Aloe chinensis, or Indian Medicine Plant, is the common plant that most of us grow as Aloe vera. They are native to India and Vietnam. Leaves are fleshy, bluish-green with white markings, lanceolate to 12 inches (30 cm) long and have prominent whitish teeth that run their entire length. The yellow sap from the plant has been used as a purgative and for treating burns and sores for centuries. They are easy to culture and are hardy in USDA zones 8-12.
Blooming Time: In the spring. The orange, tubular flowers are quite showy.
Culture: Aloe chinensis need full sun to partial shade to high indirect lighting with a well-drained soil mix. In the greenhouse, we use a soil mix consisting of 2 parts sand to 1 part peat moss to 1 part loam. The plants are well watered and then allowed to dry before water is applied again. They are fertilized monthly during the growing season. If the plants are grown for medicinal purposes they should be watered more and not allowed to dry completely. During the winter months, plants are watered only enough to keep them from shriveling.
Propagation: Aloe chinensis are propagated from offshoots of the main plant or from seed, when available.
Aloe chinensis was featured as Plant of the Week April 30-May 6, 2004.
Guide to Past Plants-of-the-Week:
Cal's Plant of the Week was provided as a service by the University of Oklahoma Department of Microbiology & Plant Biology and specifically the late Cal Lemke, who used to be OU's botany greenhouse grower and an avid gardener at home as well. If the above links don't work, then try the overview site. You may also like to look at the thumbnail index. ©1998-2012 All rights reserved.