Aloe vera has been one of the most popular houseplants for decades, because it’s really easy to look after. It hardly ever needs watering. A bright spot is all it asks. This variety, aloe vera ‘Paradise’, is a close relative of our other aloe vera, Franky. The main difference is this one is smaller and has cute spots.
In the wild, aloe vera grows all over the world, including North Africa, Spain, Mexico, China, Australia and southern parts of the USA. Basically, anywhere hot and dry. It’s used to going for months without rain, so its leaves are full of gel that stores water.
A wild aloe vera could grow as big as a metre across. If you think that’s impressive, its flower spike can reach 90cm. UK growers will probably never see an aloe vera flower – we don’t have the right conditions – but they’re beautiful. They look a bit like the flower known as red hot poker.
Your aloe vera will stay quite small and compact. If you put it near a (non-draughty) window it will be very happy. This is a brilliant plant for beginners who want something that looks impressive and requires very little work.
Did you know?
There are records of aloe vera being used for its medicinal properties since the 16th century BC.