Aloë Vera - Care tips
There are many species of Aloë plants, the most common being Aloë Vera. Most types of Aloë plants have thick fleshy leaves that contain a gel-like substance. This gel is even known for its healing powers! This plant gives us a bit of a holiday feeling and don't you want that too?
Information about the Aloë Vera
The botanical name of Aloë Vera is Aloë Barbadensis Miller. The Aloë plant is a genus of more than 500 species of shrubby succulents in the family Asphodelaceae. Aloë Vera is native to Africa, Madagascar and the Arabian Peninsula. Today, it is also found in countries around the Mediterranean, Indonesia, Mexico and the Caribbean. Several species are cultivated as ornamental and houseplants, but also for their medicinal leaves.
The plant has always had to survive in extreme heat, so in order to survive it produces 70 to 80 substances. If a leaf is damaged or cut off, the wound is immediately sealed with the sap, which has a coagulating effect. How special! So the ancient Egyptians already called the Aloë Vera ‘immortality plant’, we understand why.
Most members of the genus have a bundle of leaves at ground level or at the end of a stem. Aloë Vera is a stemless or very short-stemmed plant that grows to 60-100 centimetres in height and spreads by shoots. The leaves are usually succulent and fleshy and often have sharply serrated edges. Some Aloë species keep dense dead leaves around their stems to serve as insulation from the heat.
Aloë plant varieties
We would like to tell you a bit more about the most popular Aloë plants. The first, of course, is the Aloë Vera (Aloe Barbadensis). This is a popular houseplant and also grows well outdoors in tropical climates. The plant has beautiful thick green fatty leaves that have healing properties for your skin. So she is good company, not only because she is beautiful to look at but also her inner self is special. Her inner self can even cool down your (sunburnt) skin. Yes, this is really true! The Aloë Vera contains a gel and juice that’s been used to treat various health conditions for thousands of years. It’s relatively simple to harvest an Aloë plant for gel and juice. You’ll need a mature plant that’s at least a few years old.
Secondly, the Lace Aloë (Aloë Aristata) is a small type of Aloë plant that has short soft succulent leaves and white speckles. Native to Southern Africa, this Aloë variety is also called the Torch plant or guinea-fowl aloe. The name for this type of Aloë comes from the ‘lacy’ white edges on the leaves. The surface of the greenish leaves is covered in small white raised dots. Unlike varieties of Aloë Vera plants that can have long spindly leaves, Lace Aloë plant leaves grow in small clumps resembling a rosette shape.
Finally, similar to the Lace Aloë is the shortleaf Aloë (Aloë Brevifolia), this Aloë has white jagged edges to its blue-grey leaves. This is a small Aloë plant that grows only about 10 cm high. The short, thick, clumping leaves form a rosette pattern. When this Aloë species gets enough sun, the leaves can become light red.
Aloë Vera Care Tips
Light and placement for Aloë Vera
Unlike many other houseplants, the Aloë can withstand direct sunlight. Please note that the plant always needs some time to get used to its new environment, so do not place it directly in direct sunlight. Do this gradually. In summer, the plant can be placed in the garden. In winter, you should watch out for frost. If you leave the plant in the real cold, it may die. In summary: the Aloë needs sufficient light and should not be placed in a place that is too dark or cold.
The Aloë needs little water because it can store water in its leaves. Therefore, never over-water! Do not water again until the potting soil feels completely dry. In summer, this is approximately once a week and in winter approximately once a month. Easy!
It is not necessary to feed the Aloë extra nutrition. If you do want to stimulate growth somewhat, then give considerably less fertiliser than the dosage indicated. For example, half the dosage and only once at most twice in the summer months.
Propagating Aloë Vera
The most successful method of propagating Aloë Vera plants is through offsets or "pups", which result in new plants almost immediately. Separating Aloë pups, also known as Aloë offsets or Aloë sprouts, is a simple process. Aloë pups are essentially baby plants that share part of the mother plant's root system, so all you have to do to start an Aloë plant from a pup is wait until it is big enough to remove it from the mother plant. Once you have carefully removed this pup you can continue to grow it in another pot.
Most common pest on Aloë Vera
Aloë Vera does not easily suffer from diseases or pests. However, if pests do get hold of the Aloë, make sure that you combat them as quickly as possible. Visit our PLNTS doctor page to see which pest is bothering your plant and how best to combat it.
Is the Aloë Vera toxic for pets or children?
Aloë Vera is toxic to pets and, if not prepared properly, also to humans. It can cause vomiting for example. It is generally safe to eat the gel inside the Aloë Vera leaf, as well as the skin of the plant. It is however essential to wash the skin or the gel thoroughly in order to remove traces of the latex, which can have unpleasant and potentially harmful side effects.
Buy your new Aloë Vera at PLNTS.com
At PLNTS.com you can buy your new Aloë Vera online. Whether you like your PLNTS big from the start or prefer to grow them from tiny BabyPLNTS into full-grown PLNTS - we’ve got you covered!