Herself's Houseplants

Killing plants so you don't have to

Aloe Vera





(aloe happily thriving in parking lot in Hawaii )

As far back as Egyptian times Cleopatra used the juice in the leaves of this plant have been used to treat her skin, burns and wounds. It is a fantastic healing salve. The juice does not keep well so try to keep a fresh aloe plant in the house.

Treat this as you would any cactus. Water it only when the soil is dry about 4 inches down. Thoroughly water it when you do water it. Allow excess water drain out of the bottom of the pot.

Aloe needs quite a bit of direct sunlight. Place it in a south facing window with no blinds or curtains blocking light. If it is not getting enough light, as is often the case in winter here in New England, the leaves will get soft and may bend down and crease.

Aloes have shallow root systems and so prefer wide rather than tall pots.

Cactus do not like to be fertilized. Do not fertilize them or fertilize lightly if you must.

When the aloe vera plant is large and old enough, it will begin to grow babies which you can separate out into separate plants when they are large enough.

I found several websites mentioning aloe vera as a poisonous plant but little information. I suggest you do not eat the plant, better to look at it and use it on burns.

Dying aloe plants can usually be revived by giving them lots of sunlight and little water. Use fluorescent table lamps to bring up the light level for your plant if you are going through a long dark winter.

Happy aloe plants will bloom indoors.

Problems:
Lack of sun and too much water are common causes of problems in aloes grown inside.

Leaves bent down instead of up means too little light.

Aloe rust can occur.  If so give the plant more light and less water, if that doesn't work try a fungicide.

Aloe rust can occur. If so give the plant more light and less water, if that doesn't work try a fungicide.