Aloe Vera Plants
Hardiness Zone (Outdoors): 9 to 11
Mature Height: 12 to 18 inches
Mature Width: 12 to 18 inches
Classification: Herbaceous Flowering Plant
Flower Color: Yellow to Orange Tubular Bloom.
Flower Form: Tubular
Flowering Season: Only plants more than 4 years old flower
Foliage Color: Green with Gray Spots
Light Requirements: Bright Light (Sunny Window)
Native Region: North-eastern and southern parts of Africa and Madagascar.
Water: Well Drained Soil, likes to dry out only a little between watering
Does Not Ship to AZ, CA, OR, WA.
Aloe Vera Plants are a stemless, clump forming “succulent” that produces a rosette of thick, fleshy leaves with gray spots. It is very easy to grow, but requires well drained soil and lots of bright sunlight. Aloe Vera is a drought tolerant herb that is perfect for hot and dry areas. Although it is not hardy in zones below 9, it can be grown indoors easily in any zone. Aloe Vera has skin-saving properties that help heal burns, cuts and other skin irritations. Anesthetic, antibacterial and tissue restorative properties make this a ‘must have’ healing herb.
Re-Potting of your Aloe Vera Plants:
Water the plant in its original container and let it sit for one hour before repotting this will help to reduce the stresson the plant from the re-potting process. If the container you’ve chosen was used previously make sure to clean it before you start. If you have a new container, no preparation is necessary. A new clay pot will require overnight soaking in water. This will prevent the container from soaking up any moisture from the potting mix when the plant is first repotted. If using a clay container with drainage holes, place a few pieces of a gravel over the hole to prevent the drainage hole from becoming clogged over time. Next, remove the plant and gently “tease” the roots so that they are no longer circling the rootball or are densely matted. Place some potting mix in the container so that when the rootball is placed on top, the top of the rootball is slightly below the lip of the new pot. we like to see at least a half an inch between the top of the pot and the soil line. We recommend Espoma Organic Cactus Mix for your Aloe as this soil tends to drain quicker and dry out faster than most commercial potting soils
Then add more potting mix around the rootball and gently firm the top layer so that the potting mix fills the container, but is not so compacted that it restricts water and air movement into and through the pot. When filling the container, leave an inch or slightly less space between the potting mix and the top of the container so that there is room for water and additional plant growth. Next, water the potting mix well and place it its intended location.
Watering your Aloe Vera Plants:
Watering Aloe Vera Plants are not hard as long as you follow these instruction. Keep the soil moist to slightly dry, and allow soil around roots to dry out before watering to encourage healthy growth. Water from the bottom with room temperature water by placing the pot in a small dish of water, and allowing the plant to absorb the water for no more than thirty minutes. After removing the pot from water allow excess water to drain from the pot for about 10 minutes. Avoid getting water on the leaves as this can cause spotting damage.
Fertilizing Aloe vera Plants:
You can fertilize your aloe vera plant, but Aloe Vera Plants generally don’t need to be fertilized. If you decide to fertilize your aloe vera plant the plant should be fertilized once a year in the spring. You can use a high phosphous water-based fertilizer at half strength such as Jack’s Classic Houseplant Special Fertilizer.
Pruning Aloe Vera Plants:
Pruning Aloe Vera is really only done to remove any unsightly brown tips that on occasion will pop up. This would be the same as breaking off pieces to use for skin care. The breaks will heal or “callous” over and not be a problem. Occasionally suckers or “Pups”can be removed and planted in another pot to build on you collection or create gifts for gardening friends.
An item of interest regarding Aloe Vera Plants:
This ancient herb has been used throughout the centuries for its medicinal and cosmetic properties ~ it is said that it was an important part of Cleopatra’s beauty regime.
History of Aloe Vera Plants:
The first known written reports on the nourishing juice of the aloe vera plant reach as far back as 6,000 years ago in ancient Egypt. Aloe was regarded as a sacred plant the “blood” of which held the secrets to beauty, health and immortality. Both Cleopatra and Nofretete greatly valued the nourishing juice and used it as a part of their daily skin and beauty care. The usage of aloe was regarded as the pursuit of physical beauty. Even the dead were embalmed with aloe vera because of its anti-bacterial and anti-fungi qualities. The common belief was that in stopping the physical decomposition process eternal life could be attained – both on a physical and a spiritual level. Aloe was known as the “plant of eternity”. Its anti-inflammatory and pain soothing effect were documented in the “papyrus Eber” of 1,550 BC.