Aloe verais a perennial herb from the Asphodelaceae (lower Asparagales) family.
It is an evergreen plant that is native to Arabia, and thrives in USDA zones 10 to 12. Plants typically grow to about two to three feet tall (0.6 to 0.9 m).
Aloe vera otonal photograph by Francisco Floreal Artese.
Aloe is a seasonal bloomer that produces bright yellow flowers in the summer.
Many people love it because it is a hardy herb that easily grows indoors as a houseplant with minimal watering.
Aloe vera is propagated from shoots or pups that grow at the base of established plants.
If you intend to grow it indoors, plant the shoots in pots with a hole in the base to enhance drainage and aeration.
For garden plants, observe a spacing of 16 by 18 inches (40 x 45 cm) so that each plant has enough space to expand.
Aloe vera grows on most soils but prefers sandy, well-drained loams.
Water once every week following planting, but increase the interval to two weeks once it has taken root.
Outdoors Aloe vera is a drought-tolerant herb that requires moderate watering in the summer, fall, and spring, but will be fine in the winter.
Remove weeds every month when the plants are young, you can increase the interval to six months for mature plants.
Common pests of Aloe vera include scale, and mealy bugs, which can be repelled with vinegar and other organic remedies.
Aloe vera does not require inorganic fertilizers, but you should mix the soil with organic matter to improve its texture and water retention.
You can however use compound fertilizers if you are growing it in bulk commercially.
Harvesting involves cutting the succulent leaves to extract the slimy sap. The sap has medicinal uses in skincare and for treating mild burns and cuts.
Aloe vera botanical drawing sourced from the Biodiversity Heritage Library by Rawpixel Ltd; CC.
Wilf growing Aloe vera flowers in bloom photograph by Tracie Hall; CC.
I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow succulents such as Aloe vera. You may also enjoy the following growing guides on How to grow succulents such as: Senecio articulatus and Mesembryanthemum.