Growing Aloe Deltoideodonta: Caring For Aloe Rosii

Aloe deltoideodonta (AL-oh del-toy-dee-oh-DON-tuh), named for the triangular teeth along its leaves. Deltoideodonta hails from south-central Madagascar. It is a perfect addition for aloe fans who want something on the smaller end of the wide Aloe plant spectrum.

The Asphodeloideae family (also known as Aloaceae) has been popular for many qualities, but the Aloe genus is perhaps the most famous.

Potted Aloe Delatoideodonta
Potted Aloe horombensis | lawcain-Adobe

The perennial Aloe deltoideodonta group has been the subject of much debate due to its similarity with a few closely related species.

As such, some of its variants have been reclassified as belonging to other aloes groups.

Former variants of the species included:

  • Var. brevifolia and var. intermedia (now Aloe subacutissima)
  • Var. contigua (now Aloe imalotensis var. imalotensis)

The remaining variants are:

  • Aloe deltoideodonta subsp. candicans: This subspecies has longer leaves and white bracts, which form dense clumps
  • Aloe deltoideodonta var. fallax: A variant with lineate leaves.

There are also numerous hybrids such as Aloe deltoideodonta ‘Sparkler’ available on the market.

While Aloe deltoideodonta has no common names outside of the generic “aloe”, it has two common scientific synonyms, Aloe horombensis and Aloe rosii.

Aloe Deltoideodonta Care

Size & Growth

This common, short-stemmed aloe grows up to 12” inches tall and is sometimes also referred to as being stemless.

The rosette of toothed, solid pale green leaves, and sometimes with spots.

Each leaf grows up to 8” inches long and 2” inches thick at the base, giving the plant an overall width of 1″ to 2” feet.

This height may increase to as high as 16″ to 24” inches when in bloom.

Flowering and Fragrance

Bloom time for this aloe is from late summer into fall.

Its conical inflorescence may be short-branched or unbranched and features green-tipped, red to pale orange flowers which fade to near-white.

The blooms themselves are under 1” inch.

Light & Temperature

This aloe will do equally well in indirect full sun to light shade.

When near a window, be sure to rotate the plant occasionally to keep the leaves and even color.

Too much direct sunlight will cause the rosette to turn brown.

It does best in USDA hardiness zones 9b to 11b and has a cold hardiness down to 25° degrees Fahrenheit.

Watering and Feeding

As with most kinds of succulent plants, this aloe requires very little water, as the leaves act as storage.

Water thoroughly when the soil has completely dried, being careful to leave no standing water.

Reduce watering in winter when the plant is dormant.

Using too much water or allowing the rosette to sit in standing water will result in rot and is the leading cause of aloe deaths.

Soil & Transplanting

Choose a well-draining succulent potting mix recipe

You may also choose to make your own soil mix.

The soil should contain between 50% – 70% percent mineral grit, such as coarse sand or perlite.

Grooming And Maintenance

As with other aloe plants, Aloe deltoideodonta requires very little maintenance.

Prune away dead leaves as necessary.

How To Propagate Aloe Rosii

You can propagate this aloe from seed by sowing in sandy soil at an ambient temperature of 68° to 75° degrees Fahrenheit.

Germination usually takes a few weeks, and seedlings should be kept moist but not wet.

You may also use stem cuttings or offsets.

Choose a stem that has become leggy and cut it below a node root.

Allow cuttings to dry out for a few hours until to allow the cut to callous over, then place it in a rooting medium.

As with seedlings, keep the plant moist but not wet until it has rooted.

Aloe Deltoideodonta Pests or Diseases

This plant is drought tolerant and mildly cold tolerant for short periods. 

As with other aloes, excessive moisture can lead to a variety of problems including fungal infections, rot, and bacterial infection.

Aphids, fungus gnats, gall mites, mealybugs, snout beetles, and spider mites are all common attackers of aloe plants.

Suggested Uses For Aloe Deltoideodonta In The Garden 

This Aloe species not only produces attractive leaves and showy flowers, it is known to attract hummingbirds.

The smaller size makes it an excellent garden plant in pots.

As with other aloe plants,  Aloe deltoideodonta has some minor medicinal value, but not to the extent of its more famous cousin, Aloe vera.

Its striking flower color makes it one of the showier varieties of aloe. Despite being a perennial, you may choose to grow Aloe deltoideodonta as an annual when kept indoors.

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