Aloe (lat. Aloe) is a genus of succulent plants in the Liliaceae family, or Asphodelaceae, containing about 400 species. The genus name means “bitter” in Arabic. It is native to Africa, Madagascar and the Arabian Peninsula.
Aloe is known for its medicinal properties. More than 10 species of this remarkable plant, including Aloe vera, arboreal, tiger or mottled, folded, spinous.
The leaves are succulent, fleshy, with small prickles. The flowers are erect on a long flower stalk: red, white, or orange in color. In-room conditions bloom quite rarely.
The names of Aloe are Centipede, Aloe.
(Aloe arborescens) is the most common indoor aloe, its other name is Centennial. The height of the plant is 10-25 inches. In nature, it reaches a height of 3 meters. In indoor conditions, it rarely blooms. Well and quickly grows. Has medicinal properties.
(Aloe mottled or Aloe tiger). The plant is 6-12 inches tall. The fleshy leaves are 3-5 inches long, gathered into compact crowned rosettes. The leaves have pretty white spots.
This succulent medicinal plant is a natural antibiotic and immunomodulator. It has antifungal, bactericidal and antiviral properties. Indoors it can grow to 12-20 inches. Other names of Aloe vera are Aloe barbadensis (Aloe barbadensis Mill.), Aloe lanzae (Aloe lanzae Tod.), Aloe indica (Aloe. indica Royle), Aloe common, Aloe yellow, Aloe medicines.
(Aloe aristata). One of the smallest varieties of aloe – plant diameter of 3-4 inches. It grows as a rosette with numerous fleshy leaves covered with small thorns. Sometimes Aloe spinous is confused with hamartia. It blooms indoors in spring or summer.
White Aloe Vera Care
This slow-growing centenarian will not give you any problems. It is enough to follow the general rules of care for succulent plants. It is able to withstand over-drying for a long time and does without bright light.
It is often used for landscaping children’s rooms, offices, to decorate the winter garden. It is also ideal for creating floral compositions.
Aloe likes a lot of light. The optimal location – on the southern windows. If the plant received little light in winter, stretched and pale, it should be shaded at first from the abundance of sunlight. In winter, aloe prefers extra light from lamps. If there is no such possibility, the plant should be placed in the brightest place.
In summer, it is better to keep the centenarian in the open air, at moderate air temperature: on a balcony, terrace, in the garden. This succulent normally tolerates diurnal temperature changes, unlike other indoor plants, aloe likes when there is a noticeable difference between day and night air temperature. Summer temperature – 20-26 ° C, in winter it is desirable to contain at 15-17 ° C.
Unpretentious succulent can grow in dry air and does not need spraying. However, a warm shower in order to clean the leaves from dust, century-old will not hurt. When spraying, make sure that the water does not get into the axils of the leaf rosettes.
In spring and summer, during the growth period, water aloe abundantly, so that the entire substrate in the pot is saturated with moisture. Water remaining in the tray should be drained. The frequency of watering at this time – about 1-2 times a week, but the top layer of soil between waterings should dry out. In the fall and winter, the frequency of watering is reduced to 1 time per month, it is especially important not to flood the plant, which is in a cool room.
To fertilize aloe fertilizer used for cacti and succulents. Fertilize from April to September once every 3 weeks in moist soil. Transplanted and grown plants in the first month after transplanting do not need to fertilize. It is also not necessary to fertilize sick plants, they must be cured first.
Young plants are transplanted annually in the spring, adults – once every 3-4 years. Soil for transplanting can be made your own from turf, leaf soil, humus, and sand in a ratio of 2:1:1:1 or buy “For cacti and succulents. The main thing is that the soil must be light and loose.
If there is no special soil, you can take 4/5 of universal soil and 1/5 of coarse sand (perlite, vermiculite). At the bottom of the pot, drainage or broken red bricks (crumbs) is mandatory.
Pruning and shaping
Pruning is not necessary. If the centenarian is old and has lost its decorativeness, it can be rejuvenated by cutting off the bare part of the stem and rooting the plant. Only first let the cuttings dry out, for this purpose keep them in the air for a week.
In-room conditions, it is possible to bloom some varieties of centipede, such as Aloe spinous. Small orange-colored flowers on a long flower stalk appear from the center of the rosette. Flowering times are from March to September. After the end of the flowering period, the flower stalk should be carefully cut off.
The easiest way to propagate aloe is with baby plants, located near the root of the mother plant. Babies already have their own root system and they only need to be transplanted into separate pots.
Aloe can also be propagated by cuttings. For cuttings cut lateral shoots at the base of the stem, dry 5-7 days, and stick in wet sand (or sand and peat) to a depth of 0.3 inches. Water infrequently to prevent rotting. When the roots appear watering intensify. After 1-2 weeks transplant into small pots.
Diseases and pests
With a lack of light in the summer or overwatering in the winter, aloe elongates and loses its decorativeness. Sluggish and pale leaves also signal an overwatering of the plant.
Aloe can be attacked by scabies, mealybugs and spider mites. The main thing in time to detect and recognize the pests, as a rule, they are visible to the untrained eye. After that, they need to scrape off and wash the leaves with a soapy solution.
Aloe in winter
In winter, it is best to keep aloe in a bright place, the temperature – about 15-17 ° C. The main thing is not to flood the plant, this can have a bad effect on its growth. You should not put a pot with aloe near working batteries.
Aloe, the national centenarian, has a mass of medicinal properties. Aloe juice is effective against a variety of microbes, treats sores, burns, wounds, boils, eczema. Also, aloe is used for sore throat, as a laxative and choleretic agent. However, you should remember that plant is contraindicated for some people and you can use it for treatment only after consulting your doctor.
According to studies by Academician, cut aloe leaves, seasoned at 6-8 degrees in the dark place, secrete biogenic stimulants that favorably affect the vital processes in the human body.
It is known that if the flower is plucked from the ground with the root, it will live for a few more weeks, getting the necessary substances from its reserves. If after that aloe is planted again, it will immediately take root.
Once settling this wonderful plant in your home, you will enjoy the grace and evergreen appearance for many years, as well as admire its healing properties.
Plants juice is no less beneficial for humans, in addition to a large number of enzymes, it is also rich in phytoncides, and its leaves contain essential oils and resinous substances. Naturally, with such a composition, this plant is incredibly beneficial for the human body.
Its sap, secreted from the inside of the leaves, is an excellent moisturizer, which can be used without special treatment. Just rub it into the skin. And for all kinds of injuries, burns, scratches and cuts, inflammatory processes, it perfectly relieves itching, burning, and swelling, removes and prevents festering, and has the effect of smoothing and reducing the number of wrinkles.
For constipation, one of the best remedies is the use of sabur, the evaporated juice of aloe. It is also used for low-acid gastritis and to increase appetite, it is used in the fight against many pathogenic microbes, increases the immunity of the body as a whole, helps to repair damaged surfaces, and also helps improve metabolism.
Despite all the above positive qualities of this plant, there are also contraindications to its use.
It is worth to refrain or moderate its use, with exacerbations of tuberculosis, uterine bleeding and during pregnancy, hemorrhoids, with diseases of the liver, gallbladder, kidneys, bladder and cardiovascular system.
Also, due to its tonic and invigorating abilities, aloe preparations are not recommended to take after seven o’clock in the evening.