This popular, happy-go-lucky indoor plant, quite frankly, had us at Aloe (sorry, we had to!)
Aloe Vera, also known by its botanical name “Aloe barbadensis”, is a succulent family member with over 300 species found worldwide. This desert-native plant enjoys hot and tropical climates. It’s reasonably drought-resistant and can be found worldwide from the Californian coastline to the tip of Africa.
The aloe vera plant has a long rich history and is known as one of the oldest plants on record due to its vast medicinal properties and health benefits. The Egyptians were the first to record the nourishing benefits some 6,000 years ago; even Cleopatra is said to have incorporated aloe into her daily skin regime!
The Aloe plant is known for its thick, succulent leaves plumped with a watery gel-like substance. The leaves grow from the plant’s base in a rosette shape with flexible spines with jagged edges. Once matured, this plant can grow spiky flowers in shades of yellow, orange and red; however, many young plants can take years to produce a flower or, in some cases, never do.
Looking to introduce an Aloe Vera plant to your growing plant family? Read on to learn more about how you can care for your Aloe at home.
How to care for your Aloe Vera
Aloe has won over the hearts of many plant lovers for its hardiness and tolerance of infrequent watering.
Here are some key care tips to keep your Aloe happy and healthy:
Light- Aloe vera require lots of bright indirect sunlight. We recommend typically 6-8 hours per day. Your Aloe will be happiest on a sunny window ledge.
Water- Aloe can handle drought conditions but prefers to be watered regularly, allowing the soil to dry out completely between waterings. If the plant is left dry too long, the leaves will wilt and pucker slightly. They also cannot tolerate standing in water so, ensure there are plenty of drainage holes in your plant to allow excess water to run out. To ensure drainage in a pot, you can use cactus potting soil or mix in some perlite or coarse sand and make your own mix.
Temperature-. Aloe vera gel is 96% water — which is why it can stand up to desert conditions. Your little Aloe enjoys an average temperature between 13°C.-18°C. From May to September, you can bring your Aloe outdoors but do bring it back inside in the evening or when temperatures begin to drop. In the winter months, keep away from areas with fluctuating temperatures and drafts.
Feed- Aloe vera does not require high soil fertility. Feeding once a year, in the spring, with a houseplant fertiliser should be sufficient.
Cleaning- Aloe vera plants are reasonably resistant to disease however indoor growers might find some issues with mealybugs and scale. Avoid overwatering your Aloe and keep the stems dust-free to prevent these issues from occurring.
Typical Uses of Aloe Vera
Rated as one of the best air-purifying plants by Nasa's Clean Air Study, Aloe Vera works to remove harmful toxins and pollutants in the air and boost the room’s humidity. This can decrease the level of airborne diseases that can contribute to cold or flu-like symptoms.
And, as if that wasn’t enough, this hardworking plant has been used as a medicinal plant for thousands because of the many healing powers contained within its leaves.
Aloe Vera is proven to contain vitamins and enzymes that detoxify and support the immune system, lower cholesterol and blood sugar, digestion, provide a boost of vitamins, and help with acne and dehydrated skin.
The gel within the plant is loaded with healing vitamins, antioxidants, and nutrients and can improve and soothe dry skin, burns and acne.
It’s worth noting that while aloe vera is gentle, some people have been known to develop skin irritations and allergic reactions from it. The gel should never be used on cuts or burns that are quite serious. Always test a small amount on a tiny patch of skin before applying to the affected area and stop use if irritation occurs.
Where to Keep Your Aloe Vera at Home
This versatile plant is known to shine in any space within the home or workspace however, we believe it works best on a kitchen windowsill, where it acts as a self-regenerating first-aid kit.
Because of its air-purifying properties, Aloes are also an excellent addition to bedrooms. It emits oxygen at night instead of during the day, giving the air around it a boost that could benefit your sleep!
Stuck on ideas on how to pot your Aloe Vera? Here is a mood board we’ve put together for your inspiration:
Regardless of where you choose to home your little Aloe, ensure that it has access to enough sunlight.
Where to buy Aloe Vera?
The good news is that no matter your size or budget, we have an Aloe Vera plant for you! We stock Aloe Vera plants in many sizes on our online plant store.
If you enjoyed this blog, why not check out some of our similar posts:
- Plant Spotlight: Boston Fern
- Plant Spotlight: Air Plants
- Plant Spotlight: Devil’s Ivy
- Plant Spotlight: The Spider Plant