Aloe vera is a simple and charming succulent that makes a great room companion. The aloe vera plant is also useful because the juice of its leaves can be used to relieve pain from scratches and burns when applied topically. How to Grow and Care for Aloe Vera Plants at Home!
No wonder so many people have these plants in their homes. But in order for these little ones to thrive, you must first learn how to care for your aloe so it can take care of you. These plants are easily identifiable as succulents due to their fleshy and stout stems; therefore, it is best to store aloe vera in dry conditions and in bright, indirect light. They are also fairly tolerant of infrequent watering – they only need to be watered every two weeks. Your plant might even produce How to grow Aloe vera, which you can then enjoy on a brand new plant!
About Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is a succulent plant of the genus Aloe. The plant has sessile or very short stems with thick, green, fleshy leaves that fan out from the central stem of the plant. The edges of the sheets have small teeth.
Before you buy aloe, note that you need a location that gets bright, indirect sunlight (or artificial sunlight). Direct sunlight can over-dry the plant and turn its succulent leaves yellow, so if your aloe is in a sunny spot, you may need to water it more often.
For regular use, place an aloe vera plant in a pot near the kitchen window.
How to Grow Aloe Vera
Aloe vera leaf gel can be applied topically, but should not be consumed by humans or pets. It can cause unpleasant symptoms such as nausea or indigestion, or even massive poisoning.
It is important to choose the right type of container. A pot made of terracotta or similar porous material is recommended, as it allows the soil to dry thoroughly between waterings and is also heavy enough to prevent the plant from tipping over. Plastic or glazed pans can also be used, although they will absorb more water.
When choosing a container, be sure to choose one with at least one drainage hole in the bottom. This is key because the holes allow excess water to drain. Aloe vera plants are hardy, but lack of proper drainage can lead to rot and wilting, which is easily the number one killer of this plant.
Choose a container that is about the same width and depth. If your aloe vera plant has stems, choose a container deep enough that you can plant the entire stem in the ground.
Aloe vera plants are succulents, so use a well-draining potting mix, such as those made for cacti and succulents. Do not use garden soil. A good mix should contain perlite, lava, bark, or all three.
There is no need for a layer of gravel, clay pebbles or other “draining” material on the bottom of the pot. This just takes up space that the root can use. One drain hole is enough for drainage!
(Optional) To encourage your aloe vera to establish new roots after planting, sprinkle the plant’s stems with rooting hormone powder. Rooting hormones can be found at your local garden center or hardware store, or you can buy them How to grow Aloe vera.
How to Plant an Aloe Vera Plant
If your aloe vera plant is leggy, overgrown, or just in need of an upgrade, it’s time to replant it. That’s it:
Prepare your pot. After a quick rinse of the new pan (or a good scrub if it’s one you’ve already used) and allowed to dry thoroughly, place a small piece of strainer over the drain hole. This will prevent the soil from falling off the ground and allow the water to drain properly. A double sheet of paper towel or newspaper will also work in a pinch, although these will break down over time.
Prepare your plants. Remove the aloe from the current pot and brush off excess dirt from the roots, taking care not to damage the roots.
If your plants have seedlings, remove them immediately. (See the Care section of this page for instructions on removing and potting puppies.)
If your plant has a long, bony stem that doesn’t fit in a pot, you can cut off the stem partially. Note that this is risky and may kill the plant. How to prune stems: Cut off part of the stem, leaving as much on the plant as possible. Next, place the bare plants in a warm spot that can get indirect light. After a few days, a callus will form on the wound. At this point, continue with the repotting instructions below.
Plant Your Plants Fill about a third of the pot with well-drained potting soil, then plant the plants in the soil. Continue to fill in the soil around the plant, remembering to leave at least 3/4 inch of space between the top of the soil and the edge of the pot. The lower leaves of the aloe vera plant should also be just above the ground. Do not water after planting.
Ignore your plants (for now). After you put your aloe vera in a new pot, don’t water it for at least a week. This reduces the chance of rot and gives the plant time to grow new roots. Until the plant looks rooted and happy, place it in a warm spot that receives bright but indirect light.
How to Care for Aloe Vera Plants
Lighting: Place in bright, indirect sunlight or artificial light. West or south facing windows are ideal. Aloe vera that is kept in low light conditions often becomes leggy.
Temperature: Aloe vera grows best in temperatures between 13 and 27°C. Temperatures are ideal for most houses and apartments. From May to September, you can easily bring the plant outside, but bring it back indoors on cold nights.
