What are aloe vera plants, and how have they been used for centuries?
Aloe vera plants, also called Aloe barbadensis Miller, are succulent plants that require a lot of water and direct sunlight to grow well.
Aloe vera plants come from the arid regions of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, but they actually originate in India, where it was used as a skincare product by ancient civilizations thousands of years ago.
According to Dioscorides, an ancient Greek physician who wrote about aloe in the record of his observations called De Materia Medica, Egyptians used aloe vera as a laxative.
Descriptions of aloe vera as a medicinal plant were also recorded in Chinese history and literature during the Tang Dynasty (around AD 700).
There are even records of the use of aloe vera in manuscripts written during the Han Dynasty, which began around 200 BC.
In India, traditional herbal remedies contain ingredients that include dried aloe gel or juice. Some of the diseases identified by Indian Ayurvedic medicine for which these treatments were prescribed include constipation, diarrhea, rheumatism, and liver.
Aloe vera was used as a laxative by the ancient Egyptian civilizations. Ancient texts reveal that aloe vera juice was widely used to treat liver problems, stomach ulcers, arthritis, and hemorrhoids. In India, traditional herbal remedies contain ingredients that include dried aloe gel or juice.
Here’s what you need to know before caring for your aloe plant:
- Aloes like warm weather but can withstand temperatures down to 20 degrees Fahrenheit if they’re in pots with good drainage hole.
- The plant has two types of leaves: thick fleshy ones on the top and more delicate thinner ones below.
- The thin lower leaves can be removed by hand without hurting the plant or leaving any scars behind.
- You don’t have to worry about the aloe vera plant getting too much sunlight. It can handle direct light, but it is more sensitive to heat than cold.
- If you live in a hot area, try moving the plant away from the window or where it’s located during the hottest part of the day.
- Be careful not to overwater your aloe vera plants. They like moist soil, but soggy soil can rot the roots.
- If you have a hard time telling if the plant needs water, just stick your finger about an inch into the soil to see how much moisture is there.
- The best potting mix for aloe vera plants is made of 1/3 compost and 2/3 standard potting soil.
How to care for Aloe plant?
The most important requirement for successful aloe plant care is making sure that the proper amount of water is given. If you’re not allowed to give it enough water, it will start to go brown and droop.
The next step for caring for an Aloe plant is stopping any direct sun from directly shining on the plant. A south-facing window should be avoided because it will burn your plant.
Aloe plants require a lot of light, so make sure that you have enough natural or artificial light in the area where you want to place your plant.
The conditions for the best growth of this type of plant are high temperatures with low humidity, without too much variation for fluctuations in either temperature or humidity levels.
The Aloe needs soil that is well-drained and when it is watered, the soil needs to be allowed to dry out in between waterings.
Make sure that you pot your Aloe plant in a container with a drainage hole so excess water can drain through it. Because there are pests and diseases that are associated with these plants, you should put rocks or pebbles in the bottom of the pot before you put soil in it.
Fertilizing an Aloe plant only needs to be done once during the springtime, using liquid fertilizer mixed at half-strength.
You should try to keep the Aloe away from drafts that may cause it to dry out or be exposed to too much humidity. When the aloe gets too big, it can start producing offsets which you can separate and grow into new plants.
This is one of the benefits of caring for an Aloe is how easy it is to propagate the plant by separating these pups and replanting them.
If you find that pests are attacking your plant, then you should try to remove them before they kill your plant. There are many pests that may attack these plants including mealybugs and spider mites.
The different types of Aloe plants.
There are four types of Aloe plants, which are
- Aloe vera
- Aloe marlothii
- the Tiger bush
- the Winter thorn.
The Aloe vera is the most popular type of Aloe. This plant can be identified by its wide yellow to green leaves that contain a lot of gel on the top or bottom surface. There are also two different varieties of this type: the Curly and Flat leaves.
The Aloe marlothii plant grows up to 1 meter tall and has a slim, red stem with leafy branches growing out of it. It is mostly recognized by its red flowers that grow in clusters.
The Tiger bush’s leaves do not contain gel but instead, have rubber-like material on the top side of the leaves.
