My simple plant care - how to care for your aloe vera plants as house plants is very simple and can fit into the busiest lifestyle. By my easy plant care rule I could water 75 pots in half an hour! It should work for you too.
1. Pick a day of the week - (I use Saturday when I start my house work) - and water all your aloe vera plants. Give each plant a dash of water great enough to soak through all the soil in the pot. One or two cups full would do for the average potted aloe vera's plant care. You can water even less.
2. Use the same time to quickly pick out any dead steams or broken pieces.
3. If there are babies - little shoots of new plants coming up - prepare a new pot for them when they reach a height of about 5 to 6 inches or more.
Propagation like this need only happen once or twice a year. The aloe vera is not going to complain if you let the pot fill up with these babies. But you will get more and larger plants if you remove and replant them.
There is a secret though to having thriving plants in your home. I've determined that it is in the water you use to water your plants. My mother taught me to water plants with rain water or melted snow water in the winter. Other friends told me their plants always die. They've lost heart to try again.
When I asked about the water they used, they said, 'ordinary tap water.' I wondered if it could make that big a difference. Then I moved into the city last year, and didn't have access to rain water the way I was used to in the early part of winter, (Dad used to fill an indoor barrel with rain water for my plant care). So I used tap water too. In just a few weeks I could see my plants begin to look droopy and pathetic. I took to bringing in pails of snow and letting the snow melt before I poured the water on my plants. I saw some improvement. I look forward to setting out rain barrels this summer. I'm convinced now that is the reason my aloe vera plants thrived before.
In the meantime, between having access to neither rain water or snow water, I am boiling up a bot of water and cooling it before I give the plants a weekly splash. I add a packet of clear gelatin powder by of apology to the plants. See, plant care is still less bother and work than having pets.
Still, I think most often people over-water their aloe vera. Allow the soil in the pot to dry out between waterings. In winter you could easily go two weeks between waterings, or give it less. Your aloe vera plant is able to take moisture out of the air, so it will love a humid kitchen or bathroom.
I have never used fertizliers for my aloe vera. I think I read somewhere that they don't care for it, and since I was busy and could not afford a lot of extras, I just didn't bother. (Except when I was propagating - I have mixed in a pinch of plant food that had come as a gift).
Another helpful thing. My Dad used to say that the type of furnace you have in the house can make a difference. I now agree that it does affect plant care. My parents had a water boiler furnace with water running along copper pipes to the radiators throughout the house, and the heated water in those pipes kept the temperature at a fairly even level throughout the house. If you have a forced air furnace, the registers have these intermittent whoshes of hot air. (I've had two other potted floral plants die because of that lately). Aloe vera can tolerate more abuse than most plants, but if you want them to thrive keep them from irregular drafts. Move them across the room if need be. They will be fine even if not in direct sunlight.
In fact, I had one aloe vera plant that I kept in the basement bathroom, where it never saw sunlight, and I usually forgot to water it. Often for months on end. But I continued to break pieces off to use for chapped lips, and itchy spots, or scratches. I've got a picture here that I took of it when I was ready to throw it into the garden as compost before moving, simply because I would not have room for it here. You'll notice that it isn't dead yet, and it has a baby (offset) growing up out of the dry root! That plant had not been watered in at least 4 to 6 months!
Aloe vera can managed bravely despite lack of water, but I learned this last winter that they cannot withstand extremely cold temperature! I put the plants I could not find room for in my house into my unheated front porch in the summer and tried to sell or give awa at every opportunity. Ah, but I live in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and our winter temperatures sometimes drop way down to -30 degrees Celsius, with the windchilll factor making it feel like -48 C; these poor desert lilies simply froze as this photo shows!
I encourage you to get at least one aloe vera plant and USE it! Never mind if it doesn't look beautiful and complete. (You could always grow another just for show, if you like). Once you see how much good it does you, you will begin to appreciate it more, be willing to eat it and be more than willing to remember to water it once a week, and to even start new plants with the babies, known as offsets.
There are other healing herbs and plants growing near you for exactly whatever ails you. But if, for whatever reason, you are not able to find and use them, there are many companies starting to provide these in supplements which you can purchase. It pays to be discerning, because some companies may rip you off. This applies to aloe vera products too. Just this last year I've found one that I can highly recommend. Try out Puritan's Pride's aloe vera or any of their supplements. I have not been disappointed in anything I have ordered from them so far.
