2001 S. Chambers Road
Aurora CO. 80014
You might have seen the Mile Marker boards that parents create for their children – they highlight things like the height, weight, likes, and dislikes of their child at various stages of life. We at Nick’s Garden Center think Plant Parents should have something like this for their Plant Babies as well! Our Plant Parent Chalkboard Photos and blogs will provide you with an overview of what each plant needs in order to “grow up” happy and healthy!
Aloe Vera might be the best-known of the succulent family. You have probably seen it listed as an ingredient in many skin care products – especially after-sun lotions used to help soothe burns. For this reason, and because they are very easy to care for, Aloe Vera is a great plant to keep around the house. To use Aloe Vera for mild skin irritations, trim a leaf close to the base of the plant. Split the leaf down the center, rinse away the “latex” (a yellow substance that can cause skin irritation), and rub the gel over inflamed or irritated skin. Unused portions of the leave can be frozen and thawed for later use. Aloe Vera is said to have soothing qualities for mild burns, and some have even used it as an acne or psoriasis treatment with effective results (but always consult a physician!). Aloe Vera can be harmful if ingested, so only use topically and keep away from pets and children (and anyone else in your family that likes to gnaw on plants). As long as only a small portion of the plant is removed at a time, a healthy Aloe Vera plant will continue to produce new leaves.
Aloe Vera is the common name of Aloe barbadensis, but “Aloe” is a common name used to refer to over 400 types of the Aloe plant. Part of the Asphodelaceae family, Aloe Vera is native to Africa, Madagascar, and the Arabian Peninsula. Aloe plants have either small or non-existent above ground stalks, and its leaves grow up to two feet long and high in a rosette fashion. Aloe will sometimes produce small bell shaped flowers in shades of yellow, orange, and pink, but they are rare. Aloe prefers medium to indirect sunlight (Aloe can be grown using artificial sunlight, too), and can actually get a tan in too much sun! If your aloe plant starts to brown and the leaves are still firm, just move in further away from its light source and it will return to its minty green shade. Aloe Vera prefers temperature between 65 and 85 degrees, and is perfectly happy in dry climates.
Plant Aloe Vera in Cacti and Succulent soil, and water it very sparingly. Aloe is a succulent and therefore needs very infrequent waterings. As with most succulents, Aloe stores its water in its thick leaves. The best way to tell whether or not Aloe needs water is to give the leaves a little squeeze. If they are nice and firm, no water is needed. If the leaf is still green and gives a little, go ahead and water it. The leaf gets a bit squishy when it’s low on water, much like an air mattress when it’s low on air. Be sure that your pot is well-draining as succulents who sit with their roots in soggy soil will most likely fall prey to root rot. If your pot does not have good drainage, buy a Moisture Meter and take care when watering to avoid soggy roots.