Aloiampelos tenuior (Fence Aloe)

Aloiampelos tenuior (Fence Aloe)

Scientific Name

Aloiampelos tenuior (Haw.) Klopper & Gideon F.Sm.

Common Names

Fence Aloe


Aloe tenuior, Aloe tenuior var. tenuior

Scientific Classification

Family: Asphodelaceae
Subfamily: Asphodeloideae
Tribe: Aloeae
Genus: Aloiampelos


Aloiampelos tenuior, formerly known as Aloe tenuior, is a bushy succulent that forms up to 10 feet (3 m) tall clumps. The leaves are tufted at the ends of branches. They are grayish-green with tiny white teeth along margins. An unusually large, woody rootstock usually forms on the ground at the base of the plant. Flowers are borne on slender, unbranched racemes and are bright yellow. They appear throughout the year, but especially in winter.

Photo by Kumbula Nursery


USDA hardiness zone 9b to 11b: from 25 °F (−3.9 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Due to their hardiness and the wide range of flower colors, these slender succulents have become popular ornamental plants in South African gardens. The commoner species (such as the more widespread Aloes of the Eastern Cape) are increasingly grown in gardens overseas too.

Climbing Aloes require a sunny, well-drained position and are particularly suitable for rockeries. The taller, climbing species are commonly planted along fences and boundaries where they grow up through the surrounding foliage. However, the lower, rambling species are better suited for rockeries, slopes, or terraces, which they will naturally cascade down over. See more at How to Grow and Care for Climbing Aloes.


Native to the grasslands and thickets of the Eastern Cape, Kwazulu Natal, and Mpumalanga, South Africa.


  • Aloiampelos tenuior var. rubriflora


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Aloe Species, Fence Aloe, Ikhalana

Family: Asphodelaceae (as-foh-del-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Aloiampelos
Species: tenuior (ten-yoo-ee-or) (Info)
Synonym:Aloe tenuior
Synonym:Aloe tenuior var. decidua
Synonym:Aloe tenuior var. densiflora
Synonym:Aloe tenuior var. glaucescens
Synonym:Aloe tenuior var. rubriflora


Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs Water regularly do not overwater

Sun Exposure:


Foliage Color:




USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 °C (35 °F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 °C (40 °F)

Where to Grow:

Can be grown as an annual


Bloom Color:

Bloom Characteristics:

Bloom Size:

Bloom Time:

Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:

Seed Collecting:


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Vista, California(18 reports)

Gardeners' Notes:

On Feb 14, 2010, baiissatva from Dunedin,
New Zealand wrote:

I picked up a small specimen from a local hardware shop not knowing what it was, and left it outside through a cold dull soggy winter (potted) since I wasn't that impressed after reading up on the species.

But! I have to say, this plant has (not literally) grown on me. Mine is a little stockier than the willowy, viney ones that people complain of, perhaps because of our cooler conditions. Dark forest green. It has not rocketed away, but kept up a steady pace and is now around double the size it was two years ago. No flowers yet, but more stalks coming away from the base will make it a nice looking, upright and atypical element in my succulent collection.
In its favour are the facts that it's not bothered by hail, or seemingly. read more by being drenched all winter. It wants a larger root run than many aloes it's size, and I think I'll plant it out in my rockery this autumn to see how it fares in the ground.
Looking at the pics here and on other sites, I'm wondering if it's a hybrid or a certain clone of this species, since it is more 'ornamental', less stringy and darker than is typically described. I'll take pics one day!
Mine has been quite tough and undemanding.

On Feb 27, 2005, SudieGoodman from Broaddus, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

Mine is in the greenhouse for the winter. While checking on plants in pots, I noticed my Aloe tenuior has this red bloom spiral. It is a pass-along plant from friend which I was unable to identify until I saw the pictures here.

On Mar 10, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This is a 'rambling' sort of vining aloe that has flowers that bloom most if not all year here in So Cal (somewhat unusual for the aloe world). Flowers usually yellow, but can be red, too. I had one in the cactus garden for 9 years and had to be clipped back frequently since it tended to grow all over everything. Reminiscent of Aloe ciliaris and gracilis but with narrower leaves.

Freeze in southern California in mid 20s did significant damage to this species, so probably not really that hardy a zone 9b plant- boardering on a 10a species.

Varieties [ edit ]

Aloiampelos tenuior is an extremely variable species. The World Checklist of Selected Plant Families (WCSP) does not recognize any varieties, treating them all as synonyms of the species. [1] Varieties recognized by some sources include: [5]

  • A. tenuior var. tenuior
  • A. tenuior var. viridifolia (the Green-leaf Fence Aloe) restricted to the Suurberg Shale Fynbos, near Addo Elephant Park, north of Port Elizabeth. The smallest variety, with smooth, green leaves.
  • A. tenuior var. glaucescens (the blue fence aloe), type: Kei River, Eastern Cape.
  • A. tenuior var. densiflora (the dense-flowered fence aloe), type: Breakfast Vlei, Eastern Cape
  • A. tenuior var. rubriflora (the red-flowered fence aloe) of Pondoland, type: Mlengana, Eastern Cape. The largest variety.
  • A. tenuior var. decidua (the deciduous fence aloe), type: Alice, Eastern Cape. A small, erect, deciduous variety.