Aloe brevifolia (The Short Leaved Aloe)

Aloe brevifolia care

Aloe brevifolia, short leaved aloe, alligator aloe plant, crocodile plant succulent, or just crocodile aloe, is an evergreen plant native to South Africa, from where it was first harvested by the Dutch colonists in the late 16th century.

The beautiful leaves of the short-leaved aloe can vary in color from dark green to light green and are used in many different ways around the world, from skin care products to herbal remedies and teas. There are over 300 species of aloe worldwide, but aloe brevifolia is one of the most widely used in modern herbal medicine today.

The short leaved aloe is one of the shorter species of aloe, with leaves that are only around 1 foot in length. These plants are also one of the most common types of aloe you can find in the landscape today, with their low maintenance needs and tolerance to extreme heat making them great choices for both casual gardeners and experienced landscapers alike.

It’s important to know about all different types of aloe before you plant them though, as not all have the same care requirements and some can even be toxic if eaten!

Origin and distribution

Aloe brevifolia is a plant native to southern Africa. It is commonly known as the crocodile aloe or crocodile plant due to its similarity in appearance to the reptile. The aloe is also sometimes called the alligator aloe plant. This succulent grows in dry, rocky areas and can reach up to two feet in height.

The leaves are thick and fleshy, with teeth along the margins. The flowers are yellow and produced on stalks that arise from the center of the plant. These flowers have six petals and appear during the late summer months. The plant’s sap has been used for medicinal purposes since ancient times, though there has been some disagreement about its efficacy.

In ancient Egypt, this sap was used as a poultice for wounds because it was believed to be capable of stopping bleeding. To make a fresh poultice, tear off a leaf from the top of the aloe and cut out any spines present.

Place this leaf onto your wound and secure it by wrapping fabric around it if necessary. Once you remove the bandage after one day, you will notice that your wound will have healed significantly faster than if you had not applied the bandage at all.

Aloe brevifolia propagation

Aloe brevifolia care

Aloe brevifolia can be propagated by offsets, leaf cuttings, or seeds. To propagate by offsets, remove the offset with a sharp knife and allow it to dry for a few days before replanting. To propagate by leaf cuttings, cut a leaf in half lengthwise and insert the cut end into the soil. Water well and keep the soil moist until new growth appears.

For best results, grow plants in full sun outdoors. Plants are cold-sensitive and should not be exposed to temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. They prefer climates with low humidity and rain. Crocodile aloes have long, narrow leaves that look like crocodile teeth, hence their name.

They make excellent houseplants because they do not need bright light and do not require much water to survive. This plant is also known as Crocodile Plant because of its resemblance to an alligator’s mouth.

Aloe brevifolia care information

Aloe brevifolia care

These crocodile plant succulents are super easy to take care of! They don’t need much water, so be sure to only water them about once a week. Allow the soil to dry out completely between watering. They thrive in bright, indirect sunlight but can also tolerate lower light conditions. These alligator aloe plants are perfect for beginners!

Light requirement

Aloe brevifolia plant requires full sun to partial shade. It is drought-tolerant but does best with regular watering. If you live in an area with high heat and humidity, this plant is a good choice for you. It can tolerate some light frost, but will not survive if the temperature dips below freezing.

Soil/potting mix

A well-draining, sandy potting mix is ideal for Aloe brevifolia plants. If your potting mix is too dense, add some perlite or sand to lighten it up. Aloe does not like to sit in wet soil, so make sure your potting mix drains well.

You can also grow aloes in the cactus mix. Plant them with the rhizome on the surface of the potting mix and keep them watered regularly during their growing season.


Aloe plants are succulents and, as such, do not require a lot of water. In fact, too much water can be detrimental to the plant. Water only when the soil is dry to the touch and never let the plant sit in water. If you’re unsure whether or not to water, it’s better to err on the side of caution and not water than to overwater.

For example, if you live in an area with mild winters and lots of rain during the rest of the year, your aloe may need watering only once every two weeks. Aloes like bright light but avoid direct sunlight; they don’t like having their leaves heated up by the sun. However, they also don’t like being left in cold dark places for long periods of time.


Aloe brevifolia are not heavy feeders, so they don’t need a lot of fertilizer. In fact, too much fertilizer can damage the plant. A light application of a balanced fertilizer every few months is all that’s needed. Be sure to water the plant before and after applying fertilizer to avoid burning the roots.

