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Aloe Plant Care

Martha Stewart Living Television

Although its origins are unclear, Aloe vera is widespread in South Africa, the Mediterranean, and Mexico. A member of the lily family, it can grow to a height of several feet. This impressive succulent does best in sandy potting soil with good drainage and thrives in full sun.

Plant Care Tips
Allow the plant to dry out fully between waterings, and keep in mind that aloe is dormant in winter, when you should water it sparingly so that it doesn't rot. In summer, your aloe will appreciate a sunny spot outdoors. If you keep it indoors, give the plant as much full sun as possible; a west- or south-facing window is best.

Fertilize every other week during active periods with a balanced liquid fertilizer. Cut back on fertilizing during the slow-growing fall and winter seasons.

Medicinal Use
The healing properties of the aloe plant have been praised for centuries. To use its soothing gel, cut off a section of a leaf, and make a vertical incision in its outer covering. The gel that comes out is especially good for burns.