The Aloe Vera Plant. How to keep your medicine plant healthy
The Aloe Vera Plant, also known as The Medicine Plant and The Burn Plant is a short stemmed succulent plant and great for those who don’t have green fingers as it thrives on neglect.
Related to the Lily family the Aloe Vera is cactus like in appearance with thick, tapering spiney or serrated green leaves. The leaves, when pressed or squeezed, produce a sap which is commonly used in the cosmetics industry and in herbal or alternative medicine. This sap and it’s extracts have been reputed to treat a wide range of ailments including burns, skin infections and asthma. More information on the possible medicinal effects of this plant can be found in the New England Journal of Medicine.
It’s natural habitat is semi-tropical North Africa and now grows well in Australia, The Arabian Peninsula, Southern US states etc. When grown in Ireland and other northern climates it is best used indoors as a decorative plant. Being from a warmer climate than ours it likes arid conditions so when potting make sure the soil is well a draining sandy medium. Allow to fully dry out between watering, avoid over watering and any watering over the winter months when it enters a dormant stage.
It is best placed in a sunny area but not in areas like conservatorys as too much sunlight can burn it’s leaves. Over time new Aloe Vera plant shoots will begin to develop from the “mother plant”. To avoid over-crowding the plant should be divided and repotted.
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