Mayan Home & Garden Club Tip – April 2019

Aloe Vera

 

Aloe Vera Plants are easy to grow and are known for their medicinal properties. They can be grown outside or indoors as an easy to care addition to your home or garden. Plants outside in a temperate and tropical climate can grow very large and live more than 20 years.

Water. The most important things about the plants are proper watering and light and well drained soil. Plants can die from over-watering. Aloe Vera is a succulent and like a cactus does not need much water. Outside, it almost never needs watering. Like the large nopal cactus that grows all over the Yucatan jungle, they grow better with no or very little care. Over-watering can cause root rot, turn a plant yellow, and kill it. Aloe Vera plants hold water in the leaves or branches that grow from the center.

Light. Outside the plants can grow from full sun to partial shade. Inside they grow well under artificial light. Many people, if they see their indoor plant turning yellow, think it is the lack of light, but more often it is the roots not having proper drainage or over-watering. Neglect will produce a healthier plant. If you want to move an indoor plant outside, slowly introduce it to the sun. Start out in a partially shaded area, then move to sun after it becomes acclimated to the change.

One plant will send out shoots and you will soon have a garden of plants. Outside they grow quickly.

Uses. Aloe Vera plants have many great medicinal properties. They are used in skin and hair products and drinks. You can just break off a branch and squeeze or peel it back to get the gel. Information on the many uses from putting on cuts to drinking is readily available on the internet. The first time you use it, just be sure you are not allergic by trying a little first.

Enjoy your easy to grow plant and add it to your outdoor garden and inside plant display for variation and a dramatic look.

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