The Aloe polyphylla plant, or Spiral Aloe, is an incredible, showstopping succulent that’s the dream plant of many enthusiasts. If you’re shopping around for decoration ideas, this can be a great option.
As with any other houseplant, proper care and maintenance are required to ensure the health and beauty of these plants. This guide will help you properly grow and care for your Aloe polyphylla to maintain healthy growth while also enjoying the benefits of this plant.
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About Aloe polyphylla
Aloe polyphylla, or Spiral Aloe, is one of the most desirable species of Aloe for its ease of care and unique leaves full of character.
Its fleshy leaves form a perfectly symmetrical spiral and are why these plants are so valued among enthusiasts.
Green-grey leaves form strict ranks of four or five spirals that circle a central point. They are bordered with equidistant white spines and a terminal brown spine at the apex of each leaf.
Related Article: Learn about different types of Aloe succulents and common varieties
The leaves are arranged in ranks, one row after another. At most, an adult Aloe polyphylla plant can only end up with five levels of leaves, but this number is usually lower.
The Spiral Aloe’s flower is the national flower of Lesotho.
It is the recipient of the Award of Garden Merit from the Royal Horticultural Society.
|Botanical Name||Aloe polyphylla|
|Common Name||Spiral Aloe|
|Bloom season||Spring, Summer|
|Bloom color||Red, Pink|
|Soil||Well-Drained, Loamy, Sandy|
Aloe polyphylla Care
Spiral Aloe is a very easy plant to grow. It is very tolerant of neglect, making it an ideal choice for a spot in your garden that gets little attention or watering.
The Spiral Aloe grows best in full sun. However, it can tolerate some shade as well. If grown in the shade, you’ll find the plant is likelier to have smaller leaves.
The Spiral Aloe does best in well-draining soil. However, it can tolerate a wide range of soil types. You can add coarse sand or perlite to regular soil mixes to promote drainage.
Average pH levels are acceptable, but it does best in slightly acidic soil.
The Aloe polyphylla plant needs very little water, making it ideal for those who are short on time and often forget to water their plants. In summer, you should water the Spiral Aloe once every 1-2 weeks. In winter, this number can be reduced by half.
If you’re worried about overwatering, you can opt for a longer wait time between waterings. You can easily recover from any negative consequences as a result of underwatering.
Temperature and Humidity
Aloe polyphylla is very forgiving and can adapt to many different environments. However, the best temperature range for this Aloe is between 55-85 degrees Fahrenheit.
In temperatures below freezing, this plant may not be ideal.
Aloe polyphylla does not require much fertilizer. However, if you choose to use a fertilizer, it should be applied in the spring and summer when your plant is actively growing.
For best results, you should use a balanced fertilizer with a ratio of 5-10-5 or 10-10-10 in water and then pour the mixture around the base of your Aloe.
Pruning is not necessary for Aloe polyphylla, but it can help your plant eliminate old growth.
If you want to prune your Aloe, use sharp scissors and cut off dead leaves or damaged stems. It is essential to avoid cutting too much away at one time as this will cause shock to the plant.
Potting and Repotting Spiral Aloe
Aloe polyphylla is not a complex plant to care for, but it does need to be repotted every year or two. If the roots are growing out the drainage holes in your pot, it requires repotting.
You can also tell when it needs repotting by checking whether or not there is enough space between the soil and the base of your plant for new growth to form.
Spring or Summer are the ideal seasons for repotting.
How to Repot (Step-by-Step)
- Remove the plant from its old pot. If you can’t remove the plant by hand, gently tap on the sides of the pot until it falls out.
- Remove any old soil. Use your fingers to loosen any dirt stuck to the root ball’s outside.
- Place the plant in the new pot filled with the preselected potting soil. Position the Aloe so that the top of its root ball is about an inch below the rim. Add more soil as needed.
- Water the plant thoroughly and ensure that water drains from the pot.
Propagating Aloe polyphylla by Seeds (Step-by-Step)
Wait for the seeds to ripen before planting. If you’re using homebrew seeds, do note that the chances of failure are significantly higher than from seeds bought from the store.
- Sow the seeds in starter mix.
- Space the seeds at least a few inches apart from each other.
- Cover the seeds with soil and water gently until moist but not soggy.
- Place them in a warm spot where indirect sunlight can reach them, but they will not be exposed to direct sunlight.
- Wait for germination.
Propagating Aloe polyphylla by Offsets (Step-by-Step)
If your Spiral Aloe has produced offsets, propagation is relatively straightforward. The key thing to note is allowing the cut end to heal before the transplant.
- Choose an offset with a healthy root system and at least three leaves.
- Cut off the offset from the parent Aloe plant by making a clean cut just below the leaf nodes (where new growth emerges). Use a sharp knife or gardening scissors, not pruning shears that leave jagged edges.
- Allow the offsets a few days to a week to heal and callus over.
- Plant the offset in a pot that has drainage holes. Use a good-quality soil mix and place some pebbles or broken pottery at the bottom of the pot to help with drainage.
- Water well and place it in a warm spot out of direct sunlight for at least two weeks before transplanting it into its final position, which should be somewhere where it gets plenty of light but not full sun all day.
Flowers are rare but spectacular when they appear. Pink in color, these tubular flowers are borne on a tall branching stalk that rises above the foliage.
They typically appear in the spring or summer.
Aloe polyphylla is non-toxic. It is not known to cause skin irritation or allergies. However, it’s best to avoid contact with the sap of this plant if you have sensitive skin.
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 feed on the sap of these succulents, resulting in leaf drops and stunted growth. Mealybugs often hide under the leaves, making them difficult to see. Instead, look for white cottony masses on your plant’s stems or undersides of its leaves. If you do find mealybugs, use an insecticidal soap spray to get rid of them.
Scale insects are small, oval-shaped bugs that feed on aloe plants’ sap. They look like little brown or gray bumps on your plant’s leaves and stems. If you find these pests, take a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol and rub it against the scale to remove them from your succulent
Aphids are small, pear-shaped bugs that tend to cluster on the tips of aloe leaves. They secrete a sticky substance that causes black sooty mold to grow on your succulent’s leaves and stems. To get rid of these pests, spray your plant with insecticidal soap or neem oil spray.
- Placing under harsh sunlight
- Using poorly drained potting mediums
- Fertilizing during dormancy