The herbaceous perennial plant Aloe (Aloe) is a member of the Lilac family, a genus with about 260 species. It is native to Africa, or more precisely, to its most arid regions. The fact is that Aloe is highly resistant to drought.
Peculiarities of Aloe
The leaf plates of Aloe that make up the rosette grow from the root and are most often fleshy. There are some species that have spines on their leaves and others that do not.
Some species have a waxy patina on the surface of the leaves. During flowering, the shrub is decorated with red, yellow or orange flowers. The inflorescence is either clustered or panicle-shaped depending on the species, though more often the flowers are bell-shaped or tubular.
For some species have medicinal properties and are therefore used in alternative medicine. Aloe juice helps cure pustules and burns more quickly.
It is also used to make masks, because it has regenerating and rejuvenating properties. The leaves are used to produce a substance with a laxative effect. Not only are many species of aloe grown in culture, but also varieties.
Brief description of cultivation
- Flowering. Aloe is grown as an ornamental and medicinal plant.
- Lightness. Needs more bright sunlight. Sometimes it is recommended to illuminate the bush in winter.
- Temperature regime. During the spring and summer period, the flower grows well at normal room temperature.
During the winter, the room should be no warmer than 14 degrees.
- Pouring. During the growing season, the substrate in the pot is moistened as soon as its top layer dries out. During the winter months, water less frequently, and more precisely two days after the surface of the soil mixture has dried out. When watering, make sure that the liquid does not get inside the leaf rosette.
- Air Humidity. Aloe grows normally at air humidity typical of living spaces.
- Fertilizing. Fertilize once every 4 weeks from the second half of spring to the first weeks of fall, using mineral fertilizer.
- Dormant period.
Starts in the second half and ends in mid-spring.
- Repotting. Bushes are transplanted at the beginning of the growing season, young bushes are subjected to this procedure once every couple of years and older bushes once every 4 years.
- Mixed soil. Leaf and sod soil and also sand (1:2:1).
- Propagation. By root shoots and by seed.
- Pests. Aphids, scales, mealybugs, and spider mites.
The plant can only become diseased if it is not properly cared for. It most often suffers from rot, which appears from excessive watering.
- Properties. Some species of aloe are noted for their medicinal properties. They have anti-inflammatory, immune-stimulating, wound-healing, antibacterial, regenerating and other properties.
Home care for aloe
Aloe is a light loving plant, so it is best to grow at home in a southern window, and is not affected by direct sunlight. A bush that has stood in the shade for a long time is accustomed to the bright rays of the sun gradually. In winter, the bush sometimes needs additional light, daylight lamps can be used for this.
In summer, aloe develops and grows within normal room temperature. During the warm season, it can be moved to fresh air, with a place protected from precipitation chosen for it.
If you do not take the plant outdoors in the summertime, then it is advisable to air the room in which it is located systematically. In winter the aloe plants have a dormant period and can therefore be placed in a cool place (not warmer than 14 degrees). If it is warmer in the room, the shrub may actively stretch out, since in winter the sun cannot give it the necessary amount of light.
Water aloe during the growing season as soon as the surface of the potting soil has dried out. During the winter, watering should be less frequent, but the ground should not be allowed to dry out.
When moistening the substrate, make sure that the liquid does not get inside the leaf rosette because this can lead to rotting of the trunk, which in turn can kill the bush.
This flower grows and develops normally in any humidity.
For aloe to bloom, it needs a resting period that is only possible with a long day of light and coolness. This is very difficult to achieve in an apartment so you rarely see the plant bloom.
Fertilize from the second half of spring to the beginning of fall at intervals of once every 4 weeks.
When the shrub is dormant, no fertilizer is needed.
Potting out aloe
Aloe substrate suitable for growing aloe should consist of sod and leaf soil and also sand (2:1:1). To make the soil more friable, it should be mixed with a little charcoal and small pieces of brick. Repotting only when necessary; as a rule of thumb, young shrubs should be repotted once every couple of years and older shrubs once every four years.
How to transplant Aloe - basic rules
Aloe can be grown from seed quite easily.
First a good drainage layer is made at the bottom of the container, then it is filled with a sand mixture and the seeds are sown. Sowing is carried out in the last winter or first spring weeks. Ensure regular watering and airing of the seeds. Protect them from direct sunlight, and the air temperature should be about 20 degrees. Nesting of newly emerged seedlings in individual containers is carried out when they are 30 days old.
When three months have passed after transplanting, the plants should be picked up again in larger containers, and then given the same care as the adult bushes.
How to propagate with shoots
The same soil mixture used for seed propagation is used for aloe sprouts. In spring or in the first weeks of summer, separate the young shoots growing from the roots from the parent bush, then plant them in an individual container. After the bush gives roots and starts to grow, it is given the same care as an adult plant.
