The Versatile Aloe Vera Plant:

Note: No information given here, especially regarding medicinal and consumption uses of plants, should be considered medical advice; what you will find here is my opinion, either first handed or info found via internet research, and it could be incorrect. I have spent many hours finding out and cross-correlating this information to make sure it was as accurate as possible and am posting it here for your convenience. However, you should also do your own research – you are responsible for your own knowledge, decisions and actions. 

Aloe Vera Plant
Aloe Vera Plant

About These Plants:

About the Aloe Vera plant.
Not only is Aloe vera an easy-to-care-for house plant, but it is also used for medicinal purposes and has been for thousands of years. The gel inside of this plant’s leaf has been used to make gels, creams and ointments for topical use to manage various skin conditions. You can also purchase products in capsule or liquid form to ingest for health reasons. Consumption of Aloe Vera may have negative results. Be sure to read the potential issues and  side effects below in this article.

How big do these plants grow?

As with most plants, the size of the aloe vera depends on many variables such as the size of the pot it is kept in, the soil type, the climate and the amount of fertilizer the plant gets. In general Aloe Vera plants grow to approximately  (24–39 in) tall and 24″ wide.

Growing Needs:


While adult Aloe plants require around six to eight hours of sunlight each day, younger plants need less direct sun. Aloe plants are grown in warmer climates but can also be grown indoors in cooler, but not cold temperatures.


Zone 9a (Minimum 20° F | -6.7° C)
Aloe is not a cold hardy plant and is typically kept in a sunny window within homes as a house plant.


I use potting soil with fertilizer already in it and add sand and vermiculite to help keep the soil from packing.


This plant does not need high humidity to thrive.


I’ve read several articles on watering this plant and found conflicting recommendations. Some say that you should water the Aloe when the soil is dry and enough to wet about two inches below the surface, and that you use your finger to see how dry the soil is first. I’ve also read that you may need to water the Aloe once a week or even less. Over may many years of growing plants, I’ve learned that it is best to under-water than over-water most plants. If you over-water your Aloe, the tips of the aloe leaves turn brown. The Aloes I keep in the house get watered every other week and are very happy and healthy. In the Summer, the Aloe plants in the greenhouse, where it’s very hot and dry get watered about the same, but in the winter when the greenhouse is humid, I barely water the Aloe plants at all and they too are very healthy. Just make sure the pot your Aloe is in has drain holes on the bottom to allow any excess water to run out. I prefer clay pots myself.


Aloes don’t really need to be fertilized, but you can ad some if desired. If you want to fertilize your Aloe, only fertilize it once a year, preferably in the Spring time.

When fertilizing use liquid 10-40-10 houseplant mixes or fertilize mixes that are made specifically for succulents. Some suggest that you water your plant thoroughly a day before feeding with fertilizer to flush out any lingering salts and reduce the risk of tip burn.


In general, this is an easy plant to take care of. It is a clean plant to maintain as there are no small leaves to manage and clean up after.

If you find a leaf turning yellow and shriving up, cut back water and remove the near-dead leaf.


Propagation is done by removing the offsets that will grow at the base of the plant, wait a day or two for the plantlets to dry out then simply replant the offsets in soil.

The Aloe will provide you with many offsets or plantlets.


How to harvest from the aloe vera plant?

Harvesting gel and juice  from an Aloe is quite simple. Your plant should be at least a few years old and mature to ensure the leaves have a higher concentration of the active ingredients that will benefit you.

It is best to harvest from several plants if you wish to harvest a lot of tel and or juice from this plant. After harvesting from a plant you must wait about a month or more before taking from it again.

To harvest your aloe plant for gel and juice:

  1. Select thick leaves from the outside areas of the plant. You can remove 3-4 leaves at a time, depending on it’s size.
  2. Select leaves that are healthy and aren’t damaged or show signs of mold.
  3. Next, cut the leaves close to the stem where most nutrients are found.
  4. Do not cut into the roots!
  5. Carefully wash and dry the each of leaves.
  6. Trim off the prickly edges of each leaf using a sharp knife.
  7. Separate the gel inside the leaf from the outer leaf. Use a knife or your fingers. This gel is the part of the aloe that you want and will use.
  8. The leaf will drop yellow sap (the aloe vera latex.) Position the leaf over a bowl to save the latex if you wish to use it, otherwise it can be disposed of.
  9. How you process the gel depends on how you wish to use it. You can cut it into slices or cubes or put it into a blender then strain it to remove the pulp if you want a smooth aloe gel.

