A is for Aloe


An aloe plant, next to a kaffir lime, well out of the way of our drip system.

Aloe Vera is a succulent belonging to the lily family. Aloe has a long medicinal history attached to it and while it is edible, we don’t eat it. We do use it for the occasional sunburn, but have it around our patio in a pot primarily for its design characteristics. Part of the fun of gardening is finding plants with unusual colors of variegated leaves, or plants with shapes sporting Dr. Seuss-inspired form. Aloe has spiny, fleshy leaves resembling tentacles. Out of this cactus-looking plant shoots a tall, yellow tubular flower every so often. So, yes, Aloe is interesting and useful. More important to us, however, is that it resides in a corner of our patio where irrigation is tricky. Aloe needs very little summer water, and in the winter gets enough moisture from the little California rain we get. I’ve changed the soil once or twice in my Aloe container using a succulent potting soil. The change makes the plant happier, but the reason I really replant is to get the offshoots into their own containers. Guess what my friends get for their birthdays…

About master kindergardener

Santa Clara County Master Gardener since 2007, Mom since 2009, Gardener since birth.
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