Aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis, Barbados aloe) is a beautiful plant with spiky, meaty leaves with serrated edges. It’s a succulent from hot, dry climates that hold water in its leaves. It requires little watering, making it a great plant for beginners.
Aloe vera’s sap treats burns, scalds, sunburns, skin irritations, and bug bites. Cut a leaf in half and massage the sap directly on the skin.
The most popular Aloe vera plant is Aloe barbadensis miller. It has lush, succulent leaves with a watery gel within it. The leaves feature jagged edges and flexible spines and grow in a rosette from the plant’s base. It matures in three to four years and is a fast-growing succulent plant.
Long stems of prickly blooms in bright colors. Young plants seldom blossom, and aloe cultivated as a houseplant might take years to bloom.
How to Take Care Of an Aloe Plant
Because aloe vera prefers sandy or gravelly soil, it’s best paired with other succulents with similar requirements when cultivated outside. Pot aloe individually and use it as a focal point to incorporate it into a border planting. Raising the pot to eye level will draw attention to it. Potted aloe thrives on decks and patios and may be used to treat burns and bites in an emergency.
Related: 12 Best Succulents You Can Grow Low Light Indoors
Aloe Vera has to be in a bright, indirect light environment: Its delicate skin can be burned by direct sunlight.
Aloe vera plants have big leaves and strong roots that retain water. Too much water in the soil mix causes root rot. That is, they mush!
You should allow your Aloe vera to dry up before watering it again. I water it well and let it drain. Not in a saucer or tray with water, especially while growing indoors.
I water every 7-14 days in the summer, depending on the weather. Tucson had it weekly, but Santa Barbara has it every two weeks. It will need less water in the winter, maybe once every two months.
Indoors, once a month in the summer and every two months in the winter. I can’t offer you a timetable. The amount of water your Aloe Vera plant needs depends on its size, pot, soil mix, and plant.
An Aloe Vera prefers arid conditions. Plant it in properly drains soil to provide it with this dry habitat. A lot of Perlite and/or sand combined with potting soil is ideal for Aloe Vera. This helps the soil drain faster, as Aloe Vera does not like wet soil.
Aloe Vera is a fantastic plant for rock gardens since it quickly absorbs moisture. Plant your Aloe Vera in Leca or Pumice, which absorbs moisture quickly, and water your plant slowly. As you can see, several methods keep Aloe Vera dry.
– Humidity and Temperature
Aloe Vera thrives in temperatures between 55 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit but will withstand temperatures as low as 40 degrees Fahrenheit. It is unable to withstand cold.
Aloe vera does not require a lot of nutrients in the soil. It should be sufficient to feed once a year, in the spring, with a houseplant fertilizer.
Growing Aloe Vera
Grow aloe in a sunny place. Overwatering kills aloes, so water carefully. Do not water until the compost top a few centimeters has dried out, and do not water in winter.
Because terracotta is permeable, it enables the soil to dry between waterings. Make sure it drains. Choose a pot that fits the root ball. Use cactus, house plant compost, or regular multi-purpose compost with horticultural grit or perlite added. You may add grit to the compost to keep the plant’s base dry and prevent rot by absorbing moisture.
Succulents like Aloe Vera retain water in their leaves. Water them just when the top few centimeters of the compost dry out between waterings. Let the water drain completely – don’t let the plant stay in the water, as this can promote root rot. Winter aloes require little water.
The quickest way to propagate is to remove and divide the offsets or pups (babies) that develop off the mother plant’s base. Wait until the puppies are a reasonable size before removing them since the roots will be much better established in this manner.
Although most succulents may be grown from the stem and/or leaf cuttings, Aloe vera cannot. The stems and leaves are completely covered in gel, and I’ve never been able to propagate one this way.
Aloe Vera Seed Growing Procedures
Because plant beginnings are easily accessible, cheap, and in high supply, few people bother to grow aloe from seed. Another issue is that aloe plants rarely bloom or generate seeds that can be germinated when they are at least 4 years old. However, you’ll need to collect the seeds from spent flowers before you can start a new aloe plant from scratch.
