Houseplants: RHS advises on watering techniques
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RHS Ambassador Jamie Butterworth has shared how to position, water and pot popular aloe vera plants. Jamie said the plant likes a “sunny location” but plant owners should “avoid” putting them in “midday sun”. He said in a video for the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS): “Aloes like a sunny location such as a south-facing window sill where it can bask in the heat and the light.
“If possible though, try and avoid the plant getting scorched during the midday sun.
“Remember not to grow in a shaded position or around more tropical plants that require higher humidity.”
Aloe vera is also known for its cosmetic benefits.
The plant is often used in moisturisers or used to soothe burns and other skin conditions.
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Jamie said aloe is a “key ingredient” in many cosmetic products.
But primarily, the plant is also a houseplant that’s “easy to grow” and “difficult to kill”.
The plant expert continued: “Its large, thick fleshy leaves not only bring structure and architecture into the home but as an evergreen plant, aloe will provide interest throughout the entire year.
“Mature plants can also produce the most incredible bright yellow flowers which are quite similar to that of a red-hot poker.”
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Being a succulent, it’s important that aloe vera is not overwatered or put in the wrong potting mix.
A rich compost that has poor drainage could make the plant waterlogged when it’s watered.
Jamie continued: “When potting, make sure that you use a very free-draining compost and mix in plenty of grit.
“Aloes are succulents and these are ideal for anyone that’s a tad forgetful when it comes to watering.
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“When watering, allow the plant to completely dry out in between.
“Remember that its fleshy leaves store and hold a lot of water so it really doesn’t need to be continually flooded.”
While the plant’s sap is beneficial and is “much cheaper” than buying aloe vera skin cream, it should not be consumed.
“Although the sap is absolutely fantastic for skin care and burns, we would recommend that you don’t eat the plant as it can cause severe discomfort,” Jamie said.
Aloe vera was recently named the UK’s most searched for houseplant on Google’s Keyword Planner.
According to Google, it comes out as the most searched for houseplant with an average monthly search volume of 49,500.
The plant has also received over 4.6 million global hashtags on Instagram making it the most Instagrammable houseplant.
Aloe vera was searched 594,000 times in the last year.
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