Description: perennial plant from the lily family. It is a succulent shrub with erect, branching, stems covered with scars of dead leaves at the bottom. The height of the plant in natural conditions can reach 3 m or more. The leaves are fleshy, wide, thick, up to 50 cm long, dull green with purple thorns. The flowers are collected in a multicolor racemose inflorescence on a peduncle up to 80 cm tall. The root system is fibrous with long, straight, cylindrical roots. The culture is drought-resistant, grows in the semi-desert regions of India and Africa. In Europe, it is bred as a medicinal plant and widely cultivated as a houseplant. At home, almost no fruit and blooms very rarely.
- Homeland: South and East Africa, south of the Arabian Peninsula, Madagascar.
- Watering: moderate in summer, rare in winter.
- Hydration: not required.
- Growth rate: slow.
- Content temperature: +5 + 40°С.
For aloe growing, it is best to use a light soil mix with little charcoal, fine brick chips, and mandatory drainage. The introduction of peat is not allowed, as it negatively affects the development of the root system. It is recommended that in the warm season it be kept outdoors or planted in open ground in a well-lit place, while protecting it from rain, since water entering the sockets leads to plant rot. In the warm season, watering is moderate, as it dries, and rare in winter. In winter, aloe must be kept at a temperature not lower than + 10 + 12 ° С.
Aloe reproduction is carried out by seeds, cuttings, tops of shoots and shoots.
Seeds – after ripening, the seeds are sown in bowls at + 21 ° C in February – March. The soil should consist of soddy, leafy earth and sand (1:1 / 2:1). Seedlings dive into boxes with the same composition of the earth. Then the grown seedlings should be planted 1 in 5 cm pots with a composition of leafy, soddy soil and sand (1: 1: 1/2) and for 1 m 3 of this composition, 5-7 kg of charcoal and the same amount of brick chips should be added. Watering, moderate without waterlogging. A year later, in the spring, the plants are given transshipment and care already as for adults.
Cuttings – reproduction is possible almost all year round, but the best period is spring – summer. Shoots should be cut into pieces of 10-12 cm and dried for several days in the shade, and sprinkle the cut with charcoal powder. Landing should be done in wet sand at a distance of 3-5 cm and 1 cm deep. Water occasionally, keeping the sand moist. When roots appear, watering should be increased, and after 5-7 days, transplant 1 in 7-cm pots with turf, leaf soil and sand (1: 1: 1/2) + brick chips and charcoal.
The top of the shoot and the shoots formed at the base of the shoots. After cutting, the cuttings are dried for 3-4 days, then planted in the sand, deepening the lower end into the substrate by 2-4 cm and tied to pegs. Care consists in maintaining the temperature not lower than + 18 ° C and spraying. After rooting, regular watering.
The plant is unpretentious and calmly tolerates drought. Light-loving, but in the spring it is necessary to gradually accustom to sunlight in order to avoid burns. In winter, keep in a bright place or use LB lamps 12-14 hours a day. In autumn – winter, aloe should be watered with water 5-8 ° C higher than the room temperature, and during the growth period from +25 to +35 ° C. Leaves do not need moisture.
The best conditions for keeping aloe are a bright, cool place with a temperature of +10 +14 ° С. Aloe care implies mandatory, during the growth period, top dressing once every 2 weeks with fertilizers for succulents and cacti. Transplanted and young plants up to 6 months do not need to be fed.
Extremely rarely affected by pests. Diseases – root and dry rot can be caused by excessive moisture or improper maintenance of the plant.
For aloe, transplantation is carried out in the spring. Young individuals are transplanted annually, adults under 5 years old once every 2 years, and over 5 years old once every 3 years. The day before transplantation, the plant should be well watered and a substrate should be prepared, consisting of sod, leafy soil, humus and sand in a ratio of 2:1:1:1. At the bottom of the new pot, it is necessary to provide drainage from brick chips or expanded clay. After transplanting the plant, cover it with earth and compact it a little. Then, water well, and sprinkle with a layer of 1-2 cm of dry earth on top. After that, do not water for 4-5 days.
How Aloe Blooms
At home, under natural conditions, Aloe blooms annually and even 2 times a year.
At home, this phenomenon is very rare, sometimes occurring once every 10-20 years.
How aloe blooms: in nature in spring or summer. At the top, in the middle of the rosette, Aloe throws out an arrow up to 80 cm high. From it develop large tubular flowers collected in an ear or dense panicle, 1 cm in diameter and 4-5 cm long. Spectacular and very beautiful flowers of yellow, orange, red, red-orange, pink and very rarely white. The flower has 1 pistil and 6 stamens. The perianth is cylindrical, fleshy and juicy. The expanded lower part of the flower is filled with nectar, which is very rich in aloe.
At home – the plant throws out a small arrow with small flowers, which must be cut off after flowering.
Application of aloe
The plant has been known for its medicinal properties for over 3,000 years. Currently, aloe has been used on an industrial scale in such areas as:
Pharmaceutics – in order to activate various processes of metabolism and tissue regeneration, in ophthalmology, as a laxative, in diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, skin, etc.
Production of biologically active additives – a source of polysaccharides, organic acids, proteins, production of juices, syrups, tablets and capsules.
Food industry – aloe gel and juice are used in the production of juice, tonic drinks, fruit soups and dairy products.
Cosmetology – the production of hypoallergenic cosmetics (cream, shampoo, balm, various masks, etc.) that do not irritate the skin.
Veterinary medicine – wound healing, anti-inflammatory agent, with a decrease in appetite, immunoreactivity of the body in animals, etc.