Have you ever thought about growing your own aloe vera plant? This chunky succulent has a long history of beneficial uses that include treating burns, exfoliating the skin, and reducing inflammation, according to the Baylor College of Medicine. Read on to learn more about the benefits of aloe vera and how to grow your own at home!
Where to Start
There are two options for those looking to grow aloe vera indoors: seeds and starter plants. Aloe seeds are typically less expensive than starter plants, but they take longer to grow. If you want the full growing experience—starting basically from scratch—you can find a variety of breeds and seeds online for purchase.
However, beginner aloe growers may have better luck with a starter plant from a local nursery. These small-sized succulents are available at most home and garden retailers.
Creating an Indoor Setup
Before bringing your pint-sized plant home, set up the space. Choose a pot that is as wide as it is deep and has a drainage hole at the bottom. It's a good idea to place a small screen over the hole to help keep soil in and excess moisture out. Fill the pot one-third of the way with a low-moisture, well-draining soil mix. As a succulent, aloe vera thrives in drier environments and won't do well with a potting soil that retains moisture.
When you're ready to introduce your plant to its new home, gently remove it from its container, brush off any excess dirt, and place it into the soil. Fill the rest of the pot with soil, leaving slightly less than an inch of space at the top.
Caring for Your Plant
It's tempting to give your newly planted aloe vera a healthy dose of water—but don't. Let your succulent adjust to its new space and put down roots. Place the potted plant in a warm room, making sure it gets plenty of indirect sunlight, and wait to water it until the soil is dry to the touch.
Most aloe plants only requiring watering every few weeks, explains The Old Farmer's Almanac, and waiting until the soil is dry helps reduce the possibility of root rot.
Using the Plant
Growing aloe vera for medicinal or cosmetic use can be an alternative to using products with artificial ingredients. You can reap the benefits of this plant by applying the gooey insides of the aloe leaf to your skin. Delicately slice open one of the leaves on your plant, scoop the gel out with your fingers or a cotton swab, and spread the gel over the affected area.
Aloe's soothing properties can also become an essential part of your skin routine. Along with using your own home-grown plants, you can capitalize on the many aloe vera soap benefits for your hands and skin, too. Choose aloe-vera based products made from naturally derived ingredients, such as Tom's of Maine Natural Fragrance-Free Sensitive Beauty Bar, which is gentle on skin while also helping maintain your skin's natural moisture.
Whether you want a simple soother or need burn-reducing benefits, growing aloe vera is an easy way to keep your sensitive skin healthy! Don't stress if you aren't exactly in the green thumb club. These hardy, drought-resistant plants are perfect for the novice gardener.
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Why It's Good
Soothe your skin and treat sunburn with the natural properties of aloe vera gel. Growing aloe vera plants indoors is an easy—and green—way to keep a constant supply of the beneficial gel within arm's reach!