Aloe cameronii [AL-oh, kam-er-OH-nee-eye], is a popular species of the genus Aloe (true Aloe or Aloe vera) and belongs to the Asphodelaceae family.
This medium-sized medicinal plant is indigenous to Africa, specifically to Malawi and Zimbabwe.
The outstanding features of Aloe cameronii are its sharp, upright stems and dazzling, narrow leaves.
This suckering plant goes by two common names which are as follows:
- Red Aloe
- Cameron’s Ruwari Aloe
Aloe Cameronii Care
Size & Growth
Aloe Cameronii boasts a medium size, growing up to 1′ – 2′ feet tall and 2′ – 4′ feet wide.
It prefers moist and sandy soils in full sun or partial shade for a full, healthy shape.
This evergreen plant grows at a slow-moderate rate and under perfect conditions lives up to 40 years or more.
Aloe Cameronii is known to be drought-tolerant and hence makes the best choice for drylands.
In regards to its hardiness, Aloe Cameronii is hardy to zone 7 to 10; which goes to show the plant’s ability to uphold light frosts in winter.
The plant is cultivated mostly indoors during cold weather conditions.
Flowering & Fragrance
The reason for Aloe Cameronii to be known as “red aloe” is because of its foliage color – strikingly red.
Its intense red hue is always in the spotlight and adds richness to the winter plant.
The deciduous plant also has curving leaves, ranging from parrot green to coppery red in summer.
From late fall to winter, Aloe Cameronii produces tall spikes of bright orange-red flowers.
The stems of the plant come with open rosettes 1′ – 2′ feet with medium-sized, dark green leaves.
Gardeners and plant-growers all over the world not only enjoy the plant’s unique appearance but also its musky, cinnamon-like scent.
Light & Temperature
For the healthy growth of Aloe Cameronii, the plant needs maximum sunlight; which is why it is considered ideal to grow it in summers.
Even when growing in winter, the plant should be provided with full, bright light.
The drought-tolerant plant likes warm temperatures from 70° – 80° degrees Fahrenheit (21° – 27° C).
However, the plant is able to withstand 40° degrees Fahrenheit (4.5° C).
Watering & Feeding
Aloe Cameronii does not have high water requirements.
Instead, the plant has low-medium water needs.
In summers, the plant is grown in full sun and in rich, well-drained soil.
It is irrigated occasionally in the warm season to enhance the attractive color of the plant’s leaves.
Avoid overwatering or under-watering the soil as in both cases the leaves of the plant easily dry up.
Potted aloes require houseplant fertilizer once a month to stay fully nourished.
Make sure to apply the fertilizer in half-strength concentration.
Soil & Transplanting
Red aloe thrives best in hot, dry as well as cold, humid seasons.
Transplanting is best done when the aloe plant outgrows its pot or is at risk of toppling over.
In such a case, transfer the pot to a wider container.
When transplanting a garden red aloe, dig up a spot in the garden or landscape and resow the plant.
Once the aloe is placed in the newly dig hole, backfill the soil around the roots.
Tap down the soil with your hands or gently press it with your feet.
After two to three days, water the soil around the new transplant.
Grooming & Maintenance
Due to improper watering, the leaves of a red aloe plant are at the risk of turning a sickly yellow color.
This problem is resolved by making sure the plant is not being over/under-watered.
Therefore, it is always wise to check the succulent plant’s soil every week or so.
If it is dry, do not wait to give low-moderate water to the plant.
If needed, change the red aloe’s pot.
This kind of plant does best in a shallow container with proper drainage holes and the ability to accommodate plant roots.
More Aloe Varieties of Interest:
How To Propagate Red Aloe
There are three popular methods for propagating Aloe Cameronii.
This spiny plant is propagated by dividing rhizomes, tubers, bulbs, and offsets.
The seeds of the plant are also sprouted through a moist paper towel or through gelatin or agar.
Red Aloe Pests and Diseases
Like any other plant, Aloe Cameronii is commonly attacked by bacteria and fungi which causes the plant to rot.
Some of the common types of rotting associated with this useful plant are Pythium root rot, fungal stem rot, leaf rot, and bacterial soft rot.
Plant-sucking pests like mealybugs are also a threat to well-moist red aloe.
Aloe Cameronii Uses
This plant type is apt to take a garden design to a whole new level, in terms of beauty and class.
The rich red hue and the spiky needle-like structure of the plant help elevate the beauty of a yard or garden.
In winter months, aloe cameronii is placed indoors where it acts as the statement plant piece.