Aloe vera is a succulent plant species of the genus Aloe. The plant is stemless or very short-stemmed with thick, greenish, fleshy leaves that fan out from the plant’s central stem. The margin of the leaf is serrated with small teeth.
Before you buy an aloe, note that you’ll need a location that offers bright, indirect sunlight (or artificial sunlight). Direct sunlight can dry out the plant too much and turn its fleshy leaves yellow, so you may need to water more often if your aloe lives in an especially sunny spot.
Aloe vera plants are succulents, so use a well-draining potting mix, such as those made for cacti and succulents. Do not use gardening soil. A good mix should contain perlite, lava rock, chunks of bark, or all three.
Water aloe vera plants deeply, but infrequently. In other words, the soil should feel moist after watering, but should be allowed to dry out to some extent before you water again. If the soil stays overly wet, the plant’s roots can rot.
Mature aloe vera plants occasionally produce a tall flower spike—called an inflorescence—from which dozens of tubular yellow or red blossoms appear. This certainly adds another level of interest to the already lovely aloe!