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Plant of the Week: Aloe Vera

Plant of the Week: Aloe Vera

Pop this handsome succulent onto a sunny windowsill indoors for your own home-grown first-aid kit. Aloe vera, also known as Barbados aloe, is invaluable for its ability to soothe cuts, burns (including sunburn) and skin problems like eczema: just break off one of the plump, sword-shaped leaves and rub the gel-like sap onto the affected area.

It’s super-easy to grow: just give it well-drained compost (mix a handful of grit in when potting to make sure) and keep it on the dry side, watering sparingly during summer and hardly at all in winter. It grows slowly into an architectural, silvery-grey plant that looks as beautiful as it is useful.