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Aloe Vera

Sometimes called the “First-Aid Plant”, this succulent is very popular as a house plant for a bright window. The gel in the leaf can be rubbed on cuts, rashes and insect bites to promote healing or relieve pain and itching. The gel is commonly used in many cosmetics and medications.


  • Light: very bright indirect light to direct morning or late afternoon sun.
  • Temperature: low 45 F, prefers 60 F to 85 F.
  • Water: allow soil to dry moderately between waterings, drier in winter. Do not allow plant to dry to the point of shriveling of the leaf tips.
  • Fertilization: use a flowering formula fertilizer every six to eight weeks.
  • Propagation: separate the young plants (offsets) that form at the base of the parent plant. Can also be grown from seed collected after flowering.
  • Transplanting: repot infrequently, only as needed, to the very next sized container. Clay works best, as the root ball will dry more evenly.


To use the Aloe vera plant as a topical treatment on the skin, break or cut a leaf, and either rub the broken end directly on skin, or scoop out some of the gel and apply. The leaf can be wrapped in plastic food wrap, and kept in the refrigerator for several days.

Related Plants

Succulents are some of the easiest of house plants. Other attractive Aloes include A. arborescens (Tree Aloe), A. brevifolia, A. ferox (Ferocious Aloe), A. mcloughlinii, A. squarrosa, A. striata, A. suprafoliata, and A. variegata (Partridge Breast).

Another group of succulents with similar cultural care requirements is Haworthia. Both genera are fun to collect due to the variety of interesting shapes, leaf colors, and growth habits.

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