Helpful tips for cultivation of Aloe Vera plants at home, at work, at school…
Cultivation of Aloe Vera plants is predominant and most successful in warm, dry countries. Aloe Vera does not naturally do well in frosty climates.
However If you live in a cold climate and want to grow Aloe Vera, all hope is not lost. You just need to follow these steps.
First of all, you must ensure that you cultivate your Aloe Vera plant indoors with a minimum temperature of 55°F/13°C.
Plant it in good-quality compost mixed with sand, with plenty of pebbles or little rocks at the bottom of the pot to ensure good drainage. If you have enough space, start with a large pot – at least 18 inches/45 cm in diameter to allow the plant to grow to its full size.
You will find that the Aloe Vera plant requires low maintenance once the climatic conditions are right for it, it grows slowly and needs little water.
It comes to full maturity at about 4 years so a good idea when considering the cultivation of Aloe Vera plants would be to start with a fair-sized, relatively mature plant which can be as tall as 4 feet/1.2 metres in height. Find out the age of the plant before buying it so that you know how long to wait before harvesting it.
A common mistake that occurs in the cultivation of Aloe Vera plants is the tendency to over-water. Watering the soil once a week when the soil feels dry should be enough. When watering add 1 or 2 cups/200 or 400 ml of water and make sure that the plant has good drainage at all times.
In really hot weather you can soak the entire pot for a while always making sure there is good drainage to prevent the risk of rotting the roots.
On the other hand, if you do not water your Aloe Vera plant enough, the plant will “tell” you this by growing thin leaves which collapse into the middle. Without sufficient water the plant absorbs its own water, resulting in thin leaves. All you need do in this sort of situation is add more water.
Another crucial factor in the cultivation of Aloe Vera plants is light. Light is crucial for the well being of the Aloe Vera plant. You must make sure that your Aloe Vera plant has plenty of light because without this the leaves go flat instead of curving upwards. Having said this if Aloe Vera is unduly exposed to very strong sunlight it goes brown in which case you’ll need to give it more water.
Aloe Vera is very sensitive to fluoridated water, it leads to brown spots appearing on the leaves. Use spring or mineral water if you live in a water fluoride region.
I can almost hear you saying, I thought you said it was a low maintenance plant?! Honestly it is, once you’ve put these conditions in place.
For cultivation of Aloe Vera plants outdoors, note that it likes sun and a lot of wind. Wind strenghtens the succulent leaves. If planted indoors you can compensate for the lack of wind by placing it near a door where it can get some draught, or by an open window when the weather is warm enough.
As your Aloe Vera plant grows, you will notice that it starts to develops new shoots. Separate these from the mother plant once they are a few inches high otherwise they will draw nutrients from the mother plant. To propagate Aloe Vera, transplant these new shoots and maintain them in the same way.
When harvesting your Aloe Vera plant, always take an outside leaf near the bottom of the plant first, as this will be the most mature and therefore have the greatest curative properties.
You will find that after cutting off your chosen leaf, the Aloe Vera plant will quickly seal the cut to itself. Aloe Vera is its own first patient!