Growing Aloe Vera Plants
The little Aloe Vera plant is one of the most popular ornamental plants in America today. Virtually every store that has something to do with plant and gardens will have a little stand of potted Aloe Vera plants on sale. This plant’s popularity is due to several different factors: First, Aloe Vera has long been a traditional folk medicine that people have been using for centuries. Its inner gel soothes burns, cuts, and scrapes and its latex residue is an extremely effective purgative. Secondly, the Aloe Vera happens to be a rather attractive plant that is easy to take care of requiring a minimal amount of attention and care.
(Photo source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aloe_vera)
The Aloe Vera is a really hardy plant that can withstand temperature swings and can go without water for many days. Aloe leaves contain a gel like substance able to store vast amounts of water and contains long chain sugars that help it effectively fight off invading bacteria and fungi if its tough outer skin somehow get punctured. A green thumb is not necessarily needed to be a successful Aloe plant owner, but there are a few things that you need to know in order to keep your plant alive and thriving.
Aloe Vera’s biggest culprit is frost. Since the plant is 99 percent water, it does not take a lot of cold to kill the root system. The plant originates from Africa and does best in Semi- Tropical conditions in which it gets plenty of sunlight and moderate water. Unless you live in a place in which the mercury never dips below the 32-degree mark, it is best to keep your Aloe Plant inside for the duration of the winter season. A windowsill that is exposed to lots of sunshine is an ideal place for it.
While the plant is almost all water, you can still end up over watering it if your not careful. Let the plant’s root system completely dry out between watering and be sure to water less during the winter when the plant moves into its dormant stage. The Aloe Vera plant requires only a minimal amount of fertilizer. It is good to feed it some diluted half-strength bloom fertilizer once a year around springtime
When repotting an Aloe Vera it is better to go wider instead of deeper since the roots like to spread out instead of dig deep. Use either a cacti type potting mix or mix up your own soil using plenty of perlite and sand to make it nice and airy. Pebbles of various sizes should be placed on the bottom of the planter to help provide proper draining for the plant’s root system
With minimal maintenance, you little miracle plant should be with you for years to come. Having it around might just prove extremely beneficial since the gel in the Aloe works great as a salve for burns, cuts, and stings. Some people even ingest it for its reported capabilities of helping with indigestion and constipation. Whether or not you want to use your plant a natural medicine cabinet is up to you, but if you want a plant that is easy to care for and pleasant to look at then the Aloe Vera is a nice choice.
Author: Yulia Berry is an independent health researcher and author of the best selling e-book on aloe vera, "Aloe - Your Miracle Doctor." She distributes a weekly newsletter regarding home remedies and has written another popular e-book "Pharmacy In Vegetables" and dozens of natural health articles published on hundreds of websites worldwide.
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