All about the Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera is a perennial succulent houseplant that can be grown indoors and outdoors. They aren't just popular because of their green spikey thick leaves, but also because the plant itself is known to have numerous health benefits to aid in your daily issues.
This rapidly growing plant has a watery type gel with powerful polyphenol compounds plumped inside each of these leaves, which in turn can be used to treat various health-related issues like relieving pain from sunburns and scrapes.
Due to its ancient history of being used as folk medicine and anti-inflammatory properties, you should consider getting this for yourself as well so that you may enjoy using the Aloe gel freely at home. The plant itself is self-sufficient and requires minimum care in light, water, temperature, and soil. It easily suits your own home's indoor warm room temperature while also allowing you the liberty to place it outdoors in Spring or Summer.
Aloe Vera has vast wonderful properties, and thus, a lot of nicknames used for this particular plant as well:
- Medicine Plant
- Natural Healer
- First-aid Plant
- Wonder Plant
- Plant of Immortality
- Empress of Healing plants
Different Types of Aloe Vera
Aloes from the Asphodelaceae family have around 300 species of succulent plants, some of which are the Tiger or Patridge-breasted Aloe (Aloe Variegata) with smooth, short leaves and white, uneven stripes. Lace Aloe (Aloe Aristata) is another attractive variety that has white spots and saw-toothed leaves. The Blue Elf Aloe (Aloe Blue Elf) is a much larger species with silver and blue leaves, which characterize it.
Origin of an Aloe Vera
Also commonly known as Aloe Barbadensis miller, this plant originated in the African continent because of its tropical climate and the islands in the Indian Ocean. These became quite famous worldwide because of their health benefits, and a few of them got naturalized in regions like South America, Australia, and India.
How to (generally) take care of an Aloe Vera
Aloe Plants are not so difficult to care for and maintain, blooming in late Spring or early Summer because of warm temperatures.
Aloe Vera is used to arid temperatures but still requires a sufficient amount of water, despite its thick succulent leaves. Watering this plant is slightly tricky but can produce a healthy, thriving plant. They should be watered deeply to seep deep into the soil, which should be moist if touched.
Too much water in the soil for long can cause root rot; thus, it is recommended that they may be watered infrequently. When watering, ensure that the soil has dried out to an extent from the previous watering allowing the top third of the ground to dry out before you water it again.
Before deciding on purchasing Aloe Vera for your home, you need to ensure if you have a space in your garden or indoor where the plant can receive bright indirect sunlight for most of the day. The plant will grow groggy if it doesn't receive sufficient sunlight, while direct sunlight can burn the plant. Warm temperatures are perfect for this plant, while freezing temperatures will kill the roots and hinder the growth of sprouts.
Aloe Vera needs well-draining soil, so you may have to use a special cactus potting soil or mix in some perlite or coarse sand. Water drainage is essential for this plant. They do not require high soil fertility and just need to be fertilized in the Spring and the Summer with a mixed balance of houseplant formula of half the strength.
This plant thrives best between temperatures of 13 and 27 C, making them ideal indoor plants. They may even be moved outdoors temporarily when temperatures get warmer because they cannot tolerate frost. Aloe Vera is, however, an air purifier, clearing the air of formaldehyde and benzene, which are products found in chemical cleaners. Purer air indoors will help in better breathing and sleeping.
Aloe Vera is safe to be used on human skin, though it can cause irritation for some people. The leaves should not be ingested by people or pets, which can result in mild poisoning, where you or your pet may feel stomach distress, diarrhea, lethargy, or in extreme cases, have kidney failure. In case of symptoms, you should rush to the emergency.
Propagating the Aloe Vera
This plant can be propagated by seed, but you can also use offset extracted from the plant's base. They usually produce small baby plants that can grow a whole new plant in another pot. Break off each shoot, dump out the dirt, and then tease apart the roots attached to them; dry them for 1-2 days and replant them separately in a pot. Drying the sap before planting prevents it from escaping. Ensure your pot has at least two drainage holes for water to seep out and not let it settle in the soil for long.
Aloe Vera has various health benefits and is essential for every household to have a jar of Aloe gel. Aloe gel is becoming an extremely popular addition to hair and makeup products and treatments for skin conditions like psoriasis.
You can easily use your own aloe at home by slicing the spikey leaves lengthwise and scooping up the gel with a spoon. This first-aid kit gel can be stored in a container for later use.