The MSHS Educational Display at the Minnesota State Fair is particularly interesting this year for herb gardeners. We have about 30 different herbs growing in pots, from garden regulars like sage to unusual options, such as patchouli or coffee plants.
One favorite indoor herb is aloe. Many indoor gardeners grow aloe for its striking form, but you can grow it as a medicinal herb, too. Aloe vera is a succulent, meaning it likes a fair amount of sun and prefers to dry out between waterings. (It’s related to cacti, but has more water in it.) In a container outdoors, you should water it thoroughly every couple of weeks. Indoors it can be watered every three weeks or month. Be sure to let it dry out between waterings.
Aloe is a common ingredient in hand lotions and burn medicines, and you can use the gel in the center of the plant directly on skin. Just cut a leaf at the base, and squeeze the gel onto your burn or rash. Some folks even make homemade hand sanitizer using aloe and rubbing alcohol.
Aloe is a relatively inexpensive house plant, and like many houseplants, it can last for years, even generations! Do you grow aloe?