Aloe arborescens

candelabra aloe
Vivid red-orange blooms fall through winter attract hummers. Survives with no summer watering once established. Indestructable low maintenance plant along the coast.
Aloe arborescensAloe arborescensAloe arborescensAloe arborescensAloe arborescens
height 5–12ft
width 4–8ft
tolerates Coast, Cool Summers, Drought, Deer , Fog, Gophers, Heat, Pots, Rooftops, Neglect, Salt, Wind
Aloes thrive on neglect, making them one of the easiest garden plants for California. They are drought-tolerant, and this one will not need additional water once established in your garden. Most aloes will be plump with many bright vibrant blue or green leaves during their growth season. It’s natural for these same plants to show stress during their dry season, often turning shades of red, orange or brown, giving added seasonal interest to the succulent garden. During this time the leaves will curl in on themselves, and often shrivel up and shed from the base. If you prefer a lush look, watering once dry will keep them plump.
exposure Deep Shade – Full Sun
drainage In Ground: Cactus Mix, In Pots: Cactus Mix, Tolerates Heavy Soil, Tolerates Sandy Soil
fertilizing All Purpose 1/2 Strength, Low Needs
origin SE Africa
9, 13–24, H2

Sunset Zones Map

Outdoor Exposure Guide


Full Sun
Six or more hours of sun beams directly landing on the plant's leaves.

Part Shade
Three to five hours of sun beams directly landing on the plant's leaves.

Part Sun
One to two hours of sun beams directly landing on the plants leaves.

Full Shade
The plant is never fully lit by sun beams, but is in a bright spot or has dappled sunbeams playing over the leaves throughout the day.

Deep Shade
The plant never has dappled light on the leaves, and is in a place that feels dim, even on a nice sunny day.


Growing Notes

This plant will grow practically anywhere. We love it in dry, neglected shade. In the shade the leaves get big and sculptural.This aloe will retain the dried lower leaves to create an armed ‘beard’ or ‘skirt’ that helps defend the plant from predation. If you prefer, this beard may be removed by briskly rubbing off the old leaves. This is an aesthetic consideration that won’t affect the plant either way. Leaving the dead lower leaves from the beginning can create a picturesque natural look. Removing the leaves can make removing suckers easier.
Once the flower stalks are completely bloomed out and dry, they will come out with a light tug, or can be pruned off low in the crown.
Allowed to grow without pruning, A. arborescens creates a dense mound of solid heads in sun, or a loose mound in shade. Removing suckers early (often by just knocking them off with your thumb) allows you to train this aloe into almost any form, from a single or multi stemmed tree aloe, to an upright tree aloe with branched form.
Can be cut (or burn) to the ground and will come back with a mass of fresh heads.
Easily propagated by planting stem cutting directly into well drained soil or cactus mix in a pot. Even cuttings that are never watered will establish if planted in the fall and exposed to winter rains.

Special Interest

Most aloes are not medicinal, but this one is! Apply the inner gel of the leaves as you would Aloe vera (barbadensis).

Hummingbirds love aloes, many of which are pollinated by birds in their native habitat.

Excellent choice for the fire suppression garden, where the beard should be removed.