Aloe 'Doran Black'

Aloe 'Doran Black'

Scientific Name

Aloe 'Doran Black'


Often incorrectly called Aloe 'Dorian Black'.

Scientific Classification

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


Aloe 'Doran Black' is an interesting Aloe hybrid that grows up to 12 inches (30 cm) tall and up to 8 inches (20 cm) across. It has heavily rough-textured and spotted leaves. They are whitish-green, mottled with shades of orange or copper in full sun. It produces new offsets around its base that can be transplanted or left to develop into a cluster. The flowers are orange to red, bell-shaped, and appear atop a long spike.

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USDA hardiness zones 10a to 11b: from 30 °F (−1.1 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Aloe is a very forgiving plant, and a well-grown plant can be quite beautiful. As with all succulents, Aloe must never be allowed to sit in stagnant water, and the plant should be carefully monitored to watch for signs of overwatering.

These succulents are not particularly fast-growing and will only rarely need repotting. In spring, repot Aloes that are tipping over their pots or have ceased growing. Use a fast-draining potting mix with one-third sand or pebbles. During the repotting of a larger plant, it is possible to divide the root ball carefully. Some varieties of Aloe will send off offsets that can be potted independently.

Aloe plants need strong, bright light. They can withstand full summer sun, once acclimated. In the winter, provide bright light. It prefers warmer temperatures of 70 to 80 °F (21 to 27 °C) but will survive down to 40 °F (4.5 °C). Feed with a succulent fertilizer in the summer only. Suspend feeding in the winter as the plant goes dormant.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Aloe.


Aloe 'Doran Black' is a hybrid developed by Dick Wright and named after the late nurseryman Doran Black.


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Aloe 'Doran Black'

Family: Asphodelaceae (as-foh-del-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Aloe (AL-oh) (Info)
Cultivar: Doran Black
Additional cultivar information:(aka Dorian Black)


Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant suitable for xeriscaping

Sun Exposure:


Foliage Color:




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:

Suitable for growing in containers


Bloom Color:

Bloom Characteristics:

Bloom Size:

Bloom Time:

Other details:

Soil pH requirements:

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:

Seed Collecting:


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

Vista, California(9 reports)

Gardeners' Notes:

On Dec 19, 2008, thistlesifter from Vista, CA wrote:

This plant's offspring will remain true to its parentage whenever pollinated with another clone of Doran Black. I have a flat of them from the orginal breeder and namer of the plant.

However, while its interbred offspring will show a different set of characteristics contributed from one of the 6 different constituent Aloes hybridized to make the result all of the results will have unifying characteristics and be recognizable as Doran Black.

This makes it truly a man-created cultivar species!!

Several such hybrids in other succulent and cactus genera are suspected to be cultivated by man, then placed in the locale of its parents, then "discovered" by the person(s) who bred them, then named and described to be given a name that lived on thr. read more ough the 'discoverer' breeder.

I know it sounds unlikely, but there is evidence to support such unlikely happenings in the succulent world.

Corn is a perfect example of a plant that was hybridized by pre-columbian dwellers in Mexico and is true to its hybrid parent crossing.

I suspect some of the exotic cactus rarities discovered in Mexico as well as some of the Echeverias discovered in the 1970s are such examples.

The plant is marginal in temperatures into the low 20-degree F. So says the breeder and gentleman who named the plant after one of the early cultivars that later became a parent to Doran Black's ancestors. He has hybridized Doran Black with many different miniatures and has over 5000
super-selected different (only a half-dozen named) miniature Aloe taxon (cultivars). He is not selling any of these.

Dick Wright bred the result that is Doran Black and named it after one the breeder of one of the constiuent parents. A John Bleck hybrid is also one of the contrubuting parents. Dick has named another plant after John Bleck.

