Aloe vera  

(al' o veer' ah)

Common name: Medicinal Aloe

Family: Liliaceae (Aloeaceae), Lily

Height x width: 2' x 2' or more (or less indoors)

Growth rate: moderate

Foliage: basal rosettes of lance-shaped, fleshy and succulent gray-green leaves 6-18" long, with firm pale pink marginal teeth; forming clumps

Flowers: tubular yellow in racemes to 3', seldom in cultivation indoors

Light: full sun, will tolerate bright to moderate

Temperature: warm to cool, 40-50º when inactive

Watering: let dry between waterings, and less when inactive

Fertility: low

Humidity: dry

Soil: well-drained soil mix with sand or perlite

Pests and Problems: root rots, stem rots, mealybugs, scales

Growth habit, uses: deset garden, pot, windowsill

Other interest: widespread in tropical and subtropical regions; from the Greek allal or Arabic alloch meaning bitter; the sap of the species helps burns, and the sap of several species including this one is a popular cosmetic for helping skin and use in shampoos; over 300 related species in the genus, varying widely

Other culture: leaves become pale and red with poor soil, too low fertility and too dry

Propagation: removal of offsets, seeds

©Authored by Dr. Leonard Perry, Professor, University of Vermont as part of PSS121, Indoor Plants.

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