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Aloe Species, Fan Aloe

Kumara plicatilis

Family: Asphodelaceae (as-foh-del-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Kumara
Species: plicatilis (ply-KAY-til-iss) (Info)
Synonym:Aloe lingua
Synonym:Aloe linguiformis
Synonym:Aloe plicatilis
Synonym:Aloe tripetala
Synonym:Kumara disticha
View this plant in a garden


Cactus and Succulents

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade


Grown for foliage



Foliage Color:



36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 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:

Can be grown as an annual



Bloom Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Winter/Early Spring

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:

From seed; germinate in a damp paper towel

From seed; germinate in vitro in gelatin, agar or other medium

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


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

Carefree, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona

Canoga Park, California

Carlsbad, California

Casa de Oro-Mount Helix, California

Clayton, California

Encino, California

Fairfield, California

Greenbrae, California

Hayward, California

Laguna Niguel, California

Los Angeles, California

Mission Viejo, California

National City, California

Norwalk, California

Pittsburg, California

Reseda, California

Riverside, California

San Francisco, California

San Leandro, California

Spring Valley, California

Thousand Oaks, California

Upland, California

Vista, California(9 reports)

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Lakeland, Florida

Wailuku, Hawaii

Corvallis, Oregon

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Oct 4, 2019, 2QandLearn from Menifee, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

The commonly -called 'Fan Aloe' is no longer recognized in the Aloe genus.
It is now 1 of only 2 species in the *Kumara* genus . . .

"...*Kumara* *plicatilis* was previously known as Aloe plicatilis. Molecular studies showing that the species in the old, broad concept of Aloe do not all share a common ancestor ... resulted in a revision of the genus, which saw the establishment of two new genera: Aloidendron for the tree aloes; Aloiampelos for the rambling aloes; and, the reinstatment of the genus Kumara, in which there are only two species, the other being Kumara haemanthifolia...." .

Source: "PlantZAfrica"

... read more


On Jan 2, 2018, natfromnz from Mount Maunganui,
New Zealand wrote:

Hi there, I have just found 3 trunked trees / plants lying on the road side. Someone has obviously dug them out of their garden, they are fantastic looking.
I live in Mount Maunganui NZ, and the soil is sandy as its coastal. I have another one of these growing well in garden.
My question is: currently they are lying in the driveway with roots exposed, and some roots are cut from the spade.
Should I let the roots dry out before planting, and what type of nutrition should I add to the soil. I usually use sheep pellets in the garden. Thanks


On Aug 31, 2016, Fanofaloes from Phoenix, AZ wrote:

I have two formerly wonderful, small-tree sized fan aloes propagated from my neighbor's prolific collection in Vista, CA. I brought them to Phoenix with me. I kept them in the shade on the patio, but the high temps caused them to literally boil from the inside. I hope I haven't lost them for good, has anyone had this happen? Should I cut back to the woody stems and let them start new growth? Will they sprout new growth on a cut stem? Help !!!


On Mar 14, 2016, poeciliopsis from Phoenix, AZ wrote:

Central Phoenix -- Aloe plicatilis deserves its reputation as easily rotted. I have rotted 3, one in the ground and two in pots. One of the potted ones got water only about once a month in summer and still rotted. The in-ground plant got water every two weeks.


On Sep 12, 2014, innotchka from sydney,
Australia wrote:

I just bought a small tree version, but got it at a discount as it had fallen over and the leaves were blackened on the ends, the leaves are long and seem to be quite droopy, i transplanted it but the root had rotted, so i put the rootless plant back into potting mix. I am thinking of pulling it and drying out the stem for a few days and buying a better soil for succulents/ I am also tempted to start over and cut the branches off and make 4 smaller plants, but as i said the leaves are very long.
Anyone had any experience with cuttings?


On Nov 12, 2010, albey30 from Christchurch,
New Zealand (Zone 9a) wrote:

Palmbob - I agree with your thoughts on the climate zone of this plant.
Here in New Zealand it is a Zone 9b plant, and is only seen growing in this zone or warmer.
I have not seen any here growing in zone 9a, if they do it would be at the warm-end of 9a, which starts at -3.9 celcius


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

This is a very southern S African aloe that, like most of its neighbours, does well here in coastal Otago, South Island of New Zealand. It LOVES water, especially during winter, which is counter-intuitive to most succulent fanciers, and the brown tips seen in so many are the result of too-dry conditions.
Id say we are zone 9, rarely getting too far below 0 celcius (I think thats 36 F) with a min of -5 on v. rare occasions. I can confirm that these aloes dont like a frost and will almost certainly be damaged by it. I have read South African accounts of them tolerating frost and snow without problems in their native setting but I just find this hard to swallow given the softness of their leaves, and the similarity of the conditions here. With a sheltered site they do tolerate lo... read more


On Mar 22, 2006, AgaveNeo954 from Fort Lauderdale, FL wrote:

I bought a few of a very small version of a somewhat variegated variety of the a. plant, from Home Depot and Lowes, and put them in one pot on my patio. The ribbon-like leaves are a deep green with intermittent rows of white spots and were under 2" in length when purchased. Over 5+ years, they've grown to approx. 6-9" in length. They have southern exposure, with direct light in the morning and late afternoon, and get watered on weekends. The lowest temperature we've had has been in the high 30s (F).


On Feb 24, 2006, thistlesifter from Vista, CA wrote:

In San Diego county 7 miles from coast grows best if placed in bright shade on northern side of structure, sheltered from direct sun. Does not seem to get the typical brown tip. It flowers more prolifically, as well, whenever grown this way.


On Sep 22, 2005, BayAreaTropics from Hayward, CA wrote:

Doesn't need any special winter protection for most of the inner Bay Area. And nothing looks like it. A moderate grower that can grow to a massive bulk even here. And showy flowers like most Aloes.


On Feb 21, 2004, succulentman wrote:

In the San Diego area I find that every one of these (including the one I have) brown at the tips which make them not very attractive.


On Jan 6, 2004, Kelli from L.A. (Canoga Park), CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

I find this to be a slow-growing plant, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing.


On Aug 28, 2003, Happenstance from Northern California, CA wrote:

This is an elegant plant with a "very deco" look to it. Pretty fast growing for a potted Aloe, protected over winter in 9b greenhouse. Native to South Africa, hopefully it will eventually get branches like it does in its native habitat.


On Aug 24, 2003, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Very commonly grown specimen aloe for So Cal, as it is unique looking- pale blue-green flat, spatulate leaves, very 'user-friendly' (no spines) and eventually becomes a small tree (worth a fortune then). Does tend to brown tip in hot, sunny locations. Seems to like more water than the average aloe, though survives in very extreme drought situations as well (just VERY slow then, and tends to lose most/all leaves).

I am dubious of the zone 9a rating we have for this plant in the plant files, as mine, and many other plants in Los Angeles county got pretty badly damaged this Jan 07 freeze- didn't even get down to 25F in most areas, but was at least 27F for 5 hours... and most of the leaves burned turned to black. AM curious how it would do below 25F... anyone have any experie... read more