In any case, I assure you that plant care for an aloe vera is not hard.
Aloe Vera Tips & Solutions - my monthly newsletter/ezine, which keeps you informed of new things on this site, and brings out a tip or solution to some problem you may be encountering. Subscribe today!
Aloe Vera Plants by Mail - First results of my experiment to see what's involved in sending aloe vera plants by mail, showing photos of the one that went the farthest and is the healthiest. Includes eight photos.
Aloe Vera Questions - and Answers - taken from real questions to me on this site.
Wondering what happens when you eat aloe vera? Take my 6-part e-course to find out. My treat!
Where to find LARGE aloe vera plants to buy - a question I'm asked a lot!
Clean 9 - is a nine day program that uses only natural means to manage weight loss and does a gentle colon cleanse, and even detoxes your whole body, while building up strength and energy, all at the same time. It is produced by Forever Living. I'd like to share my experience with it.">
ALVEDAMA - Aloe Vera da Medeira - how the Cowens grow and sell their aloe vera on the island of Madeira, just off the coast of Portugal.
Aloe Vera Hair Tonic, Balsam and Gel - Peter Cowen of Calhoune, on the island of Madeira, shares a wonderful testimonial to their Aloe Vera Hair Tonic, Balsam and Gel products.
Aloe Vera, the Burn Plant - and how I proved it for myself with a second degree burn on my left hand on Easter Sunday. (A photo story).
Aloe Vera Aids Burn Treatment, Wound Healing And Scars - a guest article to explain some of the technical aspects of how this happens.
Freezing Aloe Vera - I've tried freezing the aloe vera gel, hoping to use it later, but that seems to kill the good stuff in it, as I found it looked too yukky when I tried to defrost it to use, however I discuss the pros and cons on this page.
Eating My Aloe Vera - just now I'm eating a large plant that is falling over in a hurry, but also thinking about help for those can't get access to such plants easily.
Bacterial Vaginosis - and other vaginal irritations can be cured naturally for once and for all.
Plantain - thank God - it's so handy! - A review of the things I've learned about plantain and the many ways to use it as a healing remedy.
Calendula, Marigold - My discoveries and experiences with calendula and how to make an ointment from this herb.
Mint - the Refreshing and Soothing Herb - Mint is one of my most favourite herbs, especially for a refreshing tea that soothes away gas and pain and rattled nerves.
Comfrey - to Close up Your Wounds - Comfrey is the plant that can knit or close up your wounds and put you back together. Comfrey has an excellent effect on inward bruises and pains. A poultice of the fresh leaves is excellent for gangrenous sours, gangrene, mortifications, and moist ulcers.
Herbal Teas - Simple instructions for how to prepare herbal teas, and for different quanties, with links to many old recipes.
Specific Benefits of the Herbs in the Herbal Teas - A quick summary page of herbal benefits to check when deciding which herbal tea blend to make, and want to know what each herb may do for you.
Natural Arthritis Remedies - Natural arthritis remedies and suggestions for a cleanse of the toxins and poisons which cause that intense pain - which could cure you of all arthritis pain.
Odd Cure for Bad Breath - Bad breath can be prevented, perhaps even cured by drinking tea, plus a few other odd cures.
Teas for Colds and Flu Remedies - Recipes for infusions or herbal teas for colds and flu remedies.
Teas to Aid in Good Digestion - Recipes for herbal teas that will help to digest one's food better.
Herbal Teas for Energy and Memory - Recipes for herbal teas for energy and memory to give new vitality and improve your memory skills.
Teas for Relaxing, to Give You Rest - Recipes for herbal teas for relaxing, infusions that will make it easier for you to rest.
Herbal Teas that Heal - Recipes for herbal teas that are able to heal or improve symptoms of more specific health problems.
Teas That Heal - Brewing Recipes - More teas that heal - brewing recipes that have a similar brewing method..
Herbal Tea Remedy e-Book - ready to download
- Holistic Therapies for Animals - see what Dena Schwartz has found to work with animals as well as people.
Can't picture eating aloe vera straight - even if you NEED it?
Simple Solution: order these tasty juices with the aloe vera inside.
Whether you have children or not, what is the best All-in-1 first aid kit for home or travel, or beach?
Solution: Aloe Vera Gelly!