The Spiral Aloe ‘Aloe Polyphylla’

Aloe Polyphylla Featured Image

Stunning, breathtaking, show-stopping – all words that spring to mind when referring to the Spiral Aloe (Polyphylla). While most succulents have their origins in Latin America, this succulent is from the mountains of Lesotho in Southern Africa.  This succulent is so revered that it is known as the national flower of Lesotho. It thrives in more excellent areas that are sloped. These plants are exceptionally hardy, grow well in the hot summers, and stay alive in snowy winters.

Twisted Succulent Spiral Aloe Polyphylla
Amazing Polyphylla @mmming65

Features of The Spiral Aloe

These succulents feature tightly packed leaves that grow in a fascinating rosette spiral pattern. These leaves grow in a total of five rows. Each plant will have around 150 leaves.

They need to grow at least 8 inches in diameter to begin spiraling. When fully grown, they reach a diameter of up to 2 feet.

The leaves have pointed tips and are grey-green. Along the edges, there are green spines. These are probably nature’s stopping people from constantly touching this plant. Birds and bees do find the flowers and nectar of this plant attractive.

Like other aloe succulents, this is an evergreen plant that flowers once a year at the end of spring, going into the beginning of summer. The flowers come in shades, including red, pink, and even yellow. It is an excellent addition to any decorative container.

Check out some benefits of the Aloe Vera in “How the Aloe Vera Succulent can Help with Eczema“.

Twisted Succulent Spiral Aloe Polyphylla
The Spiral Aloe Characteristics @flowers.cactus

How Does This Succulent Differ from Other Aloes?

Aloe, particularly the highly popular Aloe Vera, features long, thin leaves that shoot upwards. The Spiral Aloe does not have a stem or long thing leaves. Rather than simply growing upwards, the leaves form a delicate and distinct spiral. They are shorter, similar to the size you would find on Echeveria succulents. The leaves can grow both clockwise and anti-clockwise.

Learn more about a different type of Aloe by checking out “Aloe Aristata— the Torch Plant“.

Why This Succulent is Awesome

There is another reason that this plant is so highly regarded. The challenge is to find and keep one, as well as to cultivate it. Indeed, they are rare. The plants and seeds are restricted to their natural habitat in Lesotho, where the succulent’s removal is a criminal offense. There are horticultural societies around the world that have been specially selected to cultivate this plant.

When grown outside of its native habitat, this succulent can reach its full size within 6 years. Its natural conditions need to be replicated as close as possible to ensure the plant will survive.

Need more tips on growing your Aloe Vera? Check out “How to Grow Aloe Vera” for more info.

Tips On Aloe Polyphylla Care

For survival, this plant requires:

  • Light shade for protection from high temperatures
  • Areas where there are cool nights for elevated growth
  • Moderate watering in spring and early autumn
  • Liquid fertilizer during the growing season, at least twice.
  • Course, sandy soil
  • An ideal daily temperature of 23 degrees Celsius


spiral aloe

Succulents typically thrive through propagation, though this one can be grown with some seeds. It must be noted though that germination could take several months.

Serious succulent growers appreciate the ornamental beauty of this plant. It is best suited for beds and borders, decorative containers, sloped gardens, and rock gardens.

Thank you for reading! Enjoyed learning about the twisted succulent? If so, you’ll really enjoy our ebook about “Essential Tools for Planting the Best Succulents“. With this ebook, you’ll find yourself more detailed answers that’ll help your succulent grow even better! With thousands of succulent lovers enjoying our ebooks, you don’t want to miss out on what works the best to grow your succulents.

Happy Planting!


Richard Miller

Salute everyone. It's Richard, the author of this Succulent & Xeriscaping blog. I am a traveler and a nature lover looking for a connection with the wild green. In my journey, I found a love for succulents and xeriscaping. What attracts me is the long-lasting & unique beauty of every plant I have the chance to see with my own eyes. Welcome to my little blog and let's enjoy a good time together!

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Posted in Succulents