The scientific name Aloe barbadensis belongs to aloe vera plants that grow in different parts of the world. It is known to be a plant that provides several medicinal benefits.
If you are planning to grow this plant, you need to understand this particular plant species, how it grows and how it can be planted and propagated.
- Growing Conditions Optimal for Aloe Vera Plant
This plant belongs to the succulent variety. It grows well in dry conditions, similar to cacti. Hence, when you wish to get the right growing conditions for the plant, you can start with it.
- Planting a soil mix that is prepared for cactus or regular soil that is mixed with building sand or perlite.
- The pot should have drainage holes as well.
- Ensure that you do not allow standing water around the plant as it cannot grow in standing water or clayey soil.
- Light conditions should be optimal; hence, plant it and place it in a space that gets plenty of light; if you are placing it indoors, ensure that it faces south or west-facing windows.
- Watering the plant every day is not necessary; ensure that the soil has gone completely dry before you water it.
A common mistake that owners make has to do with placing the plant in corners where there is not adequate light. Also, they might water the plant too much or there are not adequate drainage holes included in the pot.
- Requirement of Fertilizer
- This is not mandatory since the aloe vera plant is known to grow easily in dry, arid conditions.
- Even if you decide to fertilize the plant, the ideal time would be spring. At such a time you can use water-based and phosphorous heavy fertilizer but half strength concentration.
- When your plant is growing well you will find its foliage to be glossy, plump as well as its leaves having a smooth shine and glaze.
- Propagating the Plant
This plant is known to have several medicinal properties for which most households love to have an aloe vera plant.
The sap inside the succulent leaves is known to work wonders for different skin problems as well as for treating minor rashes or burns. For such properties, many people might want to grow or propagate the plant as well. This can be done by.
- Taking a leaf cutting and rooting the plant.
- Separating buds, also known as aloe pups.
However, among the two methods, it is best to opt to propagate the plant by offsets, also known as pups.
Though you might think that the plant works through cuttings as does cacti, due to succulent properties which make its moisture content high, making aloe vera cuttings is not recommended.
- Growing Aloe Vera Pups
This is one of the ways you can safely propagate the plant.
- The first step is to separate the aloe pups; these are known as aloe offshoots or aloe offsets; even someone who is new to gardening can perform this task with some basic gardening tools.
- Aloe pups are baby plants that share the root system of parent plants; hence, the pups need to be big enough so that they can have their own root system and can be safely removed from the mother plant.
- You need to determine the size of offset; this varies as per the specific aloe vera variety. The general thumb rule to follow is that the offset should become the one-fifth size of the parent plant or should grow its own leaves; this is necessary so that the leaves of the pups can produce plant sugars on their own and be able to sustain the development of the pups.
- When a pup is of the right size, remove first from around its base; examine the surrounding space and decide which part can be cut; pup needs to be cut in a way that it comes away clean along with a root system.
- Ensure that clean tools are used so that contamination by pests and diseases is prevented from the plant at this time.
- Once the pup is removed and planted in a new pot with cacti pot mix, it should be allowed to sit for a week; after that, water should be given to the soil.
If they are followed right, the above steps will help to ensure that the plant takes root in the new pot. This can then be added to your garden or gifted to friends for their garden spaces.
Can you grow aloe vera from a cutting?
Many people ask, “Can I grow an aloe plant from a leaf cutting?” You can, but the most successful method of aloe plant propagation is from offsets or “pups” with resulting plants almost immediately. Aloe vera is a succulent and as such, is related to the cactus.
How do you plant an aloe vera plant?
Do aloe plants need direct sunlight?
How often should Aloe be watered?
What does an overwatered aloe plant look like?
What do rotten aloe roots look like?
How do you treat a dying aloe vera plant?
When an aloe plant is being overwatered, the leaves develop what are called water-soaked spots that look soggy and soft. It is almost as though the entire leaf becomes saturated with water, then it turns to mush.