The Miracle Aloe Plant grows so easily and so well! This plant can be grown in a variety of situations. I have seen aloe vera grows in partial shade, less than eight hours of direct sun exposure. Aloe vera leaves are ready to use almost immediately. However, if you want to get the full benefit of the healing powers this plant has I recommend you wait at least six years for your plant to mature.
Sometimes this is impractical for some people, but if you plant various aloes throughout your garden including mature plants then while you wait for the others to mature you can harvest from your older transplants. Aloe vera is such a generous plant in many ways. Once in the ground, they multiply on their own by sending baby off shoots. These babies can be transplanted to other areas of your garden.
Aloes are not demanding, they can thrive on little water and poor soil. As hardy as they are you still want to provide the best growing conditions you can. A well draining planting area should be ideal for your aloe. I like to plant them in an area that does get some shade; the direct sun can sometimes burn aloes. Having some organic matter in the soil where you plant them can be good, but don’t over do it. Remember aloes are relatives to desert plants.
Aloe veras as they mature will send out a long tall stalk. This stalk will be their flower it is usually yellow. After sometime the stalk will dry out and for aesthetic reasons you may remove it. To use both externally and internally, simply remove a leaf from the bottom of the plant carefully. Let the sap drain away so as not to stain your skin. Allowing the leaf to "bleed" out will make for a less bitter taste, if taking internally.
Next remove the pointy edges on both sides of the leaf. Then fillet the gel-center, removing the outside green skin from the translucent gel. Now for external use, you can throw the gel in a blender or just apply direct as a poultice. When blended, the mucilaginous gel can be applied as you would lotion.
Aloe vera is great for your hair and skin. It not only alleviates sunburn but it also soothes any irritations. It is has a cooling refresh feel on the skin, great for hot days when you are escaping the heat. When taken internally, it benefits your digestive system. It has the same soothing effects on the inside as it does on the outside. Aloe vera can sometimes have a bitter taste but I believe the happier your aloe is the less bitter it will taste.