Native to Kenya, Aloe Juvenna is a clump-forming succulent plant that branches from the base. Their leaves have menacing-looking spiny edges, hence their common name ‘tiger tooth’. The spines on the edges of the leaves may appear sharp but they are actually harmless and do not prick when touched. The leaves are bright green to reddish brown in color and speckled with white flecked spots. The sun brings out its reddish brown color. Keep it in the shade and it stays green. These plants can grow to about a foot tall. They are not fast growers at first, but once they get going they produce pups and offshoots readily. They produce bright blooms that are in the shades of orange and coral.
Aloe Juvenna ‘Tiger Tooth Aloe’ Care
Are They Indoor or Outdoor Plants?
Aloe Juvenna ‘Tiger Tooth Aloe’ plants can grow happily both indoors and outdoors. Whether indoors or outdoors, providing the right potting mix and adequate sunlight are key to their survival.
Indoor Lighting Requirements
Place in a bright location indoors. Choose an east facing window if possible. A south or west facing window will also work. Overwatering along with poor lighting can send the plant to an early grave. You may need to move the plant around your house a few times to find the best location where it’ll be happiest.
For areas that receive poor lighting no matter the time of the year, you may consider using a growlight. Growlights can help supplement your plants’ lighting requirements especially during those long, dark winters. Here are some of my growlight recommendations.
To read more about this topic on indoor lighting for succulents, check out my post on “Proper Lighting for Succulents Indoors” to get some helpful tips.
Outdoor Sunlight Requirements
Aloe Juvenna ‘Tiger Tooth Aloe’ plant can tolerate partial shade to full sun. They are happiest in sunny areas that receive partial protection from full sun. When exposed to full sun, the plant turns brownish red in color.
Before moving the plant outdoors or increasing the amount of sunlight it receives, it is better to acclimate the plant to help prevent sunburn or sun damage. Slowly increase the amount of sunlight it receives until it is fully acclimated to the sun. Keep in mind that even when the plant is already acclimated to full sun, it can still get sunburned during a heatwave or intense heat. Mature plants are more tolerant to heat than smaller plants.
Sunshades are a real lifesaver for my plants during the intense summer heat here in Northern California where the temperatures can rise above 100℉ or 37.8℃. Here are some of my recommendations for sunshades and sun protection.
For further details and information on outdoor sunlight requirements, please visit my post “How Much Sunlight Do Succulents Need Outdoors?” to get some useful tidbits.
Aloe Juvenna ‘Tiger Tooth Aloe’ plants are hardy in USDA hardiness zones 9-11.
Aloe Juvenna ‘Tiger Tooth Aloe’ can tolerate mild frost and freezing temperatures as long as they are not for long periods of time. If you live in USDA hardiness zones 9-11, you can leave the plant outdoors all year long and they can even be planted in ground. My plant stays outdoors all year long, and it survives the cold rains and occasional frost we experience in the winter months.
If you have extreme winter conditions in your area, the best way to grow these plants are in containers. That way you can bring them indoors during winter or when there is forecast of frost or snow. In case you can’t bring them in, there are ways to protect the plants from frost and freezing temperatures outdoors. You can use frost cloths or mini greenhouses to help them survive the cold winter. Here are some of my recommendations for frost protection.
For more on this topic, do check out my post on “Optimal Temperatures for Succulents to Survive and Thrive”.
Like all succulents, Aloe Juvenna ‘Tiger Tooth Aloe’ plants need a well draining soil. The right type of soil goes hand in hand with proper watering. Succulents are susceptible to root rot so a well draining soil helps keep them alive especially if you are unsure of how to water. I have been using a simple, tried and tested concoction that has worked well for my plants. I like to use a cactus potting mix combined with perlite for added drainage. I do not use exact measurements but eyeball it to about 2:1 solution of cactus mix and perlite. Others recommend using a sandy soil. This can be achieved by mixing cactus mix or potting soil with coarse sand (about 2:1 ratio). Or you can use a combination of all three materials mentioned. I get most of my materials from a local hardware store. You can also purchase them online. Here are some of my soil recommendations. To read more about soil for succulents, click on “Best Soil and Fertilizer for Succulents” to get more useful information.
