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Mountain Aloe

Aloe marlothii

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Mountain Aloe (Aloe marlothii) at Roger's Gardens

Mountain Aloe in bloom

Mountain Aloe in bloom

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Mountain Aloe (Aloe marlothii) at Roger's Gardens

Mountain Aloe flowers

Mountain Aloe flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Mountain Aloe (Aloe marlothii) at Roger's Gardens

Mountain Aloe foliage

Mountain Aloe foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Plant Height:  8 feet

Flower Height:  10 feet

Spread:  6 feet

Sunlight:  full sun 

Hardiness Zone:  9a

Other Names:  Spiny Aloe, Flat Flowered Aloe


An unbranched variety with an upright habit, featuring an impressive rosette of large gray-green leaves with reddish-brown teeth, crowning the top; produces branching spikes of red-orange flowers from late fall, into winter; a great landscape accent

Ornamental Features

Mountain Aloe features showy racemes of orange flowers rising above the foliage from late fall to late winter, which emerge from distinctive red flower buds. It has attractive grayish green foliage with pointy brick red spines and tinges of powder blue. The large succulent sword-like leaves are highly ornamental and remain grayish green throughout the winter. The fruit is not ornamentally significant. The mottled gray bark adds an interesting dimension to the landscape.

Landscape Attributes

Mountain Aloe is an evergreen plant with a strong central leader and an upright spreading habit of growth. Its strikingly bold and coarse texture can be very effective in a balanced landscape 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;

  • Spiny

Mountain Aloe is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Rock/Alpine Gardens
  • General Garden Use
  • Container Planting

Planting & Growing

Mountain Aloe will grow to be about 8 feet tall at maturity extending to 10 feet tall with the flowers, with a spread of 6 feet. It has a low canopy with a typical clearance of 3 feet from the ground, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a medium 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 xeriscaping or the moisture-conserving landscape. 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 cuttings.

Mountain Aloe is a fine choice for the yard, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. Its large size and upright habit of growth lend it for use as a solitary accent, or in a composition surrounded by smaller plants around the base and those that spill over the edges. It is even sizeable enough that it can be grown alone in a suitable container. Note that when grown in a container, it may not perform exactly as indicated on the tag - this is to be expected. Also note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Accent  Rock  Garden  Container 
Flowers  Foliage Color  Texture  Bark 
Ornamental Features