Aloe Vera Plant
So you want to learn how to grow and take care of an Aloe Vera Plant?
In this article you will learn how to grow and own an Aloe Vera Plant, take care of your existing Aloe Vera Plant or if you are looking into buying your first Aloe Plant then you have come to the right place.
We have put together the Ultimate Guide to The Aloe Vera Plant and Aloe Vera Plant Care.
History of the Aloe Vera Plant.
The Aloe Vera plant is one of the most amazing natural healing plants that has been used for its medicinal purposes for thousands of years, dating right back to ancient civilizations and today is one of the most popular plants in cultivation.
The Aloe Vera plant is part of the world’s largest succulent groups, with more than 500 related Aloe Vera species (Aloes). Today this medicinal plant has an estimated annual market of around $13 billion dollars worldwide.
Only about 120 of the plant species are used for medicinal purposes, and only about 10 species are traded globally.
A major contributing factor in what types of Aloes are used for medicinal purposes is how succulent and fleshy the leaves are in each particular specie, the plant can range from being barely succulent (holding very little water inside the leaf) to extremely succulent and fleshy (holding more of the inner leaf gel and healing compound).
The most popular of all Aloe species is called Aloe Vera Barbadensis Miller (its botanical name) used in most Aloe products purchased today. Used less frequently are Aloe Vera Ferox (South Africa) and Aloe Arborescens (Asia).
Where does the Aloe Vera Plant come from?
Aloe Vera was said to be used by historical characters like Alexander The Great, who went to battle to fight over control of certain islands and had supplies of the Aloe Plant, so he could give it to his soldiers to heal their wounds.
Cleopatra was known to have bathed in baths full of Aloe Vera.
Christopher Columbus once said, “Four vegetables are indispensable for the well-being of a man: Wheat, the grape, the olive, and aloe.
The first nourishes him, the second raises his spirit, the third brings him harmony, and the fourth cures him.” The plant was even well known in Ancient Egyptian times where drawings of the Aloe plant could be found painted on the walls of the temples.
The Aloe Vera plant was known to them as the “Plant of Immortality.”
It is such an important plant used as a source of healing even back then.
The origin of the Aloe Vera plant can not be determined precisely but it is thought that the plant came from several places on the African continent and Arabian Peninsula.
The plant is often mistakenly confused with the cactus plant as it has spiny thorny leaves, but it is actually a part or the lily family.
Aloe Vera is a succulent plant and could be found mostly in arid, hot dry desert continents.
Map of the most likely regions of origin.
Aloe Vera Plant Benefits
10 Awesome Benefits of Owning an Aloe Vera Plant
- You can make your own Aloe Vera Gel.
- You can make your own Aloe Vera Juice.
- Has antibacterial properties.
- Has antioxidant properties.
- Helps heal burns and scalds.
- Helps heal cuts and abrasions.
- Aloe Vera can help reduce inflammation.
- It’s a natural first aid kit.
- Easy to care for plants.
- Aloe is a great plant to propagate from.
Growing an Aloe Vera Plant
There are a few things to note before starting to grow your own Aloe Vera plant that will help you get the process right from the beginning so your plant will thrive.
Some people think that growing an Aloe Vera plant is difficult and it might make most shy away from owning one themselves but the truth is they are a very easy plant to manage and don’t take a lot of work as long as you get the process right from the start your plant will do very well.
When growing an Aloe Vera plant we recommend that you never use any harsh chemicals, growth hormones, or chemical pesticides.
While cultivating your plants as these harmful chemicals can leach into the plant’s leaves through the root system and ruin your plant especially if you are growing an Aloe plant for medicinal purposes and using the Aloe gel for internal use for making Aloe Vera Juice or for using it externally as a healing Aloe Vera Gel for topical use.
As this is defeating the whole medicinal purpose of the plant. We recommend that you grow your plant as naturally and organically as possible for the very best results.
Are you in the right climate to plant outside?
If you are thinking of planting your Aloe Vera plant outside in your garden you must first consider what growth zone or climate you live in.
The Aloe plant thrives in warmer climates and hates the cold and should always be protected from frost.
If you live in an area that has frost your plant will not survive outside.
The Aloe plant can survive in growth zones 9 – 10. Make sure to check the chart first before thinking of planting outside.
Growth zones are temperatures between Zone (9) 30* through 20*F and zone (10) 40* through 30*F.
If you get warm temperatures during the day but not at night consider planting your Aloe in a pot and take it out into the sun during the day and then take it back inside at night time when temperatures fall.
Choosing the right pot for your Aloe Vera Plant
Aloe plants can grow quite large and become quite top-heavy because they store large amounts of water in their leaves so eventually you should think of getting a wide ceramic pot that has a good bit of weight to it to anchor the plant down when it grows to maturity.
Also, choose a pot with a drainage hole to get rid of excess water.
The Aloe plant has a shallow root system so your pot doesn’t have to be too deep. When your plant does grow bigger however it likes a lot of room so pick a wider shallower pot.
Choosing the right soil for your Aloe Vera Plant
Aloe Vera is a succulent plant from a hot dry desert climate so your choice of soil should reflect the same conditions as it would normally have in its regular habitat.
Choose cactus potting soil, which can be found in any gardener’s store, as it is optimum for better drainage.
You can make your own potting soil by mixing 1/3 regular garden soil 1/3 sand and 1/3 peat moss. This mixture should keep your Aloe Vera plant happy.
