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 planting aloe 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!
Let’s play a little game. When you think of “succulent plants,” what do you think of? Probably where they can be found: Africa. Now think about Africa. What comes to mind? More likely than not, you’ll brainstorm adjectives about the African environment: hot, arid, sandy soil. Am I right? When I first heard that aloe vera plants were native to the African continent, I made assumptions about what growing conditions they would need to thrive in a North American home. I’ll keep my house warm and sit my plant in sand, I reasoned to myself.
What is the #1 killer of aloe vera plants? Dun dun dun.
Nope, it’s not fungus..or any disease for that matter.
Not frost either.
So what’s left? Overwatering. Overwatering results in more limp, lifeless aloes than anything else . While fungus or pests can take down your plant, they are (more often than not) not the root of the problem. You see, invading species like these are usually only attracted to aloe plants if they present a moist, very wet environment, as they can then thrive there. Normally, aloes are kept too dry for an insect’s liking. So, don’t blame the bugs: excess water is yet again the underlying cause of death.
When I say the word “succulent,” your mind probably goes right to the cactus: those tall, skinny, prickly plants in the middle of the sandy desert that retain water because gosh knows arid Africa does not provide them with a lot! Succulents are perhaps best known for their ability to suck up (it’s name makes sense now, doesn’t it?) water; they need to be able to extract droplets of water from even the driest soil due to the usual water shortage in their natural environment. So, what other plants have this amazing ability? There’s gotta be more than the cactus! Meet aloe vera: another member of the succulent family! It most certainly meets the water criteria: more than 95% of an aloe is water! Because aloe is made up of so much water, keeping the plant properly hydrated is always the topic of conversation on aloe-growers’ lips: