My afternoon walk often takes me in many different directions, but one thing it always does is give me plenty of gardens to admire. Lately, I have mainly be admiring exotic plants, like palms, cacti and aloe vera, in particular the aloe vera.
There is something about its fronds and spikes that just makes you want to grab it and touch it! And knowing that it has a multitude of uses is such an attraction too. So I thought I would share with you the best hints and tips I have found to grow fantastic aloe vera.
Aloe Vera plants are semi tropical and therefore they can only be grown outdoors where there is no chance of freezing temperatures. This is because aloes are 95% water so they are very susceptible to frost. If you are in an area that has these low temperatures, then don't worry because they make excellent and very attractive house plants. Whether planted indoors or out, they always need sufficient light. You can also move plants grown indoors outside in the summer months.
During colder, winter months, you will notice that your aloe becomes a little dormant and uses less water than during warmer months so keep watering to a minimum. Allow the soil to dry out completely and then only give it a cup or two. Then in summer, completely soak the soil, allow to dry and then re-water. Choose moderately fertile soil that is fast draining. Older, more well established plants will survive droughts but you should always provide water.
Choose a wider container as opposed to a deep one and always add gravel or pot chips in the bottom before adding soil so as to ensure proper drainage. You could also opt to use a special cacti potting mix.
Aloe Vera is an incredible plant to have around because of it's many medicinal properties. Since biblical times, it has been used to heal cuts, burns and rashes as well as being used as a beauty treatment. Use the sap, which is found within the leaf, from one of the lower leaves of the plant and apply it directly to the skin. It is also great for insect bites and stings and you will be thankful of it in an emergency!
Adapted from TheGardenHelper.com