Aloe barbadensis (Aloe Vera)
Botanical name: Aloe spp
Aloe Plants are easy care succulent plants which come in all shapes and sizes. There are numerous species of Aloes but only a few are popular as houseplants.
Aloes form a stemless rosettes of fleshy leaves. The flowers are tubular, frequently yellow, orange, pink or red and are borne , densely clustered and pendant at the apex of simple or branched leafless stems.
Aloe reproduce by means of offsets (pups) which form at the base of the plant once the plant has reached maturity.
The Aloe genus is native to tropical and southern Africa, Madagascar, Jordan, the Arabian Penisula and various islands in the Indian Ocean.
There are over 560 species in the Aloe genus. The most popular species of Aloe Plants is Aloe barbadensis, the Aloe vera or "true aloe".
Aloe vera is cultivated as the standard source of Aloe vera juice which is used for assorted pharmaceutical purposes. In the home this juice is used for treatment of burns and various skin conditions.
Other species popular for indoors are Aloe aristata (Lace Aloe) whose 4 in. long leaves form a globular rosette which when mature produces a large number of offsets, the leaves have white warts.
Aloe variegata (Partridge-breasted Aloe) whose upright 6 in. leaves are thick, triangular with prominent white banding and edging on the dark-green or purplish surface.
Other attractive species are Aloe jucunda which is a small species forming 3 in. rosettes of spiny, cream-blotched dark leaves.
Aloe humilis (Hedgehog Aloe) is another dwarf whose blue-green leaves bear white teeth and Aloe mitriformis which is a thorny species among many others.
The beautiful Aloe Plants are available online at Etsy. Buy Aloe Plants online from Etsy.
Aloe aristata (Lace Aloe)
Aloe Plants are easy care plants which thrive in bright light with some direct sunlight, average warmth away from drafts and moderately moist, rich, well- drained soil coupled with monthly feeding during the growing season.
Aloes have no need for high humidity. Repotting is only needed when the plant becomes pot-bound. Pruning is necessary to keep the plant neat as well as discourage pest and disease infestations. Keep reading for more on these growing conditions and how to achieve them.
Aloe Plant grows best under bright light with some direct sunlight. Avoid exposing the plants to too hot sunlight before acclimatizing them as they can get sun scorched.
Rotate the pot regularly to ensure that the plant receives light on all sides for uniform growth.
Aloe will also grow under a grow light where the natural lighting is not sufficient.
Water Aloe Plant thoroughly during the growing season and allow the top 2-3 in. of soil to dry out between waterings.
Decrease watering during the cold period to maintain the soil barely moist but do let it dry out completely.
Avoiding wetting the center of the rosette as it can lead to rotting. Water the Aloe from the bottom instead.
Water the Aloe with room temperature water to avoid plant shock. Avoid soggy soil as it can lead to rotting.
Average warmth between 16-280C during the growing season is ideal for Aloe Plant. Keep it away from cold drafts as they can cause browning and leaf drop.
Aloes have no need for high humidity. Average room humidity is ideal for these plants. However, make sure that there is good air circulation to prevent fungal diseases infestations.
Feed Aloe Plant every 4 weeks during the growing season with a succulents fertilizer. Do not feed during the cold period as growth is minimal at this time.
Aloe Plants have a small root system so frequent repotting is not necessary. Repot the plant at the beginning of the growing season only when it becomes crowded in its current pot.
Repot the Aloe into a pot 1 size larger and one that has a drainage hole to prevent soggy soil as it can lead to rotting.
Use a shallow pot and be careful not to bury the stems to prevent rotting.
The best soil for Aloe Plant should be rich in organic matter, loose and free-draining to avoid getting soggy soil. The soil should be loose enough to allow water to drain out fast enough.
Cactus and Succulents soil is ideal for these plants. Buy quality Cactus and Succulents Soil for Aloe Plants online from Etsy.
Pruning Aloe Plant is easy. Cut the dead or diseased leaves with a sharp knife to keep the plant neat and to reduce pests and disease infestation.
Aloe Plant propagation can be done at the beginning of the growing season from offsets (pups) which form at the base of the plant.
Carefully seperate the offsets from the mother Aloe Plant. Allow the offsets to dry (callus) for 1-3 days before potting to prevent rotting. Select an offset that has several leaves.
Pot each offset in its individual pot in moist, free-draining soil.
Water sparingly, only when the soil is dry and avoid soggy soil as it can lead to rotting.
Allow the Aloe to be well established after which you can begin routine care.
Aloe variegata (Partridge-breasted Aloe)
Aloe Plant problems indoors are mainly due to cultural faults in watering. The problems include brown leaf tips, leaf spots, wilting, rotting, shrivelled leaves, pests and diseases among others. Read on for more on these problems, their remedies and solutions.
Brown leaf tips in Aloe Plant are caused by underwatering during the growing season as it requires the soil to be moderately moist through out.
Water the Aloe Plant liberally during the growing season while allowing the top 2-3 in of soil to dry out between waterings but do not allow the soil to dry out completely.
Wilted and discolored leaves in Aloe Plant are due to overwatering during the cold period. Growth is minimal at this time therefore the plant does not require much water.
Significantly reduce watering in the cold season to maintain the soil barely moist. Do not wet the soil thoroughly during this period and also ensure that the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil staying too wet.
Brown soft spots in Aloe Plant is an indication of leaf spot disease which is brought about by over wet conditions coupled with poor air circulation.
Avoid wetting the rosette of leaves. Make sure that the pot has a drainage hole and the soil is loose and free-draining to prevent it from getting soggy.
Improve on ventilation and ensure that there is free air circulation. Read more on how to treat leaf spot disease in houseplants.
Rotting base, yellowing and shrivelled leaves in Aloe Plant is an indication of crown and stem rot disease which is brought about by overwet conditions.
Ensure that the pot has a drainage hole and the soil is loose and free-draining to prevent it from staying too wet.
Avoid wetting the rosette of leaves and water from the bottom instead. Read more on how to treat crown and stem rot disease in houseplants.
Aloe Plants are fairly resistant to pests but weak plants can be attacked by Mealy Bugs, Scale Insects and Spider Mites. Regularly inspect the plant for pests and carry out timely control. Read on how to identify and get rid of pests in houseplants.
Aloe Plants are non-toxic to humans and toxic to pets as indicated by ASPCA. If ingested they can cause vomiting, diarrhea and lethargy in pets.