Aloe vera is one of those plants that everyone recognises on sight and I grow it because I love the look of it. The thick fleshy leaves have little white barbs that look like teeth but this must be one of the friendliest plants.
It pops in all sorts of beverages, moisturising products and sunburn remedies. Here is an example of how you can make your own gel http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Aloe-Vera-Gel
Here is a cut leaf showing the gel:
Apparently the gel and juice taste awful but I haven’t tried them. Freshly cut leaves and the gel have an unpleasant acrid smell but you have to get pretty close to smell it.
The flower is very attractive, lasts a long time and is perched a top a metre tall stem.
- all year
I have it planted in rich well draining soil that only gets a little sun during winter and afternoon sun during summer. I generally keep clear of it when using fertilisers and find it very low maintenance. If potted, it is also very happy to be inside for long periods.
Aloe spreads via ‘pups’ that bud off the edges as a ready made plant. These are easily transplanted and potted aloe vera plants makes a great gift.