Aloe polyphylla, more commonly known as spiral aloe, is a thing of beauty. Its leaves form a distinctive, spiral-like pattern that might make you think of seashells, elaborate staircases, or faraway galaxies.
In addition to looking drop-dead gorgeous, these plants are resilient and hard to kill. As long as you know how to care for succulents, you should be fine!
However, if you could use some tips on growing Aloe polyphylla, this short guide will tell you everything you need to know: from how to plant succulents to how often to water your spiral aloe and more.
What Is Aloe Polyphylla?
Aloe polyphylla is a member of the genus Aloe. The species is native to the Drakensberg mountains in the tiny South African country Lesotho. In fact, the evergreen succulent is Lesotho’s national plant.
Why Is Knowing How To Grow And Care For Aloe Polyphylla Important?
It’s simple, really: to make sure your spiral aloe stays strong, healthy, and looking its finest, you want to give it the best species-specific care you can.
How To Grow Spiral Aloe (Aloe Polyphylla)
Like most succulents, spiral aloes are hardy and relatively low-maintenance houseplants. However, this species has its unique requirements, too: from higher-than-average watering needs to a preference for shadier spots. Reading up on these is essential to provide your Aloe polyphylla with the best care.
1. Make Sure You Have The Right Type Of Succulent
There are many different types of succulents, and some, such as Aloe glauca and Aloe lienata, are closely related to spiral aloe.
So, how can you tell Aloe polyphylla apart from all other outdoor succulents on the market?
First, look for a stem: spiral aloe plants don’t have one!
Next, look at the leaves, which should be arranged in a compact spiral shape. The pattern may be clockwise or counterclockwise. A five-year-old plant may have as many as 150 leaves arranged in five dense ranks.
The leaves themselves are fleshy and gray-green in color. The tips are usually darker and may even be purplish-green.
2. Get The Right Pot Mix
Aloe polyphylla thrives in well-drained, sandy soil. A standard succulent soil mix with a bit of added sand or gravel typically works best.
3. Pick The Best Spot For Your Plant
Spiral aloes like a bit of shade. Place them in spots that get plenty of light but not too much direct sunlight.
You should consider the ambient temperature, too. Aloe polyphylla tolerates larger amplitudes than most succulents. However, anything below 10°F (-12°C) and above 95°F (35°C) is beyond this plant’s comfort zone.
4. Know How To Water and Feed Your Spiral Aloe
Just because you know how to water succulents doesn’t mean you know how to water Aloe polyphylla! Unlike most other succulents, spiral aloes can be quite thirsty and require extra watering and feeding.
During the growing season, water your plant regularly and whenever the soil is completely dry. However, don’t let it soak in water, as that may cause root rot. To ensure optimal health, be sure to also throw in some liquid succulent fertilizer two or three times per season.
When the plant is dormant, water it sparingly and don’t use fertilizer.
5. Know How To Propagate Aloe Polyphylla
Do you know how to propagate succulents? If so, that’s great — but it won’t get you too far in this case!
You see, unlike most other succulents, Aloe polyphylla propagates by seeds only. If you live in a warm climate, you can plant the seeds outdoors. Otherwise, start them indoors. In either case, pick a spot that gets plenty of bright light throughout the day.
The ideal temperature for growing new spiral aloes is around 75°F (23°C). If planting the seeds indoors, it’s also a good idea to use some form of bottom heat.
Keep the soil moist at all times. In 10 to 18 days, you should start seeing new growth. When the new plants are strong enough, transplant them into a bigger container.
More Awesome Succulents
Do you want some more useful tips on growing succulents?
- Check out our guide on caring for indoor succulents.
- Read about Senecio serpens, one of our all-time favorite plants.
- Consider decorating your home with these gorgeous and low-maintenance rose succulents.
And don’t forget to snap a few pictures of your new Aloe polyphylla for your social media — you’d be hard-pressed to find a more photogenic and likes-worthy plant!