Aloe Vera Plant Growing & Usage Tips

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When Buying:

Potted

  • This plant usually grows slowly inside a house–purchase a large, more mature one if possible. If a young one is your only option, you can still use it for first aid treatments but know it will take a few years to get large.
  • Young aloe is potent enough to use for first aid treatments, but the more mature one offers a stronger potency, strength does increase with age.

General Care:

  • It can be grown indoors or outdoors, but will turn brown in harsh sunlight so choose a location in indirect light.
  • Will freeze, make sure to protect it during frost dangers. Not suitable for wintering over in cold weather zones.
  • Will thrive outside better than inside, but definitely makes a good indoor houseplant.
  • Use well-drained sandy potting soil, a good quality commercial mix with extra perlite, granite grit, or coarse sand are added is recommended. Cacti and succulent mixes may also be used. Source: Wikipedia.

Watering:

  • This is a succulent, don’t overwater.
  • Allow the soil to become fairly dry before watering. Lightly water during winter months since the drying out will be slower.
  • If potting, make sure there is a drainage hole so the water can drain easily.

Repotting:

  • When it is rootbound, it will be top heavy and will send out more new shoots or pups, repot.
  • Remove new shoots when they are 3 to 4 inches high and replant in their own pots. If you don’t, they will suck life from the mother plant. Signs of this happening: The mother will get bright green and spread its leaves horizontally rather than vertically.
  • Water the pups well when repotting then don’t water again for about 3 weeks, forcing the new roots to get strong and seek water. They may turn grey or brown initially, this is normal. These make great gifts so give freely!

Symptoms Of Poor Care:

  • Leaves lie flat instead of upright: usually because of insufficient light.
  • Leaves are thin and curled: it’s not being watered enough and is using up its own liquid.
  • Leaves are brown: too much direct sunlight.
  • Very slow growth: High alkaline soil or water; too damp for too long; not enough light; too much fertilizer.

Removing Leaves:

  • Harvest leaves as you need, the wound is quickly sealed and healed. The leaf will not grow back, choose those closest to the ground as they are the most mature and most potent.

Using For First Aid Treatments

For benefits and home remedies in first aid, see this page.

How To Cut A Leaf:

  • Cut away with a sharp knife.
  • Trim the thorny edges from the severed leaf, then slice across its width. The inner transparent, gooey gel is ready to be applied directly to the afflicted area. Use generously, it will be absorbed by the skin within several minutes.
  • After the gel from the first layer of ruptured cells has run dry, scratch the surface with a clean knife to rupture more cells, releasing more juice. This can be continued until there is nothing but green skin left.

How Long Will A Cut Leaf Last:

  • Wrap partially used leaves in foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate, it will last for days.

To Consume:

  • The colorless pulp is tasteless, but first rinse off the bitter yellow sap. Peel the green skin from the pulp, then rinse off the sap with cool water.

Source – More complete notes & tips can be found in the booklet:

The Ancient Egyptian Medicine Plant Aloe Vera Hand Book
Author: Max B. Skousen
Aloe Vera Research Institute (1982)

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Published: July 2, 2008

What Readers Are Saying:
112 Comments to “Aloe Vera Plant Growing & Usage Tips”
  1. desert blondie says:

    This was very helpful and interesting. I just moved to the desert a while back and my garden beds have several large Aloe plants. Enjoyed this column.

  2. Maggie says:

    I found that if you put potatoes into the soil with the plants they grow much stronger,(note: the potatoes will sprout and grow, so just nip the sprouts off at ground level or you can even use the water from boiling potatoes, but do not use salted water and cool the water to room temperature.

  3. Ed Colson says:

    Our Aloe plant tipped over and one side of the mother plan broke off. There are about 4 shoots connected to a white woody stem. Is there any way to make this sprout roots and grow?

    Thanks!

    Ed

  4. Jenners says:

    Ed, Just stick that sprout in a pot and it’ll grow. In fact, if you just stick a cut-off stem in dirt, it’ll grow. This plant is amazing!

    • critter says:

      I just found this website and Im hoping that you are still around so I can ask for advise:

      My Aloe plants roots are really short and close to the surface is this normal? The roots run horizonaly is this normal too?

  5. Stormi says:

    Thanks so much for this article. I just received an Aloe plant as a gift and did everything I shouldn’t have (overwatering, direct sunlight, cold). I feel much better about letting it be since it’s winter here in Ohio.

