How to Care for your Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is probably one of the most famous succulents today besides cacti, both for its use in healing properties and for its distinctive appearance. The spiky look of the Aloe vera will be sure to generate conversations in your house or apartment.
You can learn more about regular succulent care in "How to Care for Your Succulent", but you'll need to read below to learn how to care for Aloe vera and how it differs from other succulents.
Aloe veras prefer bright, but indirect sunlight: too much direct sunlight can burn their leaves. You can put them in a south- facing window, or use artificial sunlight to grow it.
Soil and Potting
Aloe veras will thrive very well in your typical succulent potting soil mix. When buying a pot, make sure that it is as deep as it is wide, and that you can fit the entire stem into the soil. You should also make sure there is a hole at the bottom of the pot so that water can drain from it.
Like most succulents, you should only water your Aloe vera when the top inch of soil is completely dry, and you should only water as much as to cause water to start pouring out from the drainage hole, if there is one.
When learning how to care for Aloe veras, you should also take note that they require much less water than other succulents: when keeping your Aloe vera indoors, you should only water it once a month in the spring and summer (its growing season), and not at all during the fall and winter months.
Aloe vera does not require fertilizer to grow. If you choose to feed your Aloe vera, you should use ½ strength 10-40-10 NPK (Nitrogen-Phosphorous-Potassium) fertilizer once a month during its growing season at the most.
Using Your Aloe Vera to Heal Burns
Using your Aloe vera to heal burns is very straightforward. Cut a mature leaf from your Aloe vera plant and squeeze the gel from it, placing it on the burnt skin tissue. If the burn is large, cut the entire leaf in half and lay it on the burn area. If you have any spare gel, place it in a polyethylene bag and refrigerate. Do not ingest the gel, it may cause nausea and vomiting.
Learning how to care for Aloe vera may seem different than learning how to care for other succulents, but that’s because Aloe veras need even less maintenance than most succulents. Give it the basic care it needs, and you will enjoy this unique, spiky-looking plant for years.