Ahhh, aloe vera! It’s cool. It’s soothing. It moisturizes. You will find it in topical medicines, lotions, soaps, and more. There are many health benefits of aloe vera, too. Many of us grow aloe vera houseplants. They grow well indoors in your home or office. Native to Africa, there are hundreds of varieties of Aloe plants. Depending upon variety, these plants can grow as small as an inch. The most common indoor varieties grow several inches to a foot tall.
Aloe Vera plants are very popular, and often grown as indoor houseplants. They are easy to grow, yet slow-growing. The plant takes 3 to 4 years to reach just 12 inches tall. They look great in containers by themselves or mixed in with other houseplants.
The thick, heavy leaves are filled with sap that you can harvest. And yes, you can use the soothing sap (oil or juice) in them.
Did you Know? The sap from some aloe plants is edible. It is used in teas and beverages. However, some varieties are poisonous. Do not use the sap for internal consumption, if you do not know which ones can be consumed internally.
Other Names: Aloe Vera plants are also called Burn Plants and African Lily.
Plant Height: 1 to 2 feet tall.
Flower Colors: Orange, red, and yellow.
Flowers Bloom: Summer
The many health benefits of Aloe have been known for thousands of years. They include treatment for:
Harvest for use, by removing a large stem or stalk from the plant with a sharp knife. Then, simply squeeze out the sap.
Aloe is propagated by offshoots from the mother plant. Simply remove baby plants and repot ttem in separate containers. This is by far, the most common propagation method.
Also, the leaves of the plant can be planted in moist soil to root.
The seeds from flowers can also be harvested for propagation. However, it takes longer to produce new, plants of any size.
Aloe is an easy to grow indoor houseplant. Caring for these low maintenance plants is a cinch.
Select a pot or container that fits your room decor. It should have holes in the bottom for good drainage.
Aloe plants prefer full sun. But, they tolerate a light shade.
Plant roots spread wide, but are shallow in the soil. Water thoroughly. Allow the soil to dry between watering.
Our only complaint about this great plant, is it can become top heavy and fall over, uprooting itself from the soil. Its shallow roots, make it difficult to anchor in the soil. Decorative staking is helpful.
Fertilize once every month or two, for best growth. Or, use fertilizer spikes.
If you are going to grow Aloe plants outdoors, treat it as an annual. It will succumb to frost and freeze. Protect the plant form cold and frost, or bring it indoors in cold weather.
Ideal Soil pH: 7.0 – 8.5