Aloe maculata

Soap aloe

Family: Asphodelaceae

Origin: South Africa

Hard spiny leaves of soap aloe.
A prickly succulent popular in coastal gardens. Leaves are a mid-green and mottled with light green spots.
Photo credit: Seán A. O'Hara

Regional Pest Management Plan (RPMP) status

  • Whole region — Sustained control
  • Hauraki Gulf Controlled Area Notice pest

View more about the RPMP statuses

General description

Perennial succulent. Leaves are < 30 x 12 cm, dark green or purple-tinged, grey-blue frosted, white-spotted, toothed and form a dense rosette. Flowers are yellow/orange/pink/red, erect turning to drooping and borne in racemes produced by tall, branched inflorescences.

What you need to know

To help protect our environment, after the RPMP has been operational for two years, you:

  • will not be allowed to breed, distribute, release or sell soap aloe within the Auckland region.
  • will not be allowed to plant soap aloe within the Auckland region, unless you are transferring an existing plant on your land to another location within the boundaries of the same property.
  • must destroy any soap aloe on land that you occupy if it has been planted in breach of the above rules and you are directed to do so by an authorised person.


Coastal habitats, cliffs, rocky outcrops, grasslands, open forest.


Vegetative spread. Human-mediated dispersal through dumping of garden waste and deliberate plantings.

Impact on environment

Potential to displace native vegetation. May impact fauna through altering habitat structure and resource availability.


Site Management

Follow up treated areas 3 times per year. Encourage natural regeneration of native plants or replant treated areas where possible after 2-3 treatments to establish dense ground cover and minimise reinvasion.

Recommended approaches

Physical control

Method: Dig out.

Plant parts requiring disposal: All parts.

Disposal options: Small amounts can be rotted in a covered water barrel or remove to greenwaste or landfill.


Biocontrol is currently not available for this species.

Community agrichemical control recommendations

Basic Growsafe certified:

For small infestations: Foliar spray with 3g metsulfuron-methyl plus 150ml glyphosate per 10L of water.

Certified Handler/Experienced agrichemical user:

For medium to large infestations: Foliar spray with 3g metsulfuron-methyl plus 150ml glyphosate per 10L of water and 10ml penetrant.

Caution: When using any herbicide or pesticide please read the label thoroughly to ensure that all instructions and safety requirements are followed.

Long tubular flowers of soap aloe.
Tubular bright orange flowers form on long stems in the winter. Viable seeds don't tend to set; plants are normally spread through cuttings.
Photo credit: Stan Shebs