Aloe Vera

Botanical Name: Aloe barbadensis

Also called Burn Plant or Medicine Plant, Aloe Vera is known for the healing properties of its sap. Many people use the gel-like liquid from a broken leaf to soothe minor burns and abrasions.

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Aloe plants are hardy, slow-growing succulents that grow in rosettes of plump, upward-curving green leaves. The leaves are faintly spotted and edged with soft teeth.

Plants grown outdoors often bloom in spring with yellow, tubular flowers carried on tall flower spikes. However, it rarely blooms indoors.

Aloe is easy to grow and fairly trouble-free.

Shed some light. Keep your aloe plant in a bright location, with some direct sun in winter. If you move it outdoors for the summer, make the move a gradual one. Ironically, aloe vera sunburns easily if it is suddenly exposed to full sun.

Watch for pests. Check it once in a while for scale insects and mealybugs that may infest this plant. Treat any infestation for these house plant pests immediately.

Repot crowded plants. Repot young plants in spring when they are outgrowing their pots. These types of succulents freely produces offsets. You can keep plants from getting overcrowded by propagating offsets as they begin to form rosettes.

Aloe Vera Plant Care Tips

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Origin: Northeast Africa

Height: 1-2 ft (30-60 cm)

Light: Bright light, with some direct sun in winter.

Water: Keep soil lightly moist spring through fall, slightly drier in winter. Do not allow the soil to dry out completely.

Humidity: Average room humidity.

Temperature: Average room temperatures 65-75°F/18-24°C

Soil: Cactus potting mix. Or add 1 part coarse sand with 2 parts all-purpose potting mix.

Fertilizer: Spring through fall, feed monthly with a balanced house plant fertilizer.

Propagation: Cut off new offsets in spring or early summer. Allow the cut portion to dry for a day or two to prevent the sap from oozing, then pot it in barely moist sandy potting mix.

Green Thumb Tip

Brown leaf tips on aloe vera plant usually indicate that it's not getting enough water. Water the plant thoroughly and allow the excess water to drain.

Black spots on leaves are often due to overwatering. Do not allow water to collect in the rosettes of leaves, which causes the plant to rot.

Sap from a snapped-off leaf has restorative properties that can be applied directly to skin.

Aloe plant's sap is commonly used in medicines and cosmetics around the world.