Aloe squarrosa is from Yemen: it is only found in cliffs on the limestone plateau at the western end of Soqotra, at an altitude between 300-530 meters above sea level. Its habitat is endangered, moreover the increasing population of goats, in that area, is a danger factor for this plant, because goats eat and destroy Aloe squarrosa.
Aloe squarrosa is a short-stemmed Aloe with leaves arranged in a rosette. The leaves are bright green, triangular, narrow, covered in white spots and bands, and their margin is provided with teeth. The inflorescence is a raceme upon a stem, and the flowers are red and tubular.
The tips for the cultivation of Aloe squarrosa are similar to the ones for the other Aloes. It requires a well-drained soil, composed of one third of sand or pebbles, to prevent roots rotting. Also leaf rotting can occur, if you wet too much the leaves while watering and you water too much frequently. Watering can be almost completely suspended in winter (once a month it’s sufficient) and, in spring and summer, watering once or twice every two weeks is sufficient. Before each watering, it’s better to wait until the soil is completely dry. Aloe squarrosa needs bright light. It can survive temperatures close to 0ºC but, to prevent damages, it’s better to keep it indoors, especially if you live in a region with cold winters. Repotting is not so frequent, but it should be done at least once a year.
The propagation of Aloe squarrosa can be done by taking off one of its numerous offsets. Seeds should be sown in a well draining river sand substrate.
The name Aloe comes from the Arabic word “aluat” , which means “bitter thing” because of the bitter juice of its leaves. Plants of this genus are also called “stick of heaven”, “gift of Venus”, “plants of immortality”, “silent healer”, “doctor in a jar” because of their many beneficial detoxifying and disinfecting properties, which help to heal wounds and burns.