- Plant Aloe vera plants in a terra cotta pot or a garden spot.
- Ensure that the pot or the garden spot is well-drained.
- Mix sand and potting soil or a special succulent potting mix in an online nursery.
- Give the plant a lot of space.
- Place it in a sunny place with bright sunlight. It may grow in indirect sunlight or light shade or partial shade. But a bright sunny spot in a warm location and hot climates are well suited for Aloe Vera. You can grow Aloe indoors as well by a sunny window which receives a few hours of light.
- Water it heavily once in two weeks. But, avoid excess water. It is a desert plant and grows better in dry conditions and will have sufficient water in the succulent leaves.
- Wait till the soil dries out fully before watering again as a rule of thumb.
- Avoid keeping the soil moist always as it will cause root rot.
- Watch out for limp or brown leaves which are signs of over-watering.
- Cut the leaves when they are six inches tall. Aloe Leaf is thick and juicy with its gel.
- Squeeze the gel out and store it for your use.
- Repot if the plant starts tipping.
- Don't let the leaves touch the ground; they'll rot.
How to Care for an Aloe Vera Plant?
- Aloe vera needs lots of light. It is best grown in a sunny location.
- Keep the soil moist but not wet.
- Do not water the plant during dry spells.
- If the plant starts wilting, give it more water.
- Remove dead leaves regularly.
- Use a sharp knife to cut off the leaves.
- It is recommended to repot the plant after three years.
- The plant can also be divided into smaller plants from the parent plant.
- You can keep them indoors until they reach maturity.
- When planting aloes outdoors, make sure that the roots don't get too much moisture.
- Aloe needs sufficient hours of sunlight.
- If it is growing as a potted plant, ensure that the drainage hole is functional and the soil is well-drained.
When to transplant Aloe Vera?
- Transplant aloe vera when it reaches 6 inches in height.
- Make sure that the roots have enough space to spread.
- Potting soil should be used for this purpose.
- Mulch around the base of the plant to prevent weeds from growing.
- After 3 months of growth, remove the mulch.
- Pinch back the tips of the leaves to encourage branching.
- Repot the plant after 2 years.
- Propagate by dividing the plant.
How to Propagate Aloe Vera?
- Divide the plant in spring or fall.
- It can be propagated from stem cuttings, leaf cutting. You can also propagate aloe from pups.
- Dig up the plant carefully.
- Separate the baby plant from the adult plant.
- Take care of each piece separately.
- Gently pull apart the leafless stem.
- Separate the pieces into smaller parts.
- Replace the pieces into separate pots filled with fresh potting soil.
- Cover the pots with clear plastic bags.
- Keep the pots in a warm area.
- Check the pots daily.
- Water the pots thoroughly.
- Feed the plant with fertilizer according to the instructions given on the package.
- Repot the plants once in two years.
- Keep the plants away from direct sunlight when moving from indirect light indoors to outdoors.
What Kind of Soil to Use for Aloe?
- Aloe vera likes acidic soils with high organic matter content.
- They prefer sandy loam, clay loam, and peat moss mixes.
- Soil pH ranges between 5.0 and 7.5.
- Add some lime (calcium) to increase the acidity.
- Fertilize the plant with liquid fertilizers at regular intervals.
How to Water Aloe Plants?
- Water deeply once in four days.
- Let the soil dry completely between watering.
- Never allow the soil to become soggy.
- To avoid over-watering, check the soil level periodically.
How to Harvest Aloe Vera?
- Entire plant Aloe Vera contains a clear gel.
- Aloe vera is a medicinal plant. Aloe vera leaves contain a gel which is a popular home remedy for healing wounds, reducing acne and redness.
- Snip off the entire leaf as close to the stem as possible and let it sit for a few minutes to drain the aloe latex. Ingestion of aloe latex can cause irritation of skin.
- Rub the juicy end on a sunburn or a sore spot.
- Slit the spike lengthwise using a clean knife and scoop out the aloe gel contents with a spoon.
- Store the aloe gel in a container in a refrigerator. You can make Aloe Vera juice from it, too, or use it as a hair conditioner for daily care.
- Healthy aloe plants will keep producing green leaves and fleshy leaves for you. All it needs is adequate sunlight.
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Dr. Vandana K.