What Is Aloe Barbadensis Leaf?


Used in gardens, cosmetics and medicinally, aloe barbadensis leaf is the spiny extension of the aloe plant, commonly referred to as aloe vera. The juice contained within the leaf is a versatile liquid that you may extract and use at home. Often grown in desert landscapes, aloe barbadensis leaves add an organic shape and subdued color to your gardening space.


Leaves of the aloe barbadensis plant display a light green hue and small spines on their borders. Within the clump of leaves, yellow flowers appear atop stalks during the winter season. Leaves are evergreen and reach a length measuring 18 to 36 inches. Aloe plants are slow-growing succulents widely planted as ground cover or accent plants. The plant and leaves grow to a height of 1 to 2 feet with a spread of 2 to 3 feet, according to the University of Florida IFAS Extension.

Care Requirements

A low-maintenance plant, aloe barbadensis thrives in full sun to partial shade and prefers well-drained soil no matter the site; however, aloe does not tolerate soil with high salt content. Aloe plants thrive on small amounts of water, so only water the plant when the soil is thoroughly dry. Aloe barbadensis is grown from seeds or cuttings. Seeds may need extremely long growth periods and are best when grown in greenhouses; however, cuttings are fully developed and mature within one year if kept in an ideal environment. In less ideal environments such as with improper sun exposure, aloe may take up to four years for full maturity. Plant drought-tolerant aloe barbadensis in U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 9 to 11 for proper growth and successful production of aloe vera juice within leaves. Climate in these zones includes annual low temperatures of 20 to 45 degrees Fahrenheit in the southern regions of California, Nevada, Arizona, Texas, Louisiana and Florida.

Leaf Use

Referred to as aloe barbandensis, aloe vera, Barbados aloe and medicinal aloe, the leaves of this plant are acclaimed for their healing properties. The juices within the aloe barbadensis leaf have soothing properties when applied to burned skin. Simply cut the leaf from the rest of the plant and apply the juice directly to the skin in a thin layer that fully covers the affected area. The juice is available for internal consumption, usually in diluted solutions, to soothe the digestive tract and for use as a mild laxative.

Indoor Use

Aloe plants will also thrive when grown indoors. Due to its slow growth, aloe is well-suited as a houseplant because its upkeep is minimal; use well-drained soil and remember that aloe is drought tolerant. Water your aloe plant only one time every two to three weeks. Make sure your aloe plant receives some direct sunlight during the day, though the plant can grow in partial shade. Any indoor temperatures are suitable; the lowest temperature aloe barbadensis plants can handle is 40 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the Penn State Cooperative Extension.


Though aloe leaves provide health benefits, their spines and erect nature may present a danger to children, so be mindful of placement. Generally resistant to pests and disease, aloe barbadensis plants are occasionally affected by mealy bugs or caterpillars that chew through unestablished leaves, causing holes and potential for diminished health. Maintain proper care requirements for your plant, and your hearty aloe barbadensis leaves will remain healthy and productive.

Keywords: aloe barbadensis leaves, aloe barbadensis juice, aloe medicinal burn

About this Author

Tarah Damask's writing career, beginning in 2003, includes experience as a fashion writer/editor for Neiman Marcus, short fiction publications in "North Texas Review," a self-published novel, band biographies, charter school curriculum, and articles for eHow. She has a love for words and is an avid observer. Damask holds a Master of Arts in English and creative writing from the University of North Texas.