  6. rmiisty says:

    Can someone tell me what do you do if you have an enormous number of large “pups” (approx. 10-12) that are continuously growing horizontally? I bought the aloe vera 3 yrs. ago. I have replanted 1x)this plant & a few of it’s “pups” to a much larger pot, however they are now growing at a rapid speed & are about to burst out this large pot. I really don’t want to re-pot 10-12 new plants.

    • Julie says:

      Hello I feel you.My aloe mother plant was insane.I neglected al winter needed to be repotted,HAD LOTS OF PUPS LIKE YOUR 10 TO 12 EZ. wHENi WAS FINALLY DONE TOOK DAYS WAS OVER WHELMING i NOW HAVE OVER 100.SERIOUSLY…gOT TO LOVE IT….. Julie

      • Quizative says:

        Keep it rootbound and it wont give babies. Plus the energy will go into growing the mother plant and not reproducing. Shell get much larger for you! ;-)

    • aloe says:

      that is amazing! I have been wanting an aloe plant (healithy one) for such a long time. My first one died maybe overwatered, my second one got stolen three days after I got it, and the third one is dieing. I just have the middlie of it left. It just fell out when I moved the pot, after all the leaves around it had fallen over. I am going to try to save this middle part by replanting it. I am going to use miraclegrow potting mix and mix some peat moss into it because I read somewhere that aloe are acid loving. Any advise anyone can give me will be greatly appreciated. :-)

      • jo-anne burke says:

        you are over watering the plant and its rotting away bit by bit . water when the soil has completly dry out as they are a dessert plant

    • Quizative says:

      I started using Aloe when my father had cancer and radiation burns. Better than any of the $800 presecrition drugs. Since then I keep them everywhere in use it in juice. Some things they say did not work for me. Mine are huge. I live in MD here’s what I do. I found some things out of mistake or necessity.
      I have several acres and the guys that trim the trees dump huge trucks of ground tree trimmings (leaves and wood chips) in my back lot where it sits and decays. It is rich in organic material and very airy with chucks of mulch. Thats all I use (for everything) I never buy potting soild…not sand or perilite. You can do the same thing in a small bucket or drum with just leaves and grass leave it in full sun for faster processing. It is naturally acidic and naturally airy. need it now…You can dig some up in any forest.
      I keep my plants root bound if I dont want lots of babies. I have a 2 foot plant in a 4 inch POT!!!! Buy the way, the pot has no holes!!! I just water about once every 2 weeks until the dirt is saturated. I tip it on its side and remove anything not absorbed in 30 minuets by the soil. Then I dont water it for 2 weeks. Its in a window that gets evening sun from 3pm to sunset. If I have plants in a large pot, they constantly produce babies. I remove those and put them in a the containers I save from buying flowers…the little 4 or 6 packs or I use little 3 oz dixie cups, like you use in the bathroom dispensers. In that case I use peatmoss to hold the water because they are so small. They will live in those until they are 8 inches tall!
      When I move my plants from inside out in the spring…I do it gradually starting on the side of the house that only gets the morning or the late afternoon sun. Many will stay there all summer. A few will gradually be moved a foot a day to the front of the house where it gets more and more full sun. Then I will plant some in the ground in the garden with other vegetables to harvet and freeze with my other vegetables when I can and freeze at the end of the season. I just pluck whole leaves and cut into 1 or 3 inch slices and put in a ziplock bag, push the air out and freeze. When I need them I defrost at room temperature remove the leaf and harvest the gel for juice or recipes. If we have a boo boo I open the leafe and have aloe gel and an ice pack all in one. The leaf will slice even slightly frozen. NEVER MICROWAVE to defrost it destroys the healing properties. I never use pesticeds on anything but especially this since I eat the gel in the leaf and it absorbes through the leaf. Since these love to be rootbound it is so easy and cheap to stick new babies in a dixie cup with a little peat moss, I give them as gifts to the Tate Cancer center. I killed my first plants (though now I dont know how..lol) doing the sand and cactus soil. So I hope this helps someone.

      • Quizative says:

        PS I find it can tolerate some really cold nights as long as it has basic shelter, but it cant go without sun. I moved some into my basement which has very little sun and they died. I left others in my garage and even in 10* weather they lived but they get sun in the garage windows all day. They did beautifully all winter.

