This variety of aloe is the best known of all the existing aloes, not only for its medicinal properties but also for being a plant of easy maintenance and beauty. It is bright green with small light spots and like most aloes, it has spikes on the outer edges of its leaves. Learn all about Aloe barbadensis miller care and propagation in this article.
There are more than 500 species of the Aloe genus, being Aloe Barbadensis Miller, the scientific name of Aloe vera or Aloe Vera, which belongs to the Liliaceae family. Due to its incredible properties, together with the ease of cultivation, its production has spread worldwide.
This shrub is a perennial plant, which accumulates water in its leaves, being this capacity that characterizes it as succulent and allows it to survive easily in dry climates and high temperatures.
Its leaves are green, triangular, and with serrated edges, which simulate teeth or thorns. As I said before it is believed that this plant is native to Africa but today it is found in any warm region of the world. In addition to its ornamental value, it is cultivated indoors.
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Aloe vera receives many names depending on the geographical area where we are; from aloe vera in Latin America, Aloe vera in European countries and Asia, as well as aloe from Barbados or aloe de curacao in Brazil and Caribbean countries mostly.
The genus Aloe is native to Africa, Arabia, and Cape Verde, although Aloe vera is most likely native to North and South Africa, to countries such as Morocco, Sudan, Egypt, and Mauritania. It was introduced to Europe and China in the 17th century and its cultivation spread to many other parts of the world.
Today, Aloe vera grows in several countries, but mainly in the tropical and temperate climate zones of Mexico, Paraguay, Nigeria, Belize, Australia, Barbados, Paraguay, and the United States. In the United States, it is cultivated mainly in Arizona, Texas, and Florida.
Aloe vera is so easy to cultivate and requires so little maintenance that it grows and reproduces very easily. This is one of the main reasons why it has spread worldwide.
No matter what name we use, depending on whether you are in South America, Central America, or Europe the name will change, but the plant we are referring to is always the same.
A Quick Look at its Characteristics:
This plant prefers to be in full sun or partial shade.
Sensitive to prolonged extreme cold.
Aloe Barbadensis Miller grows between 31” (80 cm) and 40” (1 m) tall. Same width measurements.
Can be grown indoors if given sufficient light.
It reproduces by suckers, but also by seeds and cuttings.
It prefers hot and dry climates. Resistant to cold. Withstands up to 19.4 °F (-7ºC).
Typical water needs for an Aloe.
It is not toxic to humans but can be toxic to some animals.
Aloe barbadensis miller Care and Propagation
Aloe barbadensis miller Care
This Aloe is one of the most common succulents in the world. Most probably you have one at home or you have seen it in a friend’s house. Remember that it belongs to the lily family and that it is succulent. These two facts will help you to thrive in its cultivation.
Watering Aloe barbadensis miller
Aloe Vera tends to need a little less water than other aloes because it has more capacity to store it in the leaves. We must let the soil dry out before watering again.
Where to Plant Aloe barbadensis miller
Aloe Vera is not resistant to extreme cold, so if you live in an area that gets colder than 19.4 °F (-7°C), it is best to plant it in a container that can be brought inside. It works well in full or partial sun.
Plant it in an area of your garden that receives 6 hours of sunlight per day. If planting indoors, place it in a room that receives plenty of sunlight, such as near a south-facing window (if you’re in the northern hemisphere).
Propagation Aloe barbadensis miller
Aloe Vera is a very prolific plant, developing many offspring around the base of the plant when it reaches maturity. In theory, it can reproduce from leaves by burying them directly in the ground, as well as by seeds, however, the most effective and quickest way is from the offspring.
Aloe barbadensis miller Seedlings
Aloe Vera will produce small offsets, sprouting around the base of the plant. Simply cut them off (try to have roots) and allow the offsets to dry for a day or two before repotting.
Aloe Vera can be used in many ways. In the case of minor burns or cuts, you can cut or break a leaf and squeeze the gel inside, rubbing it on the affected area, it can also be ingested for other health problems.
Note: Always consult a physician before ingesting any plant. Although Aloe Vera is generally considered non-toxic, some people may experience adverse reactions.
Learn more How to Trim an Aloe Plant Step by Step.