Fertilizer: Fertilize sparingly (no more than once a month), mixing at 1/2 strength only in spring and summer using a balanced houseplant formula.
Repotting: When the roots are established, follow the instructions under “Planting” above to repot.
How to Harvest Aloe Vera
Aside from its pretty decorations, aloe vera leaves contain a clear gel and are a popular home remedy. According to the Mayo Clinic, the substance can reduce the healing time of first- and second-degree burns and promote wound healing. Applying aloe vera gel to the skin may also help reduce acne and redness caused by mild to moderate psoriasis. However, the Mayo Clinic does not recommend ingesting aloe vera because overeating can lead to kidney damage.
With this in mind, if desired, you can cut an aloe vera leaf (as close to the stem as possible) and rub the succulent end over a sunburn or sore.
Some people also like to use aloe vera juice as a conditioner, makeup remover, or even as a brow gel. While there’s no guarantee it’ll work as well as some of your favorites, you can get more juice by cutting the spikes lengthwise and spooning out the contents. As long as your plant stays healthy, it will produce more and more!
>>> See more: Aloe vera plant size
How to Get Your Aloe Vera to Flower
Mature aloe vera plants occasionally form a tall inflorescence — called an inflorescence — from which dozens of tubular yellow or red flowers grow. This definitely adds another layer of fun to the already pretty Aloe Vera!
Unfortunately, aloe vera preserved as a houseplant rarely blooms because the plant needs almost ideal flowering conditions: plenty of light, plenty of water, and the right temperature range. Because of these requirements (mainly lighting), aloe vera flowers typically only appear year-round on plants grown outdoors in warm climates.
To give your aloe the best chance of blooming:
Give it as much light as possible, especially in spring and summer. Aloe vera can be kept outside in a sunny location when summer temperatures are above 21°C. Bring aloe vera indoors when nighttime temperatures are likely to drop below 16°C.
Note: Do not bring aloe vera from indoors to full sun right away; it takes time to get used to the bright light, or you could get a sunburn. Leave it in partial shade for about a week before moving it to a brighter spot.
Make sure the plant gets the right amount of water – enough to keep it from drying out completely, but not enough to drown it! If you keep the plant outdoors, make sure it won’t be constantly soaked by summer rain.
Give aloe vera proper rest periods in the fall and winter. Aloe vera tends to bloom in late winter or early spring, so a dormant period consisting of less watering and cooler temperatures can encourage it to bloom.
Don’t be surprised if it still doesn’t bloom. Despite our best efforts, indoor conditions are not ideal for most aloes, so don’t be surprised if yours don’t bloom!
Particularly attractive aloes are:
Tiger or Partridge Breast Aloe (Aloe variegata) – A compact form of aloe vera characterized by short, smooth leaves with uneven white streaks.
Aloe aristata – A small plant with white-spotted, finely serrated leaves.
Aloe glauca – A larger species of aloe with silvery-blue leaves.
Propagating Aloe From Pups
Puppies are clones of parent plants grown offset from the roots or stems of the original plant. They rely on the mother plant for water and nutrients until their own root system fully supports them.
All you need to do to propagate new plants from puppies is to gather some key materials:
Four-inch plastic containers, one for each puppy.
Cacti mixed with succulent soil, like this one from Dr. Earth, available from Home Depot.
Use a small trowel or knife to separate the offset from the parent plant.
If you or a friend have one or more flowering plants, watch carefully and choose the largest—about three to five inches is ideal, as this means the roots will thrive.
If growing in a large enough pot or outdoors, use a trowel or knife to gently loosen the puppy’s roots and pull them away from the root system of the mother plant.
If the puppy is a few inches tall and has long, strong roots, you may need to cut them off. Remove and place in the provided pot with the cactus and succulent mixture.
For smaller potted plants, use a knife to loosen the root ball from the pot. Shake or brush off the potting soil as much as possible, then pull the offset away from the mother plant and place the puppy in the prepared pot.
Refill the pot until the entire root system is covered, but make sure the stems and leaves are above the surface of the potting soil. Water the newly transplanted puppy thoroughly and place it outside or indoors in a warm, sunny place. Plants should receive at least six hours of sunlight per day.
You’ll need to water the plants every few days, allowing the top of the potting soil to dry out between waterings until roots form – this should take about a month.
Once the plant is established, the top two inches of soil should dry out completely between waterings.
Tell craigslistsitesusa.com, have you ever grown aloe vera? What’s your favorite use for that amazing gel inside the leaves? Please feel free to ask questions or share your stories in the comments section below.