Aloe Cameronii Care: Tips On Growing The Red Aloe

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.

Aloe cameronii - Red Aloe in flower
Image: https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/ [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The outstanding features of Aloe cameronii are its sharp, upright stems and dazzling, narrow leaves. 

This suckering Aloe goes by two common names which are as follows:

  • Red Aloe
  • Cameron’s Ruwari Aloe

Aloe Cameronii Care

Size & Growth

Aloe Cameronii is a medium-size plant, with attractive foliage grows 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. 

The evergreen red aloe grows at a slow-moderate rate and under perfect conditions lives up to 40 years or more.

Aloe Cameronii succulents are known to be drought-tolerant and hence make 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 Cameronii aloe 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 strikingly red attractive foliage color. 

Its intense hue is always in the spotlight and adds richness to the winter garden.  

The deciduous plant also has curving leaves, ranging from parrot green to coppery red in summer.

From late fall to winter, the aloe produces tall spikes on upright stems of bright orange-red flowers. 

The stems of the Aloe come with open rosettes 1′ – 2′ feet with medium-sized, dark green leaves. 

Gardeners and growers all over the world not only enjoy the a unique appearance but also its musky, cinnamon-like scent.

Light & Temperature

For the healthy growth of Aloe Cameronii succulents, the plant needs maximum sunlight; which is why it is considered ideal to grow it in summers. 

Even when growing in winter, provide the Aloe with full, bright light.

The drought-tolerant plant likes warm temperatures from 70° – 80° degrees Fahrenheit (21° – 27° C). 

However, the Cameronii is able to withstand 40° degrees Fahrenheit (4.5° C).

Watering & Feeding

Aloe Cameronii does not have high water requirements.

It is irrigated occasionally in the warm season to enhance the attractive color of the leaves.

Avoid overwatering or under-watering the soil as in both the cases the leaves to easily dry up or at the risk of turning a sickly yellow color

It is always wise to check the succulent plant’s soil every week or so. 

Potted aloes enjoy a liquid 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 cameronii aloe 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 aloe, dig up a spot in the garden or landscape and replant. 

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

The red aloe requires no special grooming.

This aloe like most aloes 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 Cameronii Red Aloe

There are three popular methods for propagating Aloe Cameronii. 

This spiny Aloe is propagated by dividing rhizomes, tubers, bulbs, and offsets. 

The seeds 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 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.

Uses For Cameronii Red Aloe

This Aloe 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 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.