Aloe ciliaris ‘Firewall’

climbing aloe
Shorter, denser selection of the climbing aloe makes good groundcover with dark orange flowers in winter. Prolifically offsets creating a dense mass of heads.
Aloe ciliaris 'Firewall'
height 1–2ft
width 5–15ft
tolerates Coast, Drought, 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 most 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. Avoid overhead watering in the crown; when water collects there, it may lead to crown rot.

If grown in shade this aloe won’t need supplemental water in coastal California.
exposure Full Sun – Full Shade
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 South Africa
13–17, 19–24

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

One of the best fire retardant plants. Create a mass quickly by cutting heads to the ground in the fall and planting the suckers directly in the garden. Wait a week to water and water every two weeks afterward. A year later cut the new and old heads back to the ground and repeat. The heads cut to the ground will send out a mass of new aloes.
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.
Very drought tolerant, especially in shade, but this plant is also an aggressive grower if given ample water with good drainage. Fertilizer will also help, but is not necessary to get vigorous growth.
Will need supplemental summer water in hot, dry, sunny, inland areas.
Will grow up through a chainlink fence making a green wall.

Special Interest

The name ciliaris refers to the white, hair-like teeth appearing around the edges of the leaves.

This aloe did the bulk of the work saving one of our own’s house from The Big Sur Basin Fire. Read about Tyson’s experience linked below.