It's no secret that we're big plant lovers here at KINN. Their physical and psychological benefits are well worth owning an indoor jungle, especially plants that have other gifts to offer. Aloe vera is fantastic for the skin, as well as adding to smoothies. You can add it to your daily moisturiser, lather on sunburnt skin or consume it for help with blood sugar regulation, acid reflux, hydration and constipation. The best way to always have some aloe to hand is to keep your own healthy aloe plant. This way, you can harvest fresh aloe as and when you need it.
How to care for your aloe
Aloe vera plants don't really require much attention - they're pretty easy going as far as plants go.
While you can grow an aloe in a pot without drainage holes, we'd recommend a pot with holes to ensure your aloe can drain properly after watering. When an aloe is exposed to too much water, it can start to rot which is hard to recover from. Ensure there is a saucer underneath your pot, though, so the floor underneath doesn't get spoiled.
Another trick for keeping your aloe hydrated but not damp, is putting lava rocks on the bottom of the pot underneath your potting soil. Again, this will help water drain out from the soil and away from the roots of your aloe.
When the time comes to repot your aloe - choose a pot about an inch wider in circumference and use succulent potting soil. This soil has the correct nutrients for your aloe, as well as ensuring optimal drainage away from the roots.
Keep it in a sunny spot
Aloes thrive in indirect sunlight. This means in a light spot, without direct sunlight beaming down on them. Pop your aloe at least a few feet away from the window, ensuring that it's location is bright.
If your aloe is becoming tall and leggy, it's a sign that it is searching for more light. On the other hand, if it starts to go brown, red and/or spotty, try moving it out of such intense sunlight and into a more shaded area.
How to harvest your aloe
- Cut the thickest leaf at the base of the plant
- Cut the leaf into 2-3 pieces, then soak in water for 10-20 minutes
- Fillet the pieces by scraping out the fleshy part inside the skin
- Use topically on your skin by adding to moisturiser or applying directly.
NB: if you'd like to consume your aloe, make sure you do research on which type of leaves to cut. For instance, if the leaf isn't ripe enough, it can cause digestive issues. Also ensure you know how to fillet it properly for consumption - the latex coating underneath can also create nausea/digestive issues, so it's recommended to spoon out the flesh rather than squeezing it out with your fingers to avoid this.