Learning how to care for and grow Aloe plicatilis plants is a valuable skill if you’re planning on introducing one to your garden.
Keep your Fan Aloe looking its best year-round with tips for watering, lighting, soil conditions, and more!
in this article:
About Aloe plicatilis
Aloe plicatilis, more notably known as the Fan Aloe, is one Aloe you’ll not want to miss.
Native to South Africa, this Aloe is anything but typical.
Instead of the traditional rosette shape of an Aloe plant, the Fan Aloe features strap-like, flat, and clustering leaves atop smooth branches and a sturdy stem. The tips of the leaves develop a red blush if exposed to intense sunlight.
Related Article: Different types of Aloe succulents
It forms a small shrub or bush-like structure, attractive even when not in bloom.
This hardy succulent makes for an excellent feature in any garden.
It has received the Award of Garden Merit from the Royal Horticultural Society.
|Botanical Name||Aloe plicatilis|
|Common Name||Fan Aloe|
|Light||Full sun, Light shade|
|Bloom season||Winter, Spring|
|Soil||Well-Drained, Loamy, Sandy|
Aloe plicatilis Care
The Fan Aloe is a relatively easy succulent to care for. Gardeners will not have to worry about this plant’s well-being after the initial growing pains to get established have passed.
However, some basic needs still need to be accounted for. Such as:
Full sun to partial shade is best for this succulent. It will not do well in shady spots, as the plant will fail to thrive without sufficient light.
A well-draining soil is best for the Fan Aloe. The soil should be sandy and light but with some organic matter to hold moisture. You can amend your garden soil by adding sand or perlite to it.
Water the plant sparingly, as it does not like to become too wet. In fact, this is a succulent that thrives in dry environments and can even survive droughts.
Avoid overwatering at all costs, as this is one of the few surefire ways to kill these succulents.
Temperature and Humidity
Aloe plicatilis thrives in hot, dry conditions. It will need temperatures above 60 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and no less than 50 degrees during the night. It is a very hardy plant that can survive even in desert regions.
Although hardy to zones 9 through 12, it will not survive below-freezing temperatures if kept wet.
Aloe plicatilis is not a heavy feeder, so it does not require a lot of fertilizer. To prevent nutrient deficiencies and keep your plant healthy, use a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer with micronutrients once or twice during the growing season.
Aloe plicatilis is a slow-growing plant that does not need to be pruned. If you want to remove dead or damaged leaves, simply cut them off at the base of the plant with a sharp knife. Be sure not to damage any remaining leaves when doing so.
Potting and Repotting Fan Aloe
Aloe plicatilis is a succulent plant that does not need to be repotted frequently. If you do decide to repot your plant, be sure to choose a pot that is at least 2 inches larger in diameter than the current one it’s in so that it has room for new growth.
Choose some time in spring to undergo this process.
How to Repot (Step-by-Step)
- Remove the plant from its current pot by gently pulling it out by the base of its stem or leaves.
- Place the plant in your prepared new pot and fill it with soil up to an inch below the rim of your container.
- Water well until water drains out of drainage holes in the bottom of each container (this should take about 5 minutes).
- Place in the sunniest spot possible and allow to dry slightly between watering sessions (once every two weeks is sufficient).
Propagating Aloe plicatilis by Seeds (Step-by-Step)
- Sow the seeds in a well-draining medium such as perlite or vermiculite at an even depth of around 1/4 inch.
- Keep the soil moist but not wet, and ensure it’s in a spot where it will receive plenty of indirect sunlight.
- Germination should take place within 3-8 weeks, depending on temperature.
Propagating Aloe plicatilis by Offsets (Step-by-Step)
The Fan Aloe is a relatively easy plant to propagate by taking offsets.
To do this:
- Simply cut off an offset from the mother plant.
- Allow it to callus over and heal for a period of between a week and two weeks.
- Replant it in well-draining potting soil.
- Water regularly until established, then reduce watering to once every two weeks (if necessary).
From winter to spring, stalks bearing red tubular flowers emerge from within each leaf cluster on different branches.
The blooms add a lot of interest to the garden and complement the blushing red of the leaves quite well.
Aloe plicatilis is non-toxic. It is safe to be planted around the garden or in a house with children or 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, soft-bodied insects that cluster on the undersides of leaves. If you see them there, it’s best to remove them by hand and dispose of them in soapy water.
Scale insects are small, flat, circular insects that live on the undersides of leaves. They have a waxy covering that makes them difficult to remove. If you see scale insects on your aloe plant, it’s best to use an insecticidal soap spray on them.
Aphids are small, pear-shaped insects that feed on the sap of plants. They are annoying pests that are hard to get rid of once established, so tackle them early on. Use neem oil and rub it on the affected areas.
- Placing under harsh sunlight
- Using poorly drained potting mediums
- Fertilizing during dormancy