Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Aloe
Aloe elgonica

Family: Aloaceae
Genus: Aloe (AL-oh) (Info)
Species: elgonica (el-GOH-nik-uh) (Info)

2 members have or want this plant for trade.

Cactus and Succulents

12-18 in. (30-45 cm)
18-24 in. (45-60 cm)
24-36 in. (60-90 cm)
36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)
4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

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:
Full Sun

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

Bloom Color:

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

Grown for foliage

Other details:
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:
Unknown - Tell us

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3 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Fires_in_motion On Jul 28, 2014, Fires_in_motion from Vacherie, LA (Zone 9a) wrote:

My first thought upon seeing this at a big box store the other day was "Wow, that's an interesting Aloe brevifolia with flatter, wider leaves than usual; I've gotta get it." (A. brevifolia is one of my favorite succulents ever.) Then I saw the tag saying E. elgonica, a species I'd never heard of, despite being a big aloe geek. So of course I bought it, but I have some suspicion that it has some A. brevifolia in it, since the leaves are a lot stubbier (shorter & wider) than the ones in the photos on DG and other sites. Maybe they elongate as the plant ages? Not sure if my plant was grown from seed (in which case the leaves would be expected to be stubbier) or from a cutting (in which case they'd be expected to be longer, like those of a mature plant).
In any case, this is an incredibly cool, robust aloe, with the added benefit of growing only up to about 3-5 feet tall, which will make it easy to move indoors in the winter if needed here (zone 8B/9A). If indeed the ones sold at big box stores (grown by a Cali company whose name begins with "A") do have some A. brevifolia in them, that would be good, in terms of making the mature plant both smaller and more cold hardy. I guess time will tell.

Positive thistlesifter On Sep 27, 2006, thistlesifter from Vista, CA wrote:

I have had this plant nearly a year and it is already a favorite. It has a graceful clumping form with curvy lush deeply colored leaves and prominent elegant leaf spines. Its flower is a welcome sight for aloe lovers as it is one of the early aloe flowers of late summer.

It is of easy culture, not at aloe picky about watering overhead and does well in pure DG.


Positive palmbob On Dec 7, 2003, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Nice looking Kenyan Aloe that gets a lot of nice red color in full sun and heat. It's a suckering aloe that can either be a low growing plant if kept totally devoid of water, or grow up to 3-4' tall if given some protection and water. Rosettes up to 1' across. Leaves recurved, shiny with striking, large, sharp deltoid teeth along the margins. Flowers simple, to slightly branched, and deep red in early spring (northern hemisphere)... however I have seen these plants also bloom, though not as heavily, in mid to late summer in southern California (July- August).


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

Carefree, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona
Los Angeles, California
Reseda, California
Spring Valley, California
Vista, California

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