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How to Grow Aloe Plant - Care and Maintenance

Ahhh, aloe! It's cool. It's soothing. It moisturizes. You will find it in topical medicines, lotions, soaps, and more. But, where does it come from? Why, the Aloe plant, of course!

Native to Africa, there are hundreds of varieties of Aloe plants. What variety is best known?  ......... Aloe Vera. 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. 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.

Propagating Aloe Vera Plants:

Aloe is propagated by offshoots from the mother plant.  Simply remove baby plants, and repot. This is by far, the most common propagation method.

 Leaves of the plant can also 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.

How to Grow Aloe Plants:

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 will 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.

Medicinal Uses of Aloe:

The medicinal benefits of Aloe have been known for thousands of years. They include treatment for:

  • burns
  • rashes
  • itchy skin
  • Poison ivy
  • dry, cracking skin
  • skin moisturizer

Harvest for use, by removing a large stem or stalk with a sharp knife. Then,  simply squeeze out the sap.

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