The so-called 'Dorian Black' came about as a typo on labels that were made and printed at Grigsby's Cactus and Succulent nursery. I talked to Mad. Lee, owner/operator of Grigsby's. She said that all she sells is the one clone and it is a rather unique version of Doran Black. It was apparently selected for its uniqueness from a group of Doran Black seedling. I have quite a few of that clone.

On Sep 14, 2005, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This is becoming a very commonly sold Aloe at home garden centers and is popular because of its nearly white coloration with green to black spots. It is not a great species for full sun, at least here in So Cal, as it burns badly and looks sad. Flowers multiple times a year simple racemes of red-orange, with yellow. Plants sucker, but are sometimes slow to do so. a stemless, fast-growing hybrid excellent for pots and shady areas in warmer climates. It's a bit marginal for my climate, and probably a true 10a aloe. at least it doesnt do well exposed to the elements in zone 9b.

Sometimes erroneously called Aloe Dorian Black

Care and Propagation Information

General Care for Aloe ‘Doran Black’

Aloe ‘Doran Black’ is a favorite among beginning hybridizers, as well as collectors. It can be grown in full sun, but enjoys shade and filter light, making it great for growing indoors.


Aloe ‘Doran Black’ tends to need a bit less water than other succulents. It’s best to use the “soak and dry” method, and allow the soil to dry out completely between waterings.

Where to Plant

Aloe ‘Doran Black’ is not cold hardy, so if you live in a zone that gets colder than 30° F (-1.1° C), it’s best to plant this succulent in a container that can be brought indoors. It does well in full to partial sun.

Plant in an area of your garden that gets a mix of sun and shade. If planting indoors, place in a room that gets filtered sunlight, such as near a southern-facing window (if you’re in the Northern Hemisphere).

Pairs Well With

How to Propagate Aloe ‘Doran Black’

Aloe ‘Doran Black’ is a prolific propagator, growing many offsets. You can also grow it from stem cuttings and seed.


Aloe ‘Doran Black’ will produce small offsets, sprouting up around the base of the plant. Simply pull these up and allow the offsets to dry for one to two days before replanting.


Simply take a cutting from the stem using a sharp, sterilized knife or pair of scissors. Allow it to dry out for a day or two, and then place the cutting in well-draining soil. Water when the soil is completely dry.


‘Doran Black’ can be grown from seeds harvested from the flower pod or purchased online. It can be difficult to grow from seed. Begin to sow your seeds in the summer, in a warm place. Keep soil damp, but not too wet, until seeds germinate.

Other Names

‘Doran Black’ is often mis-labeled as ‘Dorian Black’.

Plants→Aloes→Aloe 'Doran Black'

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit:Cactus/Succulent
Life cycle:Perennial
Fruit: Dehiscent
Suitable Locations:Xeriscapic
Uses:Will Naturalize
Wildlife Attractant:Hummingbirds
Propagation: Seeds:Can handle transplanting
Other info: Sow seeds in sandy soil. Seeds germinate in a few weeks at temperatures between 68 and 75 degrees F. Seedlings need moist but well-drained soil.
Propagation: Other methods:Cuttings: Stem
Other: Stems cut below a node root easily. Cut a stem that has gotten leggy, let it dry out for at least a few hours to form a seal on the cut surface. Place the cutting in rooting medium kept moist, but not wet, until roots form.
Containers:Needs excellent drainage in pots
Child plants:2 child plants

Classic Dick Wright aloe hybrid with green leaves that have many elongated white spots, tending to look more white than green because of the relative proportions. Relatively fast growing, but not very sun or cold tolerant. Named for the breeder of one of the constituent parents and spelled Doran Black, not Dorian Black. There are probably several species (maybe 6?) going into this complex hybrid. It has been used as a parent for other hybrids, and appeared relatively early in the history of hybridization of bumpy aloes. There are apparently various clones of this hybrid (which were originally grown from seed, not all offsets from the same mother plant) and they may vary in some respects, making it hard sometimes to know what is the true "Doran Black".

This aloe does not like cold or wet conditions. Needs very good drainage to thrive.

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