Watering largely depends on the climate you live in. Although these plants are highly adapted to dry weather conditions, they do much better when given sufficient amounts of water. There really isn’t a set schedule or formula on when to water succulents. My watering schedule is dictated by the very dry climate I live in.
In the summer months, I water my Aloe Juvenna ‘Tiger Tooth Aloe’ ‘ as often as every 7-10 days, sometimes more during a heatwave. I cut back on watering to about every 10-14 days when the weather cools down. During the winter season, I mostly rely on rainwater and hold back on watering altogether because this is when we get a lot of rain in my area. But if we don’t get any rain at all during winter then I water at least once a month or every 2-3 weeks, depending on how dry the soil gets.
For those people in humid locations, you won’t need to water as much. And if you keep your 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 disaster for these plants. Adjust your watering needs by the amount of light the plant receives.
One good way to tell whether it’s time to water is to check the moisture of the soil. The top inch of the soil needs to feel dry before you can water again. If you are unsure how much and how often to water in the beginning, it’s always better to underwater and increase watering as needed. Pay attention to how your plant looks and you can adjust watering accordingly.
For further help with watering techniques, consider using tools like hygrometers or moisture meters to check for moisture in the soil and air. These tools are pretty affordable and can come in handy especially if you are unsure of when to water your plant next. I have narrowed down the choices here on my resource page. Do visit the page if you need help in gauging your watering needs.
Interested in finding out more about watering succulents? Visit my post “How And When To Water Succulents” where I go into details about this topic.
Propagating Aloe Juvenna ‘Tiger Tooth Aloe’ Plant
Aloe Juvenna ‘Tiger Tooth Aloe’ produce pups and offsets. The best way to propagate these plants is by separating the pups and removing the offsets from the mother plant. Of course you’d have to wait until your plant produces pups or offshoots before you can do any propagation. As far as I know, these plants cannot be propagated from leaf cuttings. I read that leaf propagation is just not possible for these plants and I have personally never tried to propagate through leaf cuttings.
How to Remove Pups
Find pups that appear large enough to be removed. Try to get some roots when removing the pup. You can remove a pup without roots, but you will have a much greater success with ones that have roots already growing. Pups without roots will eventually root themselves, but the ones with existing roots have a greater chance of survival on their own. Likewise, bigger pups are stronger than smaller ones and will have a better chance at surviving on their own.
- Remove the offshoot. Some pups are easier to remove than others. Sometimes they can be separated by gently twisting the pup off the mother plant. It is better to remove the entire plant from the pot before separating the pup so you can see the roots.
- Use a clean knife. Other times you need to use a sharp tool such as a knife to remove the pup. Use a clean or sanitized knife and carefully separate the baby plant from its mother plant by inserting the knife blade between the mother plant and the offshoot. Slowly pull apart the pup from the mother plant and sever the connecting root. If removing the pup while still planted in the soil, insert the knife blade into the soil between the mother plant and the offshoot. Slide the blade down the soil to sever the connecting roots. Carve out a 2-inch radius in the soil around the base of the offshoot then dig a few inches down the radial parameter using the sharp end of a small spade. Insert the spade at an angle underneath the offshoot and carefully pry it loose from the soil to remove.
- Let the pup dry for about a day or more to make sure any cut or open areas are dry and sealed or calloused. Keep in a dry location away from direct sunlight. (Optional: Dip the pup in rooting hormone before planting. Rooting hormones can help speed this process up especially for pups without roots.)
- Plant the pup. Once the pup is dry it can be planted on its own. Prepare a suitable well draining potting mix and plant the pup into the soil. Pack the soil lightly around the plant until secure.