How to properly propagate and transplant aloe (centenarian) at home.
Diseases and pests of aloe
If not cared for properly, aloe can have problems with it:
- The leaves are pale and sluggish. This can be caused by excessively frequent watering when the surface of the potting soil does not have time to dry out. Unsuitable substrate can also be to blame.
- Branches become elongated.
If the light is not sufficient, the bush will be actively stretched out and lose its decorative qualities. To prevent this, it is advisable to light the plant with fluorescent lamps to extend the daylight hours.
- Root rot appears on the shoots and roots. Root rot appears as a result of too frequent or excessive watering. And stem rotting is most often caused by liquid getting into the leaf rosette during watering, especially if the room is cool.
Choose the most suitable watering regime for aloe, cut off any diseased parts of the shrub and transplant it into fresh substrate.
- The tips of the leaf plates turn brown. This plant is fairly undemanding with regard to humidity. But, if the air is too dry, the humidity must be increased. Very little watering can cause brown spots to form on the edge of the leaf blades.
- Dark spots appear on the leaves. The shrub should not be exposed to draughts and can also be harmed by very cold temperatures (below 8 degrees C). Ventilate the room regularly, but place the plant in a draught-free location.
- Pests. Scabies, mealybugs, aphids and spider mites can settle on the bush.
How to grow aloe vera at home? Advice from a florist - Everything will be good. Issue 986 from 21.03.17
Aloe species with photos and names
Aloe white flower (Aloe albiflora)
This species has no stem at all on the bush. The narrow leaf plates are about 5 centimeters wide and up to 25 centimeters long, with small white spines along the edge.
The color of the foliage is greenish gray, and there are a large number of white dots on its surface. During flowering, a flower stalk grows about 50 cm long and brushes are formed on it, consisting of white-colored flowers. This aloe can be easily propagated with root rosettes.
Aloe fan-shaped (Aloe plicatilis)
This aloe is a bush-like plant with a stalk that eventually becomes woody. The strongly branching shrub can reach a height of about 5 meters.
The trunk is divided into small branches, and a leaf rosette is formed on each branch. The supratennially arranged leaf blades grow 14-16 in a linear shape with a rounded apex. The grayish-green leaflets are no more than 30 centimeters long and up to 4 centimeters wide, usually with a smooth edge. Tassels of 25-30 red flowers are formed on the tops of long peduncles. The flower stalks can be up to half a meter long.
This species differs from the others in that it needs more frequent watering. This plant is also called Aloe umbrella (Aloe tripetala) or Aloe lingua (Aloe linguaeformis).
Aloe vera (Aloe vera)
The shoots are short. Gathered in small rosettes, the green leaves are lanceolate in shape, most often with white spots on the surface and pale pink spikes on the edge. The leaf laminae can be up to about half a meter long.
Several clusters are formed on a tall flower stalk, which consist of pale yellow flowers, reaching about 30 mm in length. There are some varieties that have flowers colored red. This species is also called Floe lanzae, either Aloe barbadensis or Aloe indica.
This herbaceous plant has a very short stem. The leaves growing from the root are gathered in a rosette, only about 40 mm long, and the shape is elongated-triangular.
On the surface of the slightly grooved pale or dark green leaf laminae are many dots of white. The tubular orange florets are about 10 mm long. They are gathered in a brush, which is formed at the top of a thirty-centimeter flower stalk that grows out of the flower rosette. The species can be quickly propagated by rooting young rosettes.
Aloe Jackson (Aloe jacksonii)
This bushy perennial has a rather short stem (about 30 centimeters high).
The narrow leaf plates are up to 10 centimeters long, with small spines along the edge and 1 longer spike growing at the top. Both surfaces of the greenish leaves have waxy patches and whitish spots. During flowering, a 20 centimetre long peduncle forms on which a brush of reddish tubular flowers grows.
Aloe dichotoma (Aloe dichotoma)
In nature, this species is a tree-like evergreen perennial plant, about 8 metres tall. It has a waxy patina on both surfaces of the bluish-green leaf plates, which are about 40 centimeters long and up to 6 centimeters wide, with small spines along the edge.
Brushes formed during flowering consist of yellow tubular flowers. One flower stalk can hold from 1 to 3 flowers.
This species is widely cultivated in indoor conditions and is also called "centenarian". The height of a tree or shrub can reach three meters. The shoots gradually become bare underneath, and branch off strongly in the upper part.
The upper rosette-shaped, dense, fleshy leaf blades are mead-like in length and curved in width. Their color is grayish green, they are about half a meter long and about 60 mm wide. There are spines along the edge of the plate, reaching 0.3 cm in length. The species blooms in May-June, but when grown at home, flowers on the bush can be seen infrequently.
