By: Liz Baessler
When most people hear the name “aloe,” they immediately think of aloe vera. It’s true– it is definitely the most popular. However, aloe is actually the name of a genus that contains over 500 different species and countless cultivars. These plants come in a wide range of colors and sizes that will suit just about any desire you have for your succulent garden. One of these many varieties is the Aloe ‘Minnie Belle.’ Keep reading to learn more about Minnie Belle aloe care.
While you might be tempted to think that the Minnie Belle aloe (also spelled Minibelle) is small, its name has nothing to do with its size. It’s actually named for the wife of Ed Hummel, who himself is named for another aloe plant from which this one is derived.
In terms of height, it usually tops out at around 6 inches (15 cm.). Its leaves are relatively short and spiky. They are bright green with white spots and translucent white spikes, or teeth, along their edges. In late spring and summer, the plant produces bright to deep red bell-shaped flowers that are very attractive to hummingbirds.
Minnie Belle plants are relatively easy to care for, especially if you already have experience with growing aloes. They are drought tolerant and more often than not, they are killed with kindness by enthusiastic overwatering.
They are tropical plants and not frost hardy, thriving outdoors in zones 9 through 11. In climates with temperatures that dip below freezing in winter, they should be grown in pots that can be brought indoors during the cold months.
They like good air circulation and bright, indirect light. If grown indoors, they are ideal for window sills. Plant your Minnie Belle succulent in well-draining soil or growing medium. Mixes designed for cacti and succulents are best. Water only when soil is dry to the touch.
This article was last updated on
Read more about Aloe Vera
Most aloes are easy plants given a bright, warm location and water in moderation. Aloes require bright light, and most can take full sun in mild climates. Indoor aloes do best when placed right by an unobstructed sunny window. They prefer good drainage, especially in containers, and regular water when the soil is going dry, but not sooner. Landscape aloes are quite drought tolerant when established but will respond favorably to occasional water. Aloes from dry climates may be sensitive to excess moisture and prone to rot. + Show More
Aloes and their close relatives are uniquely susceptible to the aloe mite, a contagious microscopic villain which lives inside the plant and announces its presence in the form of aloe cancer, a chronic and persistent disease. The distorted growth presents various ways, but it looks irregular and "wrong" and is often bubbly at the surface, with orange or yellow highlights. The best treatment of aloe mite is removal of the affected area by careful surgery, potentially including decapitation of affected stems. Consider removing the entire plant. Dispose of mite infested cuttings or plants very carefully, and sterilize instruments after use.
Zero tolerance is the best policy where aloe mites are locally present. Most ordinary pesticides (like the systemic insecticide imidacloprid) do not knock down aloe mites, which are closer genetically to spiders and spider mites than insects. Specialized miticides are available but they tend to be really expensive and require careful use. Chemical agents are not typically going to solve your aloe mite problem on their own, without some careful surgery first.
Some aloes are more susceptible to the aloe mite than others. By far the most common host in cultivation may be Aloe arborescens. Mites tend to show up most often on inflorescences, which give them a great platform for dispersal. Remove affected inflorescences at first sight and monitor the stem afterwards.
Aloes can be divided into groups based on certain features. + Show More
The Lomatophyllum group from Indian Ocean islands can be distinguished by a fleshy berry-like fruit, which differs from the usual dry, dehiscent aloe fruit.
The grass aloes have thin, linear leaves and often bulbous bases. They are the least succulent, toothy, or substantial.
The maculate aloes have spotted leaves, relatively short stems, and flowers that are bulbous at the base. They can be particularly difficult to identify, even for experts.
Stemless aloes, a large group, may be solitary or grow in clumps. They are well represented in cultivation. One small stemless aloe (aristata) was recently moved to its own monotypic genus, Aristaloe.
The aloes which grow a stem include sprawling aloes, which tend to grow sideways, and shrubby aloes, which tend to form large, branching groups. The genus Aloiampelos was recently created for 7 related scrambling aloes, including the relatively common ciliaris and striatula.
Two aloes (plicatilis and haemanthifolia) make rounded, distichous leaves in a fan shape, and these were recently separated into the revived genus Kumara.
Three spotted aloes from Namibia have distinctive leaves with a V shape in crossection, and these were recently separated into the new genus Gonialoe.
Finally, tree aloes may grow up to 60 feet tall (the giant is A. barberae). They may be solitary and unbranched (the single-stemmed tree aloes) or branch, either at the base or at the crown. The tree aloes tend to make especially dramatic flowers. The genus Aloidendron was recently created for 6 related tree aloes, mostly on the large side.
