Aloe Nobilis [AL-oh, NO-bil-iss] is an evergreen perennial with succulent rosettes of triangular leaves and native to South Africa.
It belongs to the Asphodelaceae family and the Aloe plant genus, widely known for the Aloe Vera plant.
Aloe Nobilis has creamy-white or yellow teeth along the edges of the leaves, leading to the common names “Golden Toothed Aloe” and “Gold Tooth Aloe.”
Aloe Nobilis Care
Size and Growth
Aloe Nobilis produces succulent leaves forming a tight rosette.
The triangular leaves are typically light green but may become orange under bright sunlight.
The leaves also have light-colored teeth along the edges.
The rosette often achieves a spread of about 12″ inches and a height of about 6″ to 12″ inches.
After several years, offsets may also start to appear around the plant, forming a large colony of succulent rosettes.
Flowering and Fragrance
Tubular flowers appear in the summer and often reach about 2′ feet tall, adding a splash of color to the garden.
The flowers don’t produce a scent.
Light and Temperature
Plant Aloe Nobilis in light shade.
It needs shade from the afternoon sun when grown in hot, dry environments, such as the American Southwest.
When grown in full sun, the leaves may become orange.
With too much sunlight, it may even develop burn marks.
Aloe Nobilis is often grown as an ornamental houseplant, as it’s not tolerant of frost.
It’s suited for outdoor growth in USDA hardiness zones 9b to 10b.
If temperatures regularly drop below 25° degrees Fahrenheit (-4° C) during the winter, keep it indoors.
Watering and Feeding
This succulent plant doesn’t require lots of water.
Water moderately during the warmer months and sparingly during the winter.
Water the soil instead of the plant, as excess water in the rosette may harm the plant.
As a succulent, Aloe Nobilis is drought tolerant.
It can survive long periods without water, and overwatering may cause rot.
Fertilizer isn’t required but may help speed growth, especially when grown in poor soil.
Only use liquid fertilizer in the spring and summer and avoid pouring it directly over the leaves.
Soil and Transplanting
Grow Aloe Nobilis in sandy or gravelly soil with good drainage.
Adding sand and gravel to standard potting soil should provide the right environment for the plant.
Transplant in the spring before new growth starts, using the same soil recommendations.
Aloe Nobilis doesn’t require pruning.
Other Fun Aloes to Collect and Grow
How To Propagate Gold Tooth Aloe
Propagate by seed, leaf cuttings, or offsets.
The seeds are found in pods inside the spent flowers.
After the flowers lose their petals, the pods turn brown and then black.
- Wait until the pods are fully ripe before removing from the plant.
- Hold a container below the pod when removing from the plant to collect any seeds falling out.
- Place the container on a flat surface and open the pods.
- Remove the debris and save the small seeds.
- Sow immediately in small containers or store them in a paper envelope until the following spring.
To propagate with leaf cuttings, cut a section from a healthy leaf and allow it to dry overnight.
- Set the leaf on top of rich soil and cover with plastic.
- New growth should appear within several weeks.
- Remove the plastic and water infrequently as the new plants appear.
Propagating using offsets is the easiest method for reproducing the plant.
- The offsets appear around the base of the mother plant.
- Dig up the soil around the offset and carefully remove it.
- Plant offsets in individual containers or space the plants out throughout the garden.
Gold Tooth Aloe Pest or Disease Problems
Aloe Nobilis is virtually disease-free and can tolerate a wide range of conditions, other than freezing temperatures.
Watch out for mealybugs and scale insects.
These critters enjoy feeding off the succulent leaves.
If small, white fuzzy growth appears on the leaves, remove it using a soft cloth or cotton swabs dipped in rubbing alcohol.
- Scale insects may require scraping using a dull knife.
- An insecticide is often needed for major infestations.
- Dilute insecticidal soap with an equal amount of water and spray the infested areas of the plant.
It’s also a good idea to keep an eye on pets and children around the plant.
As with Aloe Vera, the succulent leaves of the Aloe Nobilis plant contain compounds used for a variety of medicinal purposes, such as topical treatments for burns and skin irritation.
- The same compounds may cause discomfort when ingested.
- The digestive system metabolizes the compounds, leading to increased mucus production and excess water in the colon.
- These issues may cause diarrhea and vomiting in adults or children.
- Cats and other small animals may experience more severe reactions to the toxins.
- Ingesting Aloe Nobilis leaves may be potentially fatal to cats.
More on Toxic Plants For Cats here
Suggested Aloe Nobilis Uses
The compact size of the Aloe Nobilis makes it a great container plant.
It’s also a good addition to a succulent garden or dish garden.
As it spreads relatively quickly without the need for lots of water, it works well as a ground cover for garden beds.