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Growing Aloe

Category Succulents
Not only is aloe a neat looking plant, it has medicinal uses too. It is easy to grow aloe at home and have access to its soothing qualities the next time you get sunburned. This is a guide about growing aloe.
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By 0 found this helpful
January 29, 2006

Botanical Name:

Aloe Vera, Aloe Barbados

Common names:

Aloe, Barbados Aloe, Curacao Aloe, Indian Aloe, Ghi Kunvar

Description:

Aloes are succulent plants belonging to the lily family, indigenous to East and South Africa. They have thick, fibrous roots and numerous, fleshy narrow leaves with toothy edges that protrude out from all sides of the root.

Life Cycle:

perennial

Exposure:

sun

Cultivation:

Aloe can be grown year-round in warm climates or indoors.

Propagation:

division and offsets
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Parts Used:

leaves, roots

Harvesting and Storage:

Cut off leaves as needed and discard when finished.

Medicinal Uses:

Gel from the leaf blades can be applied directly to skin ulcers, burns, sunburns and fungal infections. Aloe is also used in veterinary medicine as an equine purgative. It is usually prescribed in combination with other herbal remedies to aid in digestive ailments.

Culinary Uses:

none

Other Uses:

decorative houseplant

Notes:

related species are used as antidotes to arrow poison.
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By 6 found this helpful
March 14, 2012

Aloe plants make for very thoughtful, pretty and frugal gifts. I received one a couple years ago and I have been regrowing new ones from it's shoots to give to people. Everyone is thrilled to have them for it's medicinal purposes. Who doesn't love a new plant in the house?

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By attosa from Los Angeles, CA

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April 8, 20133 found this helpful

Buy an Aloe Vera plant from the store or get one from a friend. Plant it in your garden. It will multiply and grow many baby plants. When you need a gift, just take an coffee can or plastic milk bottle cut in half and fill with soil. Plant the small Aloe Vera plant in it and put a bow on the font. The container can also be decorated by wrapping it with wrapping paper and putting a bow on it. I also do this with herbs from the garden. It makes a great gift for the mom that has everything and is also the gift that keeps on giving.

The Aloe Vera can be used for burns, sunburns, as well as softening of dry skin. Many of my friends still have the ones I gave them and love the fact that when someone gets a burn or sunburn, they just have to run outside and pick a few leaves thus saving them time and money and instantly they think of me.

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January 19, 2012

I have grown aloe vera for many years now. It likes lots of sunshine and likes to get dry completely before being watered again. Also, it likes light, sandy soil, not heavily fertilized, rich soil. If your plant turns yellow, it is telling you it is either not getting enough sun, is too wet, or it is too cold. Remedy these, and your plant will green right back up. Aloe is tough, similar to a cactus, when growing.

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Source: I got my info from 2 cousins in Texas who grow aloe in their yards. They both live near the coastal part of Texas, where it is hot, sunny, and basically dry. The aloe stays out in their yard year round. In South Carolina, though, it has to be brought in, as freezing temperatures will kill it.

By Jacketbacker from Greer, SC

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Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

June 12, 2007

What is the best way to grow aloe plants?

I have one plant and I'm afraid I've over-watered it since it is a semi-desert plant. It just kept on getting browner and browner. One of the leaves has fallen off, so I immediately took it outside and put it into a bigger pot with rocks in the bottom, then sand mixed with fertile dirt, then some of that Vermiculite stuff on top. I transplanted it into that new pot and am about to put a plate or tray underneath it and keep it in the house for now.

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How long do you think I should let it go without water? It was dying, but when I cut open the paper planter-cup that it came in the dirt seemed bone-dry. What shall I do? To water, or not to water?

What about taking it outside? Right now it is still getting down into the 60s at night. Is it safe outside or should I keep it in a windowsill?

Hardiness Zone: 6a

Thanks

Answers

By JANE (Guest Post)
June 13, 20070 found this helpful

By all means take it outside. It needs the sunshine. But be gradual with it. Don't put the poor thing in the full sun to start with. And let the dirt dry out before watering again. 60 degrees at night is fine. When you get the first frost is when you should bring it in. Good luck!! It seems to have a caring owner!!!

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June 13, 20070 found this helpful

I grow Aloe plants all the time and have no problems. I use regular potting soil, they do not need sand and all that other stuff. Mine grow big and multiply greatly, in fact I transplant small ones and sell them at yardsales. Water when the ground feels dry to your finger.

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Do not let ground get bone dry. As for temperature, I do not place mine outdoors as we have a large sunroom, but I think you could as long as they are not in the hot sun all day. We keep our sunroom at 50º at night in winter. My plants all do well at this temperature.

