Aloe Vera Plant Care: How To Water It And More? Know this before you go. Know what is aloe vera. Aloe vera, a botanical specimen characterized by its succulent, fleshy foliage housing a viscous, gelatinous essence, transcends conventional flora. It finds multifaceted utility in domains spanning skincare, well-being, and the realm of medicine. Aloe vera traces its origins to the arid landscapes of the Arabian Peninsula, yet its resilience has enabled it to flourish in a multitude of diverse global climates.
Behold, the chronicle of Aloe vera—an adaptable and invaluable entity whose legacy spans millennia and transcends cultural boundaries. The ancient Egyptians bestowed upon it the grandiose title of the “plant of immortality,” while Native Americans, in their reverence, coined it the “wonder plant.” Cultivating Aloe vera, even as an indoor potted companion, unfolds as an endeavor marked by simplicity and accessibility.
How to harvest the Aloe vera plant
Harvesting the aloe vera plant is a simple process that can provide you with fresh and natural aloe gel for various purposes. Here are some steps to follow:
Choose a healthy and mature aloe vera plant that has thick and fleshy leaves. The leaves should be at least 30 cm long and 2 cm thick for optimal gel yield
Cut off one or two leaves from the outer section of the plant, as close to the stem as possible. Use a sharp and clean knife or scissors to avoid damaging the plant or the leaf
Hold the cut end of the leaf downwards and let the yellowish sap, called aloin, drip out for about 10 to 15 minutes. This sap is bitter and can cause stomach upset if ingested. You can also rinse the leaf under running water to remove any remaining aloin
Peel off the green skin of the leaf using a knife or a vegetable peeler. Start from one side and work your way around the leaf until you expose the clear and transparent gel inside. You can also cut the leaf in half and scoop out the gel with a spoon
Cut the gel into small cubes or blend it in a blender to make a smooth paste. You can use the fresh gel immediately or store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to a month
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Tips for Aloe Vera Plant Care
Use a pot with a hole and fill it with draining soil. Use cactus soil and sand or make your own by mixing perlite or vermiculite to usual potting soil. Avoid waterlogged soil because aloe vera hates it.
Aloe vera plants need lots of sunlight, so arrange them near south-facing windows. For optimal growth, aloe vera needs six hours of sunlight daily. Protect your plant from direct light in summer to avoid leaf burn. You can move your plant to a shadier spot or use a sheer curtain to filter the light.
Water your aloe vera plant sparingly and deeply. Wait until the soil is completely dry before you water again. During the growing season (spring and summer), you can water your plant every two to three weeks. Water your plant monthly or less during dormancy (autumn and winter). Pour water slowly and evenly over the soil until it drains out the pot’s bottom hole to water your plant. Keep your plant out of water to avoid root rot and fungal diseases.
Fertilize your aloe vera plant occasionally with a diluted liquid fertilizer. You can use a balanced fertilizer (10-10-10) or one specially made for succulents and cacti. Fertilize monthly from April to September and stop in winter. To fertilize your plant, combine the fertilizer with water according to the label and water as usual. Overfertilizing your plant could harm its health and growth.
Prune your aloe vera plant to remove dead or damaged leaves and flower stalks. You can use a sharp and clean knife or scissors to cut off the leaves at the base of the plant. You can also harvest healthy leaves for their gel by cutting them off at an angle. Use alcohol or bleach to sanitize your pruning tool before and after use. This prevents transmitting disease or infection to your plant and others.
Propagate your aloe vera plant by dividing the offsets or pups that grow around the mother plant. These are small plants that have their own roots and leaves, and they can grow into new plants if you separate them from the main plant. To propagate your plant, carefully detach the pups from the mother plant with a knife or your fingers, making sure they have some roots attached. Then, pot them in individual containers with well-draining soil and water them lightly. Keep them in a warm and bright place until they establish themselves.
How to use Aloe vera
Aloe vera may be harnessed for skin rejuvenation through the direct application of freshly extracted aloe gel from the plant itself or by acquiring products infused with aloe vera as a constituent. This botanical elixir has the capacity to imbue your skin with moisture, facilitate healing, and address various dermatological concerns. A 2013 research of 50 volunteers demonstrated that aloe vera gel treated superficial and partial thickness burns better than 1 percent silver sulfadiazine cream.
For facial care, a slender veneer of aloe gel, when delicately administered, rests upon your visage for a duration of ten minutes, subsequently rinsed off with refreshing cool water. The discerning touch of aloe vera lends itself to the mitigation of inflammation, amelioration of acne, and enhancement of skin tone.
Transitioning to hair care, aloe gel may be tenderly massaged into your scalp and tresses or alternatively, one may opt for a shampoo or conditioner infused with the essence of aloe vera. The consequence is a well-hydrated scalp, diminished dandruff, and the encouragement of luxuriant hair growth.
Promotes oral health
In matters concerning oral health, the incorporation of aloe vera in mouthwash or toothpaste is a prudent choice. It acts as a sentinel against plaque formation, facilitates the healing of canker sores, and combats halitosis with notable efficacy. However, the ingestion of raw aloe vera gel is best eschewed, as it may potentially induce digestive disturbances.
Relieves anal fissures
Furthermore, aloe vera can be transformed into a healthful elixir by blending its gel with an assortment of ingredients like fruits, water, or milk to craft a nourishing juice or smoothie. The consumption of this concoction has the potential to bolster digestion, enhance immunity, and regulate blood sugar levels. It is paramount, however, to exercise prudence and avoid excessive consumption, which could trigger gastrointestinal discomfort, nausea, or allergic reactions in select individuals. Prior consultation with a healthcare professional is advisable for those with underlying medical conditions or individuals taking medications.