These days, it seems aloe is everywhere, from tissues to lotions to herbal medications. But you don’t have to spend a ton of green to enjoy the elements of this greenery at home. You can grow it yourself.
According to the International Aloe Science Council, the aloe plant is indigenous to Africa, and some say it was used by the Egyptians. However, it soon made its way to the U.S. and now, it’s practically everywhere. While native to a warm, dry climate, the aloe plant is very easy to grow at home no matter where you live.
The aloe vera plant can often be found growing outside in Southern California, Texas and Florida but those living farther north can also enjoy the multi-faceted fern as an indoor plant. “In general … most people in Tallahassee consider them indoor plants,” says Audrey Post, whose nom de plume is Ms. Grow-it-All. “However, with the right microclimate, an aloe could survive one of our standard winters outdoors.”
Aloe plants can start out very small, but they can also grow very quickly and are known to multiply. The plant has thick, succulent leaves and, according to the IASC, can grow up to four feet high. It thrives in bright light and needs very little water, much like the cactus.
Aside from its unique beauty, the aloe plant is also known for the gel inside its crisp, spiky leaves, which many people use to relieve the sting and redness of a first-degree burn. Just break open a leaf and smooth the gel onto the burned area three to four times a day.