Aloe Species, Torch Aloe, Tree Aloe, Mountain Bush Aloe, Krantz Aloe

Aloe arborescens

Family: Asphodelaceae (as-foh-del-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Aloe (AL-oh) (Info)
Species: arborescens (ar-bo-RES-senz) (Info)
Synonym:Aloe perfoliata var. arborescens
Synonym:Catevala arborescens
View this plant in a garden



Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun




Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)


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)

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round in hardiness zone


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

Bloom Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Winter/Early Spring

Mid Fall

Late Fall/Early Winter

Mid Winter

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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 herbaceous stem cuttings

From softwood cuttings

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Peoria, Arizona

Amesti, California

Bonsall, California

Brea, California

Clayton, California

Corralitos, California

Elkhorn, California

Fairfield, California

Fremont, California

Greenbrae, California

Interlaken, California

Los Angeles, California

Martinez, California

Pajaro, California

Redding, California

Reseda, California

Riverside, California

San Diego, California(2 reports)

San Francisco, California

San Leandro, California

Spring Valley, California

Temecula, California

Thousand Oaks, California

Vista, California(18 reports)

Watsonville, California

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Jacksonville, Florida(3 reports)

Orlando, Florida(2 reports)

Kihei, Hawaii

Lewiston, Maine

Socorro, New Mexico

West Linn, Oregon

Frisco, Texas

Vienna, Wien

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Mar 22, 2018, DMichael from Fort Lauderdale, FL wrote:

Aloe arborescens will grow in Ft Lauderdales subtropical/tropical 10b climate, but poorly and dwarfed in all aspects; it will form a mat/ mound of small diameter trailing-branching rosettes rising to only 1.5 feet at most, and it will never bloom. Aloe maculata by contrast will also form a mat about the same height, grows well, has more ornamental leaves, and readily blooms.


On Apr 25, 2014, Baja_Costero from Baja California,
Mexico (Zone 11) wrote:

Deceptively large, tough, multistemmed aloe with outstanding torch-like flowers in late fall to early winter. Very easy to propagate: stick a cutting in the ground, water every 2 weeks, and voila, flowers next season. Will turn funky colors when stressed, often a striking purple while rooting. Requires lots of space or lots of pruning to do well, though it does tolerate confined spaces. Very common locally and often a host for the aloe mite during flowering season (cut affected inflorescences immediately).


On Feb 17, 2014, Campocalle from Redding, CA wrote:

I have grown a cutting of this species since I was about 11 years old, and it has traveled with me across California over the past 30 years. Today I am developing a native and succulent landscaping palette for a slope that lies in the path of fire, should it even move through our blue oak woodland. The large spreading habit of this plant, along with its water storing nature, should make it ideal for fire-wise landscape. I do not want to repeat the barren, scorched earth and annual grass model so common locally.

This large aloe seems perfect for my intended use, and it appears to do well in the heat and rocky/heavy soil here. I left a few spindly rooted cuttings out over the freeze and snow of December 2013. There was significant damage at 24 F but all made it. I thin... read more


On Oct 6, 2013, BUFFY690 from Prosperity, SC (Zone 7b) wrote:

A friend sent me quite a small pup off of a random patch of aloe she found on her daily walks in Cali. I was terribly excited when I received this in our trade. After researching this and getting info from her about how they grow, I settled that this was a torch aloe plant. I planted in a small sized container to get it's root system going good and strong. It has now about outgrown this cute pot. It has just this year showed marked growth and taken a good deal of abuse and extra water. It may be one of my entries into the state fair as a small aloe plant as I have a few different ones to choose from. But this one seems the meatiest to me of all I have :) I can't wait to get it back home and into a larger pot for the winter living in my greenhouse window. I'd surely love to see it bl... read more


On Jan 1, 2010, nomosno from San Diego, CA (Zone 10b) wrote:

This is a beautiful plant but not suitable for a small home garden in my opinion. Maybe in a pot or in a large backyard where you have lots of space. It is a prolific grower, especially sideways, and overruns its environment very quickly. I have struggled with a patch of these beauties for years but eventually I had to give up and get rid of them. Which was not easy because these plants weigh a ton given that they have thick and large succulent leaves which are are full of water.

BTW "arborescens" does not mean "tree", it means "branching" i.e. "acting like a tree" (like in "idirescent" - behaving like a rainbow, or iris in Latin, also luminescent etc) so the term "tree aloe" is a wrong translation, not to mention that is simply a wrong description of this plant that looks ... read more


On Jul 21, 2009, lhstiles from Greenbrae, CA wrote:

Fast grower in Ross Valley area in Marin County. Appreciates a bit of light shade in the hottest areas, and some supplemental irrigation (once a week). Grows plantlets at the base of the stem when planted with roots. They are easy to propagate by cutting off plants from the main stem. Cuttings take a few months to root, and these like to have a bit of supplemental water if put in the ground in full sun. Some of my cuttings turned a bright orange when i just stuck them in the ground and didn't irrigate, but gradually seem to be turning greener after some irrigation was provided.
When grown in full sun without irrigation, they tend to take on a yellow color, but are a darker, greener color when irrigated. Beautiful orange/red flowers in the winter and early spring, hummingbirds love ... read more


On Jan 11, 2009, thistlesifter from Vista, CA wrote:

Our gardens grow four different clones of variegated arborescens. These all grow in full bright sun for at least all the hours between 9AM and 3PM year-round. I've never seen these stressed even in hot Santana 98degree F heat, which we see at least 5 days each year.

There are many landscape arborescens in the neighborhoods all around San Diego county and these grow 25 miles inland without difficulty. The only issue besides need to prune, is the proliferation of Aloe mite especially in the last 20 years.

Many non-succulent -lovers have the plant in their landscape and don't notice the Aloe Mite cancer that forms large galls on the plant and usually gets into the flower buds on some flower stems. These are difficult to control. At a miniumum the galls s... read more


On Sep 7, 2008, baiissatva from Dunedin,
New Zealand wrote:

Down here in the southern hemisphere (coastal Otago, NZ), we have the orange-flowered form that flowers toward the end of winter. It suffers in the worst frosts but will take most of them without damage, and grows so vigorously anyway that it doesnt really matter. Its easy to take this cheerful aloe for granted because its so common, but imagine life without it! Can be pruned to your requirements, kept low as a rambler or trained higher as good protection for more wimpy aloes. Our natives birds enjoy the flowers. Great for that crappy clay bank where nothing else wants to grow. Whip off a woody cutting, stick it in the ground and youve got another one.


On Feb 5, 2006, RWhiz from Spring Valley, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

This plant grows well in full sun in Southern California. It is easily rooted in potting soil with warmth.


On Dec 16, 2003, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

A prolific suckerer and brancher- you have to make lots of room for this plant, or like pruning Aloes.. can occasionally bloom in summer in California, but primarily a mid winter bloomer. Very common plant both in private gardens and public landscaping around Los Angeles. Often called the Octopus plant. From South Africa.

Though most plants have red flowers, there is a yellow-flowered form that isn't all that rare. It seems to flower just a bit earlier, and flowers don't last as long as red form. Yellow flowers only seen in winter.

Not a particularly cold hardy Aloe... I have over 400 species of aloe in my garden in inlands southern California and after a freak freeze when temps got down below 25F for several hours a LOT of plants got badly damaged. To... read more