The aloe flower is downright some kind of superhero among plants: it comes to the rescue in cosmetology and the treatment of ailments, and at home it grows unpretentious and does not require much from the owner. Let’s see how to care for aloe at home and get the most out of its properties..
Why be friends with this plant? Benefits of aloe – in the juice contained in the fleshy leaves.
- Aloe juice is able to quickly heal burns and cuts, relieve irritation, moisturize the skin of the face and scalp, and also solve a lot of more specific cosmetic problems;
- It removes toxins and slows down cell aging;
- Soothes inflammation in the oral cavity;
- Helps in the treatment of stomach ailments;
- It is a mild and effective means of combating rhinitis and diseases of the ear and eyes;
- Various elixirs with aloe juice are used to prevent ARVI and increase immunity.
This video shows how to cut an aloe leaf to extract juice..
Please note that not all people are shown to consume pure aloe juice. In the early stages of pregnancy, with liver diseases, problems with the cycle in women, you should not use it. We recommend that you always check with your doctor if you are making the right decision, even if we are talking about harmless indoor plants..
By the way, it is useful to remember that among more than five hundred species of aloe, aloe vera and tree-like aloe (agave) are most often found on our windowsills. It was they who took root among plant lovers as the most suitable for extracting juice for medical and cosmetic purposes..
The next photo shows the two most common and useful types of aloe – agave and aloe vera.
Aloe tree (agave) at the age of three
Aloe vera looks more like a bush, and an agave looks more like a tree.
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Choosing a place for a plant
Aloe will definitely like a place reminiscent of its native Africa. Therefore, the owners of sunny windowsills are happy with the plant, where other flowers are burnt. In this case, direct rays will not be destructive: put it boldly, and in winter you can use additional lamps.
Room temperature is optimal for aloe. In general, aloe rarely “complains” about the temperature and humidity while in the apartment, for which it was deservedly recognized as an unpretentious indoor plant.
- In the summer, the pot can be taken out into the open air, but at the same time protected from heavy precipitation..
- In winter, it would be good to send aloe to rest: the dormant period of the plant requires a cool place (about 14 degrees). Then the bush will not stretch out in the vain search for the winter sun.
The arid regions of our planet have shaped succulents (plants with special tissues of water storage) precisely so that they do not suffer without moisture. This is a really curious wise life hack from nature itself:
- Succulent leaves are covered with a characteristic shell (we feel it to the touch) to reduce moisture evaporation;
- The stems and leaves are filled with moisture, which is clearly visible when broken;
- The shape of the rosette, formed during growth, also accumulates water in the plant;
- Light, as if with a bloom, color of leaves prevents fading in the sun.
Therefore, our aloe is not picky about watering, retaining moisture for quite a long time..
- In the cold season, it is recommended to water the plant a couple of days after the visible soil layer in the pot dries up (about 1-2 times a month);
- In the spring-summer period, the soil should be moistened a little more often: immediately after it dries.
Do not keep the aloe abundantly watered all the time along with other flowers, and also do not flood the area of the center of the rosette of leaves: this is how the plant is often subjected to rot.
Before giving your aloe fertilizer care, please read on when to do it. Top dressing is needed:
- Only a healthy plant, because the patient must first be cured so that they absorb nutrients;
- Only in the spring-summer period (once every two to three weeks);
- Only a plant that has waited about six months if you transplanted it, or after two to three weeks if the aloe was purchased;
- Only in the evening or on a cloudy day (to avoid burns);
- Only in ordinary soil, and not in special compositions for succulents and cacti, since they already contain the necessary elements;
- Only with caution in application, without touching the leaves and stems (for this it is convenient to pour the dressing into the pan of the planter).
The choice of fertilizers is facilitated by the manufacturers: we are looking for them marked “for cacti and succulents” or ask the seller. Aloe loves to live in nitrogen-rich soil.
- Be careful with the dosage, follow the instructions and underfeed rather than overfeed, since the formulations have a strong concentration, which can only harm aloe.
In addition to chemical fertilizers, gardeners often use simple household dressings. It can be sweet water, a decoction of onion husks, an infusion of eggshells, water in which cereals (rice, buckwheat, etc.) have been soaked..
The plant has to “change living space” if:
- Land renewal is required, as it has already been depleted over the years of aloe growth;
- Aloe roots have rotted from over-watering;
- It has grown too much, sits very tightly in the pot and sprouts outward..
Young aloes grow very quickly at home, so they need to be transplanted once a year. Over time, the growth rate of the plant slows down and upon reaching 5 years of age, adults aloe are transplanted only once every 3 years..
