Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Aloe
Aloe falcata

Family: Aloaceae
Genus: Aloe (AL-oh) (Info)
Species: falcata (fal-KAY-tuh) (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)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)
24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

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:
Mid Spring
Late Spring/Early 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)
From seed; germinate in vitro in gelatin, agar or other medium

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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3 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive baiissatva On Feb 12, 2011, baiissatva from Dunedin
New Zealand wrote:

9b coastal Otago New Zealand

I'm a recovering overwaterer who suffers many, many relapses. After several fatal disasters with aloe claviflora, Ive given up on it and opted for it's slightly less demanding cousin, falcata. Both plants have that fat, cushiony, tapered leaf that I like the look of but my small falcata is already proving less water sensitive, having doubled it's size since acquisition as a very small pup about a year ago. My claviforas started bitching and losing their roots right away under the same conditions.

Contrary to the many dour assertions about the fussiness of this plant to be found on the interweb, I'm finding it trouble-free thus far through a horribly wet and grey southern hemisphere summer. I have it potted in a 'fast' mix and bring it in when it's looking sodden, but it's proving no more temperamental than any other aloe. I would not, however, plant it in the ground in a non-xeriscape area- that's begging for trouble.

It's handling the crazy light levels this summer (dusk-grey for two weeks followed by two days of 35oC paint-stripping solar blasts that've seared some of my other succulents). No trace of sunburn. So that's cool too!

I've given it a generous terracotta root run which is insulating it from the extremes of temp and moisture fluctuations that probably killed my clavifloras. So if you're having trouble with falcata, go up a pot size, ease up on the water and try lots of large-grade pumice in the mix, and as a topping around the base of the plant.

All in all, seems like a happy wee plant with no obvious vices. Looking forward to flowers in a few years time.

Positive thistlesifter On Aug 21, 2006, thistlesifter from Vista, CA wrote:

Falcata has been in my gardens for over 18 years. It requires no addtional water (rain is enough). It has a fine sandpaper skin, pale blue greenish color and had mutliple heads till it was moved and they came apart.


Positive palmbob On Aug 19, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

nice stemmless solitary to rarely clumping drought tolerant blue green plant with prominent and sharp red-brown teeth. Leaves upright forming dense rosettes and very stiff and brittle (not flexible) with a subtle rough texture to them. Good landscape plant for very dry open gardens, where turquoise coloration will stand out. Tends to be a bit prone to rot if over watered, particularly in blazing heat of summer (though I havent' experienced this personally with mine... but was warned not to water much, if at all, in summer). South African native.


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

Hayward, California
Los Angeles, California
Reseda, California
Spring Valley, California
Thousand Oaks, California
Vista, California

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