How To Use This Plant:

Fresh aloe gel can be added to drinks, smoothies or food.

It can be applied directly to your skin or you can use a recipe to make a number of homemade beauty products.

Make aloe juice by mixing:

1 cup of liquid for every 2 Tablespoons of Aloe gel. Add other ingredients such as ice, frozen fruit, chia seeds, etc. and blend together to mix up your drink.

You can also eat fresh slices of aloe gel.

Keep the gel fresh in the refrigerator for a few days; eat as soon as possible.

Aloe gel can be frozen for later use.



Medicinal Benefits:

  • Heals burns
    Due to its soothing, moisturizing, and cooling properties, aloe vera is often used to treat burns.

  • Improves digestive health
    Consuming aloe vera may benefit your digestive tract and help to soothe and cure stomach ailments, including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

  • Promotes oral health
    Aloe vera toothpaste and mouthwash are natural options for improving oral hygiene and reducing plaque.

  • Clears acne
    Using fresh aloe on your face may help clear up acne. It is likely to be less irritating to the skin than traditional acne treatments that include various other products ie fragrance, chemicals, etc. You can buy aloe products that are developed specifically for acne, such as cleansers, toners, and creams. These products may have the extra benefit of containing other effective ingredients, too.

Potential Issues With Using This Plant:
Note:  ALWAYS talk with your doctor before consuming any type of plants as many people may experience bad reactions or side effects.
  • Minor Skin Issues
    Most people have no problem using aloe vera when used  topically. However,  skin irritations and allergic reactions are possible. Never use aloe vera or any severe cuts or burns.

  • Who SHOULDN’T Use Aloe Vera
    Many articles I’ve read advise that both women who are pregnant or breastfeeding and children under 12 years old, should avoid the oral use of aloe vera.

  • Potential Diarrhea & Cramps
    The laxative effect of the yellow ‘goo’ in the aloe vera leaf named  latex,  may cause diarrhea and abdominal cramps. These effects can also  inhibit the absorption of oral drugs, reducing their effectiveness.

  • Do not take internally use aloe vera if you have the any of these conditions:

    • hemorrhoids
    • kidney conditions
    • renal disorder
    • cardiac condition
    • Crohn’s disease
    • ulcerative colitis
    • intestinal obstruction
    • diabetes


Possible\ side affects of consuming  aloe vera include:

  • kidney issues
  • blood in the urine
  • low potassium
  • muscle weakness
  • diarrhea
  • nausea or stomach pain
  • electrolyte imbalances


If you are taking the following medicines, be sure to talk to your doctor first as aloe vera may interact negatively with them:

  • water pills(diuretics)
  • herbs and supplements
  • corticosteroids
  • digoxin (Lanoxin)
  • warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven)
  • sevoflurane (Ultane)
  • stimulant laxatives
  • diabetes medications
  • anticoagulants

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Videos you may find useful about Aloe Vera:

Live plants for sale


  • As you will see noted throughout this website, this is not a business. It is my back yard hobby. 
  • Periodically I have several of the plants posted here that I must sell off to make room in the greenhouse for different plants and to help off-set the cost of running the greenhouse. I tend to sell the most in August – September as I prepare for the winter months.
  • Any information regarding the care from any of the plants listed here is based on either what has worked for me, what was on the plant’s seed package or label, or what I have learned off of the internet from various sources, for which I provide their names/websites. I am simply sharing my findings with you.
  • What works for me and others may not work for you. It is your  responsibility to research and determine the care you wish to provide the plant and whether or not to use the plant in any way indicated or to try any recipes included.
  • Always consult your doctor before consuming any plant material due to potential bad reactions and/or side effects.

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