How to Plant, Grow, and Use Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera is a very popular succulent that is mainly used for medical purposes. The gel that can be won from the plant can be used to treat burns, cuts, and skin conditions. The gel also has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.

Botanical Name:Aloe vera
Other Names:Aloe barbadensis, Aloe indica, Aloe vera var. chinensis
Type of Plant:Succulent
Size and Appearance:Aloe vera plants can grow to be about two feet tall with leaves that are about four inches wide. The leaves are thick and fleshy with a serrated edge. The leaves are green with a white or yellowish-green stripe running down the center. The flowers are yellow, orange, or red and grow in clusters.

Planting Time:

Any time of the year.

Blossoming Time:

Typically blooming in the summer.

Propagation:

Can be propagated by seed, division, or cuttings.

Sun:

Prefers full sun or partial shade.

Temperature:

Prefers warm temperatures and will not tolerate frost.

Soil:

Well-drained, sandy soil.

Watering:

Should be watered once a week.

Fertilize:

Once a month during the growing season (spring and summer) with a succulent fertilizer.

Uses:

The gel from the leaves can be used to treat burns, cuts, and other skin conditions.

How to Grow Aloe Vera

  1. Choose a suitable pot that has drainage holes in the bottom.
  2. Fill the pot with a well-draining potting mix or cactus mix.
  3. Water the soil until it is evenly moist, but not soggy.
  4. Place the aloe vera plant in the pot.
  5. Firm the soil around the plant to secure it in place.
  6. Water the plant again, until the soil is evenly moist.
  7. Place the pot in a bright location, but out of direct sunlight.
  8. Allow the top inch of soil to dry out before watering again.
  9. Fertilize monthly during the growing season.
  10. Reduce watering and fertilizing in fall and winter.

In the following, I will cover each step in a little more detail.

1. Choose a Suitable Pot That Has Drainage Holes in the Bottom

Choose a pot that is at least 12 inches wide and has drainage holes. Aloe vera plants are relatively small and only need a small pot to start.

Aloe vera can be grown from offsets or “pups” that form around the base of the plant, or from seed. 

2. Fill the Pot With a Well-Draining Potting Mix or Cactus Mix.

Fill the pot with a well-draining potting mix.

You can find a potting mix specifically for succulents at your local garden center.

3. Water the Soil Until it is Evenly Moist. The soil should never be soggy!

This is because the plant does not like to sit in water.

If you water an aloe vera plant too much, then the plant could become waterlogged and the leaves will start to yellow. The plant can also start to rot at the roots.

4. Place the Aloe Vera Plant in the Pot.

Place the aloe vera in a pot and backfill the pot with a potting mix, tamping it down gently around the plant.

Make sure that the roots are completely covered with soil.

If you are growing from offsets, carefully remove them from the parent plant. Make sure to include as much of the root system as possible.

If you are growing from seed, sow the seeds in a pot filled with well-drained potting mix and keep the soil moist but not wet.

5. Firm the Soil Around the Plant to Secure it in Place.

To firm the soil around an aloe vera, you can use your hands to pack the soil around the plant.

6. Water the Plant Again, Until the Soil is Evenly Moist.

Water the plant thoroughly but make sure that the water drains properly out of the bottom of the pot.

Let the soil dry out completely before you water it again.

7. Place the Pot in a Bright Location, but Out of Direct Sunlight.

Place the pot in a bright location, but out of direct sunlight.

Aloe vera plants can sunburn easily, so it’s best to give them bright light without direct sun exposure.

8. Allow the Top Inch of Soil to Dry Out Before Watering Again.

It is important to wait until the top inch of soil is dry before watering the aloe vera again because this plant does not like to have its roots sitting in water.

If the roots are constantly wet, they will start to rot and the plant will die eventually.

9. Fertilize Monthly During the Growing Season

Fertilize your aloe vera plant once a month during the growing season (spring and summer) with a succulent fertilizer or a diluted all-purpose fertilizer.

Be sure to follow the directions on the fertilizer package for proper application rates.

10. Reduce watering and fertilizing in fall and winter.

Allow your aloe vera plant to go dormant in winter by reducing watering and fertilizing.

The plant will rest during this time but will resume active growth when spring arrives.

How to Use Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera in food:

  • Aloe vera can be used as a natural food preservative.
  • It can be used to add flavor and nutrition to smoothies and other drinks.
  • Aloe vera can be used as a healthy alternative to sugar in baking recipes.
  • It can also be used topically on skin and hair for its nourishing properties.

Aloe Vera in tea:

  • Aloe vera tea is said to have numerous health benefits, including aiding digestion, boosting immunity, and reducing inflammation.
  • To make aloe vera tea, simply steep fresh or dried aloe vera leaves in hot water for 5-10 minutes. Add honey or lemon to taste if desired.

Aloe Vera in medicine:

  • Aloe vera has been used medicinally for centuries to treat a variety of ailments, including burns, wounds, and skin conditions.
  • More recently, it has been shown to have potential anti-cancer properties.

Aloe Vera in esoteric context:

  • Esoterically, Aloe Vera is associated with healing, protection, and luck, as well as fertility.

Additional information and Facts About Aloe Vera

  • Aloe Vera is a succulent plant that is native to North Africa, the Canary Islands, and Cape Verde.
  • The Aloe Vera plant grows in rosettes of thick, fleshy leaves that are green with white spots. The leaves are edged with small, sharp teeth.
  • Aloe Vera plants can grow up to two feet tall.
  • The Aloe Vera plant is used for its medicinal properties. The gel from the leaves can be applied to the skin to soothe burns and other skin irritations.
  • Aloe Vera juice is used as a natural laxative.
  • Aloe Vera plants need full sun and well-drained soil to thrive.

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Written By Vincent

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