Is Aloe Vera a Cactus?
Although similar in appearance to cacti, aloe vera is not a cactus but a succulent and a member of the lily family. Aloe plants are more closely related to tulips and asparagus than to cacti.
Cacti, like aloe vera, are succulent desert plants often grown indoors on sunny windowsills. However, aloe vera is not covered in the sharp, needle-like thorns cacti are known for.
Aloe vera, also known as a burn plant or medicine plant, is a succulent often grown as a houseplant. Aloe is known for its healing properties as a topical analgesic. Aside from reportedly relieving itching, it is thought to reduce pain caused by minor burns and other skin irritations.
“Succulent” is the name given to plants that store their own water. Many succulent plants are native to desert regions and are kept only as houseplants in colder parts of the United States. Like most desert plants, succulents should be placed in a sunny location and watered sparingly.
Remove Aloe Vera From The Ground
Wear garden gloves and long sleeves to protect skin against the small prickly points on the edge of aloe vera leaves. Dig straight down with a garden shovel in a circle around the aloe plant about 8 inches out from its base. Lift from the root ball and lay the plant gently on its side on a tarp; this may require some assistance with very large aloe vera plants, as the succulent foliage can be quite heavy. Check in the hole to ensure no root particles or aloe pups remain. Clear any debris from the hole and refill with soil.
- Union County College: Plant of the Week: Aloe Vera
- Colorado State University Extension: Plant Talk: Succulents
- University of Vermont Extension: Department of Plant and Soil Science: Growing Cacti as Houseplants
- Sunset: Plant Finder - Aloe Vera
- Desert-Tropicals.com: Medicinal Aloe
- University of California Davis Botanical Conservatory: Botanical Notes - The Genus Aloe
- Danny Lipford: How to Divide Aloe Vera and Other Succulents