Aloe humilis

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Botanical Name
Aloe humilis
Aloeaceae - The aloe family.
AL-oh HEW-mil-is
Common Name(s)
English: Spider Aloe; Blue dwarf aloe; Dwarf hedge-hog Aloe
Afrikaans: Krimpvartjieaalwyn; Dwergaalwyn
IsiXhosa: ikhalana; ikhala; intelezi
Plant Group
  • Succulent A plant having fleshy stems or leaves often adapted to dry conditions.
Plant Size
  • Small
    Tree4m to 8m
    Shrub50cm to 75cm
    Perennial/ground cover10cm to 20cm
    Bulb20cm to 30cm
    Succulent10cm to 20cm
  • Partial Shade The area is in shade for part of the day and in full sun for part of the day.
  • Sun The area is in full sun for all or most of the day, all year round.
General Information
  • Drought Tolerance: High The plant is well adapted to arid conditions; it can survive long periods of drought and high temperatures without extra water.
  • Evergreen Plants that have leaves all year round.
  • Frost: Tender A plant that will not survive any frost or low winter temperatures.
  • Thorns / Spines / Prickles Thorn: A hard, woody, pointed branchlet. Spine: A modified leaf forming a hard, sharp-pointed outgrowth. Prickle: A small, sharp-pointed outgrowth growing from the bark of the plant.
  • Water Wise Plant species originating from low rainfall regions that require less water to survive and thrive than other plant species.
Specific Information

Aloe humilis is a low growing, short-stemmed aloe that forms crowded clusters of 10 or more rosettes. The leaves are a pale blue-green, erect or in-curved, with short translucent white "teeth" along the edges. There are many small white prickles and nodules on both sides of the leaf. The hedgehog aloe has very large blooms compared to the size of the plant. It is a very variable species due to the diverse growing conditions of its distribution area, being found in both winter and summer rainfall climates. It is interesting to note that plants that come from the Graaff-Reinet area are frost hardy, whereas those that grow closer to the coast are unable to tolerate any frost at all. This is a useful little aloe for rocky, exposed areas of the garden and grows happily in small pockets of a rockery.

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tubular flowers 4-5 cm long, arranged loosely on top of a 20-35 cm tall spike

  • Winter to Spring Plants will seldom bloom for the entire season as given in the list, but should flower during a period within these parameters.
  • orange
  • scarlet
Growth Rate
  • Moderate Specifying growth rate can be very misleading as there is considerable variation of growth rate depending on type and species of plant, available water, supplementary feeding, mulching and general care, as well as the plants suitability and adaptability to the garden environment.
Plant Uses
  • Attracts bees, butterflies or other insects This plant attracts insects which can be food for birds or other creatures in your garden.
  • Attracts Birds This plant will attract birds.
  • Border A strip of ground, at the edge of a driveway or path in which ornamental plants or shrubs are planted.
  • Container Trees, shrubs and ornamental species that can adapt to growing in a restricted environment.
  • Edging A low growing plant that provides softness or definition to the edges of a bed or walkway.
  • Filler Either a fast growing tree or shrub used temporarily to fill in an area while the permanent plants grow to a desired size, or a plant used to fill gaps in borders or beds.
  • Pot Plant A plant that needs a protected environment on a patio or indoors.
  • Rock Garden An area constructed of larger rocks, arranged naturally, to emphasise the use of stones as a main element. Generally plants used do not need a lot of care.
  • Suitable for smaller gardens Such plants do not have invasive root systems, remain small or controllable and can often be grown in containers.
  • Wild Garden An indigenous garden planted for the benefit of wildlife and birds. Provides food, water, a variety of mini-biomes and no poisonous chemicals are used.
Distribution and Habitat

from Mosselbay in the Western Cape, through the Little Karoo to Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape, and northwards to Somerset East and Graaff-Reinett, on stony, arid, flat or sloping terrain

Planting Suggestions

Aloe humilis is an easy to grow, adaptable little aloe, requiring very little care. It will tolerate light shade but the plant looks its best when grown in full sun. Although it can withstand long periods of drought, these aloes will thrive and flower more profusely if watered occasionally. Plant in well drained, sandy soil, preferably in hot and dry rock gardens. They will grow best in regions with a climate that is neither too cold or too wet. Propagate by division of larges clumps, putting the 'pups' in a tray of coarse river sand until they have rooted. Aloe humilis can be grown in containers or pots in sandy soil with plenty of drainage. Over-watering, poor drainage or too much shade can lead to attack by pests and diseases. 

Medicinal Uses

No data found.

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