  7. Tsavah says:

    I am not sure why you don’t want to repot a fair number of pups from your mother plant, but if you do it will be normally easy to find homes for the young sprouts. Have you tried advertising on a “Free-cycle” group in your town or city? I get “free” stuff and give away stuff through our “Free-cycle” group all the time. Just tell the folks to bring their own pot with cactus type soil for as many pups as they want. You may meet a lot of folks with your same interestes.

  8. George Michaels says:

    I stumbled on this article looking for the botanical differences between soap aloe (saponaria) and aloe vera. Since I have a dozen aloes of one kind or another in my landscape, I would like to suggest some of this advice is not quite accurate. Aloe vera grows outside in the landscape in Tucson AZ. It does not need indirect light. It does great in blistering full day sun. We have 180+ days of 100 F or greater and 10-12″ of rain. While it does better with supplemental watering, it will sustain itself without it. Too much water is its nemesis. It will take a frost and even a hard freeze down to 20-22. Not sustained, but we will get several consecutive nights below 32 and it does fine. It may brown and curl at the tip, but that is about all. If And given lots of sun and regular watering, it grows like a weed.

    • John says:

      Good to know, we’re expecting a cold night, down into the 20’s F. & I wasn’t sure if I needed to try to protect my aloe vera plants (they’re outside, planted in the ground) – thank you.
      Any tips on protecting them from freezing temps. if they’re planted in the ground?

    • Kate says:

      I think you’re right about the ability to handle all the heat and direct light. But a lot of people deal with much meaner cold than that! In Oklahoma, we can have a month straight of 100F weather, but in the winter we can go weeks without hitting above 10F! Everyone either scrambles to find indoor spots for their beloved plants, or starts from scratch every spring!

  9. Nicki says:

    My aloe vera was growing beautifully, and a few weeks ago it started looking wilted and turning slightly brown. The last couple of times I’ve watered it, I’ve seen some baby frogs run out of the plant. Are the frogs damaging my aloe vera by living in the pot?

    • andy says:

      Id say too much direct sunlight. Mine does the same thing. Ill put it in the window where it gets lots of sun and when it gets to red or brown i put it somewhere else for a few days untill it gets its bright green colour back. Then i put it back in the window for show.

    • Ginger says:

      If you have frogs living in your aloe vera plants, you are very likely overwatering. When aloe pups are first planted, they should be watered every other day for a week or so. After that, they require only minimal watering to survive. I live in the Mohave Desert. In the hot summers I water my aloe vera plants once a week if the daytime temperature is over 105 degrees. If 105 or below, I water once every 10-14 days. In the winter I water once a month. I water my indoor aloes just once a month and give them a light dose of a good cactus and succulent fertilizer at the same time. Good luck with the frogs.

  10. maki says:

    my aloe plant was doing average inside then i had this brillant idea to put it outside for a while and it rained a few days too… now my plant has really dark purple leaves that are no longer plump and about four or five green leaves and only like two of the green leaves are healthy b/c they’re new. i dont know wat to do should i take the purple leaves off or will they still live or is my plant in general basically dead? help…!
    please and thank you!

    • Sammy says:

      that happend to my plants, they all turned brown and purplish after a few days of rain during their “drying period” after transplanting, i put them in a shelter so they got sunlight but were kept out of the weather. it took a few weeks but they are now green and healthy and sprouting pups!

    • Quizative says:

      too much sun…too fast. I did the same thing here in MD. It will bounce back. I moved mine to more indirect sun only early morning then gradually moved it into full sun. They will be a different color in full sun because the harvest the nutrients faster…more brownish/purple. They turn vivid green in the shade or indirect sun. ;)

  11. Terry says:

    my aloe vera has grown so tall (she is about ten years old) that she is listing go one side, what do I do, she is a member of our plant family

  12. Sandi says:

    I just heard that an aloe plant is good inside to help the air–in other words to be more green

  13. Cheryl says:

    I have harvested the juice from several leaves since they froze outside and thawed. Can it be kept unrefrigerated in a plastic container? Or must it be refrigerated? An how long will it last if either are done? I make my own lotion – can it be added to that?

    • Teresa says:

      HiCheryl!! How do I go about harvesting juice from my plants?? Dumb question huh?? I’m kinda new at this “juicing” thing but verry enthusiastic about getting into it. Thanks for your help

  14. Darrell says:

    Our aloe plants were left out during a recent freeze and all the plants wilted terribly. Are they done for or can they be revived?

