Aloe perfoliata, also known as the rubble aloe or aloe mitriformis, are easy to grow succulent plants that thrive in the heat of summer but can also handle some cold winter temperatures.
Aloe mitriformis, is an ornamental succulent that can be grown in the landscape and indoors as a houseplant. It has fleshy, triangular leaves arranged in rosettes at the ends of its spiny-looking stems and bears small flowers with yellow petals in clusters from December to February that attracts hummingbirds.
Although aloe perfoliata is drought tolerant once established, it grows best when watered regularly during warm months and allowed to dry slightly between waterings during cooler months.
This plant is one of the most common aloe species you’ll find in nurseries and online plant sellers. Despite its popularity, it’s not an easy succulent to care for!
Here’s how to care for aloe mitriformis plants so they produce lots of glossy leaves and beautiful flowers throughout the year.
Origin and distributions
Aloe mitriformis is found in Africa, India, Madagascar, North America, and Australia. In Latin, Aloe means bitter and mitriformis refers to a form of an aloe leaf or its shape resembling a bishop’s miter.
In some regions, it is also called American Aloe due to its resemblance to Aloe barbadensis. It is also sometimes confused with Aloe ferox because they both have a similar appearance, but they can be distinguished by comparing characteristics such as leaf margins and flower color.
The flowers of Aloe ferox have greenish-yellow petals while those of Aloe mitriformis are bright red with yellow tips on top of long stalks that grow from between leaves along stems near ground level.
Aloe mitriformis propagation
The easiest way to propagate Aloe mitriformis is through division. In fact, it’s a good idea to divide your clumps every couple of years. Take a spoon and slide it underneath the middle section of your plant.
Then, carefully remove that section and put it in another container with soil, making sure to divide all of its roots as well.
Keep these new plants moist for about two weeks before placing them in direct sunlight. When you see new growth in your plants, you can then transplant them into their permanent containers.
If you have some extra time, try propagating your aloe by seed. Simply collect some seeds from an already mature aloe flower and place them in a small glass filled with water.
Make sure to keep them warm until they germinate! You should see sprouts within one or two months. Then, once they reach a height of 6 inches, transplant them into individual pots.
Be careful not to overwater when first planting—aloes are very sensitive during their first year or so.
It can take up to five years for an aloe plant to become mature enough for propagation, but it can survive indoors as long as they receive at least four hours of sunlight each day. Be sure to repot them every two years.
Aloe mitriformis care information
Aloe Mitriformis, also known as Aloe Perfoliata, is a perennial plant that is native to South Africa. Also known as African Aloe, it grows in deciduous forests and will thrive indoors in areas with a similar climate. Although relatively unknown compared to other aloes, it possesses many of its benefits and can be used similarly in recipes and remedies.
This succulent has become increasingly popular over recent years, but there are still few steps available on how to care for them properly.
Aloe Mitriformis prefers full sun to partial shade. Aloe is a succulent plant, which means it prefers lots of light and low water. It can survive with less than six hours of sunlight per day, but plants tend to grow faster when they receive more light.
Try to find a location where your aloe plant will get at least four hours of direct sunlight each day. Your aloe needs bright light, so choose a spot in your home that gets plenty of window lighting.
The best soil to use for aloe is one that is well-draining, low in nutrients, and with a pH level of around 6.2 to 6.5. We also recommend adding sand to increase drainage and improve aeration; it’s best not to use your hands when adding sand, however, as it can cause skin irritation when handling aloes.
Another option is to add a few drops of liquid fertilizer once every two weeks or so.
Aloe can grow in either dry or moist soil. The general rule of thumb is to plant them in soil that has been allowed to dry out slightly between waterings. It is also important not to overwater them.
If your aloe begins to rot, you are probably watering it too much. Use a potting mix that drains well and doesn’t retain water for long periods of time. This will help keep your aloe healthy and strong over time.
