Aloe Vera plants are one of the most popular ornamental plants in the country today. Whether you go to a super market, a home improvement store or a flower shop, chances are that you are going to run into a little stands with a few potted aloe plants on it. There are two overall reasons for Aloe’s popularity as an indoor plant. The first reason is because Aloe Vera is an attractive plant that requires minimal amounts of attention. The second and most important reason is that Aloe is a popular home based folk medicine that people have been using for centuries for skin and digestive disorders.
Easy to Care for
The reason why we busy Americans like aloe is because it happens to be a very hardy plant that can go without water for a very long time and can survive severe temperature swings. The lance like leaves of the Aloe Vera plant contain a gel like substance that helps them store vast amounts of water. This gel is also rich with long chain polysaccharide sugars that help it to fight off bacterial and fungal infections if the tough outer skin happens to get punctured or damaged.
Things to watch out for
While the plant is nearly indestructible, there are a few things that you need to look out for. Since the plant originates from sub tropical Africa and is 95 percent water, frost and below zero weather it like kryptonite to it. If you live in a colder state, it is best to keep the plant indoors at a sunny window for the duration of winter. The the plant is also so great at retaining water, it is also very easy to over water an Aloe plant and rob its roots of vital oxygen. Be sure to let the roots dry out completely between watering, especially in the winter time when the plant is more dormant.
Since the roots of the plant tend to want to spread out rather than dig deep, it is better to go wider that deeper with your replacement pot. You can mix your own soil using plenty of perlite and sand to aerate the root system or simply use a cacti potting mix. Be sure to place pebbles of varying shapes and sizes at the bottom of the pot to help ensure proper drainage.
With a little bit of care and maintenance, this nifty little plant will be giving back to for many years to come. If you happen to get a burn, scrape or cut, simply tear off a piece of the Aloe leaf and apply theinner gel to the trouble spot. It will help soothe away the pain as well as help to heal and repair the damage. You can also ingest the gel if you suffer from indigestion and constipation. It is like having a whole medicine cabinet sitting on your window sill.