This type can be identified by its long, yellowish-green leaves that have red veins running through them.
The last one is called the Winter thorn, and it has small, narrow leaves with spines on both sides of the stem and at the tips of each leaf. It does not contain any gel.
Is the aloe vera plant indoor or outdoor?
Most people consider the aloe vera plant to be an outdoor plant. But it can also be grown indoors if the conditions are right.
Aloe vera plants are great for areas where there is a lot of sun because they need full sun to do well.
The other option for growing this plant is to grow it inside under fluorescent lights. Because fluorescent lights give off blue light, you will need to provide an extra bulb with a yellow light to make sure that it will still get all the nutrients and chlorophyll that it needs for photosynthesis.
Why should I choose an Aloe Plant?
An Aloe Plant, when taken care of appropriately, can be a beautiful addition to any home. It is important to note that not all Aloe Plants are the same and consequently require slightly different care.
You will also want to consider what kind of environment you will be placing your Aloe in. This article is going to address the general needs for Aloe Plants.
Aloe plants thrive in warm and sunny environments so placement near a window or outdoors would be ideal for growing an Aloe.
If you live in a colder climate it might be wise to consider bringing your plant indoors during the winter months. The soil should have good drainage so no water sits on top of it overnight and if there is too much water it can lead to root rot.
While it is important to keep the soil moist, Aloe Plants will die if you don’t allow them enough time in between watering for their roots to dry out.
An Aloe can grow up to three feet tall, depending on the variety. It must be fertilized at least once a season with a low-nitrogen fertilizer. Aloe plants have very sharp thorns and are beautiful indoor or outdoor plants. They can also be pruned to keep them in a smaller form, making them excellent for desks and countertops.
Aloe care is relatively simple as long as you pay attention to how often you water it and what type of soil you use.
It needs to be watered every few days and if there is standing water in the saucer then it should be emptied. leaves can also be cut to use for medicinal purposes, simply clean a sharp knife with alcohol before cutting into the plant’s fleshy leaves.
The benefits of having an Aloe Plant in your home
One of the many benefits of having an Aloe in your home is having a natural first-aid kit at the ready. You can cut open the leaves of the plant and apply the gel from inside to any minor burns or abrasions you might have.
Aloe also has been found to be effective in easing joint stiffness and reducing inflammation, which is an unexpected benefit for plants that usually thrive in a warm climate like Africa and South America.
Aloe also adds a bright burst of color to any room in your house!
Aloe vera reduces dental plaque and can even be used to treat acne.
Aloe plants are so easy to care for, you’re best off with a few of them scattered around your home. You don’t need an excuse to bring a little bit of the outdoors in!
Aloe vera reduces constipation.
You may know aloe for its laxative properties, but did you know there’s an actual scientific reason behind it? Aloin is a compound found in the rind and leaves of aloe that stimulates the large intestine to get things moving, which can be helpful if constipation is an issue.
Aloe vera is an Immunity Booster
Aloe has also been known to boost overall immunity, which is one reason why aloe juice is so popular.
Aloe also can help detoxify the body and provides many of the vitamins our bodies need on a daily basis such as A, C, and E.
Why do aloe leaves bend over? Should I cut off drooping aloe leaves?
If the leaves of aloe are dropping, this may be due to too much direct sunlight or a lack of water. If the plant is in too much direct sunlight, move it to a place where it will not be directly exposed to the sun’s rays. If it is not receiving enough water, make sure to water the plant on a regular basis.
Do not cut off drooping Aloe leaves. The leaves are designed to protect the Aloe from excessive sunlight and water loss. When the Aloe is drooping, it is in a state of stress and this could be due to one of the factors mentioned above.
How often to water aloe?
The frequency of watering an aloe plant varies with the size of the plant. A small pot will need to be watered about once a week, while a larger pot can go anywhere from two weeks to four weeks in between waterings. Be careful not to overwater as this can cause root rot or spread diseases.
When watering your aloe, make sure the soil is moist to a depth of at least 6 inches. If you live in an area where it doesn’t rain often throughout the year, such as Las Vegas and Phoenix, Arizona, you might need to water more frequently. On the other
Do you water aloe vera from the top or bottom?
