Growing Aloe Vera
Summer is quickly approaching. Soon folks will be gathering around the picnic table, going on camping trips, and visiting the seven wonders of Oregon. All of these activities mean two things: fun and the potential for sunburns.
Aloe Vera plants have long been used to sooth, dry, irritated, or sunburnt skin. This simple, natural remedy is not only extremely beneficial, but it’s also a beautiful and easy to grow houseplant.
Aloe and its 300 plus identified species are classified as succulents. Like other succulents and cacti, they do best in lightly moist to dryer growing conditions. These plants grow naturally in tropical and subtropical locations, and are, therefore, ideal for low water environments or rock gardens.
To plant Aloe Vera use clay pots or shallow containers that provide adequate drainage. Avoid clay soils. Instead, use a cactus or succulent potting mix.
Aloe plants prefer well-drained, sandy potting soil and bright, sunny conditions—however they can burn if given too much direct sunlight. Most nurseries recommend between 6-8 hours of bright, indirect sunlight each day. If you live in a climate that reaches freezing temperatures in the winter months then remember to bring your Aloe plant inside. All species of Aloe will die if left outdoors in freezing temperatures.
When watering Aloe plants make sure to give them plenty of time to dry out. Soil should be completely dry before re-watering. During the winter months these plants will become dormant and will require less watering. Remember, the most common reason that Aloe plants die is due to overwatering.
Propagating Aloe Vera
Healthy Aloe plants will produce offspring. These tiny plants will sprout from the sides of the main plant and can then be removed and transplanted. We suggest sharing them with a friend.
To transplant the baby Aloe Vera plant simply detach it from the main plant while being careful not to break any of the roots. If the new plant doesn’t yet have roots you may still be able to propagate it. To attempt this fill a small pot with a succulent or cacti potting soil and place the baby cut-side down on top of the soil. Do not water. Instead, lightly spray the new plant with water every few days. Repeat the planting process mentioned earlier.
Once your Aloe plant is of a decent size you can begin using it for any number of home remedies included but not limited to making facemasks, soaps, scrubs, conditioners, and of course to sooth sunburns. Remember to consult your doctor or healthcare professional before trying out any of these or other home remedies. Also, always make sure that you are 100% sure about the type of plant you are growing as many plants have look-a-likes that may or may not be poisonous.
Regardless of weather or not you attempt to make any natural beauty products or home remedies. The Aloe plant is an easy to grow, beautiful, and inviting plant to add to any home.