The “true” medicinal aloe from ancient times is Aloe vera, a yellow-flowered Arabian aloe which only exists in cultivation, and can only be grown true from offsets. This plant was formerly known as Aloe barbadensis. + Show More
The aloes which branch or offset are generally easy to start from rooted cuttings or offsets. Some can only be grown from seed. Aloe seed is usually relatively large and quick to get started. Hybrids (including many of the named hybrids in cultivation) will not generally grow true from seed, and most aloes require two flowering individuals to be pollinated (by birds, bees, or humans) and produce seed.
Open pollination in the aloe garden gives rise to all sorts of strange and interesting hybrids. Most species are quite promiscuous a few may self-pollinate. Seed which is not produced carefully, excluding pollinators, is likely to be less than pure. Wait until the capsule dries up and breaks open to harvest mature seed (except with Lomatophyllum, which makes an indehiscent berry).
Aloe is closely related to Haworthia (white flowers) and Gasteria (pinkish flowers with a characteristic swollen shape), two mostly South African genera which generally enjoy less direct sun, as well as Astroloba, Chortolirion, and Poellnitzia (these three much less common in cultivation). Aloes may generate intergeneric hybrids with these other plants, and the hybrids may be fertile.
A recent reorganization of the aloes resulted in the splitting of a few species into the genera Kumara, Aloidendron, Aristaloe, Aloiampelos, and Gonialoe (details above), plus a few species absorbed from Chortolirion. At the same time Haworthia was split into three genera with the addition of Haworthiopsis and Tulista.
Carter, Lavranos, Newton, Walker: Aloes: The Definitive Guide (2011)
Brian Kemble's hardy aloes (list)
Castillon & Castillon: The Aloe of Madagascar (2010)
McCoy: The Aloes of Arabia (2019)
The Aloe Vera plant is fairly hardy and adaptable to climates that are warm, humid, dry or extremely hot. In fact, the hotter and more humid the Aloe Vera’s surroundings are, the healthier and faster it will grow. The plants are suitable for indoor growth, as long as they are kept in the sunlight.
The best place to keep your Aloe Vera plant is in a well lit bathroom or kitchen window. The Aloe Vera plant will benefit from the foliar feeding they receive each time a hot shower steams up the room, or hot water is run from the sink. Also, the Aloe Vera plant will keep the air in the bathroom smelling fresh because of it's photosynthetic processes.
It is important to note that Aloe Vera plants do not survive in the extreme climate zones, such as ice cold Alaska, or sun starved areas of the desert.
If you live in an area without much sunlight, you will need to supplement the plant with artificial light. Without the supplementation of artificial light, the Aloe Vera plant will not grow. Aloe Vera plants are very tolerant and can come back to life after some neglect making them an easy plant to keep both in and outdoors. The benefits of Aloe Vera date back to the Egyptians and include soothing gels for burns. Or, ingested, the plant is said to have medicinal indigestion healing qualities.
" data-caption="" data-expand="300" data-tracking-container="true" />
The Spruce / Michael Marquand
Aloe vera plants are a staple in many homes and gained popularity thanks to the medicinal properties of the gel from their leaves. Aloe vera is characterized by thick, succulent-like leaves with jagged edges that grow upwards from a rosette-like base. While Aloe may have therapeutic properties for humans, it is toxic to cats and can cause lethargy, vomiting, and diarrhea if ingested.
Adding product to your cart
Aloe "Minnie Belle" is a bright green dwarf aloe forming pups at the base of the mother plant. The pups form mounds/clusters of plants. A perfect aloe to plant in a spot that gets filtered light all day long.
Native to: Africa, Madagascar, Arabian Peninsula
Hardiness: tender soft succulent - will not tolerate frost
Recommended light conditions: filtered sun
Bloomtime: Spring to Summer
Bloom Color: deep red
Watering Needs Indoors: Instead of giving your succulents gradual sips of water throughout the week, give them a good soaking, to the point where water runs out the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot. Be sure to empty the water that runs into the saucer, succulents do not like to sit in water. Then let the soil dry out completely before watering again.
Watering Needs Outdoors: In the Summer water your succulents every two weeks, by soaking them and letting them dry before watering again. In the Winter water your succulents once a month.
Technical Information About This Plant
Knowing what your planting zone is can be vitally important to your plants thriving. Keep in mind that the zones pertain to OUTDOOR planting. If you plan to keep your plants indoors for fall-winter the zones may be irrelevant.