Watering your Aloe Vera Plant
Once you have planted your new Aloe Vera plant it is advised that you don’t water the plant for a couple of days to let the roots system bed in and get used to its new home and the new soil.
It’s a hardy plant so don’t worry about that step. You should water your Aloe Vera plant every 2-3 weeks.
Never overwater your Aloe Vera plant, as we’ve mentioned before the Aloe plant is a succulent and can store it’s own water reserves inside it’s leaves, it’s well used to being in a dry desert climate.
Here is a video to watch on how to plant an Aloe Vera.
Aloe Vera Plant Tips
The Aloe plant is such an easy plant to care for once you learn how to look after it, it is very low maintenance and thrives with very little help from us if cared for properly.
However sometimes we can get it wrong when looking after one for the first time, we do need to learn to watch the warning signs that the Aloe plant gives.
It will help us with making the right choice if your plant is in any trouble and come up with an action plan to help it thrive again.
Warning signs to look out for when growing an Aloe Vera Plant
Problem with your plant
- Brown spotting leaves
- Thinning curled leaves
- Flat falling leaves
The solution to helping your plant
- Too much direct sunlight
- Not enough water
- Not enough sunlight
One of the biggest and most asked questions we get asked is.
Aloe Vera Plant Irrigation?
Aloe Vera thrives in hot dry conditions and climates and is used to being in the desert were the plant originated from.
The Aloe plant is a succulent which means it stores its own water supply within its leaves and can go for a very long time without being watered, which makes it a really great house plant.
If you go away on vacation or forget to water it for a while the Aloe Vera plant is very forgiving and will survive without too much damage.
The answer to the question of how often do you water an Aloe Vera plant depends and differs slightly from having an outdoor (planted in the soil) or indoor (house) Aloe plant.
So we have listed both methods of watering for you.
Watering Aloe Vera Inside
Water your Aloe Vera plant every 2-3 weeks. When your water does not over-drench the soil and always have a drainage hole in your pot or container. Allow soil to fully dry and the plant to absorb what is needed and the excess water to drain off before watering again 2-3 weeks later.
Watering Aloe Vera Outside
Natural rainfall should be enough to suffice and keep your Aloe Vera plant healthy. If you haven’t had any rain outside for a 2-week period, especially in summer then you should water the plant every 2 weeks in hot weather. Don’t water your garden and make sure you have adequate drainage.
Where to place your Aloe Vera plant for maximum growth?
The Aloe Vera plant loves the heat and grows much quicker when placed in the sun.
However, if placed in direct sunlight for too long the plant can start to turn brown even though it loves to be in the heat and it comes from a hot climate.
The leaves can start to develop brown spots and your plant could be in danger of dying. It is always better to place your Aloe plant in indirect sunlight to avoid brown spotting on the leaves.
Aloe Vera Plant Propagation
One of the greatest benefits of growing your own Aloe Vera plants is that once you get into the process it is very easy to replicate.
The more you use the Aloe plant for medicinal purposes and the more you begin to love your Aloe Vera plant the likelihood is that you will want to grow and own more than one plant.
Aloe Vera naturally multiplies or propagates once it is thriving. Small Aloe shoots or (Pups) as they are called spring out and grow from the root system, which is another reason to purchase a wider potting plant when you first plant your new Aloe Vera.
These Aloe Pups can be separated from the main plant and then potted into their own pot and you can start the whole cycle off again.
It is recommended to grow as many plants as you have the space for especially if you are using the Aloe plant for medicinal purposes for the reason of when you do harvest some leaves to make Aloe gel you don’t use up all of the leaves at the same time otherwise your plant will die.
It is better to have a few different plants to harvest the leaves from so you have a large supply of the awesome healing power of Aloe Vera.
Propagating and growing more Aloe Vera Plants
When you begin to see smaller Aloe pups growing out of the soil from your main plant wait a while until they have grown at least a couple of leaves.
Then take your Aloe plant out of it’s container or pot and loosen the soil at the base of the plant gently removing the Aloe pups.
Plant them in smaller containers or holding pots until they get big enough to have a larger pot by themselves.
When you first remove the Aloe pup from the main Aloe plant let it sit for about a week to allow the root to form a callus to help protect itself before re-potting it in its own pot.
Watch these videos on how to propagate from an Aloe Vera Plant
Aloe Vera Plants For Sale
Where can I buy an Aloe Vera plant
If you are looking into buying your very own Aloe Vera plant you should be able to find them in most of the larger garden centers or home stores.
Alternatively, you can check out our Aloe Vera product page where we recommend products through one of the largest online retailers amazon.com.
When buying an Aloe plant we always recommend buying an organically grown plant for the best result, that way you know that there were no harsh chemicals used on the plant.
We hope you have enjoyed this article and we hope that it answered some of the questions you may have had about the Aloe Vera plant or about Aloe Vera plant care.
We also hope that you have a better understanding of the benefits of owning and growing your own organic Aloe Vera plant in the future.
The Aloe plant will bring you many years of awesome healing power with minimum effort and we hope you will agree that it’s an absolute treat to own and grow.
If you have any other questions about this awesome plant please feel free to drop us a message here at Aloe Vera Headquarters.
We will try to answer them for you, likewise, if you have any friends who might like the information in this article please share it with them and help spread the word about one of nature’s most amazing little gifts The Aloe Vera Plant.
Stay Healthy Folks :)
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