Aloe vera is commonly grown as a houseplant and gained favor because the gel from its leaves makes a soothing skin salve. It's a fast-growing succulent, taking three to four years to reach a mature size. The spiky flowers appear on tall stalks, in shades of yellow, red, or orange. Young plants don’t generally flower, and aloe grown as a houseplant can take years to produce a flower stalk.
Aloe vera needs a sandy or gravelly soil, and to grow in a place that's bright with indirect sunlight: direct sun can burn its tender skin. Aloe prefers to be watered regularly, allowing the soil to dry out completely between waterings. If the plant is left dry too long, the leaves will shrivel and pucker slightly. They will recover when watered, but prolonged stress, either too much drought or too much water, will cause the leaves to yellow and die.