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June 13, 20070 found this helpful

Well I have an aloe that has survived my inattention for 5 yrs now. I let it go sometimes 3 months with no watering. Then I think about the poor ting n water deeply. I have had to transplant it 4 times and need to do it again. It has never been outside but sits in a west window with muted sun in the summer and full sun in the winter. In 25 yrs this is the only plant I haven't killed.

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June 13, 20070 found this helpful

Okay, I am so glad not to be the only one mystified on the care of my aloe plant! I would think it would be good to take it outside.

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By Melinda Australia (Guest Post)
June 13, 20070 found this helpful

Ok I live in a really hot country and I put a tiny aloe plant in to a pot leave it outside never inside and I do't water it. The plant is big now. in Australia we have to have plants that don't need watering. It is growing great for 4 years now and it has little plants that grow and you can pot them and give to friends. My advise leave it outside and leave it to nature bye

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By octoberbabye (Guest Post)
June 13, 20070 found this helpful

I took some shoots from a large plant that was too big for the pot and put the new ones in a wooden planter I made with rocks on the bottom and a combo of dirt and sandy dirt.
They were pink for the longest time, but finally have started to turn the usual green color. I water them only once a week very lightly, and they have now been outside under a tree about a month.
I have a few shoots in water inside the house. They haven't grown, but they have hung on and are a good green color.
I am on the west coast of Florida.
Someday I will have a green thumb like in the picture.

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By Dar (Guest Post)
June 13, 20070 found this helpful

Just replant your aloe in a bigger pot make sure to use miracle grow.Aloes need lot's and lot's of sun and water here and there they do not take as much as other plant's.But keep it indoor's and give it as much light as possible.You can start new plant's now by putting them in water and it does not take long for them to root.Then, plant but give it space because they will grow .Also I found out the hard way that if you set your inside plant's outside they end up with bug's that will also attack them and kill the plant if this is your problem clean pot's out with bleach and buy somthing to kill the bug's.

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By Shelly (Guest Post)
June 13, 20070 found this helpful

Aloes are succulents! They can't stand full sunlight. They need very little water. Over watering will cause them to rot.

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June 13, 20070 found this helpful

Aloe plants should be allowed to dry out between waterings. When it needs a drink, water enough to keep soil moist but don't saturate it too much. Drain any excess water from the bottom. I always added sand for any succulent plants that I grow. Also, aloe plant have a small root system. They should be kept in a small pot. Use a heavy pot with stones at the bottom. This plant will get top heavy as it grows. It likes bright light but not direct sun. I would keep it outside while the weather is warm, and bring it in when the temps are in the low 50's. Hope this helps you.

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June 13, 20070 found this helpful

Put it under a tree or under a bench out of the direct sun. It will turn around. And as stated, let it dry out between waterings.

TC in MO

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June 14, 20071 found this helpful

Here is my Aloe taken from a mother plant several years ago. I started many plants from a grocery store 4 in. pot. Cost was $2.95 about 30 yrs. ago.I have "pups" from that same plant growing in pots still.

Dirt, water well, let dry and water well. Water well means soak it in a larger container (if it is in a pot) until it stops bubbling, an hour is good. Then do not water for 2-3 weeks maybe 4 if it is in the house. If in the ground water to a 3-4 inch depth once or twice a month. They do best in morning sun/afternoon shade outside.This is for Southern Ca.
Good Luck, Great Granny vi

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By emerald (Guest Post)
June 27, 20070 found this helpful

question I have a aloe leaf from someone do I put it in water to root or just plant it?

Editor's Note: Put it on top of some moist sand and it will root itself. Don't put it in water.

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By Cactus Pete (Guest Post)
September 14, 20081 found this helpful

Well if you can glean anything from the huge range in the above comments, it is not to over water. Here are a whole slew of other opinions that range from ok to dead wrong.
The first thing I would mention is not to jump from such a small pot to such a large one. Second you will not be able to keep the aloe outside through the winter in zone 6a.

I would not recommend anything below 40F but many people do allow them to freeze with temps down to 20F apparently with little ill effects. Aloe can tolerate partial sun but does best in the light shade. (some succulents cannot tolerate partial sun while some do well in full sun there is no golden rule that covers all succulents) The soil can be a good grade of potting soil (Miracle Gro etc.) or a succulent/cactus mix again Miracle Gro I would highly recommend you do not use Schultz Cactus Mix for any Cactus or Succulents.

I am very stumped by their idea of fast draining. Their soil retains moisture for weeks on end and requires a balancing act that most will find too challenging. (We have had more customers lose Cactus/succulent plants to Schultz CACTUS Palm/Citrus soil than any other factor including over-watering, a close second)So we recommend Miracle Gro, it drains well and does seem to provide an advantage over other mixes for the first 3 or 4 months of use. After that we recommend a supplement like Schultz Cactus Plus liquid plant food. I suspect the real problem you were having was due to a poor soil.

