Aloe vera, the ornamental plant:
Aloe vera is a semi tropical succulent plant which grows mostly in arid and semi-arid areas. Aloe vera being the native of Africa, the plant can tolerate extreme drought conditions. The plant grows up to 90 cms in height. Aloe vera is an ornamental plant which can be grown indoor or outdoor. The plant can be easily grown in gardens that receive less rainfall. The plant doesn’t need much maintenance as it is resistant to wide variety of pests.
Watering the Aloe vera plant:
Aloe vera is a succulent plant and its leaves and roots have the capability of storing large quantities of water. In winter, the plant is usually dormant and will use little of moisture content. So it is important to check the soil of the plant before watering. When the soil is dry, a cup of water can be given to the plant. In summer, the plant needs water and the soil should be completely soaked with water. Again, it is important to check the dryness of soil before watering, always water the plant when the soil is dry.
Tips to grow Aloe vera plant in outdoors:
Aloe vera can be grown outdoors where there is no chances of freezing. They can be grown in warm climates in full sun or in light shade. Take small or medium sized Aloe vera plants and place them in rows in soil, with a gap of 18 to 24 inches between each plant. The Aloe vera plant will produce offset pumps and will ultimately expand to form clump of plants within one or two years. Grooming the older clumps is extremely important to keep the mama plant healthy. When the pups grow four to five inches, they can be pulled out of the mama plant and planted in a new pot or in bare earth. The pups grow easily with their own root system and develop in to a plant. This process is a little difficult if the pups are found growing attached to the mama plant. In this case, the pups can be sliced off and planted. Here, after slicing the pups they should be left undisturbed overnight for them to develop the callus. Once the callus is developed, the sliced pups can be planted with cut end down in the soil. Do not water them heavily. It will take a month for the roots to form. After the roots are formed, they can be treated as a fully grown plant and watered.
Tips to grow Aloe vera plant indoors:
The Aloe vera can be grown indoor in a sunny and warm atmosphere. If you live in an area with mild climate, you can keep your pot outside in sun, if not, it is advisable to place your pot near the window were it can get lot of sun. Aloe vera’s root spread widely in soil, so always choose a planter which is wide enough. The planter should have a hole or two inches of gravel at the bottom so as to maintain a proper drainage. It is important to choose a moderate fertile soil to grow any cactus plant indoor. Readily packaged soil called cacti mix can be purchased from store. This contains extra perlite, granite grit or coarse sand added. If you are making the soil your own, make use of sandy and well-drained soil and mix it with dry leaves and humus. Do not use garden soil for growing Aloe vera indoor, as garden soil is too heavy. Take a wide pot and fill it with soil up to two third and place the plant at center and now fill the remaining space with soil. Tamp the soil after you are done. The soil should be fertilized yearly in spring with half strength bloom type fertilizers. Aloe vera can also be grown from seed.
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