Aloinopsis plants have become wildly popular among succulent gardeners, and for good reason! They’re beautiful, easy to care for, and you can grow them year-round without having to worry about hardiness zones (although they’re native to the southern hemisphere). These little gems are some of the most eye-catching plants you can add to your collection.
For most people, succulents are synonymous with cacti and desert landscapes. While it’s true that there are numerous types of succulents that grow in hot, dry climates, there are also some varieties of these resilient plants that flourish when the conditions around them aren’t as extreme.
Growing Aloinopsis plants isn’t difficult, but they do have some special needs that other succulents and succulent-like plants don’t share. If you want to grow Aloinopsis successfully, there are a few things you should know and some steps you can take to make the process easier.
What are Aloinopsis plants?
Aloinopsis are great plants to grow indoors and outdoors. They add color and variety to your garden year-round, making them especially popular among succulent enthusiasts.
To care for these succulents correctly, you’ll need to consider their light requirements, soil type, planting methods, and general tips on keeping these plants healthy.
Origin and distribution
Popular among collectors, aloinopsis is a member of the Aizoaceae family and is endemic to South Africa. It’s known as African ice plant due to its tendency to freeze rapidly at night. It gets its name from two Greek words, ‘aloinos’, meaning ‘of one’s own soil’, and ‘opsis’, meaning ‘appearance’.
Aloinopsis doesn’t require much care or fertilizer and can be grown in any sunny location with well-drained soil. They are excellent container plants and work well in hanging baskets.
When growing aloinopsis outside, you should keep it away from hot afternoon sun because this could burn the leaves. Place your pot near a wall or fence so that it receives morning sun only.
In nature, aloinopsis grow in harsh conditions where nothing else can survive. As a result, these plants are hearty and resilient. Like other succulents, they are easy to propagate from cuttings or seeds. Because of their hardiness, you can easily re-pot these houseplants into larger containers.
It’s also recommended that you repot them every two years to give them room to grow and spread out their roots. Use an organic potting mix with a mixture of potting soil, sand, perlite and peat moss.
Given their tiny size, aloinopsis are very easy to care for. They’re perfect starter plants or desktop decorations—just don’t forget they need water once in a while! It’s also important to note that many people find these beauties tricky to grow indoors because of the lack of natural light and heat; an outside setting with some shade is recommended.
Since aloinopsis are succulents, they require very little water. Allow the soil to dry out between watering; when in doubt, don’t water. It’s important to note that over-watering aloinopsis can be just as bad as under-watering it. Too much water will cause rot and root decay which will eventually kill your plant.
To know if you need to water your aloinopsis, dig a small hole down into the dirt at the base of the plant. If there is no dampness present, you should wait a week before watering again.
On the other hand, if there is moisture present, then give your plant some light spraying with water every day or two until you see this moisture disappear back into the ground.
While many succulents prefer to be left alone as far as fertilizing goes, aloinopsis benefits from regular feeding. Use a cactus fertilizer at half strength. For example, feed once every three months during warmer weather and every six months during colder seasons.
Fertilize in the early morning or evening so that any water droplets don’t cause damage to the plant’s delicate leaves. Apply a thin layer of organic mulch to keep the soil moist between waterings.
Avoid exposing these plants to drafts or cold temperatures because they can lead to rot and leaf loss.
Aloinopsis are relatively easy to repot, and it’s important to do so when their roots begin growing into the drainage holes of their pots. It’s best to repot them in early spring or late fall, when temperatures are cool.
You can replant them right into their original potting soil; just be sure to cut off any dead roots as you gently prune away old foliage.
When repotting, use a container that is only slightly larger than the one your plant currently occupies. The increased root space will allow your aloinopsis to grow more quickly, healthier, and more abundantly!
Air circulation & light exposure
As with most succulents, aloinopsis need good air circulation to stay healthy. If possible, place them on a rack where they can be exposed to fresh air.
They also require plenty of bright light, but do not want direct sunlight. Direct sun will make the leaves dry out and turn brown.
I like to put my plants on an east-facing window ledge in the mornings and evenings so that they get some indirect sun during the day. Just make sure that you keep your plants away from drafts, as cold air will damage their sensitive leaves.
