Aloë: houseplant of the month for August
Put a piece of living natural history on your table with Aloë, the dinosaur of houseplants, which is right back in fashion thanks to its primaeval and rugged look.
Golden ratio, pure nature
A stylised rosette with leaves that can range from silvery grey to dark green make Aloë a very distinctive houseplant which sometimes also produces fantastic flowers. The leaves can be smooth or serrated, and are arranged in accordance with the Golden Ratio. This is an ancient mysterious mathematical formula which gives a display which is most pleasing to the eye. It makes Aloë an impressive personality in the home, with its roots in prehistoric times.
Aloë’s tranquil, powerful look makes it an asset for the new interior style in which living greenery is increasingly being placed on a pedestal indoors. Aloë works in a mini garden, but also in a large indoor tableau, goes well with living, dried or fossilised nature and has precisely the organic and symbolic shapes which speak to the imagination and can turn your living room into a remarkable oasis. In this style Aloë combines best with natural materials such as stone, ceramic and pots with natural splash patterns.
Aloë as an air purifier
According to research by NASA, Aloë is a good air purifier. The plant removes harmful substances such as benzene and formaldehyde from the air. These are often produced by paint and chemical cleaning products. Because Aloë produces oxygen and absorbs carbon dioxide at night, it’s also an excellent bedroom plant to ensure a good night’s sleep.
Caring for Aloë
- Aloë prefers full sun – the position shouldn’t be darker than light shade.
- It’s a very easy plant that only needs watering once a fortnight.
- The one thing that Aloë really can’t stand is being saturated. The soil can be left to dry out a bit between waterings.
- Aloë grows enthusiastically, and needs a larger pot every two years.
Robust decorative plant
Aloë originates from Africa, and can be found all over that continent and on the Arabian peninsula. It’s a family of flowering succulents with more than 400 species. In the wild they can grow very large and survive in the most challenging places, as long as it’s dry and warm.
- In Sanskrit the word Aloë means ‘goddess’.
- The name is probably derived from the Arabic word ‘alloeh’, which means ‘bitter’ and refers to the taste of the sap from the leaves.
- As well as being a remarkable houseplant, Aloë is also a perfect patio partner for bringing a Mediterranean atmosphere to a garden. But do bring it indoors for the winter, since it cannot cope with cold.
- Aloë vera is known for its medicinal properties. The Ancient Greeks and Romans used the yellowish sap from the leaves to cool burns.
- Aloë symbolises ‘healing’, because the plant is able to heal itself and can make comeback even when it’s at death’s door.
For more information see: www.thejoyofplants.co.uk
Published on: 27 July 2017