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Aloe Vera- Aloe barbadensis

Aloe Vera is renowned for its health benefits, particularly for soothing burns and hydrating the skin. However, did you know that this evergreen succulent also flowers profusely in winter under the right conditions? With green to grey-green clusters of leaves that rise almost straight up from the base, Aloe Vera sometimes features small white spots and short stripes on its upper and lower surfaces. Each thick and fleshy leaf is lined with short, not very sharp thorns along the edges.

A rosette plant with thick elongated pointed leaves with sharp ridged edges.

General Care

Sunlight:
Indoors, place Aloe Vera in a well-lit spot. Outdoors, it thrives in full sun but should be protected from harsh afternoon sunlight.

Water:
Water occasionally, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings.

Humidity:
Aloe Vera is suitable for all climatic zones.

Soil:
Use a good quality, well-draining potting mix.

Aloe barbadensis on a bathroom shelf.

Common Problems

Aloe Vera has very few common problems, but it can be attacked by small sap-sucking insects such as scale, mealybugs, and aphids. Keep an eye out for these pests and control them with a garden insecticide if necessary.

Symptoms and Causes:

  • Yellowing, limp, mushy leaves: Typically caused by overwatering.
  • Yellow spots on the leaves, turning brown: Often a sign of fungal disease or root rot.

Precautions

While Aloe Vera has many benefits, consuming the leaves is toxic for people, dogs, and cats. Keep the plant out of reach of pets and children.