Lots of people are familiar with the omnipresent Aloe Vera plant: the gel from its fleshy leaves is often used for medicinal and cosmetics. But did you know the Aloe genus is large and diverse? It includes over 500 species native to Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, where the arid climate and the mild temperatures support the growth of these beautiful plants.
Native to Kenya, Aloe Juvenna will add diversity to your succulent collection with its clump-forming look. Its leaves have toothy protuberances that give it its name, but the spines are soft and flexible and add more charm than defense to this aloe. Its leaves have scary-looking thorny edges, hence their common name ‘tiger tooth’.
The spines on the edges of the leaves may appear sharp but they are actually inoffensive and don’t sting when touched. So, this succulent is not harmful to people or pets and you don’t have to worry about it being risky to use as an ornamental house plant.
If you’re interested in learning more about growing and caring for Aloe Juvenna, read on!
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About Aloe Juvenna
- Tiger Tooth Aloe is a lovely succulent houseplant with white spots. Its spiked leaves form a rosette.
- This succulent is popular in cultivation but extremely rare in its natural habitat in Kenia (East Africa) where it is restricted to a small rocky area near the border with Tanzania.
- Aloe Juvenna plants are a great choice for an addition to your succulent and cacti collection, be it outdoors or indoors.
- Aloe succulents do well outdoors in rock gardens and flowerbeds, but they also make remarkable indoor companions.
- Being an Aloe succulent, Juvenna likes partial to full sun and warm to hot temperatures. Plant your aloe in an area of your garden that gets 6 hours of sunlight a day. Happy plants will make pup offsets that can be used for propagation.
- Aloe Juvenna is not cold hardy, so if you live in a zone that gets colder than -7° C (20° F), it’s best to plant this succulent in a pot that can be brought indoors.
- This succulent is generally non-toxic to humans and animals.
- The active growing seasons of Aloe Juvenna plants are in spring, autumn and winter. During the summer months, these succulents become dormant. Give your Tiger Tooth Aloe a summer vacation outdoors and you may be fortunate enough to earn a blooming plant with long red flower stalks.
- To grow healthy and happy, Aloe Juvenna succulents do best when planted in a bright and slightly warm location.
- They are mostly pest-free, but you should check them for mealybugs and scale insects, especially when repotting or propagating them.
Aloe Juvenna Features: An overview
- Aloe Juvenna plants can grow to about 30.5 cm (12 inches) tall and 61 cm (24 inches) wide. They are not fast growers at first, but once they get going, they produce offsets quickly.
- Tiger Tooth Aloe is a fun Aloe that thrives in warm and dry climates. It’s very challenging and adapts easily to new environments.
- Aloe Tiger Tooth has many short, straight, triangle-shaped leaves, which cover the stems completely.
- Its“teeth” are spines that form along the leaves’ edges, making the rosette look like a tiger’s jaws.
- When “happily stressed”, the green leaves of Aloe Tiger Tooth turn reddish-brown in reaction to prolonged droughts or cool temperatures.
- Three key elements can create stress colors: light, water and temperature. When succulents are exposed to an unusual amount of any of these three factors, they will respond by producing unique colors.
- Tiger Tooth Aloe produces coral-orange to red blossoms that form on long stems.
Growing Aloe Juvenna
Tiger Tooth Aloe plants can thrive both indoors and outdoors. The key to their survival, whether indoors or outdoors, is providing the right potting mix and adequate amounts of sunlight.
Aloe Juvenna has the same growing needs as other types of Aloe succulents. So, if you already have a succulent or two in your garden, you shouldn’t worry that you may damage your plant.
If you plant it in a pot and keep it indoors, place your Aloe in a bright location. Choose an east-facing window if possible, but a west or south-facing window will also work. Overwatering along with poor lighting can kill the plant. You may need to move the plant a few times around your house to find the best position where it’s happiest and it thrives.
For areas that receive poor lighting no matter the time of the year, you may consider using a grow light (an artificial light to help plants grow). Grow lights provide a light spectrum similar to that of the sun and can help supplement your plants’ lighting requirements especially during those long, dark winters.
Aloe Juvenna plants can tolerate partial shade to full sun. If you choose to plant them outdoors, your succulents are happiest in sunny areas that receive partial protection from full sun. The leaves’ color turns brownish red when Aloe Tiger Tooth is exposed to full sun.
Before moving the plant outdoors or increasing the amount of sunlight it receives, it is better to acclimatize the plant to prevent sunburn, slowly increasing the amount of sunlight that the succulent receives until it is fully adapted to the sun.
Tiger Tooth Aloe can tolerate freezing temperatures but only for a limited period. The minimum temperature the plant can survive is -1° C (30° F). With that in mind, if you live in an area that gets colder than that, it’s recommended to plant your Aloe in a container. That way, you can bring them indoors during winter. In case you can’t bring them in the house, you can use mini-greenhouses or special frost cloths to help them survive the cold winter.
