Connect with the Seasons: Aloe Vera.
Byline: Liz Curtis, Horticultural Therapist
Indoors plants are my current obsession. They have made a huge comeback in recent years and it never ceases to amaze me just how much peace and tranquility these little green organisms add to my home - and once you have one, it's hard to stop!
I like to decorate with relaxation in mind. When I come in from work, I want to feel soothed and tranquil in my home. Of course, you can achieve this with neutral tones and other decorating tricks - but in my opinion nothing works as well as having indoor plants. Did you know they act like little air filters purifying your living space? Currently my Aloe Vera is the one that has really stood the test of time, and gets the most use (kitchen burns needed soothed!). It's an incredibly tolerant houseplant. It will put up with low light (though it does prefer direct sunlight) and loves sporadic watering (overwatering is much more likely to kill it).
Buying your Aloe: I have recently noticed some amazing local indoor plant stockist/ stores - do a little research and find a local independent supplier. Then head out to select your new Aloe Vera. The biggest difficulty here will be stopping at just one plant Soil & Pots: You may need to pot on your Aloe Vera into a larger pot, or you may want to use a specific pot you have already bought. There really is a fantastic range of indoor pots to choose from.
It will need free draining, succulent/cacti soil. You could try mixing half sand and half potting soil, but better to plant in some organic cacti and succulent mix. What your Aloe plant grows in is very important, so make sure you have the right mix. Indoor plants really don't like the normal compost used for outdoor growing.
Light & Water: Bright, sunny conditions are ideal. Although bear in mind aloe Vera will put up with less sunlight than other indoor plants. It's a dryland plant so water heavily, then allow the potting mix to dry out completely before watering again. This means only watering about every 2-3 weeks, or even less frequently during winter.
All I need to do when I get a small kitchen burn, is tear of one of the think fleshy leaves and apply it directly to the area affected. It' such a simple, useful indoor plant.
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