The next thing to do is to combine sand and peat in a tray. The seeds should be scattered around the medium and watered until the soil is moist. It is recommended to sprinkle the medium to keep it wet and to place the tray in a brightly illuminated area at around 75 degrees Fahrenheit. The time required for sprouting is approximately two to four weeks. Until they have formed their first four leaves, young plants must be nurtured in a warm environment.
It’s time to prune your aloe vera plant’s outer leaves if they’ve developed brown tips. You can choose to cut off the afflicted section of the leaf using clean garden scissors or remove the entire leaf close to the plant’s root. New growth will be encouraged as a result of this. Leaves in the middle should never be trimmed.
Potting and Repotting
Aloe vera has a shallow and diffuse root system that likes to be close to the surface. If the plant has outgrown its current pot, you should move it to one wider rather than deeper. You should repot your aloe if it has become root bound or if its pups are crowded together.
Carefully unpot the mother plant and any emerging pups, taking special care not to scuff the leaves. Pups should be detached from their mothers by tugging or cutting them off; once they are dry, they can be replanted in a new location. Fill the bottom of a larger pot with cactus soil medium.
Move the mother plant to a larger pot, burying the roots completely and extending the soil line to the base of the primary crown. After giving the plants a good soaking, you should let the soil dry up before giving it more water.
What to Do to Make Aloe Vera Bloom
The aloe plant’s flowers are held atop rigid stalks that can grow to a height of one meter. Clusters of yellow or orange tubular blooms cover red hot poker bushes. There’s a poker-like quality to their blooms. But aloe vera can be a picky plant when it comes to flowering. Even if an aloe vera plant is four years old, it may never bloom if it is kept indoors in a pot.
To improve the plant’s chances of blossoming, it’s best to recreate the dry conditions under which it would naturally thrive. If you keep your plant in full sun, moderate temperatures, and water it less frequently but with more moderate amounts, it will have the best chance of producing blooms. The chances of a potted plant blooming during the summer rise if it is kept outside. The aloe vera plant may only send up a single shoot and bloom if all the conditions are perfect, and this may happen only once during the season.
Mealybugs, scales, and mites love aloe vera! After spraying the plant with water, wipe away mealybugs with a soft cloth. Spray scales with a solution of 1 tablespoon insecticidal soap, 1 cup isopropyl alcohol, and 1 cup water every three days for 14 days. To protect this plant and your other aloes from mites, prune affected tissue.
Aloe rust is a fungal disease that attacks aloe plants when they are grown in cool, humid temperatures. The disease manifests as yellow spots on the leaves, which eventually develop larger and browner. In most cases, treatment for these symptoms is unnecessary because they will go away independently. A second contagious disease that can be fatal is bacterial soft rot. There is currently no treatment for this, but overwatering can be avoided.
Take a fully developed leaf from an aloe vera plant and halve it lengthwise. You can then benefit from the plant’s sedative properties. You can either open the leaf and apply the gel side down to the burn or remove the gel and apply it directly to the burn. Learn more about aloe vera’s healing properties. Because of the potential for nausea and other unpleasant side effects, ingesting the gel is not advised.
How long do plants of aloe vera typically live?
If they are given the correct care and kept in the appropriate atmosphere, aloe plants kept inside can live for up to 12 years. Surprisingly, outdoor plants can live for up to 20 years if maintained in a climate similar to the plant’s native habitat.
Is aloe vera a cactus?
Some varieties of aloe have spiny leaves, giving the appearance of a cactus, which leads some gardeners to mistake this plant for one. Nevertheless, aloe is a type of succulent that belongs to its genus, also called Aloe.
The Aloe Vera is a lovely succulent-like cactus that offers several health advantages in addition to being a fantastic beginner-friendly houseplant. It’s a low-maintenance plant that flourishes when left alone for a few weeks. It requires a lot of direct sunshine, so keep it near a window. It doesn’t require much watering because it prefers dry soil. It’ll be a happy houseplant if you water it every two weeks.