, Orange|
|Soil||Well-Drained, Loamy, Sandy|
Aloe ferox Care
The Cape Aloe is a forgiving succulent, easy to grow, and easier to maintain. Beyond providing the necessities, the gardener needs to do little else.
Aloe ferox prefers full sun, but can deal with light shade as well. If you grow this Aloe indoors, place it near a south-facing window where it will get as much direct sunlight as possible.
It prefers well-draining soil that’s slightly alkaline. A good mix for this Aloe is equal parts potting soil, perlite, and coarse sand. Adding some compost will help keep the soil from becoming too compacted in pots and provide added nutrients.
Aloe ferox is drought tolerant and does not need watering more than once every two weeks. However, more frequent light watering may be necessary for succulent plants growing indoors to prevent them from becoming too dry.
Temperature and Humidity
Cape Aloe prefers temperatures between 55 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. It does not like drafts and should not be exposed to the cold if wet.
You should maintain humidity at around 40-60% on average.
It is winter hardy to USDA zones 9-12.
Aloe ferox is slow growing and does not require fertilizing for several years. If needed, fertilize with a balanced fertilizer during active growth in spring and fall.
Avoid overfertilizing to prevent root burn.
Aloe ferox is not a good candidate for pruning. The dead leaves surrounding and forming a coating over the younger leaves perform a necessary function and shouldn’t be removed.
Potting and Repotting Aloe ferox
Aloe ferox rarely needs repotting. If planted in a large enough pot, this plant will easily stay there for multiple years; however, if you see roots overflowing from the pot, it’s time to repot.
Spring is the perfect time to undergo this process. Avoid repotting in winter.
How to Repot (Step-by-Step)
- Remove the Aloe from its current pot by cutting off the bottom of the pot with a sharp knife.
- Place your Aloe in the new pot filled with the preselected potting mix.
- Place your Aloe on top of its new soil, so it is centered. Fill in any empty spaces with soil mix until it reaches about two-thirds full.
- Water freely and allow it to drain quickly.
Propagating Aloe ferox by Seeds (Step-by-Step)
You can use both seeds and head cuttings to propagate an Aloe ferox. However, head cuttings run the risk of ruining the parent plant and are therefore not recommended.
To propagate this plant by seeds:
- Split the seed pot to get to the black, flat seeds within.
- Take the fresh seeds and plant them under a thin layer of soil in a well-draining pot.
- Water lightly and wait for seedlings to germinate and take root.
- Transplant in a new pot when they are sufficiently grown.
Red-orange tubular flowers appear in a candelabra-like arrangement above the foliage. They are held in upright inflorescences that leave a lasting impression on the observer.
With an iconic appearance, the blooms make an Aloe ferox immediately recognizable, even in a sea of other Aloes.
Aloe ferox is non-toxic. It is safe to be grown around children and pets.
NOTE: This page is not intended as a substitute for veterinary advice. The toxicity of an ingested substance varies depending on the amount ingested, the animal’s weight, and its sensitivity to specific allergens. Contact your veterinarian or local animal poison control center immediately if you think your pet may have ingested a toxic substance.
Mealybugs are small, white insects that can appear on the leaves and stems of your Aloe ferox. They are easily identifiable by their cottony appearance. Mealybugs suck sap from plants, causing them to wilt and die.
Scale insects are small, immobile creatures covered in a hard shell that appear as raised bumps on your Aloe ferox’s leaves and stems. They suck sap from plants and may cause discoloration or wilting.
Aphids are small, sap-sucking insects that appear as tiny black specks on the leaves of your Aloe ferox. These pear-shaped insects can spell death for your plant if not kept in check early on.
- Placing under harsh sunlight
- Using poorly drained potting mediums
- Fertilizing during dormancy