Aloe barbadensis, commonly known as Medicine Plant, Aloe vera, or simply Aloe, is one of the most popular succulent plants in the world. Aside from its beauty, it is known for its agricultural and medicinal uses as one of its names implies.
Like any other succulents, Aloe vera is very resilient that’s why it is very easy to propagate and maintain given the right conditions. We highly recommend that you tick this in your succulents home starter kit checklist.
Aloe vera grows up to two to three feet tall and it can get wide upon its maturity. Its leaves are green, thick and moist due to their high water content. The plant also grows bright yellow flowers during spring, and they can last until summer.
Aloe can be partnered with just about any ordinary household plants or succulents. It serves as a nice companion to other green fleshy succulents such as the Jade Plant, Mini Pine Tree, and Burro’s Tail if you want a more greenish and refreshing visual in your home garden or room. You can even match it with succulent plants in varying colors like the Crown of Thorns, Christmas Cactus, Woolly Senecio, and others.
Ideal Location for Growth
Aloe vera is native in the Arabian Peninsula. The ideal temperature where it can thrive is between 55 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, but over the years it has been proven to survive in climates that go as low as 30 degrees Fahrenheit.
The plant can be grown both outdoors and indoors. Since it needs plenty of sunlight to survive, it is best to place it in a southern-facing window when planted inside the home.
How to Propagate Using Offsets or Cuttings
First, prepare a succulent pot for your Aloe Vera. Make sure that it has drainage holes to prevent excess water from accumulating at the bottom of the container. Fill it with a combination of loose garden soil and building sand, or better, use a potting mix. The soil should be filled up to a centimeter below the top section of the pot.
Then, take an offset of Aloe Vera for propagation. An offset is a result of the mature plant’s asexual reproduction. It is a small, complete daughter plant with its own roots, stem, and leaves. Carefully separate the offset from the mother plant. While you’re at it, take this chance to clip off the dried roots or leaves of the plant.
Poke a hole in the soil and insert the offset in it. The soil should be enough to cover the roots and the bottom part of the stem. Gently press down the soil around the plant to make its base firm, and so it won’t topple as it grows.
Alternatively, you can propagate Aloe Vera from its cuttings. Using a clean knife or a pair pruning shears, cut a healthy part of the plant down to its stem, and leave the cutting to dry.
After a week, it is recommended that you use a rooting hormone or honey as antiseptic to prevent the flesh wound of the succulent from getting infections and to stimulate the growth of roots before putting it in the pot filled with soil.
We highly suggest using fertilizer at least once a year during the spring to promote the healthy growth of your new Aloe Vera plant. Water it only when the soil around it dries. Overwatering can result in wilting or rotting, so avoid this common mistake committed by Aloe Vera owners.