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Wherever you turn, it looks like everything is made of Aloe Vera. Almost all products on shelves brag with Aloe Vera in them, and be sure, this year won’t be any different. This is why we have decided to write this article and show you how to start aloe vera farming.
Aloe vera has a shallow root, so it should be planted in a wider and shallower pot. Stack a layer of stones on the bottom of the Aloe growing pot, then a layer of sand, and then add the soil. Containers must be a quarter filled with drainage material and compost because such a planting system is closest to its natural environment.
Aloe vera was an ancient African plant, of which the first records exist on the Mesopotamian plate since 2200 BC, and today it is one of the most popular herbs due to its medicinal properties and wide applications in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries.
Historically, aloe vera has been used for skin injuries, ie external use, and orally as a laxative. Today it is used as a folk remedy for various diseases, for asthma, epilepsy, osteoarthritis, psoriasis, burns, especially from the sun, etc.
Aloe vera can be grown even as a houseplant, in an apartment or in a jar.
How to farm aloe vera
In the rest of this article, we will show you in detail how to farm aloe vera so you can do it even from the comfort of your own apartment.
The cultivation and propagation of aloe vera
Aloe vera can be grown in pots stored on the sunny south or east side of the window because the size of the plant and the amount of aloe in the leaves is proportional to the amount of light the plant receives. Older plants like the sun better, while younger plants are more suitable for shade.
After winter, the plant should be removed from the enclosed area outside, but it should not be exposed to direct sunlight immediately because the leaves will turn yellow so it should be put in half-shade first.
Chose the right aloe vera plant
There are many Aloe Vera strains – more than 250 – but not all are good for commercial usage. Only four of them are used for their healing benefits. Most famous are Aloe Barbadensis Miller and Aloe Arborescens.
- Aloe Barbadensis Miller – This plant grows in areas with a mild climate, such as the Dominican Republic or the southern United States. It has a bushy shape and green, fleshy leaves that can grow up to 35 in, and yellow, very dense flowers that bloom during April. It has many therapeutic properties and is made of gels and powders. This one is probably best for commercial usage.
- Aloe Arborescens – It is branched in shape and can grow up to six and a half ft in height. The leaves are arranged in a rosette grey-green color. The leaves are smaller and thinner than the previously mentioned species and can be up to 24 inches long. Yellow-green sprouts grow from them. It blooms during February, with red flowers clustered in bunches and growing along the stem.
Aloe vera planting process
Aloe vera has a shallow root (9-12in) so it should be planted in a wider and shallower container. It is best to apply a layer of stones and then a layer of sand at the bottom of the Aloe growing pot and then add soil. The pots must be one quarter filled with drainage material and compost, as such a planting system is closest to its natural environment.
Since there is as much as 95% water in the leaves, due to the risk of freezing, the temperature should never fall below 41 (°F). However, if you bring it indoors in the winter, it should not be a living room, but a lobby or a cooler place where it will hibernate comfortably.
Aloe vera does not tolerate much moisture, so it should not be watered more than once a week. During the winter months, when all the metabolic processes of the plant are slow, it should be watered once a month. It is important that the pot or jar has holes in the bottom through which excess water can flow so that the root does not rot. Then the plant gives a very diluted gel and becomes moist, flaky and wrinkled which is a sign of irregular watering. Excess water from the saucer should be drained regularly.
Aloe vera diet
In the spring it feeds on phosphorus-rich fertilizers and promotes flowering during the month of June. Aloe vera should be fertilized during the growing season by mixing the soil with gravel and 30% compost. Many aloe lovers and farmers add oak leaf humus to the pebble soil to improve its growth.
Aloe vera Reproduction
The simplest way to propagate aloe vera is to plant the sprouts by carefully separating the sprout or bud from the bottom and planting it. The parent plant drives the sprouts as early as the second year of growth. They can be transplanted when they grow 1 to 2 inches. The best time is in May and June, during the period of the most intense growth and development of the plant.
When growing the plant, aloe vera should be transplanted in the spring or before flowering.
In addition to propagation from the sprouts, it can also be propagated by leaf cuttings, which is also the most common method of propagation of this species. It is enough for the garden scissors to separate the leaves with part of the stem and plant them. The rooting process takes at least a month.
Relatively long life span
The life span of aloe vera averages 12 years, but after 4 years they reach maturity and are ready to be harvested. The plants are harvested every 6 – 8 weeks by removing the 3 – 4 end leaf of the plant. The leaves are cut at the base so that the total amount of gel remains in the leaf until processing. The leaves must be handled gently to prevent damage to the outer bark and to prevent bacteria from entering the leaf base.
Use and healing properties of aloe vera
Aloe vera is one of the herbs that help strengthen the immune system, reduce inflammation and detoxify the body. It is also used in skin problems and is effective in acne, itching, allergies, rashes and in general for skin diseases. According to research conducted by Asian scientists, daily use of aloe vera gel can improve skin elasticity and get rid of wrinkles. Preparations made on the basis of this herb are useful in situations where it is necessary to accelerate wound healing or treat burns on the skin.
In addition to being soothing to the skin, aloe vera has a similar effect on digestion. Its most important ingredient is alloin, which has a potent effect on gut bacteria. Regular consumption of smaller amounts of aloe vera juice helps calm down gastric problems, as aloe vera breaks down and activates gut bacteria.
Aloe preparations are also useful for people with type 2 diabetes, as this herb helps to balance blood sugar.
Gels are made from Aloe vera leaves, fresh juice, and tincture made from the chopped leaf and one liter of alcohol. For inside and outside use, it can be added to herbs and wines.
Aloe vera juice contains more than 200 nutrients and medicinal ingredients and is useful for restoring hormonal balance, eliminating toxins from the body, relieving pain, stimulating hair growth, maintaining skin health, alleviating arthritis symptoms, and speeding up metabolism and weight loss.
Aloe vera preparations are also used to make natural cosmetics. They can be added to creams, tonics, shampoos … Aloe nourishes the scalp and works against dandruff. Juice and gel can be mixed into shampoo or shower gel and baths.
The moderate use of aloe vera preparations does not cause any side effects, but overuse can cause cramps and diarrhea.
Useful aloe vera recipes
Here is one useful recipe for outside use, that is, for those who have problematic skin with acne and scars.
Since honey and aloe vera are natural ingredients, this combination is great for making a natural skin-cleansing preparation.
Honey and aloe vera face mask
3 tablespoons of gel extracted from the inside of a leaf of aloe vera
1 tablespoon of honey
Crush herbal gel and mix it well with honey and apply it on the face. Let stand for about twenty minutes and then rinse with clean water. The mask can be left in the refrigerator and used for several days. It is especially useful for problem skin with acne and scars as it tightens, moisturizes and softens
Interesting facts about aloe vera
Aloe vera was used as a medicine six thousand years ago. In ancient Egypt, it was called the plant of immortality, and over time it was also called the miraculous plant, the elixir of life, the blessing of paradise, and others. Although about 200 species of this plant are known, only four of them have medicinal properties.
There are records to prove that this plant was used in ancient China to lower the temperature and heal burns and wounds. According to one legend, Alexander the Great conquered the island of Socotra to provide sufficient quantities of aloe vera, which was used to treat wounded soldiers.
It has to be said, most of those benefits are not clinically proven, of course, that doesn’t mean it is not true.