Avoid fertilizing aloes in the heat of summer as it will dry out their leaves and make them susceptible to disease. Keep an eye on your aloe for pests such as mealybugs or aphids. If you find these insects on your plant, wipe them off with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol or wash them off with a strong stream of water from your hose.


Short-leaved aloe can withstand higher temperatures than many other aloe species. In fact, it is one of the few aloes that can tolerate full sun. However, it is important to make sure that the plant does not get too hot.

If the temperature gets above 95 degrees Fahrenheit, the leaves will start to turn brown and dry out. A cooler environment should be provided if this happens. Other factors such as wind or too much sunlight may also cause damage to the leaves of short-leaved aloe plants.


Aloe brevifolia requires a lot of humidity to thrive. They are native to Africa, where the air is very dry. A good way to increase the humidity around your aloe is to use a pebble tray or humidifier. You can also mist your plant with water every few days. If you live in a dry climate, you may need to do this more often.

The ideal humidity range is between 40% and 60%. Below 20% is too low and above 90% is too high. Humidity levels can change over time and during different seasons so be sure to monitor it on a regular basis. Misting your plant with water will help keep the humidity at an appropriate level if it starts getting too low.


Aloe brevifolia plants are very easy to care for, but they do require some basic maintenance. One important task is pruning. Pruning helps encourage new growth and keeps the plant looking its best.

You should prune your aloe plant every few months, or as needed. To prune, simply remove any dead or dying leaves. You can also trim back any leggy growth to promote a fuller plant. Be sure to cut off at least an inch from the tip of each branch when you’re pruning them.

When to repot

You should repot your Aloe brevifolia plant every two to three years. When you see that the roots are filling up the pot or if the plant is top-heavy, it’s time for a new pot. Choose a pot that is only one size larger than the current pot. Be sure to use a well-draining potting mix and water the plant thoroughly after repotting.

Make sure that the pot has a hole in the bottom so excess water can drain out of the pot. To make sure you don’t overwater your aloe plant, wait until the soil has dried out before watering again. If an area of leaves turns brown on an aloe plant, it could be due to overwatering or too much sun exposure.

Dormancy/Winter rest

Aloe brevifolia typically go dormant in the winter, during which they may lose their leaves. This is a natural process that helps the plant to conserve energy and survive the cold months. If you live in an area with freezing temperatures, you’ll need to bring your aloe indoors or provide it with some type of protection.

Once the weather warms up, your plant will start to grow again. During this time, if you’re leaving your plant outdoors make sure to water regularly so it doesn’t dry out. You can also fertilize during this time by watering the soil around the base of the plant.

In addition, many people like to use a low-nitrogen fertilizer such as fish emulsion in order to promote flowering without increasing leaf production.

Aloe brevifolia flower & fragrance

Aloe brevifolia care

The flowers of Aloe brevifolia are a beautiful addition to any garden. They have a delicate fragrance that is sure to please any nose. The blooms are a lovely shade of orange and they last for quite some time. You can expect to see these flowers in the late spring or early summer.

Growth rate

Aloe brevifolia is a succulent plant that grows quickly. In just a few weeks, this aloe can grow up to 12 inches tall. The leaves are thick and fleshy, with a greenish-yellow hue. The flowers are small and tubular, and they bloom in the summertime. Aloe brevifolia is native to Africa, but it can be grown in other parts of the world as well.


Aloe brevifolia plants are considered mildly toxic to humans and animals if ingested. Some people may experience an allergic reaction when coming into contact with the plant. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include itchiness, redness, and swelling.

If you experience any of these symptoms, please seek medical attention immediately. Ingesting aloe can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain in both humans and animals.

USDA hardiness zones

Aloe brevifolia grows best in USDA hardiness zones 10 to 11. It is a succulent that reaches heights of about 1 meter and has short, branching leaves. Unlike other aloes, it does not have a rosette of spiny leaves at the base.

Pests and diseases

Aloe brevifolia plants are generally very resistant to pests and diseases, but there are a few that can cause problems. These include root rot, mealybugs, and scale insects. If you notice any of these problems, be sure to act quickly and treat the plant accordingly.

Use an organic pesticide for small infestations and for bigger infestations, you may need to use stronger pesticides. Be sure to follow the directions on the label carefully so as not to harm your plant or yourself!

You May Also Like