Aloe plicatilis

fan aloe
Fan aloe. Branching shrub with unusual flat succulent leaves and showy winter blooms. A living sculpture and focal point in any garden.
Aloe plicatilisAloe plicatilisAloe plicatilisAloe plicatilisAloe plicatilis
synonyms Kumara plicatilis
height 2–5ft
width 3–6ft
tolerates Coast, Cool Summers, Drought, Gophers, Pots, Rooftops, 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 the coastal garden.

The fan aloe sheds lower leaves with excessive drought leaving a sparse crown. A fan aloe that is not shedding its leaves is likely overwatered, and risking root rot.

Black crispy tips of the leaves can be a sign of over OR under watering so be sure to check the soil if the leaves are getting crispy, though this plant is forgiving of overwatering if drainage is sharp.
exposure Part Sun – Full Sun
drainage In Ground: Cactus Mix, In Pots: Cactus Mix, Tolerates Sandy Soil
fertilizing All Purpose 1/2 Strength, Low Needs
origin SW South Africa
16, 17, 21–24

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

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.
Lower leaves shed on their own, leaving a clean smooth trunk, that will become thick and textured over time. If lower black leaves are clinging to the trunk they are easily rubbed off.
Pruning Aloe plicatilis will expose the punky inner structure and wounds are slow to heal.
Difficult, but not impossible to root. Let a cutting sit for three weeks to a month in a bright but indirect sun area. Plant in pure pumice or other drainage and water every two weeks until the cutting is well rooted. Then plant in cactus mix. Older thick cuttings tend to fail more often than the fresh smooth branches.
Excellent choice for big pots where they thrive long term.

Special Interest

Naturally grows into an impressive bonsai like plant over time.