Growing Aloe vera
Aloe vera’s Versatility
The versatility of Aloe vera has proven to be absolutely amazing and this cute little cactus looking plant grows great whether at the edge of a border or on a windowsill. The plant itself boasts long luscious leaves and a hearty inner gel. This guide will show you all you need to know about growing Aloe vera and propagating the ‘pups’.
Packed in the prickly leaves of this plant, lies one of the best moisturizers in the world. This cactus looking ready available lotion is easy to cultivate and holds many health benefits, from soft skin to boosting the immune system. The versatility of this basic bush goes beyond the average imagination, yet it is so easy to grow. It multiplies quickly and thrives in the simplest of soils. It is cultivated throughout the many countries, though usually for ornamental purposes, it can also be frozen and used to treat burns, blisters and a range of bloating inflammations. The decorative aspects of the serrated leaves and budding flowers serve as an excellent additive to any wholesome home or growing garden. Placed in a pot it will proudly produce sprouting stems and a shower of flowers, or planted directly in the ground it will quickly quadruple into plentiful ‘pups’. Upon separation from the mother plant it quickly takes to the soil and beams with a boldness of beauty that can be admired by gardeners around the globe. The succulence of this species ensures its survival in areas of low rainfall and hard soil, though if grown in pots, it requires good drainage and protection from frequent frosts.
Growing Aloe vera
Separating the Pups
If grown in the correct conditions, Aloe vera will produce plenty of ‘pups’ and they are relatively easy to propagate. It just takes a gentle hand and a keen eye. Upon separation rooting hormones are not necessary as the new plant will take to the soil quite quickly. The new plant or ‘pup’ should be teased away gently from the mother plant, making sure that a good amount of roots are intact. It is perfectly fine to clip the main root that is connecting it to the mother plant. The next step is to peel back the bottom or damaged leaves until the plant looks even. Then pot in a soil that has good body and good drainage.
Choosing the Soil
It is essential to choose a soil that has good drainage and adequate nutrients, although aloe vera doesn’t really feed heavily, basic fertilization is required. To make a good wholesome soil mix, add two parts compost, one part coconut coir/peat moss to one part sand.
Potting the Plant
Make sure the soil is mixed well. Its a good idea to do it by hand to check that there are no clumps. Hold the plant by the leaves in a fist. It is very important to be gentle and not bend the leaves back as they will snap quite easily. Use one hand to hold the plant and one hand to add the soil. Hold the aloe vera in a hovering motion and fill around immersing the roots. When the soil reaches the neck do not compact the soil or press too hard. A light watering is all that is required. The roots will take quickly and more ‘pups’ will start to form. This usually looks great contained in a pot on a windowsill or as an ornamental house plant.