The new pot should be taller and wider than the previous one. Attach it visually to the plant: let the planter be the same height as the aloe itself from the ground to the top (see photo below).
It’s great if you already have soil for cacti and succulents: it’s perfect for aloe. If the house has only universal soil, it is better to mix it with sand in a ratio of 1: 4.
- Another important nuance: it is advisable to transplant aloe only in spring or summer. Otherwise, the plant may not survive stress and die..
Here’s a step-by-step guide for transplanting an aloe.
How to transplant aloe at home
Step 1. We put drainage stones on the bottom of the new pot.
Step 2. We pour a few centimeters of earth (not to the top).
Step 3. Gently “roll over” the aloe and take it out of the pot, trying not to injure the roots.
Step 4. Install in a new planter, clearly in the middle and not tipping on its side.
Step 5. Holding the base with one hand, fill the void with earth.
Step 6. Move the aloe to partial shade for a couple of weeks.
Step 7. Watering three days after transplanting, do not touch the leaves..
In case of decay of the roots, in no case do we plant from the old into a new pot without processing the root system. To do this, carefully clean off the ground, examine the roots, remove the sick, wash the healthy ones, and only after that we carry out the transplant.
Reproduction of aloe
It takes patience to wait for seed to sprout. But if you have a healthy adult aloe, the process will go faster. Let’s look at how to propagate aloe at home using three popular methods..
Method 1. Reproduction of aloe by basal processes
If we free an adult aloe from the pots with soil, we will see where the young shoots begin, attached to the base of the plant. Their gardeners are affectionately called “kids”. Children are not at all capricious, they already have their own root system, going into the ground along with the roots of the mother plant, and quite simply take root in the new earth.
To make it less traumatic to separate the processes, it is convenient to moisten the ground for looseness and put the aloe on the table. We carefully separate the shoots from the main plant with our hands or with a sharp knife, keeping their small roots.
Next, we plant the shoots in pots with soil (it is better to take not temporary small trays, but pots the size of an outgrowth), squeeze the ground well from all sides, gain patience and take care of the methods we already know, expecting new strong aloe.
Here is a great video tutorial on how to root aloe babies.
Method 2. Reproduction of aloe by cuttings
In this case, we need to cut off the top of an adult aloe with several leaves and the side cuttings that have formed on the trunk. They should be immersed in jars of water, making sure that the leaves themselves are not immersed. Some gardeners pre-treat the cuts with powdered charcoal, and also add rooting compounds to the water. In general, this method assumes that some cuttings may rot or simply not root..
We also gain patience, wait for the roots to appear, check how the plant feels. If the leaves retain their elasticity, then the chances of aloe developing a root system are great. The same plants that begin to weaken and wither, and their underwater part to turn black, will have to be thrown away. After the roots appear, we plant new shoots in the prepared soil and take care of the replenishment of aloe in your family!
Method 3. Reproduction of aloe leaf
The amazing vitality of aloe allows you to propagate it even with the help of leaves! They are cut from the mother’s trunk (sheets about 8 cm long are suitable), removed to a dark, warm place for several days so that the slices dry out. Then the leaves are planted in slices down into moist soil. This is the case when the earth should not dry out: keep the soil in sufficient moisture so that the leaves can take root. But only later, when the plants develop, follow the pattern already familiar to us: let the earth be rather dry than poured.
Most often, homemade aloe begins to hurt due to too abundant and frequent watering. Having the property of accumulating water in the leaves, the plant does not have time to drink enough from the ground, the moisture stagnates and causes rotting of the roots and shoots. The second common mistake of aloe owners is to pour water into the center of a leaf outlet: it stands there as if in a pool, which causes the trunk and leaves to die.
- The main rule is to water the aloe when the visible layer of earth has already dried up, and when watering, you should raise the leaves or use the bottom watering (there will be enough water in the pan).
- Lack of light can become a problem for the appearance of aloe: the plant will begin to stretch, become shapeless and resemble an octopus monster. Remember the importance of sunlight and the need for lamps if you live in a not too sunny city..
- Brown spots and yellow tips are the result of freezing the plant or extremely dry air (for example, if aloe is behind the battery and touches it).
- Rarely, insect pests can start on aloe, which are destroyed by special plant processing agents..
Grow aloe with love, and these unpretentious plants will repay you with good in a variety of everyday situations, “stretching out” a useful leaf!
In this video you can get comprehensive and visual information on the care of aloe tree.