Did you know that the bottle of aloe vera you keep in the medicine cabinet to soothe sunburn, small cuts and burned fingers comes from an actual plant? The Aloe Vera plant, also commonly called Aloe, is a fleshy-leaved succulent common in tropical climates. The thick, oozing white sap that drips from the thick leaves of this unusual plant is a natural balm that has been used by native people for centuries to soothe cuts and burns.
The thick variegated green leaves of this plant make Aloe Vera and attractive container plant. Aloe Vera is easy to grow and does best planted in gritty, extremely well-drained soil. Because Aloe Vera is a natural desert plant, the soil should be allowed to dry completely between thorough waterings. For healthy growth, liquid fertilizer can be applied twice a month. To approximate its desert home, this succulent should receive 6 or more hours of bright, indirect sunlight each day. Aloe Vera can be grown successfully indoors year round and moved outdoors during early summer, if desired. The plant will prosper as a container plant or may be planted directly into the garden for the summer. Once nights turn cool in the early fall, Aloe Vera should be dug up and brought indoors.
Many people like to keep a pot of two of Aloe Vera handy, particularly in the kitchen. Children marvel when you break off a leaf and let the natural healing sap drip onto a cut or burn. Rub in gently and reapply as necessary to remove pain and promote healing. Aloe Vera can be mixed with Succulents (Aeonium Echeveria) and Burro Tail in a shallow bowl or tray to create a visually interesting succulent garden.