Windowsill Aloes

If you've been reading my posts for a while and really paying attention to details, you may know that my house has very limited south-facing window space for plants. In fact I have exactly two windows that face south, one that is about 8" (20cm) wide with no sill, and the window in front of the kitchen sink.

Still though, I manage to keep a few plants here throughout the year, adding a couple more during the winter months. Right now the two plants are both Aloes.


Until a couple of months ago it was just a single Aloe, this small unidentified one that I planted in a glass. Then one day my wife (who is a baker and regularly comes home with burns) asked if I was growing Aloe vera.

Which I immediately used as an excuse to purchase my first Aloe vera -- I literally went to the store that  evening.

I've never grown this useful plant before, mainly because I don't really like the way a single specimen looks: sort of two-dimensional with the leaves growing opposite each other on the stem. So I made sure I chose a small plant that was producing as many pups as I could:

A couple of months later, the plant has really filled out -- there must be 7 or 8 offsets jammed into the small container!

Now that I've been growing this for a while, I have to admit it was a mistake to shun it for so many years. It's a pretty, carefree plant that I don't mind looking at every time I use the sink.

Let's look at the glass-planted Aloe now...

This guy has also produced offsets which are jammed against the glass:

Although I normally like large, fast-growing plants, this small, slow-growing one is perfect for the limited space I have here.

It's beautiful too, when you take a close enough look.

So those are the windowsill Aloes. What do you have growing in your kitchen window?

I may actually have a third Aloe in my terrarium, but that's in the basement, not something I look at every day, and is best left for another post.


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Lisa  – (December 23, 2012 at 10:11 AM)  

I bought a small aloe vera ten years ago for a dollar at a nursery that was closing. I re-potted it and then ignored it - my standard approach to houseplants. I would move it outside in the spring and back into the house in the fall. By this spring it had outgrown it's pot (by ALOT!) so I decided it was time to divide it.

When I pulled it out of the pot, I realized the original plant was mostly gone and I was left with six overgrown off-shoots. I broke those apart - pretty mercilessly - and potted them all. They looked dreadful. Then about mid-August they suddenly started to perk up and now - six beautiful aloe plants! Which means five nice Christmas gifts and one for me to do it all over again! I'd like to say I'll be more attentive this time, but that would be a lie!

And we do use ours all the time for burns - best thing I've ever found for soothing and healing.

Lisa  – (December 23, 2012 at 10:14 AM)  

I just realized you asked what was growing in my windowsill - the answer is "not aloe vera!" Ha! I'm in the same boat as you - one south facing window and no window sill to speak of. Maybe some day!

Hoover Boo  – (December 23, 2012 at 6:31 PM)  

Lovely little Aloes. They look happy.

I really don't grow much indoors because I'm always outside.

Nance  – (December 23, 2012 at 11:00 PM)  

I have one 3' window in the south wall of our house. I have a bamboo (grows in water) and an aloe. About 2 years ago I gave over the keeping of this bamboo plant to my retired husband.

Alan  – (December 24, 2012 at 7:30 AM)  

Nance: Do you wish for a big expanse of south-facing windows like I do? :)

(Your lucky bamboo in the water is a Dracaena, not actually a bamboo.)

Gerhard Bock (Succulents and More)  – (December 24, 2012 at 7:48 PM)  

Alan, if you ever want more windowsill aloes, I can send you some dwarf aloes. They look lost outside.

ricki  – (December 26, 2012 at 4:27 PM)  

Our kitchen windows face north, and look out onto a covered deck to boot, but beyond that is a bird feeder with plenty of action to entertain the cook. Mostly what I have on the sill is a collection of rocks and a small vase of herbs clipped regularly from the garden.

Alan  – (December 26, 2012 at 5:10 PM)  

Ricki: love the rock collection idea!

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