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Wisconsin's Tropical Gardens

Plant Profile Series


ALOE VERA - Medicine Plant


Aloe vera is a member of the Lily family and there are many different varieties. It is a succulent plant, which means that it stores water in its tissues causing it to be an easy, low maintenance ornamental plant for the home.

Native to dry tropical regions of Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas, the Aloe has become very popular world wide, and for good reason. Its many medicinal and cosmetic uses have become well known. Since about 2,000 BC, the properties of Aloe have been utilized by cultures around the world as aids to health and beauty. Reported benefits of both external and internal uses are countless. Perhaps the best established benefit is the soothing and healing of burns. Today aloe vera is used in many commercial products including cosmetics, health foods and sun tan products.

SOIL / WATER: Use a well-drained soil and avoid standing water around the roots which will cause rot. Water generously, then wait until the soil approaches dryness before watering again. Use fertilizer sparingly and only during the warm months.

TEMPERATURE / LIGHT: As mentioned, Aloe is native to tropical climates, but it will do well in colder climates if protected from freezing temperatures. These plants prefer some shade, although they will withstand full sun if acclimated.

As an Aloe plant matures its beauty will be further enhanced by its blossom. A stalk of usually orange flowers arises from the plant's center.

This plant is quite often available, mostly in 3", 4" and 6" pot sizes.