Aloe vera

Family: Asphodelaceae
Common name: Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera is an evergreen succulent plant that originated in the Middle East, but is not cultivated all over the world as an ornamental and medicinal plant. They are also popular indoor plants since they are drought and shade-tolerant.

The plant usually grows to a height of 25 inches, with thick green fleshy leaves which could be light or dark green. Margins of the leaves are toothed with sharp or blunt thorns depending on the species. Once the plants mature, they produce pendulous orange flowers on long 25-30 inch spikes.

There are many species of miniature Aloe Vera as well that only grow 5-6 inches tall. Some species have striped leaves with white markings on the upper and lower surfaces, and species with curvy leaves as well.

Aloe Vera plants are used in a wide variety of cosmetics, hair care and skincare preparations. It can be an outdoor or indoor plant and needs very little water. In fact, problems arise mainly due to over watering.

There has been many studies that revealed that Aloe Vera helps in stomach ailments, acts as a mouthwash, lowers blood sugar, relieves sunburn and gives you a glowing skin. Aloe gel can be made it home after cleaning the leaf and cutting off the outer green layer. Check for allergies before you use it, since there are many people allergic to Aloe Vera gel.

Propagation – The mother plant produces small ‘pups’ or saplings all around it, which can be pulled out gently and replanted, making it the ideal plant for amateur gardeners. Even if you forget about your plant for couple of weeks, Aloe Vera will still thrive and reproduce.

Photo Courtesy: Paulsy Willy