It is better to water the aloe vera plant from the bottom as this will make the plant grow healthier. If your water is from the top, it can lead to bacteria which can affect its growth.
How to propagate an aloe plant?
Aloes are usually propagated by stem cuttings or offsets, which can be plucked off and planted into their own pot once the roots have a chance to grow.
Sometimes it is possible for a kind of fruit called a “carrion” to form around the base of the parent plant.
This “fruit” will contain a number of baby aloes inside it, which can be separated and planted once they have grown some roots of their own.
The best soil to use for aloe vera?
Aloe vera generally grows in well-drained, slightly acidic soils. However, they will do fine in many different soil conditions.
If you’ve got a garden it is best to look for loamy soil that has plenty of organic matter and good drainage.
Repotting aloe vera plant
Aloe vera is a plant that does not need much upkeep. It is propagated easily by cutting off portions of the plant and planting them into their own pots. The aloe plant needs to be repotted every one or two years if given proper care.
It should be noted that aloe vera plants can grow well in various soil conditions, but they will do best in medium, well-drained soils with plenty of organic matter and good drainage.
When you are ready to re-pot your aloe vera plant, it is important to take several things into consideration.
Firstly, make sure the soil in the pot is relatively friable as this will allow for easier prying out of the root ball.
Secondly, select a pot that is one size larger than the existing pot, but take note to ensure it has adequate drainage.
Aloe vera plants can be easily propagated by plucking off and planting offsets that have formed around the base of the parent plant or by using stem cuttings.
- Pluck off and plant an offset once it has formed roots of its own
- Take stem cuttings once the aloe vera plant is at least one year old
- Fill a pot with soil that is well-drained and add organic matter to enrich it. It should have good drainage, as well. The size of the pot will depend on how large your loving aloe is.
- When you are ready to re-pot your aloe vera plant, break apart the root ball if it is too tightly packed
- Replant into a pot that is one size larger than the old one with good drainage and soil enriched with organic matter.
- Do not attempt to move your Aloe vera plant for at least six months after you have re-potted it, and even then move it only a few inches per day.
How to feed aloe vera plants?
Aloe vera has shallow roots, so the nutrients in fertilizer rapidly drain away from the plant’s root zone.
While they are not heavy feeders, a slow-release, balanced fertilizer will provide your aloe vera plant with the proper nutrients for healthy growth.
A slow-release, balanced fertilizer is best for feeding aloe vera plants.
Use a half-strength solution once every three months, and make sure that it is diluted enough before you apply it to the soil or foliage of your aloe vera plant.
If the leaves start to turn yellow, you can try feeding them more often or with a higher concentration of fertilizer.
How do I control aloe vera plant pests and diseases?
The most common pests for your aloe vera plant are mealy bugs (found around the base) and red spider mites (found on the underside of leaves).
They are usually controlled with a good dose of water and an appropriate pesticide.
Aloe vera plants can be affected by root rot if they are kept in overly moist soil conditions, so it is important to try to maintain average humidity levels around your plant while ensuring that its soil does not stay wet for too long.
Aloe vera plants are hardy and will not be bothered by many common pests, such as spider mites or scale. However, if you notice whiteflies on the plant’s foliage, they can normally be successfully treated with a pesticide containing pyrethrin.
If you are looking for a plant that is easy to care for, try the aloe vera. This succulent has been used medicinally since ancient times and can be grown indoors or outdoors in most climates. It only needs moderate sunlight with some water every week and misting when it is hot outside.
If your plants need more sun, move them closer to a window.
For less sun, place them farther away from windows but still make sure they get enough light so they don’t turn yellow and drop their leaves over time!
The aloe also likes warm temperatures of 75-85 degrees Fahrenheit (24-29 Celsius).
You may want to occasionally take off its dead leaves by hand if there’s too many on top of the plant as aloe vera typically grows between 12 to 36 inches in height.
Be sure to water lightly and thoroughly, because if you don’t the roots may rot and kill the plant!
Aloe plants grow slowly over time, so propagate them by buying a cutting from a friend or another retailer instead of purchasing an entirely new one.