Aloe Ciliaris: The Climbing Aloe

aloe ciliaris

Aloe Ciliaris – The Climbing Aloe Plant: A Perfect Option For Xeroscaping And Xerogardens

Aloe ciliaris, now under the name of Aloiampelos ciliaris (2) is an Aloe plant that characterizes for being a climbing plant (3), just as many others (7). It has long stem sections that slowly creep and crawl along (4), putting out roots where ever the small segments come in close contact with a viable surface (6). It grows very fast, so some devices are used to limit its growth (8)

The spirally arranged medium green leaves are leathery but also soft and succulent to the touch.

Each leaf bears small white teeth along its margins, making it possible to catch hold, affirm, and climb upwards. The leaves are loosely dispersed along the stem (1).

Brilliant red tubular-shaped flowers hang gracefully from the numerous spikes sent up periodically during the growing season.

The growth rate of the Climbing Aloe will vary greatly depending on soil type, sunlight, temperature (5), and other factors that we will analyze carefully below. 

climbing aloe
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 9b -3.9 °C (25 °F) to -1.1 °C (30 °F)
Plant Height: 8 to 12 feet
Leaves: Evergreen
Fruit: Dehiscent
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: Red
Other: Orange-red
Flower Time: Summer
Late summer or early fall
Late fall or early winter
Suitable Locations: Xeriscaping
Uses: Will Naturalize
Wildlife Attractant: Hummingbirds
Propagation: Seeds: Can handle transplanting
Other info: Sow seeds in sandy soil. Seeds germinate in a few weeks at temperatures between 68 and 75 degrees F. Seedlings need moist but well-drained soil.
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Stem
Other: Stems cut below a node root easily. Cut a stem that has gotten leggy, let it dry out for at least a few hours to form a seal on the cut surface. Place the cutting in rooting medium kept moist, but not wet, until roots form.
Containers: Needs excellent drainage in pots

USDA Hardiness Zones And Suitable Areas


This Aloe requires 80-100% sunlight. Depending on your location full sun is often best. In the northern end of their grow zone Climbing Jade Aloe should be brought indoors or protected during the winter months. The patio zone is 4b-11 which means the potted plant will flourish over the summer months in colder zones but must be brought inside before winter.

USDA hardiness zones are 9a to 11b: locations with temperature ranges from 20°F (-6.7 °C) to 50°F (10 °C)

Not all can be grown in the same climates. In fact, most of them do not like anything cold, much less frost, so if in your area during winter the temperature drops below 0ºC you will have no choice but to have them inside your home.

It is one of the few species of Aloe that withstand frost, yes, weak, up to -3ºC. This means that it can be taken outdoors in tropical, subtropical climates and in the warm Mediterranean.

But it is not the case of the climbing Aloe or Aloe ciliaris. This plant is able to resist soft frosts without flinching. For this reason, it can be planted in the temperate-warm gardens of the world.

It adapts to live in semi-shade

One of the problems that many Aloe have in cultivation is the lack of light. Often their stems are left, their leaves “fall” (actually they stay attached to the stem), and they look sad. But our protagonist does not. What’s more, if you get the direct sun all day you may not grow as expected.

Resists the drought

This is something he shares with all Aloe. Two or three waterings a week in summer, and one or two per week the rest of the year will be enough for him.

Blooms during the winter

While the vast majority of plants rest, the climbing Aloe chooses to flower, and will not finish until the end of spring. But if the climate is also mild, it may re-bloom the rest of the year.

Its stems grow to a length of 5 meters (16 ft), and so many that the plant can reach 2-3m long (6.5 to 10 ft).

When Buying Aloe Ciliaris In Nurseries

It is a best practice in nurseries, to grow these Aloe under 20-40% shade cloth. If you plant this Aloe in a brightly lit area a soon as you purchase it and it arrives home, it may experience leaf burn, apart from the transportation stress.

It is best to acclimatize this plant to its environment by keeping it outside and slowly moving it into a sunny area, well exposed to sunlight,  over a week or two to avoid stress before planting.


Origin and characteristics of Aloe ciliaris

This a climbing plant native to Africa, specifically from South Africa, which reaches a height of up to 10 meters. His foils are long, 50-150mm long, green. The inflorescences are simple in ascending clusters of 150-300mm in length and are formed by red-orange tubular flowers. The fruits are represented by oblong capsules.

Its rate of growth is reasonably fast, but this does not have to worry us: its root system is not invasive, and during the spring and summer we can prune it to make cuttings.


Aloe Ciliaris Care

If you dare to have an aloe ciliaris, we recommend providing the following care:

  • Location: can be outdoors in a sunny exhibition, or indoors as long as the room is very bright.
  • Soil or substrate: it is not demanding, but it will grow better in those that have good drainage.
  • Watering: Not much. During the summer we will water one, or maximum twice a week; during the rest of the year, one will be sufficient every 15 or 20 days.
  • Fertilizer: in spring and summer with fertilizers for cactus and succulents, following the indications specified on the product packaging. To help establish your new Climbing Aloe, fertilize sparingly a few inches away from the base, tri-annually with a slow time-released product. Unfertilized they will tend to grow at a slower pace. The heavy salts in cheaper fertilizers will damage the roots and possibly kill the plant
  • Planting or transplanting time: we can plant it in spring when the risk of frost has passed. If we have it in a pot, we will pass it to a bigger one every 2 years, generally speaking as this depends on the size of the previous container.
  • Multiplication: by seeds, stem cuttings, or shoots in spring.
  • Resistance and resilience: it can withstand cold, but a frost of less than -2 ° C seriously damages it.



Aloes are easy to grow, hard to kill succulents that require very little water or attention. Aloes are excellent houseplants that withstand more neglect than almost any other plant, while a leaf can be picked, split, and placed on a small injury to reduce healing time. In the xeriscape Aloe grow happily in a pot or when planted directly in the ground. They add a wonderful accent to any outdoor space, garden or patio. In cooler zones a containerized Aloe can be relocated indoors for the winter months.
When you receive your new Aloe, there is no need to worry about planting right away. Your new plant can be stored for a while by simply placing it in a tray and moving it to a shady location, simply water when dry. This will give you plenty of time to select the ideal location for your new Aloe.

Don Burke

I am Don Burke, one of the authors at My Garden Guide.  I am a horticulturist that cultivates, grows, and cares for plants, ranging from shrubs and fruits to flowers. I do it in my own garden and in my nursery. I show you how to take care of your garden and how to perform garden landscaping in an easy way, step by step.I am originally from Sydney and I wrote in local magazines. Later on, I have decided, more than two decades ago, to create my own blog. My area of specialization is related to orchid care, succulent care, and the study of the substrate and the soil. Therefore, you will see many articles dedicated to these disciplines. I also provide advice about how to improve the landscape design of your garden.

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