The most unusual feature of this aloe is the perfect spiral in which the leaves are arranged. Mature plants have five ranks of leaves which contain 15 to 30 leaves growing in either a clockwise or counterclockwise pattern. Each greenish gray leaf has a broad base and narrows to a dark tip. There are soft white teeth along the margins of the leaf. The tips usually become dark purplish brown and are quite sharp. The Spiral Aloe is a fast-growing species that can reach its full size in 5 or 6 years. The leaves contain a considerable amount of water, so they are quite plump. At about 2 years old the leaves begin to spiral either to the right or to the left when viewed from above.
Aloe polyphylla comes from very high elevations, where the climate is cool, and nights are cooler. It does best in mild temperatures, with growth slowing or stopping when the temperature gets above 85 -90 degrees F. Grow this Aloe as you would any Alpine plant. Cool and damp, morning sun afternoon shade, never allow to dry out completely. It does best in well-drained soil; an ideal mix would be 1 part potting soil to 1 part pumice rock or lava rock, with 25 % horticultural sand added.