    • Mariana says:

      This happened to me as well. I just cut off the dead leaves and it grew back even more beautiful than before.

    • Mrs H says:

      I got my plants from my Mom 25-30 years ago. I dug a few smaller plants up from her back yard and moved them from St Pete to Orlando. I dug them up again 9 years later when we moved (I left plenty for the new owners.) I planted them outside in sandy soil with nothing special added to the soil, I just stuck them in. One year they froze to the ground when I forgot to cover them. I thought they were done, but the roots survived and in the spring they came back on their own. They get no care from me, but I have plants everywhere.
      My Dad always told me that I have a “brown” thumb (I’m known for killing plants.) But these are very hardy little devils. We’ve been 19 years in this house and I’ve distributed aloe to neighbors twice when the beds got too full.

  15. Barbie says:

    I want to plant some more alo plants out of the one in the yard. Do I first put it in water or does it go in cactis soil, the leaf that is.

    • TipNut says:

      Barbie the little “pups” should have roots on them already so you just plant those directly in the soil (water well once you plant them).

  16. Lynn W says:

    I’ve used this plant for years, heard more about it today,rekindeled my interest .I hear aloe juice is now in some stores..must look for it…

    • peggy says:

      any health food store will have it i buy georges brand, i have diebeties and my mouth gets sore i jusy rinse with aloe vera juice and it goes away

  17. Jane says:

    This was the best information about aloe vera plants that I have found anywhere. And I’ve searched many websites! The article was very thorough and covered every aspect of growing & caring for the plant. Thanks.

  18. pegcity says:

    i found an aloe plant ditched in the laundry room of my building. Brought it back to health and now it keeps growing and giving pups. I love it but i live in an apartment and it is winter half of the year where i live. I need some tips on how to slow down its growth, trimming or bundeling the leaves, the root is curled up in the biggest pot i can fit in my apartment.
    I dont want to get rid of my plant.
    ps. all of my friends and neightbours have a aloe vera plant now.

  19. em nelson says:

    my aloe is 10years old n i name it “baby Vera”.it grows well but the root its getting so long and big.i cant find any pot that its deep.most of it,its so huge.can i cut the roots into half??will it grow or die??pls help..i love baby Vera so much.

  20. kt says:

    I just bought my first Aloe Vera plant. It’s rather small. So any helpful useful advice would be nice. I don’t normally have problems with plants. But i want to make sure I get this going right.

  21. Robin says:

    A friend just thinned her aloe vera. She kept the young pups and was getting rid of the big plants. These plants are old and probably should have been repotted because between the root and the plush leaves was a very long stem looking section. I was wondering how to replant the mother plant. Should just the root be planted? Or should the plant clear up to the bottom of the leaves be put into the soil. I’ve only seen websites which talk about transplanting pups but not the mother plant. The mother plants are not growing vertical but laying flat. I’ve replanted some of the mother plants with just the root underground and others I planted with the root and the stemmy section up to the bottom of the plush leaves into the ground. I’ve not noticed any difference in it not growing. Any suggestions for transplanting mother plants.

    • Flo says:

      Hi Robin! I found that when repotting my mother plant that covering up to the first leaves helped to keep her more stable. Hope this helps.

  22. julie says:

    hi i have a really confusing problem(i hope your still answering questions) my aloe plant has many pups, which i am now removing but my plant has horizontal leaves(which means insufficient light) but some of the bottom leaves are starting to brown(which means too much light) i just don’t get it! Also i planted a baby aloe plant and it just is dieing and drying up right now! PLEASE HELP

  23. Chitra says:

    Hi,

    i planted an aloe plant, almost its now one and half year still it remains the same no growth at all.All say that it won’t grow, but i realy want to save the plant pl suggest.

    They say that the extracts of fish (waste products) can be mixed with the soil and before planting the plant, will this help the plant to grow.

    Pl suggest

    Thanks & Regards

    Chitr

  24. Eden says:

    I just bought a plant from my grocery store. It’s about half a foot tall and one of the leaves has brown speckles on it but I don’t see how it could have come inot direct sunlight seeing as how it is winter where I live

  25. Archibald says:

    What should I perform w/the 4 1/2 ft. flower towering from the center of my aloe? Exotic dinner??

  26. Brianna says:

    I have an aloe plant about 1-2 feet high about the pot/soil. I got this from my grandparents who said they had so many pups that they would have to toss them — they exhausted all other options for reuse! Mine has one pup that I didn’t previously know I needed to replant (maybe I’ll wait a couple months until springtime) but other than that one, I have no other pups!