Be aware that aloinopsis are not fussy about temperature. In nature, they’re found in a wide range of climates from dry deserts to rainforests. However, when grown indoors, their climate preference should be mimicked as closely as possible.
Daytime temperatures in winter should be 65–70 degrees and nighttime temperatures between 55–60 degrees, depending on your particular location’s average temperature during these times of the year.
If you’re going to grow your aloe in containers, you should keep it out of direct sunlight. However, you also need to make sure that it is kept away from drafts or anything else that might dry it out.
You can also humidify your plant by placing a tray filled with wet pebbles next to its pot. The ideal humidity range is 30-50%. Too much moisture will cause the plants to rot.
When you get a new plant, it’s important to prune it in order to make sure that it’s growing in its most optimal way. If you allow your aloinopsis to grow into multiple layers, they can take up a lot of space and become top-heavy. It’s also nice when they aren’t all tangled together!
When weeding, be careful not to pull out the entire root system with the weed as this will kill your aloinopsis plants.
Rather than pulling on the weed, grab it at ground level and pull gently until it’s free from the roots so that only the weed is removed from the potting mix (never tug too hard!).
When to repot
The time will vary depending on what type of potting soil you use and whether you’re repotting into a larger or smaller container. Typically, repotting once a year is recommended.
When you need to re-pot, take your plant out of its existing container. Make sure you don’t break any leaves when removing them from their current container (it helps to use gardening gloves).
Then gently remove excess dirt from around its roots using a small brush or damp paper towel.
If you live in a cold climate, or if your aloinopsis is beginning to look stressed, it might be time to give it a winter rest. Just as with people, plants need time to unwind and refresh themselves; they’ll emerge from their resting period refreshed and ready to thrive in their ideal conditions.
When planting an aloinopsis that has been dormant all winter, make sure to water well before placing the plant back into its permanent home.
Be sure not to overwater them when re-introducing them into the greenhouse environment because overwatering can kill them.
Aloinopsis are compact, succulent plants that grow slowly. If you want to grow them in your home, it’s important to give them enough light so they can bloom.
However, these types of plants don’t need any fertilizer because they rely on water from their roots to survive. As long as they have well-drained soil and plenty of sunlight, aloe is incredibly low maintenance.
Flowers & fragrance
The other key characteristic of aloinopsis is their blooms. Aloinopsis belongs to a group of plants called succulents—plants that store water in their leaves and stems.
While succulents may look like they’re in a perpetual state of dormancy, most species bloom once or twice a year, with an array of interesting flowers and colors.
Some aloinopsis varieties contain a high amount of oxalic acid, which makes them mildly toxic. While you can technically consume some aloinopsis species safely, it’s not recommended.
The oxalic acid will also stain your fingers and clothing, so be careful! If you’re working with an oxalic-acid-containing plant, always wear gloves and wash your hands thoroughly after contact.
USDA hardiness zones
Aloinopsis grow best in USDA hardiness zones 8 to 10. If you live in a colder climate, aloinopsis can be grown as a houseplant. Be sure to keep the soil moist at all times and provide plenty of light.
It is important to note that aloinopsis cannot tolerate high heat or freezing temperatures. The ideal temperature range is 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Pests and diseases
As with most succulents, aloinopsis are susceptible to a wide range of pests and diseases. Some of these problems are avoidable with little care, while others may require professional help.
Pests and disease-causing organisms often affect plants in different ways, so it’s important to monitor your aloinopsis carefully for visual signs of distress. For example, many insect infestations will cause discoloration on the plant’s leaves or stunted growth patterns.
In addition to taking good care of them when they’re healthy, it’s also wise to be aware of some common illnesses that can afflict aloinopsis plants. Botrytis is one such illness that causes grayish patches on the leaves and flowers as well as moldy growth on the stem.
Because aloinopsis plants are so exotic and unusual, they’re highly susceptible to pests and diseases. Insects can wreak havoc on your plant, but luckily, it’s easy to prevent these types of issues. Keep your plant free of insects by spraying an insecticidal soap or neem oil monthly.