- Water occasionally. Pups need a little more moisture than mature plants. Lightly mist the soil with a spray bottle every few days or when the soil feels dry. Once the plant is more established and rooted, stop misting and water more deeply. You can decrease watering to about once a week or less.
- Protect from direct sunlight. Protect new plants from direct sunlight when initially planted on its own pot to prevent sun damage. Gradually increase sunlight and sun exposure according to the plant’s needs as the plant matures.
If you have a tiny starter plant, pups or offset may not come for a while. Aloe Juvennas are slow growers in the beginning, especially if you buy them small. But once these plants get going, they readily produce pups and baby plants and pretty much multiply themselves without any help.
Common Problems with Aloe Juvenna ‘Tiger Tooth Aloe’
The most common cause of yellow leaves is watering issues. If the plant starts turning yellow, check the soil to see if it is drying out fast enough between waterings. The plant may be staying wet too long and is not drying out fast enough. Switch to a well draining soil and decrease watering to remedy the problem.
The most common cause of brown leaves is sunburn. Simply move the plant to a shadier location to prevent sunburn. Sunburn spots on leaves are permanent but does not really hurt the plant internally, as long as the problem is corrected. You can trim off any brown edges or just leave it alone and wait for new growth to develop.
Dried Shriveled Tips
The most common reason for dried tips is underwatering. The tips of the leaves will appear brown and dried up. When this happens, it is a sign that the plant is running low on its water storage and it is time to water. Just give the plant a good drink of water and it should perk up within a day or so.
Mushy Brown Leaves
The most common reason for mushy brown leaves is overwatering. The plant will look unwell and the leaves will get soft and mushy and appear translucent. These are telltale signs that you are overwatering your plant. Cut back on watering and allow the plant to dry out and recover from too much water. Do not water until the plant has had a chance to dry out completely. If the soil is not drying out fast enough, consider switching to a fast draining one. Root rot can develop when left in wet soil. Once you notice rot, you can still save the plant by cutting off the dead parts of the plant. Save anything that looks green and viable to propagate and repot.
Remember, it is easier to ‘fix’ an underwatered plant than an overwatered one so when in doubt, err on the side of caution when watering especially if you are not familiar with the plant.
Aloe Juvenna ‘Tiger Tooth Aloe’ Blooms
Aloe Juvenna ‘Tiger Tooth Aloe’ produces bright orange-coral flowers that are striking to look at. Keep in mind that not all plants are ready to flower, and some may not bloom at all. A lot of it depends on environmental factors beyond our control. To encourage blooms, make sure they are receiving adequate lighting. Along with proper lighting, make sure the plant is kept happy and receiving the proper care as mentioned above.
While fertilizing is not necessary, giving your plants the nutrients they need will help ensure proper growth and encourage blooms. It takes a lot of energy for plants to produce flowers, and feeding them extra nutrients will help supplement their needs during flowering season. The best time to fertilize is during the active growing season, or during spring and summer months. A balanced blend of fertilizer for houseplants or a fertilizer specially formulated for cacti and succulents are suitable. Fertilizers are better applied at a quarter or half strength, about every two weeks. Here are some fertilizers I recommend.
Along with the right environmental conditions, they also need to go through a wintering period to encourage blooms. This can be achieved by keeping them cool and dry in the winter months, with temperatures just above freezing between 35-44⁰F (1.5-7⁰C).
Toxicity to Cats, Dogs or Pets
Toxicity information on Aloe Juvenna is hard to find but aloe in general is considered toxic to cats, dogs and pets. The toxic substances in aloe are saponins and anthraquinones. I am not certain whether Aloe Juvenna contains these substances. If unsure, proceed with caution when introducing this plant to house pets. If you suspect poisoning, contact your local veterinarian immediately or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435. Visit ASPCA’s website for more details.
Aloe Juvenna ‘Tiger Tooth Aloe’ plants are not complicated to grow. A lot of times, I forget about them and they seem to take care of themselves. These are easy, 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 go.
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