Table of Contents
- What are Aloe Vera Plants?
- What Uses Do Aloe Vera Plants Have?
- How to Extract Gel from Aloe Vera Plants
- How to Grow Aloe Vera Plants Indoors
- How to Prune and Propagate Aloe Vera Plants
- Aloe Vera Plants – The Wrap-up
Are you looking to grow an aloe vera plant indoors? Well, if you are, you have come to the right place. This ultimate guide to growing aloe vera plants will inform you what aloe vera plants are, what they can be used for, their benefits, and how to propagate the plant in your home.
What are Aloe Vera Plants?
Aloe vera is a succulent plant with over 500 different species. The genus name for the plant is aloe. The aloe vera plant is recognizable by its short, stubby leaves and stemless bodies. Primarily grown in hot climates, you can find aloe vera in dry, hot climates worldwide. In the United States, the aloe vera plant is often found in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California.
These fantastic plants take in large amounts of carbon dioxide and purify the air around them. Their air purification ability makes them healthy additions to have in your home. There is an ancient belief that aloe vera plants fight off bad vibes and will bring good luck and prosperity to a home.
Cultivation usually occurs for aloe gel, the substance that resides in the short leaves of the plant. Aloe vera gel has been utilized for many, many years.
You can find Aloe in the following products:
- Food – aloe vera can be found in some desserts or yogurts.
- Cosmetics – aloe vera is found in lotions and facial cleansers.
- Supplements – aloe vera comes in capsule form and is often sold in vitamin shops.
- Herbal Remedies – aloe vera is applied topically to burns or wounds, most commonly used for sunburn.
While often referred to as a ‘miracle’ plant, it is known as an invasive species in some parts of the world. Believe it or not, aloe vera plants do bloom flowers; blooming typically occurs during the summer months. The older and mature plants can bloom mostly rarely seen. Usually, harvesting aloe plant leaves early for other purposes, prevents them from maturing to bloom.
What Uses Do Aloe Vera Plants Have?
Long used as a medicinal herb, aloe vera is known to boost immunity and aid in digestion. The gel is extracted from the leaves is used topically for most purposes. Aloe vera has many benefits by applying to the skin.
1. Soothes Sunburn
Aloe vera has cooling properties and anti-inflammatory properties. This cooling gel is a natural remedy for sunburnt skin.
2. Moisturizes Skin
Unlike other store-bought lotions, aloe vera gel will not leave your skin feeling greasy. In fact, aloe vera gel unclogs pores, opens them up, and softens your skin.
3. Aloe Vera Plants Help Wounds Heal Faster
This gel will reduce the healing time of wounds by speeding up skin cell production. Aloe vera gel can penetrate the skin faster than water.
4. Aids in Hair Growth
Just like aloe vera gel helps reproduce new skin fast, it can also help aid in hair growth. The gel increases blood circulation to the scalp due to the many minerals and vitamins that nourish the scalp.
5. Reduces Dandruff
To aid dandruff production, miracle gel has been a great help with dry skin and excessively oily skin. Aloe gel is a natural way to get rid of dry skin on the scalp.
How to Extract Gel from Aloe Vera Plants
You can buy high-quality aloe vera products at your local pharmacy or grocery store. Or, you can make your very own aloe vera gel at home! First, you will need to ensure you have the most crucial supply, a fresh aloe vera plant. Once you have your plant, you are ready to extract the aloe vera gel.
Follow these steps to extra aloe gel:
- Wash your hands thoroughly. Doing so will help avoid any bacteria from entering the gel.
- Slice off the aloe vera leaf with scissors. Cut as close to the base of the plant as possible.
- Rinse off the leaf under lukewarm water.
- Drain out the yellow resin which is in the leaves. In addition to the white-colored gel, aloe vera leaves are filled with a yellow latex resin. The resin should be drained out before extracting the gel. Place the leaf cut side down into a large glass for ten minutes. The gardener should be ready to move on to the next step once they have drained all the resin.
- Cut off the sharp, spike sides of the aloe vera plant using a sharp knife. Try to cut as close to the edge as possible to prevent losing any aloe vera gel.
- Peel off one side of the aloe vera’s skin using a vegetable peeler. Press down deep with the peeler to reveal the gel.
- Scoop the gel out into a clean container.
- Do not leave the gel sitting at room temperature; it will go rancid quickly. Store the gel in the fridge for up to twenty days of freshness or in the freezer for up to eight months.
How to Grow Aloe Vera Plants Indoors
First, keep the aloe vera plant in bright but indirect light. Aloe will do best on a windowsill or shelf, not in the sun’s direct path but very close by. The plant can handle some natural light, but too much will burn their thick, gel-filled leaves. The aloe vera plant is succulent and prefers a drier climate, so avoid keeping it in an overly humid location. Water only when needed; test the soil to see if it is dry before watering. Do not water the succulents if the soil is moist. You can fertilize your aloe vera plant once a year using a regular indoor plant fertilizer.
Overall, the aloe plant is an easy plant to grow and enjoy indoors.
How to Prune and Propagate Aloe Vera Plants
Aloe vera plants are ready to prune if the tips are turning brown. By pruning the brown ends off the plant, you will encourage growth. Only prune the tips of the leaves, never cut off starting from the center, and there is no reason to remove the entire section of the plant if the rest is still healthy.
Propagating can be done using seeds, but you can also use the buds that form at the bottom of the aloe vera plant. Break off the buds, making sure there is a root attached to them. Replant each bud separately to begin growing your new aloe vera plant.
Aloe Vera Plants – The Wrap-up
Aloe vera plants are elementary plants to grow and maintain; they do not require much care aside from watering when dry and rotating in the sun from time to time. The plant will thrive in indirect sun, making it an excellent plant for those with minimal natural light. Do not sleep on the benefits and joy an aloe vera plant can bring into your home and life.
Aloe vera needs well-draining soil; a cactus-type potting mix is ideal. However, creating a potting mix from scratch at home can be even better for your aloe plant. Start with a perlite or sand-type base and go from there.
The temperature for an aloe vera plant should be between 55 degrees Fahrenheit and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. They cannot tolerate frosty weather so if you are experiencing a cold draft through the window or door, make sure to move your plant away from that area.
The aloe vera plant can be a host to a wide range of pests such as:
- Mealybugs are small, sap-loving insects coated in a white substance that resembles a meal. They are known to be a severe pest for a variety of plants. Wipe off mealybugs using a warm, wet paper towel.
- Scales are tiny insects with a hard shell that can be removed from your plants with a Q-tip dipped in rubbing alcohol.
- Mites, these tiny pests, not only eat your plants but can transport diseases and illnesses to them. Wash the plant’s leaves with warm water on a paper towel to help rid your plant of mites.
Aloe vera plants are grown in subtropical areas around the world. So, they are used to drier climates. That means they do not require a lot of water. The succulent plant should only receive water about every two or three weeks. During the winter, you can water the aloe vera plant more sparingly. Do not let your aloe vera plant sit in water; doing so will encourage root rot. Put your aloe vera plant in a well-draining pot.
No, aloe vera plants do not need direct sunlight; they should never be kept in direct sunlight at all. Direct sunlight will damage and burn the leaves of the succulent. If the aloe vera plant leaves begin to turn a yellow/brown color and look brittle, then your plant is receiving too much sun.