Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Aloe
Aloe congolensis

Family: Aloaceae
Genus: Aloe (AL-oh) (Info)
Species: congolensis (kon-go-LEN-sis) (Info)

3 members have or want this plant for trade.

Cactus and Succulents

under 6 in. (15 cm)
6-12 in. (15-30 cm)
12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

12-15 in. (30-38 cm)
15-18 in. (38-45 cm)
18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade

Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Late Fall/Early Winter
Mid Winter


Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Suitable for growing in containers

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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There are a total of 13 photos.
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1 positive
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral Porphyrostachys On Aug 30, 2009, Porphyrostachys from Portland, OR (Zone 8b) wrote:

Generally tolerates the deserts of Arizona fine, but isn't hardy at all. It melted and vanished in the 2007 freeze. Strangely, this July, one plant that got a fair amount of light under shade cloth entirely suffered "heat rot", which is something I've not before experienced with this Aloe. July 2009 went down as the hottest July on record for Phoenix, so it's not surprising this plant didn't hold up - I had many failures this summer. Great potted plant otherwise.

Positive palmbob On Dec 13, 2006, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This is not an officially described species at this time, but has been named 'unofficially' for many years. I am not sure why this is the case, as it is a consistently described plant, and a common and available one at that. No other name has been given to it that I know of, but perhaps someone will correct me at some time. Sadly it did not appear in the 'Definite Guide' of Aloes published in 2011... maybe the next version?

It is a bright green species with short, stiff, shiny, almost plastic-like leaves that are wedge-shaped and somewhat flat to recurving near the tips. It is an aggressive offsetter, and a good grower (here in southern California), and will eventually take over an area... though it is a low growing species. Rosettes are only about 4"-5" in diameter, but branches can be up to 2' long- sort of sprawling species. Leaves are often retained the entire length of the stem, though eventually slough off. The leaves are heavily armed with large, sharp teeth the same color as the leaves (bright green). This is one of the more painful aloes to trim without gloves (ouch!!).

This is an excellent potted plant, and does well in hanging baskets/pots, as the branches tend to spawl and droop ornamentally, and are strong enough to support themselves up to over a foot outside the pot.

If not watered well, or in bright sun in dry conditions, or subject to cold (ie stressed) plants will develop an attractive reddish to deep brown color, though usually some green is maintained.

Flowers are always on solitary (unbranched) racemes about 1' long or more, and are pinkish-red-orange in late fall to mid winter. Without enough sunlight, plants seem resistant to flower... also, it seems to take the plant years to mature enough to get to flowering size.

This is a very common plant, often seen at Target and Home Depot garden centers... so I am surprised at its lack of official taxonomic designation.

Found out the hard way, Jan 2007 in So California, this is one of the least cold hardy aloes there are with every single plant, no matter what its location in the yard, turned to mush during an exceptionally severe frost/freeze. Only Aloe dorotheae (which some consider this a form of) or Aloe barberae came close to its cold wimpiness out of the 250 other species of aloe in the yard. At least this 'species' is not a hard one to replace. In its defence, I did not permanently lose any of these freeze damaged piles of mush. All grew back from the roots and are doing well today (4 years later). So though I would rate this one a zone 10a plant, it certainly can survive zone 9b if you don't give up on it.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Apache Junction, Arizona
Chandler, Arizona
Mesa, Arizona
Reseda, California

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