The Lace Aloe is great for beginners, whether you have outdoor space on a patio or garden, or even if you only have space on a windowsill. The Lace Aloe can be described as having triangular succulent leaves that grow in a rosette pattern. The leaves can be bright green to dark green with white spots on their spines and teeth on the edges. While these teeth can poke they are not as sharp as needles on a cactus.
Scientific Name: Aloe Aristata
Outside this plant loves the sun. It can handle direct sun but preferably in less humid climates.
Inside this plant can handle low light but still requires light. The best placement is within a few feet of a window that gets a lot of light throughout the day.
This plant does not require a lot of water. Too much water can cause the plant to ‘explode’ and turn into mush. Some plants can empty water when it consumes too much (like Pothos) but unfortunately, Aloes do not have this ability. The best explanation can be compared to overfilling a water balloon that explodes.
You can tell by the leaf color whether it’s happy with the amount of light it’s getting. If the leaves are a light-green to almost white, this means it’s not getting a lot of light. Darker vibrant green means it’s getting the right amount. In the winter if it is inside it will most likely become light green, and that is okay.
The leaves will also let you know if it is getting enough water. If the leaves start to get mushy stop watering right away. If the leaves start to sink in and shrivel then it’s time to water. Overwatering is the more common killer of aloes than under-watering. Remember, this is a desert plant that can handle droughts so it’s better to err on the side of less watering than other house plants. When potting your Aloe you can use well-draining soil to help regulate water consumption. Lowes, Home Depot and most nurseries can supply succulent/cactus soil.
This plant does very well in warmer climates and cannot tolerate temperatures below 50° Fahrenheit. If you live in an area where this happens in the winter you’ll want to bring your aloe inside. In the winter months, your Aloe will become dormant and will not need very much water. This Aloe does not tend to grow very tall, but rather up then out wide. In the winter if the Aloe is still getting light, it can and will grow up with skinnier leaves. Like any desert plant, their growing season is spring and summer. When given enough light Lace Aloes can produce orange-yellow flowers that bloom off of a stalk that grows slender and tall above the plant.
Lace Aloes of one of the EASIEST plants to propagate. During the growing season, this aloe will produce pups, or new baby aloes, off of the bottom of the plant. As a good rule of thumb that has worked best for me, it is best to wait till a pup has at least 4 leaves on it before separating it from the mother plant. Some articles online may say that you need to cut the pup away from the mother plant but every pup I have removed I’ve done with just my hands. A pup will be ready to separate if you just tug on it. If you pull and it pops off, it’ll usually already have roots on it that you can repot right away in dirt. If you tug and it doesn’t want to come off you may want to wait a little longer and try again.
I was given a lace aloe when my grandma could no longer take care of it. It was thriving with two pups. I separated the pups and replanted all in new pots. After this the pups and main plant started doing bad. The core of the main plant is turning a brown/ reddish color and the bottom leaves are shriveling and drying up and are light green/ white with brown tips and falling off. I think it was over watered before I got it which is another reason I repotted it. It’s a beautiful plant that my grandma has taken care of for over a year. Any tips to help save this plant?
Hi Amy! Thanks for reaching out for help. There are a few factors that could cause this but usually, with aloes, the culprit is most likely being overwatered. The second could be temperature. It’s wintertime right now (going into spring) so if it had too much cold weather it could cause issues. The roots themselves will be a brownish-red color and the main stem will be wherever the plant ‘sat’ under the dirt. So, if you repotted it and didn’t put it in as deep as it was before the bottom will have that brown tint. For now, pull off the bottom leaves if you can and give it some time before rewatering it. A good tip for know if it’s over or under watered is the consistency of the dead leaves. They can turn the same color if it’s over or under BUT if the leaves turn to mush, that’s overwatering. If the leaves get very crispy/dry and flat it means that it needs more water. I hope this helps and let me know what happens to your pups!
Hi. I have a small 4” that grew long thin leaves from the middle. They are thinner and slightly lighter in color. It just seems that they are growing separately from the original plant. They are not hearty looking. Any recommendations?
If this just started happening recently it could be due to the winter months. When Aloes get less sunlight they can still grow but usually have ‘gaps’ or missing sections and turn lighter in color. When it starts to warm up and they get more sunlight again they will start filling in those gaps with new aloe shoots. It is normal for them to change color slightly in the winter and for this to occur. You should only really start to worry if the leaves start to become soggy/mushy as that is a sign of overwatering. I hope this helps! My lace aloe currently has these ‘gaps’ that it is also trying to fill in, if you’d like photos to see if this is what’s happening to yours I’d be happy to email you some!