Like all succulents, Aloe Juvenna plants need well-draining soil. The right type of soil goes in accord with proper watering. Succulents are root rot sensitive, so a well-draining soil helps keep them alive.
You can choose a well-draining soil for cacti/succulents or prepare your own by mixing potting soil with coarse sand (about 2:1 ratio). This mix is important because it helps the water to flow through the drainage holes and your plant is protected from root rot.
Watering Aloe Juvenna
Watering mainly depends on the climate you live in. Even though these succulents are highly adapted to dry weather conditions, they do better when given enough water. There really isn’t a set schedule on when to water succulents.
If you keep your Aloe plants indoors, you may not have to water as much especially if they are not receiving a lot of light. Too much water and not enough light is a recipe for failure so we recommend adjusting your watering needs to the amount of light the plant receives.
The best way to make sure you don’t overwater your Aloe Juvenna plant is to use the “soak and dry” method. In other words, allow the soil to dry out completely before watering the plant again (usually 1-2 times weekly if the plant is in the growing season). During their dormant seasons in summer and winter, we must reduce the frequency to biweekly or monthly.
An important thing to keep in mind while growing Aloe succulents is removing any excess water if, by mistake, you poured too much in the pot. It’s always better to underwater a succulent and to increase the quantity of water as needed. Be careful how your plant looks and you can adjust watering accordingly.
Aloe Juvenna succulent is easy to care for, but some common problems may still occur.
- Sunburn is the main cause of brown leaves. If you notice sunburn, you should move your Aloe plant to a shadier position to prevent sunburn.
- If the plant starts to turn yellow, you might be dealing with overwatering. This usually happens when the soil is not drying out fast enough. To save your Aloe, change its soil, and cut back on watering.
- If the tips of the Aloe leaves start to turn brown and dried up, your plant is most likely underwatered and it’s time to water it. Just give it a good drink of water and it should refresh within a day or two.
- If the plant looks unwell and the leaves get soft and mushy and appear translucent, cut back on watering and allow the plant to dry. If the soil is not drying out fast enough, consider changing it to a fast-draining one.
- Aloe Juvenna dislikes wet feet and it is predisposed to root rot. Once you notice rot, you can still save your plant by cutting off the dead parts. Also, make sure that you protect it from overwatering by using a proper substrate when planting it.
Remember, it is easier to save an underwatered Aloe succulent than an overwatered one!
Fertilizing Aloe Juvenna
Aloe Juvenna produces stunning bright orange-coral or red flowers. But not all plants are ready to flower, and some may not bloom at all. To stimulate blooming, make sure they are receiving adequate lighting and watering.
Fertilizing is not necessary, however giving your plants the nutrients they need will help the growth and encourage blooms. The best time to fertilize your succulents is during the spring and summer months. A balanced mix of fertilizer for houseplants or a fertilizer specially prepared for cacti and succulents are suitable.
Aloe Juvenna succulents also need to go through a wintering period to encourage blooms. This can be done by storing the Aloe succulents in a cool and dry place during the winter months. The temperatures should be between 1.5 to 7⁰C (35-44⁰F).
Propagating Aloe Juvenna
Tiger Tooth Aloes produce pups and offsets. The best way to propagate these succulents is by separating and removing the offsets from the mother plant. Aloe Juvenna can be propagated by seed as well, but with difficulty.
To propagate through offsets, find pups that seem large enough to be separated and try to get some roots when removing them from the mother plant. You can remove a pup without roots, but you will have more success with ones that have roots already developed.
Use a sanitized knife and carefully separate the baby plant from its mother plant, then cut the connecting root. Let the pups dry for a couple of days to make sure any cut or open areas are dry and sealed. Protect them from direct sunlight and let them rest in a dry location.
Once the pups are dry, they can be planted in a proper well-draining potting mix. With a spray bottle, lightly mist the soil every few days or when the soil feels dry. Once the baby plant develops roots, stop misting it and water more deeply, then decrease watering to about once a week or less.
Aloe Juvenna succulents are slow growers in the beginning if you buy them small. But once these plants get going, they quickly produce pups and baby plants and multiply themselves without any help.
Tiger Tooth Aloe is a charming small succulent with white spots and toothy yet soft spines on the edges of the leaves. Endemic to Kenya, it is frost-tender and makes an ideal and spectacular houseplant. It can be grown outdoors during the summer months but – like many succulents – the foliage tends to turn pinkish-brown in the sun and a semi-shady place is best to avoid this. It forms an attractive clump with many tall rosettes and quickly sends out many offsets.
Aloe Juvenna looks best in a shallow, wide terracotta container with a free-draining substrate that has had plenty of grit, sand, and perlite added to the mix.
Tiger Tooth Aloe plants are easy to care for. Even you forget about them, they seem to take care of themselves. These succulents are slow-growing plants that will not give you much trouble and they produce such spectacular blooms that seem to appear out of nowhere. Go ahead and give these plants a chance. You won’t regret it!
Are you growing Aloe plants? Which one is your favorite? Let us know in the comments!