Aloe perfoliata (Mitre Aloe)

Aloe Perfoliata


Plant Type: Succulent
Family: Asphodelaceae
Sun Exposure: Bright, indirect light
Watering: Infrequent; allow soil to dry out
Colors: Green leaves with red-to-brown teeth on the margins
Size: Up to 2 feet tall and wide
Hardiness Zones: 9-11
Soil Type: Well-draining cactus or succulent mix
Soil pH: 6.0-8.0
Propagation: Pups separation and leaf cuttings
Toxicity: Non-toxic

Aloe perfoliata, commonly known as Mitre Aloe or Aloe mitriformis, is a stunning and low-maintenance succulent native to South Africa. This eye-catching plant boasts dense rosettes of fleshy leaves that are lined with small white teeth. The leaves have a blue-green hue that turns reddish in full sun, adding a pop of color to your garden or indoor collection. Read on to discover the best care practices and propagation techniques for Aloe perfoliata.

How to Care for Aloe perfoliata

Light Requirements

Aloe perfoliata’s spear-shaped leaves require a specific balance of light to maintain their health and color. Providing at least six hours of bright, filtered light daily ensures optimal growth and development. In indoor settings, placing the plant near an east or west-facing window offers the perfect amount of light. A south-facing window can also work, but you should shield the plant from direct sunlight using a sheer curtain to avoid leaf scorching.

For outdoor cultivation, the ideal location is one that offers dappled shade or morning sun and afternoon shade. While Aloe perfoliata can adapt to full sun exposure, it’s important to acclimate the plant gradually to prevent sunburn. Start by placing it in a shaded area and slowly increase the amount of sun exposure over a few weeks, monitoring the plant closely for any signs of stress.


Aloe perfoliata needs six hours of bright, filtered light daily. Indoors, place near east or west-facing windows. Outdoors, provide dappled shade or morning sun and afternoon shade.

Watering Aloe perfoliata

Mitre Aloe’s drought-tolerant nature means it requires a unique watering approach. Overwatering can cause root rot, so it’s crucial to let the soil dry out completely between waterings. To determine if your Aloe perfoliata needs water, insert your finger about an inch into the soil; if it feels dry, it’s time to water. During the growing season, from spring to summer, water every 2-3 weeks. As the plant enters its dormancy period in fall and winter, reduce watering to once a month.

When watering, use the “soak and dry” method: drench the soil until water runs out of the drainage holes, then allow it to dry out entirely before watering again. Avoid letting the plant sit in standing water, as this can lead to root rot.


Water every 2-3 weeks during growing season, once a month during dormancy. Let soil dry completely between waterings, and avoid standing water.

Soil Needs

The key to Aloe perfoliata’s health is well-draining soil, which prevents root rot and ensures proper aeration. Commercial cactus or succulent mixes work well, but you can also create a custom mix. Combine equal parts of potting soil, perlite, and coarse sand for an ideal growing medium. Optionally, add a small amount of horticultural charcoal to the mix to further improve drainage and prevent fungal growth.

When selecting a container for your Aloe perfoliata, choose one with drainage holes to avoid waterlogged soil. A terra-cotta pot is an excellent choice, as it allows moisture to evaporate, preventing overwatering and promoting healthy root growth.


Aloe perfoliata requires well-draining soil. Use commercial cactus or succulent mix, or combine potting soil, perlite, and coarse sand. Choose a container with drainage holes.

Temperature and Humidity

Aloe perfoliata thrives in moderate temperatures ranging from 65-80°F (18-27°C). While it can tolerate brief cold spells down to 30°F (-1°C), it’s important to protect the plant from frost to avoid leaf damage or death. During colder months, consider moving outdoor plants to a sheltered location, or cover them with frost cloth.

In terms of humidity, Aloe perfoliata is quite adaptable. It can grow well in both low and high humidity environments, making it an excellent choice for a wide range of indoor and outdoor settings. However, it’s important to maintain proper air circulation around the plant, as stagnant, humid conditions can encourage fungal growth and pest infestations.


Aloe perfoliata thrives in 65-80°F (18-27°C) and tolerates various humidity levels. Protect from frost, and ensure proper air circulation to prevent fungal growth and pests.

How to Propagate Aloe perfoliata

Aloe Perfoliata

Pups Separation

Propagating Aloe perfoliata using offsets or “pups” is the most common and successful method. The pups grow around the base of the mother plant and can be removed once they’ve reached a few inches in size. To separate the pup, use a clean, sharp knife or your fingers to carefully dislodge it from the main plant, ensuring you don’t damage the roots. Place the removed pup in a shaded area to allow it to form a callus for 1-2 days, which helps prevent infections.

When planting the pup, use a small container with well-draining soil, and bury the callused end about an inch deep. Keep the soil slightly moist but not saturated. In 2-3 weeks, the pup should establish a healthy root system and can be cared for like a mature Aloe perfoliata.


Propagate Aloe perfoliata by removing pups, letting them callus for 1-2 days, and planting in well-draining soil. Pups establish roots in 2-3 weeks.

Leaf Cuttings

Propagating Aloe perfoliata through leaf cuttings is less common, but still possible. Choose a healthy, mature leaf free from any signs of damage or disease. Cut the leaf off as close to the base as possible using a clean, sharp knife or pruning shears. Place the leaf in a dry, shaded area, and allow it to form a callus for 3-5 days.

Prepare a container with well-draining soil, and insert the callused end of the leaf about 1 inch deep. Lightly mist the soil to keep it moist, but avoid overwatering. In 3-4 weeks, the leaf cutting should develop roots and begin to sprout new growth.


Propagate using leaf cuttings by allowing callus formation for 3-5 days and planting in well-draining soil. Roots and new growth develop in 3-4 weeks.

Fertilizing Your Aloe perfoliata

Fertilizing Aloe perfoliata is not essential, but it can promote healthy growth. Use a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer (such as 10-10-10 or 20-20-20) diluted to half strength. Apply the fertilizer every 4-6 weeks during the growing season (spring and summer), ensuring you don’t over-fertilize, as this can lead to weak growth and leaf burn. Discontinue fertilizing in the plant’s dormancy period (fall and winter) to prevent stress on the plant.


Apply balanced, water-soluble fertilizer diluted to half strength every 4-6 weeks during growing season. Avoid fertilizing during dormancy period.

Common Pests and Diseases

Aloe perfoliata is fairly resistant to pests and diseases, but it’s still essential to monitor your plant for any signs of infestation. Overwatering and poor drainage can lead to root rot, so always ensure you’re using well-draining soil and an appropriate watering schedule.

Common pests that may affect Aloe perfoliata include mealybugs and scale insects. These pests can be removed with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol, which breaks down their protective waxy coating. Alternatively, treat the infestation with a suitable insecticidal soap, following the product’s instructions carefully.

Regularly inspect your Aloe perfoliata for signs of pests and diseases, and address any issues promptly to maintain its health and vigor. This includes removing any dead or damaged leaves, as these can harbor pests or fungal spores.


Monitor for pests like mealybugs and scale insects, treating with rubbing alcohol or insecticidal soap. Remove dead leaves and maintain proper watering to prevent root rot.

Where to Buy

You can buy Mitre Aloe from Mountain Crest Gardens

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