(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)
Plant Height: 14 inches
Flower Height: 3 feet
Spread: 14 inches
Hardiness Zone: 9b
Other Names: Zebra Aloe, syn. Aloe maculata
A beautiful stemless variety producing dark green rosettes with gray spotting, arranged in lines, and red teeth along the margins; produces racemes of flat topped, orange-red flower clusters in summer; a wonderful garden or container accent
Soap Aloe's attractive succulent sword-like leaves remain dark green in color with distinctive gray spots and tinges of red throughout the year. It features dainty racemes of orange tubular flowers with red overtones and purple tips rising above the foliage from early to late summer. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.
Soap Aloe is an herbaceous evergreen perennial with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its wonderfully bold, coarse texture can be very effective in a balanced garden composition.
This is a relatively low maintenance plant, and usually looks its best without pruning, although it will tolerate pruning. Deer don't particularly care for this plant and will usually leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;
Soap Aloe is recommended for the following landscape applications;
- Mass Planting
- Rock/Alpine Gardens
- General Garden Use
- Container Planting
Planting & Growing
Soap Aloe will grow to be about 14 inches tall at maturity extending to 3 feet tall with the flowers, with a spread of 14 inches. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 40 years or more.
This plant should only be grown in full sunlight. It prefers dry to average moisture levels with very well-drained soil, and will often die in standing water. It is considered to be drought-tolerant, and thus makes an ideal choice for a low-water garden or xeriscape application. It is not particular as to soil pH, but grows best in sandy soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This species is not originally from North America. It can be propagated by division.
Soap Aloe is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. With its upright habit of growth, it is best suited for use as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.