Brushes of pink, red or yellow flowers are formed on a tall flower stalk.
Aloe camperi (Aloe camperi)
The species is a low perennial herbaceous plant. The curved, narrow, glossy leaf plates are green in color and lanceolate in shape, up to 50 mm wide and about 50 cm long, with a finely serrated edge. During flowering, a tall peduncle forms on which grows brushes consisting of orange, red and yellow tubular flowers no longer than 50 mm long.
This herbaceous perennial has a short stalk.
The leaf laminae growing from the roots are arranged in a rosette and are rounded-triangular in shape, about 20 centimeters long and no more than 15 centimeters wide. The leaves can vary in color from bluish-gray to green, and many small spines grow on their undersides as well as on the edges. A tall peduncle grows from the leaf rosette, in the upper part of which a bunch of trumpet-shaped inflorescences are formed, consisting of tubular flowers, either richly red or simply red in color. Very rarely blooms at home.
Aloe shortifolia (Aloe brevifolia)
This herbaceous perennial plant has leaves gathered in rosettes.
They can vary in shape from triangular to lanceolate, reaching about 11 centimeters in length and up to 4 centimeters in width. There are white denticles on the outer surface of the plate and on its edge. The coloring of the foliage is bluish green. The tubular red flowers are gathered in a brush that forms at the top of a tall peduncle.
Aloe bellatula (Aloe bellatula)
Native to this stemless herbaceous plant, Madagascar.
Growing from the root, the rosette foliage is only about 15 centimeters long and about 1 centimeter wide. There are numerous white spots and tubercles on the surface of the dark green plate, and small spines on the edge. The bell-shaped flowers are coral colored.
Aloe marlothii (Aloe marlothii)
This shrub is about three meters tall. The fleshy, lanceolate leaves are arranged in a root rosette and have a waxy bloom on both surfaces.
They are colored grayish green, their length and a half meters, and width - up to 30 centimeters. Both surfaces of the plate, as well as its edge, are covered with a large number of small pale red spines. The tube-shaped flowers are gathered in brushes, most often colored orange-red.
Aloe soapy (Aloe saponaria)
Or soapy aloe, or spotted aloe (Aloe maculata). The bush has a branching stem and usually has several leaf rosettes.
The flat-curved green leaves are about 0.6 metres long and up to 6 centimetres wide, with many white speckles on both surfaces and five-millimetre-long spines along the edge. The small tassels consist of yellow flowers, which sometimes have a reddish tint.
Aloe aristata (Aloe aristata)
This bushy plant has short stems. The triangular green foliage is part of the rosette, it is decorated with whitish tubercles, and there are small spines along the edge.
At the top of the slightly curved plate grows a long filament. A tall flower stalk forms several tassels of 20-30 orange-red, tube-shaped flowers.
Aloe distans (Aloe distans)
This shrub has stalky stems that reach about 3 meters in length. The pointed, ovate, grayish-green leaf laminae are about 10 centimeters long and up to 6 centimeters wide at the base. There are small white spines along the edge and in the middle of the leaf plate.
When the bush blooms, it is decorated with tassels consisting of tubular flowers of yellow color.
Aloe striped (Aloe striata), or Aloe gray
Homeland of this stemless perennial plant is South Africa. Gathered in a root rosette, the fleshy, dense leafy plates are grayish-green in color, up to 15 centimeters wide and about half a meter long. The smooth edge of the plate is colored red. As a rule, several brushes are formed on a tall peduncle, consisting of small reddish flowers.
The species blooms in the second half of spring.
Aloe tiger (Aloe variegata)
Or aloe mottled, or aloe ausana (Aloe ausana), or aloe punctata (Aloe punctata). This stemless shrub is about 30 centimeters tall. The elongated foliage is gathered in root rosettes, up to 6 centimeters wide and about 15 centimeters long. The dark green leaf plates are decorated with a white pattern of dots and stripes.
On the tops of the tall flower stalks, they grow tassel-shaped inflorescences that consist of red, pink or yellow flowers.
Aloe ferox (Aloe ferox)
In natural conditions, the bush, which has a straight stem, reaches about three meters in height. At the top of the aloe, a leaf rosette is formed, consisting of leaf plates about half a meter long and up to 15 centimeters wide. The greenish foliage takes on a pale red hue under certain conditions. Growing teeth along the edge are sometimes formed on the surface of the leaf plate as well.
From the middle of the leaf rosette grows a truss-like inflorescence about half a meter high consisting of orange-red flowers.
Top 10 most beautiful species of ALOE for indoor flowering | Photos and names