Aloe, also called acíbar, is actually a whole genus of succulent plants, very popular in gardening thanks to both its decorative value and the multiple medicinal properties attributed to it, especially in the case of aloe vera.
In this article, we are going to see the care of aloe vera, from how to plant an aloe vera and diseases that usually attack it, to the main characteristics and properties of this plant native to Arabia.
Characteristics and properties of aloe vera
There are a large number of varieties of aloe vera , many of them with unique properties and characteristics. However, there are also general characteristics and properties that all species in the family share, and these are the ones that we will detail here.
Aloe vera characteristics
Aloe vera is a shrub with a stem that reaches up to 30 cm in height, with large leaves up to 50 cm in length arranged in a rosette. It produces an inflorescence that reaches one meter in height, with a bright yellow color. Its leaves are thick and bright green, fleshy due to their usefulness as water stores for the plant, and are serrated at their edges.
Properties of aloe vera for health
Aloe vera is one of the most used plants in the world due to its special composition, and it has been used by man since the Egyptians left testimony of its use in the IV millennium BC. C. Two products are extracted from aloe vera, which are those that are used both cosmetically and medicinally: gel and acíbar.
It is widely used to treat most skin problems and conditions if used in ointments, as well as to relieve pain. Ingested, it is also a very useful digestive and as a relief against constipation, and rubbed with the teeth helps to whiten the enamel and remove stains from it.
How to care for an aloe vera: care guide
If you want to enjoy your own aloe plant at home, follow these guidelines carefully to learn how to care for an aloe vera :
Aloe needs a lot of light, so one of the main things to keep in mind is that you place it at a point where it receives as many hours of sun as possible. Regarding irrigation, aloe needs little water like most succulents. You should water it only when the soil looks dry and somewhat cracked, and in winter no more than once a month. If you water it excessively, it is very possible that its roots will rot and the plant will die. For this same reason, it is important that the soil has a very good drainage to avoid excess moisture. In addition, you can fertilize the plant once a year with vermicompost or specific fertilizer for succulents.
How to plant an aloe vera
Aloe vera can be planted both indoors and outdoors. In both cases the important thing is the drainage of the land or the substrate. If you plant it in a pot, choose one that is at least 50 cm deep, so that the roots have room to develop. The simplest way to reproduce this plant is by using one of the shoots or children of an adult plant, which can be planted in suitable soil, always taking great care not to damage the roots. It is important not to expose the plant to cold in this first season especially.
Aloe vera diseases
The main danger for aloe vera is the same as for most succulents: excess moisture that can cause its roots to rot. It may be the case in exceptionally hot climates, in which the plant does not tolerate direct exposure to the midday sun, in which case it is best to move the pot during those hours or transplant it to a semi-shady place.
Why does my aloe vera have brown leaves and what do I do?
If you notice that the tips of your aloe plant begin to turn brown and dry, what happens is that your aloe vera is consuming the water from its own leaves in the absence of this.
Therefore, by increasing the irrigation dose a little, you should remedy this problem. However, increase the dose of water gradually, little by little, or you could incur dangerous excess humidity, just the opposite problem.
How to make aloe vera gel
Aloe vera gel is beneficial for cuts, wounds, burns and even scars, as well as being a very good moisturizer for dry skin. Doing it at home is very simple, and you only need to cut some leaves from an adult aloe vera plant and follow these steps to make aloe vera gel :
- In order not to damage the plant too much, it is better to cut the outermost and lower leaves, which are at least 20 cm.
- Cut the serrated part of the sides of the leaf, and let it soak in water for a full day, changing the water every 8 or 12 hours.
- After this time, open the leaves on only one side with a knife, so that you can see the gel. Help yourself with a spoon or spatula to extract everything and store it in a container.
- If you want to maximize the properties of the gel and make it last longer, add a tablespoon of lemon juice and another tablespoon of wheat germ oil.
- Beat it well on low or medium speed with a mixer, and you’re done.