How To Grow Aloe Vera?

You're reading How To Grow Aloe Vera?, posted on Monday, June 21st, 2010 at 6:38 am in Gardening Tips, on BrainBloggers at the Gardening blog. More after the jump.

Aloe Vera is a variety of succulent plant that grows in dry climates like Africa and India. It is chiefly popular as a medicinal plant and is used to treat burns, relieve sunburns and is sometimes rubbed on the face for clearer skin. Aloe Vera on its own is a beautiful plant to have around your home. Learn how to grow aloe vera in your home; however, the additional medicinal uses make it an even more helpful plant to have around. As such here are a couple guidelines to help you grow and maintain a healthy Aloe Vera plant of your own.

How To Grow Aloe Vera

Required Tools
Sunny window
Required Materials
Aloe Vera plant
Potting mix
Pot with drainage hole
Pebbles
Fertilizer

Instructions

First select a spot for your aloe plant that has rich soil, good drainage and full sunlight coverage. If you are planting your aloe in a pot, mix the potting mix, pebbles, and fertilizer to make rich soil for the plant. Cover the floor of the pot with pebbles or gravel to give drainage for the plant. Put the potting mix into a pot about 18 inches in diameter so that the aloe is able to grow to its maximum size and place the aloe plant into it.

Your aloe plant ought to be watered at least one time each week with one or two cups of water. In hot months though, you can soak the aloe entirely as long as it has good drainage to keep the roots from rotting.

Other than water and sunlight aloe plants are fairly easy to care for. It is recommended that you remove all weeds from around the plant as weeds may throw off the pH balance of the soil and affect the aloe plant. Adding ammonium nitrate to the soil yearly will be of great benefit to the aloe plant.

To use the medicinal properties of Aloe Vera, cut a leaf near the base of the plant and remove the outer layer of the leaf to get to the gel inside. Although people believe that the entire aloe leaf is medicinal, the outer layer has just about no nutrients and it is the gel inside that is essential. Therefore in the case of burns or insect stings, rub the gel onto the area to relieve the pain or stinging.

Tips and Warnings

Aloe Vera is really frost tender as it is 95% water, so in cold climates aloe should be planted in a greenhouse and put under a glass to protect it from the cold. If possible keep the aloe plant indoors during cold weather.
Aloe Vera is one of those plants which benefits from foliage feeding and not just root feeding, so when watering or fertilizing the plant, wet the leaves along with the roots.

If you want offspring from your aloe plant, aloe plants can be grown from seeds but are more often grown by planting the offspring which are produced around the base of the plant.

If your aloe plant starts to wilt, or brown at the tips, increase watering frequency to 2-3 times per day until the plant is restored.