Aloe Vera or Aloe Barbadensis is a succulent plant species of the genus Aloe that comprises of more than 500 species of flowering succulents.
Also known as a ‘wonder plant’, it is a short-stemmed shrub with greenish, fleshy leaves and grows wild in tropical and semi-tropical regions around the world.
Attractive and easy to care for, Aloe Vera has been a household plant for thousands of years. It is very useful as the clear gel extract from its leaves has incredible medicinal properties and can be used to heal and soothe minor burns and cuts when applied topically. Applying Aloe gel to the skin can also help diminish redness and acne caused by psoriasis.
The juice extracted from Aloe Vera can be used as a hair conditioner, brow gel or even to remove makeup- extracting the gel is as easy as slitting the leaf lengthwise and scooping out the gel with your fingers or a spoon.
Aloe Vera is one of the easiest plants to grow and take care of and if you are keen to know how to go about it, read on!
Prior to buying an Aloe, you need to bear a couple of points in mind which will help you take care of it-
Aloe requires lots of bright, indirect sunlight or even artificial sunlight so keep it near south or west-facing windows.
It is not fond of continuous direct sunlight since that dries the plant excessively, causing its leaves to droop downward.
What To Keep In Mind?
- Choosing the right type of planter pot is essential. Whether you should pot with plastic, clay or terra cotta would depend to a large extent on where you live. In places with low humidity and hot summers, plastic pots work best whereas clay or terra cotta are suitable in places that have cooler and more humid climes since they offer better drainage.
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- When picking a container for your Aloe plant, ensure you select one that has at least one drainage hole in the bottom as this helps any excess water to drain out. When the plant is watered, the soil should be drenched entirely and following that, the water should be permitted to drain out of the soil freely.
- Since Aloe Vera is a succulent, it’s best to use a well-draining potting mix, formulated especially for succulents and cacti. Avoid using soil. A good potting mix includes coarse sand, perlite, lava rock or a combination of them together.
- Aloe Vera plants are robust, but lack of appropriate care and drainage can result in them rotting and withering or the death of the plant.
Planting An Aloe
1. First, prep our pot:
After giving your new pot a quick wash and letting it dry completely, cover the drainage hole with a small piece of paper or cloth to keep the potting mix from falling out while letting the water drain properly.
2. Prep Your Plant:
Take the Aloe Vera plant and gently brush off any extra dirt from the root.
3. Pot Your Plant:
Take the potting mix and fill it in the pot (upto about a third of the pot) and then put your plant in the soil. Keep on pouring soil around the plant, keeping in mind to leave ¾ of an inch of space between the edge of the pot and the topmost part of the soil. The nethermost leaves of the plant must stretch out just above the soil and keep in mind- remember not to water the Aloe right after planting it!
4. Start Off By Ignoring The Plant:
After potting your Aloe, avoid watering it for a week, tops. This reduces the likelihood of rot and gives the plant some time to yield/grow new roots. Keep your plant in a warm place with bright, indirect light until it is rooted properly.
Caring For An Aloe Vera Plant
- If there is one thing that you can’t disregard when it comes to growing an Aloe Vera plant indoors, it’s keeping a track of your watering schedule. During summers, stick to watering the plant every 3 weeks or so and once in two months during winters. Remember not to go overboard with the watering-and don’t let your plant sit in water.
- Switch the position of the plant from time to time to ensure the leaves get enough sun exposure. Bear in mind that excessive direct sunlight can cause the leaves to turn brown. Conversely, if the plant does not get adequate light, the leaves turn thin and ugly.
- Aloe Vera plants thrive in temperatures between 55 and 80°F (13 and 27°C). If you’re keen on keeping your plant outdoors in your garden, the best time to do it would be from May to September and when it starts to get chilly in the evenings, bring it back indoors.
- Use fertilizer sporadically, just once a month and only during summer and spring with a balanced houseplant formula.
As you have probably realized after reading this post, growing Aloe is easy even for those who don’t have a green thumb- so follow these tips on how to grow and care for these resilient plants indoors and you will soon have some verdant succulents!Click here for wall mounted succulent planters from Cestash.