Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: African Aloe, Soap Aloe
Aloe maculata

Family: Aloaceae
Genus: Aloe (AL-oh) (Info)
Species: maculata (mak-yuh-LAH-tuh) (Info)

Synonym:Aloe saponaria
Synonym:Aloe leptophylla

48 members have or want this plant for trade.

View this plant in a garden


6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

15-18 in. (38-45 cm)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
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:
Sun to Partial Shade

Seed is poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall
Mid Fall
Late Fall/Early Winter

Grown for foliage

Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

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By Floridian
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By cactus_lover
Thumbnail #7 of Aloe maculata by cactus_lover

There are a total of 84 photos.
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8 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive mrsmaz On Feb 27, 2015, mrsmaz from Petaluma, CA wrote:

This plant was already in the garden when we moved here 23 years ago. Requires virtually no care, grows in our sticky clay soil in full sun or complete shade under our Magnolia grandiflora tree. Blooms every spring with gorgeous salmon flowers that the hummingbirds love, and spreads itself around the yard. Easy to propagate from the new pups.

Positive PeteOZ On Sep 13, 2011, PeteOZ from Melbourne
Australia wrote:

Very hardy aloe, making a large group of suckers and its quite thorny too.
Though it can be a bit invasive it is not hard to control and is good for growing under trees or in exposed spots with crappy soil where nothing grows. It is quite shade tolerant as well. Here it tends to be a greenish colour with moisture and shade and a attractive reddish purple under stress.
Seems very cold and wet tolerant in Melbourne this winter Ive had some other aloes rotting in the center from codl and moisture these are fine. This one arborescens and mitriformis seem to be the hardiest around here and can often be found growing well in neglected gardens and are commonly sold in garden centers. A few of my Maculatas have had some root loss from the cold and wet but they will quickly regrow in the warmer weather.

Positive Meow_Meow On Jul 6, 2011, Meow_Meow from Arvin, CA wrote:

This aloe is great. It is invasive but it can be controlled by thinning the colony. Reproduces at an incredible rate! This aloe blooms a lot in the winter. It is Perfect for a beginner aloe collector.

Positive CristianaMS On Jan 8, 2010, CristianaMS from Rome
Italy (Zone 9b) wrote:

Reproduces very very easily from stems. Useful in skin deseases. When the plant is dry, it has beautiful, purplish leaves, lovely amidst black lavic rocks. After an image search it seems Aloe maculata is also called Aloe saponaria ?

Positive Gardnerkett On Oct 16, 2007, Gardnerkett from Pass Christian, MS (Zone 8b) wrote:

Beautiful, blooms randomly a good addition to my back garden that gets little water and lots of sun.

Positive MacSuibhne On Feb 20, 2007, MacSuibhne from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

Very hardy in San Antonio, with beautiful blooms (which seem to come up at random times of year). Fills a garden rather quickly, as well. I will say this -- it is beastly to weed around. Those spines are wicked, and they mean business.

Positive hanna1 On Dec 5, 2005, hanna1 from Castro Valley, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

Also known as Zebra Aloe, Aloe Maculata.
From Eastern Cape Province, South Cape Province, South Africa to Zimbabwe.
Average temps 50F, freezes below 28F

Neutral cactus_lover On Nov 5, 2005, cactus_lover from FSD
Pakistan (Zone 10b) wrote:

Stemless rosettes,light-green leaves 15-20 cm long with horny,dark brown marginal teeth.

Positive Kameha On Apr 16, 2005, Kameha from Kissimmee, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

Interesting note: Sap from this plant's leaves can be used as a subsitute for soap, it makes suds.

It's very drought and salt tolerant making it a great choice for beachside yards. It's beautiful flowers attract hummingbirds.

Neutral palmbob On Sep 26, 2003, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Common spotted (with linear spots- almost streaked)species with prominent teeth and usually stemless, clumping, often overgrown in succulent gardens. This is one of the more aggressive and 'invasive' aloe species, sometimes showing up many feet away from the parent plant. It is a relatively fast grower and very easy to cultivate. Grows in thick, poorly draining soils as well as better quality soil. Teeth are prominent and sharp.

Also often added to pots with a variety of other succulents and sold at garden outlet centers. Flowers of A maculata 'saponaria' usually yellow, but most A maculatas' flowers are variable (pink to orange to yellow). Flowring can occur any time of year, but usually in mid winter in southern California. Flowers are often, but not always, branched 1-2x and flowers head is a flatted globe in shape.


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

Foley, Alabama
Phoenix, Arizona
Aromas, California
Arvin, California
Berkeley, California
Brentwood, California
Canoga Park, California
Castro Valley, California
Davis, California
El Macero, California
Hayward, California
Los Angeles, California (3 reports)
Menifee, California
Mission Viejo, California
Petaluma, California
San Jose, California
San Leandro, California
Spring Valley, California
Tarzana, California
Thousand Oaks, California
Vista, California (2 reports)
Alford, Florida
Bartow, Florida
Daytona Beach, Florida
Fort Myers, Florida
Gainesville, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida
Keystone Heights, Florida
Kissimmee, Florida
Lutz, Florida
New Port Richey, Florida
Niceville, Florida (2 reports)
Oviedo, Florida
Pensacola, Florida
Rockledge, Florida
Saint Petersburg, Florida
Sarasota, Florida
Spring Hill, Florida
Tallahassee, Florida
Titusville, Florida
Umatilla, Florida
Winter Springs, Florida
Zephyrhills, Florida
Brunswick, Georgia
Folkston, Georgia
Pass Christian, Mississippi
Emerald Isle, North Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina
Johns Island, South Carolina
Saint Helena Island, South Carolina
Andrews, Texas
Austin, Texas (2 reports)
Broaddus, Texas
Dallas, Texas
Dripping Springs, Texas
Georgetown, Texas
San Antonio, Texas (2 reports)
Spring Branch, Texas
Tyler, Texas
Willis, Texas
Seattle, Washington

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