Also known as
Medicinal Aloe, Curaçao Aloe, Barbados Aloe, First aid plant, Medicine plant, Bitter aloe
Photo by fabio21henley (All rights reserved)
5 years to reach maturity
This plant has no fragrance
More images of Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera Overview
Aloe vera loves a good bright spot in your house. They require very little watering, like most succulents, overwatering is usually problematic, check the soil regularly and only water when it has thoroughly dried out. If it’s happy, it will start growing little Aloe plants next to the mother plant - these are adorably named pups. When they get big enough you can separate them and gift them to friends, but that’s a whole other article! Considered to be one of the best-known species, Aloe vera is famous for its medicinal uses. It is cultivated worldwide and grows best in Mediterranean environments. The gel and skin of the leaves are used to treat burns, wounds and eczema, whilst the juice of the leaves is traditionally used as a purgative medicine. This evergreen perennial species produces fleshy leaves arranged in a rosette, coloured dull green and edged with pink-tinged teeth. Flowers are produced on vertical racemes. They are yellow in colour, tubular in shape and measure around 3cm long. This species has earnt a Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit. It has a tufted habit and is frost-tender, so keep above freezing temperatures. Plant in a position of bright, indirect light and well-draining soil for optimal growth. Water when the soil has thoroughly dried out, for best results. Toxic to most pets.
Common problems with Aloe Vera
Fungal and bacterial diseases include Aloe Rust, Anthracnose disease and Basal Stem Rot, but they're less frequent in plants kept indoors. Inspect leaves for white waxy fluff, associated with mealybug and scale insects.
How to harvest Aloe Vera
Seeds should be allowed to dry for at least 3 months after flowering before they are harvested.
How to propagate Aloe Vera
Remove offsets gently from the mother plant and replant in the desired position in the garden or in pots.
Special features of Aloe Vera
Hummingbirds are attracted by the nectar that is produced by the flowers.
Plant in pots that will allow sufficient drainage. Preferrably used wider pots as opposed to deep pots.
Other uses of Aloe Vera
Known for its medicinal qualities, it is widely cultivated. The syrupy leaf juice is used in skin care products and for the treatment of burns.