We have had many folks bring in a half dead aloe plants they bought at a tag sale, the soil often being out of someone's yard. One of my Grandmothers was famous for killing plants, she used soil from her woods for transplanting. Because Aloe plants often sprout "babies" they are a frequent Tag sale item. I bought my first plant as a child at such a sale, and yes it was a Aloe in the local soil (heavy clay) sold in a Dixie cup. My dad taught me right off this dirt was not for house plants.

I wish I could be more helpful, but I would suggest a great site for plant questions: davesgarden.com we are listed as a seller there as well.

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Answer this Question...

May 2, 20080 found this helpful

I want to grow and process aloe vera by planting aloe vera plants. For this purpose, kindly guide me accordingly.

Naveed

Answers

May 5, 20080 found this helpful

(submitted via email)
Thanks all of your for a quick response. My Basic intention is to grow aloe plant in a professional way and process the gel mechanically.

For this I need a proper guide line for some body so i can start in coming spring season.
regards
Naveed

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May 8, 20080 found this helpful

I can't tell you anything about processing the gel, but rest assured, there's nothing hard about growing the plants! If you live in the south - anywhere that it will grow (catalogs should tell you its hardiness zone), you can stick it in the ground, water if the ground gets too dry, and watch it grow.

When we moved to a home in southern California, the side yard was a mass of Spanish bayonet (aptly named!). We cleared it all out, and found that under the Spanish bayonet was hiding a solid mass of aloe vera. We transplanted some of it to edge our front sidewalk, and it thrived quite beautifully. We had neighbors coming over all the time to ask for a leaf, and we would reply, "no, take a plant - please!"

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By girish dharamshi (Guest Post)
June 13, 20080 found this helpful

I am interested to grow aloe vera, in my fram, at yavatmal, India, Pl. send me detailes project report at Email : girishdharamshi AT yahoo.com, or post at: Girish Dharamshi, Dhankunj, Rajendra Nagar, Dhamangaon Road, Yavatmal - 445001, M.S., india

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By 0 found this helpful
January 10, 2010

I have two small aloe plants that I left outside overnight when temperatures reached into the 20s. Now they seem so limp, and their coloring has changed.

My grandmother gave them to me and they flourished this summer, with me doing very little to them. So I am wondering how to help them bounce back from a possible freeze or at the very least a shock. Advice? Thank you in advance.

By APRIL from SC

Answers

January 10, 20100 found this helpful

My aloe plant has been outside in the ground for 10 years now. I live in Southern California but at an elevation >1000 feet, there are a couple <20 nights/year. My plants just grow back from the center. The root structure is not compromised.

I think if you fear another frosty night, the rule is to spray them with water and the ice formed around the plant insulates them. Don't give up the ghost. These succulents endure freezing nights in their natural desert state and they flourish the rest of the year.

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January 10, 20100 found this helpful

We have this at home so you just care it the same way as other plants. It works for me.

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By 0 found this helpful
February 2, 2007

I have an aloe plant that is really big and has a yellow stripe on the leaves. What type of aloe plant is that?

Thanks,
Harry from Silver Springs, FL

Answers

February 4, 20070 found this helpful

Do a google search. Aloe with yellow stripe. It brings up a lot of different types of Aloe.

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By (Guest Post)
February 5, 20070 found this helpful

Sounds like an agave, not an aloe.

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Photos

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July 10, 2007

Here is that same aloe plant after the January freeze we had in Southern California. It is recovering.

Hugs,
Great Granny Vi

Recovering Aloe Plant

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Archives

ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

May 2, 20080 found this helpful

Grow a pot of Aloe Vera in your kitchen. Break off a piece for a burn, rash, or scrape. Pat some gel on your face for a moisturizer. Use some as a hair gel. They reproduce quickly so repot and give as gifts!

By Holly Dawson

Growing Aloe Vera

Aloe is a Miracle Plant used medicinallyfor hundreds of years. My daughter has a web site where she sells Aloe products. Aloe being the 1st ingredient. It can be used for hundreds of things. There are some good articles about Aloe Vera on her site. www.aloetherapy.com (03/18/2005)

By Joy Luster

Growing Aloe Vera

The best way to spread aloe plants is to wait until the spring when it makes off shoots of babies buy itself. They will grow from the roots into a new plant, just cut it free from the mother plant when it is about 4 inches tall. I have heard you can break off a leaf, then stick it up in the dirt by itself and it will make a new plant. I haven't tried that so don't quote me. (05/26/2005)

By Eric

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