Aloe mitriformis is a nutrient-hungry plant that requires regular fertilization to thrive. Apply at least 0.5% of your container size’s volume in liquid fertilizer every two weeks for optimal growth. Use a balanced 20:20:20 or 5:10:10 NPK formula.
Avoid using high nitrogen formulas because they can cause excessive, soft growth or algae issues with too much-dissolved carbon dioxide in the solution. If you notice algae growth on leaves and stems, discontinue the use of fertilizer until it clears up.
Afterward, resume application at half strength and increase slowly over time. If you prefer not to use fertilizers due to environmental concerns or other reasons, consider adding compost tea instead as an alternative source of nutrients.
Aloe mitriformis plants do best in warm, but not hot, temperatures. The ideal temperature for your aloe plant is between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit during most of the year. You may need to decrease or increase temperatures as necessary to adjust for seasonal changes or other factors.
For example, you may need to keep your plant a little warmer than usual if it’s in a location that gets very cold in winter. If you live in an area with very high heat and humidity, it’s important to make sure your plant doesn’t get too dry; check regularly for signs of wilting.
If you see any signs of stress on your aloe plants, such as yellowing leaves or brown spots, check its temperature at once.
Aloe mitriformis can adapt to a wide range of conditions, but they prefer higher humidity. Try to keep your plants in locations with around 40 percent humidity. If your plant is located in an area with lower humidity levels, consider using a humidifier or basting it with water regularly.
Aloe perfoliata plants are generally unbranched, but they can grow to be quite large and so they benefit from pruning. Prune your aloe perfoliata every 3-4 years to keep them healthy and attractive.
Use a sharp pair of scissors or hand pruners to cut off any rotted portions of stems or leaves. Avoid cutting healthy foliage, as it can result in sunburned spots on your plant.
When to repot
Because Aloe Mitriformis (or Aloe Perfoliata) is an air plant, it prefers to be lightly potted. When its leaves begin to turn yellow and fall off, you know it’s time to repot into a new, larger pot.
A good rule of thumb is: If your plant has at least two mature leaves, then you should repot every two years.
In colder climates, you may have to provide your Aloe mitriformis with a dormancy period. The key is to mimic dormancy that would occur naturally. Keep your plant in a cool area, such as a basement or garage, and reduce watering until spring.
Ideally, let it dry out completely during its dormancy period. If conditions aren’t ideal, you can use artificial lighting to extend daylight hours and keep it from going dormant too soon.
Flowers & fragrance
Aloe mitriformis is an extremely fragrant flowering aloe. Like most aloes, its inflorescence are held above leaves in a flat-topped cluster known as a panicle, but unlike most other aloes, it only produces panicles with just one or two flowers.
The aloe mitriformis can grow very fast, reaching around 4 inches (10 cm) per year if you give it optimal conditions. Aloes like warmth and sunlight.
In areas with cold winters, they usually die back to a hardy rhizome below ground level. That is normal, don’t worry about it unless they are not sending up new leaves in springtime.
Aloe is non-toxic to humans, animals, and bees; it’s actually considered a superfood due to its high concentration of antioxidants. But that doesn’t mean you can freely plant an aloe plant wherever you like.
The point of any toxicity guide is to know how much or how little of a certain substance you can get away with before things get toxic, and aloes are no different.
USDA Hardiness Zones
Aloe mitriformis will thrive in USDA hardiness zones 10-11. In zones 9 and 8, it can be grown as a houseplant. It is also suitable for growing outdoors in areas with mild winters and warm summers.
Pests and diseases
In general, aloes don’t tend to have many pests or diseases—the most common pests are ants and mealybugs. Some growers add ant stakes to their containers. If you do notice ants on your plant, carefully remove them and spray them with insecticidal soap.
Mealybugs can also be eradicated by removing them with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol or a drop of dish soap, then spraying your plant with insecticidal soap.
Aloe has grown in popularity in recent years as a plant that requires little care and is suitable for many indoor environments. If you’re looking for an easy-to-care-for houseplant or just want to try out something new, consider adding an aloe plant to your home. It will add both beauty and function!