Let’s get one thing straight: aloes are definitely not the vampires of the plant world. While some plants are hypersensitive to light, favoring dark, shaded places, the aloe prefers to soak up that sun! The more direct the sunlight, the better. Just like other succulents, aloes are used to the severe growing conditions of Africa, particularly the bright light they receive there. So, when you are jumping from room to room in your house trying to find the perfect place for your domesticated aloe plant, keep your eye on the lighting situation. Get the aloe lighting right and your plant will feel at home. Not only will it be happy and healthy, but it might even flower for you (gasp!).
When I think of an aloe, I picture it’s long, thick green leaves and beautiful flowers. The last thing that crosses my mind? Its roots. Hidden beneath a pile of soil and a pot, an aloe’s roots often go unnoticed and under-appreciated. But aloe roots might just be the most important part of an aloe, responsible for grounding it, delivering water and nutrients to its leaves and flowers, and controlling just how much it grows. With a shallow root system (they grow horizontally rather than vertically), the aloe also has interesting roots. So don’t you think they deserve some attention and care? It is easy to assume that an aloe roots take care of themselves, as they take care of the rest of the plant, but you do have to bother with them from time to time. Add aloe root care to your normal aloe maintenance routine!
Has your once clean and tidy aloe turned into an unruly beast? What a difference from when you just brought it home! When left untrimmed for a long bit of time, your aloe can get a bit wild, those long leaves getting even longer, starting to grow low to the ground and perhaps even corkscrewing into a tangled mess. Didn’t think trimming your aloe was necessary? Think about what your hair looks like when you wake up from a night of sleeping with wet hair. Yikes, right? Gotta use a ton of products to get it looking normal again. That is what’s happening here. As your aloe plant grows and grows, you need to take some scissors to that plant. Grooming is an important part of keeping your aloe healthy and beautiful. Prune that plant!
So, you have an aloe plant. But you’ve been reading about all the ways you can use that beautiful plant to make medicinal creams, conditioners and food, and you have one simple question: how do I do that? How do I get an aloe face cream that fights acne from this long-leaved plant? How does the touch plant become a smooth and sleek conditioner for my hair? Just looking at your potted plant makes all these possibilities seem impossible. But they’re not! You can make them all by yourself, in your home–given you have the courage. If you want to make homemade, health-promoting products from your aloe plant, you have to be prepared to do a little surgery on your plant. Snip, snip! But don’t worry, you won’t be hurting your aloe one bit by borrowing some of its leaves. Think of it as using your aloe so that you hurt no more!
Love the look of an aloe? Have you ever thought about showcasing its beauty outside? You can easily move your aloe from being an indoor to an outdoor plant! But aloe vera care outdoors can be a bit trickier. While still a pretty hands-off plant, an outdoor aloe does, however, come with some added responsibilities. There’s always a price to pay for beauty! But don’t let yourself get discouraged by the phrase “added responsibilities.” Remember all the positives of making the change: you can improve your landscape and make all your neighbors jealous!