Aloe Vera Plant Care
Aloe vera has recently become very popular and can be grown at home. It not only looks very beautiful, but also has healing properties. This quality has been noticed for this plant for a very long time. This succulent is valued as a source of phytoncides that disinfect the air.
In addition, its leaves are used not only in folk medicine, but also in traditional medicine, as well as in cosmetology. Therefore, in order for this plant to be beneficial, it is necessary to properly grow and care for it.
1 Characteristics of the plant
2 How to grow and care for aloe?
2.1 Landing and lighting
2.2 Temperature and watering
2.3 Top dressing
3 Ways to Propagate Aloe Vera
4 How to plant aloe?
5 What problems can arise during cultivation?
Aloe Vera is native to Central Africa but has now spread throughout the world. It is completely indifferent to the composition of the soil and can grow even on volcanic ash. For medicinal purposes, its cultivation is carried out on special plantations.
Aloe blooms with small flowers in the form of tubules, which are collected in a brush. Under natural conditions, flowering occurs every 2-3 years, and at home this happens very rarely — once every 10-15, or even 20 years, mainly in spring and summer.
How to grow and care for aloe?
Home care for this plant does not present any difficulties. It adapts well to various conditions. In order for a succulent to grow well, it needs to provide the following conditions:
- good lighting;
- optimal temperature regime;
- proper watering;
- top dressing.
Let’s analyze them in more detail.
Landing and lighting
Before planting aloe, you need to prepare a container for it. It should be a ceramic pot, because the clay absorbs excess moisture well. High drainage should be put in itso that moisture stagnation does not occur. Since this plant is quite unstable and often falls to the side, it should be fixed as best as possible when planting. For this purpose, several pebbles are placed in the container and pressed tightly against the base of the aloe. This helps him grow straight.
Caring for this healing plant includes applying the right lighting. It loves the sun very much, so it is recommended to keep it on windows facing south or southeast. With a lack of light, it begins to stretch , and in winter, additional lighting is used. In the spring, when the sun begins to bake more and more, the plant should first be shaded to avoid burns. This should be done for about a week, using tulle or gauze for shading, filtering the bright rays of the sun.
In summer, it must be taken out to an open balcony to obtain the necessary dose of ultraviolet radiation, which does not let the window glass through. Thanks to this, the plant has a more powerful stem and thick leaves.
Temperature and watering
In summer, aloe vera can be kept at room temperature. If there is such an opportunity, it can be taken out to the terrace or balcony and put in a place where precipitation will not fall on it and there will be no draft . In winter, the succulent is at rest and at this time it should be moved to a cool place with a temperature of +14 degrees.
Aloe care at home includes proper watering, which should be moderate. This must be done as the topsoil dries out. As soon as the cold sets in, watering is halved. The soil should always be slightly moist. Water the plant in such a way that water does not get into the socket with leaves, as this will cause the trunk to rot.
This succulent needs top dressing, which must be carried out from early spring to mid-autumn, taking a break until next spring. Usually mineral fertilizers are used for this.
Aloe Vera Propagation Methods
This plant propagates in the following ways:
- apical shoots;
If seeds are used for propagation, then this procedure should be carried out in early spring. As soon as they ripen, they must be sown in small containers, which are filled with a soil mixture of turf, leaf soil and sand in a ratio of 1:1:2. As soon as the seedlings germinate and get stronger, they should be transplanted into another container with the same soil composition. A separate pot is used for each grown plant. To make the soil nutritious and loose, charcoal and brick chips are added to it.
In the future, care for young plants consists in moderate watering, carried out regularly. A year later, they are transplanted into larger containers. They are cared for in the same way as adults.
Propagation by cuttings is also a fairly effective method and can be carried out all year round, but preferably in spring and summer. Healthy and mature shoots are cut into pieces 10 cm long and placed in a shaded place to dry, and the cuts should be sprinkled with charcoal powder. Cuttings should be planted in well-moistened sand to a depth of 1-2 cm and at a distance of 5 cm from each other. When the first roots appear, it is necessary to increase the intensity of watering. After a week, the shoots are seated in a separate pot.
Many people prefer to propagate aloe at home using the apical cuttings and shoots formed at the base of the shoots. After cutting the cuttings, they should wilt a little, then they are deepened into the soil substrate by 2 cm and tied to a support. In the future, care should be to ensure the optimal temperature (+18 degrees) and regular spraying. After the cuttings are well rooted, they should be watered as adult plants.
How to plant aloe?
This succulent sooner or later needs to be seated so that it always looks good. For adult plants, this procedure should be carried out every 3-4 years, for young plants — once every 2 years. It is necessary to plant aloe in a more spacious pot , on the bottom of which drainage is placed and the substrate is poured on top. Then the succulent is carefully shaken out of the old pot, and the earth is carefully cleaned from the root. Very carefully, the plant is placed in a prepared pot, filling the root system with a substrate.
What problems can arise during cultivation?
At home, growing aloe can be accompanied by various problems and most often they occur due to improper care.
If the plant is moistened too much, then its leaves will become pale and lethargic after a while. The stem and root system may also begin to rot. A flooded flower should be transplanted into a new pot with dry soil , after carefully examining its roots and removing rotten ones.
Due to the lack of sunlight, aloe can grow rapidly, which makes it look very ugly. To compensate for the lack of lighting, it is necessary to use artificial light lamps.
When the air humidity is low, the leaves turn brown at the tips. Although this plant does not react at all to a change in such an indicator, the room should be regularly ventilated.
The flower does not like drafts and does not tolerate low temperatures . During ventilation, it must be protected from this.
In addition to these problems, aloe at home can affect various pests, such as:
- false shield;
To combat them, various chemicals are used.
The shield can be removed with a cloth soaked in alcohol. Then aloe is irrigated with an insecticide. The main thing is to notice in time that dark brown spots have formed on the upper side of the sheet .
If a spider mite appears, the succulent must be taken out to fresh air or the room thoroughly ventilated. An insecticide is also often used.
Such a fleeting disease as dry rot does not manifest itself at all. The affected plant begins to dry out from the inside and it is impossible to save it. Proper care, well-chosen soil and good drainage help prevent its formation.
Thus, we found out that aloe vera is a rather unpretentious plant, the care and cultivation of which is not difficult. But at the same time, you need to adhere to certain rules , timely pay attention to changes in the appearance of such a flower to identify diseases and possible pests.