Botanical name: Aloe barbadensis
Plant type: Houseplant
Sun exposure: Full Sun
Aloe Vera has variegated leaves that flow out from its center base. Aloe can be kept in a pot in the kitchen near a window for every day use. The juice from its leaves will relieve pain from scrapes and burns.
- Plant in wide containers with a well-draining potting mix, such as for cacti/succulents.
- Place in indirect sunlight or artificial light.
- Water aloe deeply but then allow the soil to dry at least 1 to 2 inches deep between waterings, in order to discourage rot; water even less in winter.
- To propagate by leaf cuttings, cut off the upper part of a leaf (3 or more inches) and set it aside in a warm, dry location for a few days for the cut to form a callus. Then, dip the cut end of the leaf in rooting hormone and bury the leaf (cut end down) halfway in a new pot filled with cacti potting mix. Keep the soil lightly moist but not wet. After a few weeks, the cutting should form roots.
Aloes are prone to mealybugs and scale. Some common diseases are root rot, soft rot, fungal stem, and leaf rot.
Other especially attractive aloes include the Tiger or Partridge Breasted Aloe (Aloe variegata) and Lace Aloe (A. aristata).
Wit & Wisdom
To reduce dandruff, massage your scalp with aloe vera.