    I want to start using the aloe for my face for a specific reason, but I know that after a little while I will have used up all the stems. I’m jealous of people who say they have so many pups! *lol*
    How can I nourish mine and help it reproduce faster other than the basic care listed on this page? I do need to change the soil, so perhaps that is a reason? I am currently using a succulent/cacti mix.

    • Quizative says:

      pups dont have the power of healing that mature leaves do. Keep one plant in a tight root bound pot and it will grow big. when I put mine in a big pot, it didnt grow big it made lots of babies. Also I dont use cactus soil as everyone says. I use home made from decaying leaves and wood chips that have been breaking down for years. Go to a local forest and dig some up. Its light and airy from the pieces of sticks and leaves and mulch but rich with organic material. Good luck

  27. cocoleaf says:

    how big are aloes when they die?

  28. Denise Biely says:

    I have a large aloe plant. I have used many of the leaves for our sunburned grandchildren, or when I burn myself when I’m cooking. My plant is very tall probably nearing three feet. The mother plant has a large part of the stem that is bare. Can that stem be planted up to where the present leaves are? Will it rot? I don’t know what to do with it. I’ve transplanted the pups. The mother plant is so tall it just hangs over. DO you have any suggestions?

    • Alicia says:

      Denise,

      Our plant (Herman) is about 3 years old and it’s leaves are very thick and heavy. It’s about 2ft tall and we had a problem with it tipping over. I used a piece of 1/2″ PVC to support it. You could use more than one if you need to. Place it down in the soil until its sturdy. Hope this helps.

  29. Brian says:

    I am going to try and post a couple questions in hopes that I will get a response.
    I have several aloe plants. I have 2 in my kitchen that are sitting in a window sill. One is in a bigger pot that was a mother plant. Maybe got 5 or 6 inches tall. Has had several of its leaves cut off to be used. Has 2 leaves left on it. 1 tiny leaf and 1 that is maybe close to medium size. That window sill gets in-direct sunlight. The other one is in a small pot and happens to be a “pup” that came from the mother plant. Then I have more in 1 of my bedrooms. There are 5 “pups” (again, from the mother plant) in a ice cream pail that is sitting close to the window sill. Probably less than a foot away. Those are probably 2 inches in height, if not 3. Then I have another 3 “pups” from the mother plant in a planter pot that is kinda long. Maybe 3-5 inches in length for the planter pot. Those 3 “pups” are easily less than 1 inch tall. And finally, I have 1 “pup” from the mother plant in another pot that is sorta deep. Hoping the “pup” gets tall. That one is probably close to 3 inches tall already. And that one is sitting on the edge of my desk and its about 3 feet away from the window. This window also gets in-direct sunlight. Now that I explained everything, here are my questions:

    1. The soil that I am using is Miracle Grow Potting Soil. Its really the only thing I have around to use. Is this an okay kind of soil to be using?? Or should I be using something entirely different??

    2. The 1 pup that is in the small pot in the window sill in the kitchen seems to have set its roots into the soil. The 5 pups in the bedroom in the ice cream pail are slowly getting their roots set in the soil. The 3 pups that are in the kind of long planter pot are slowly getting their roots set in the soil. However, the 1 pup that is in the kind of deep pot on my desk hasn’t really set its roots at all. If I gently tug up on it, it pulls up very easily. Shouldn’t it be setting its roots into the soil?? I have watered all the pups well after I planted them. And have been making sure to water them all at least once a week. I know on this page it says to water them well and then wait 3 weeks before watering them again. And also to let the soil dry out between watering. Is this what I should be doing with them all?? Let the soil dry out before watering again? If anyone out there can offer up some answers to my questions, that would be appreciated. Thanks much.

    • Nan says:

      Yes, Brian- let them dry out. If you are worried about them, boil some water on the stove to make the area steamy… or you can spritz them with clean water that has sat at room temp for over 24 hours to wash them down lightly. They are succulents, and get their moisture mostly from the air. If you mist them, don’t let them get cold. Keep the room kinda warm. The soil will make them rot if it is constantly kept wet. Good luck!

    • george says:

      it will not grow any roots if you keep slightly lifting your plant if you leave it, it will grow small roots after 2-3 weeks but dont over water it or you will drown it.

  30. Melissa says:

    My aloe plant is growing out of the pot. How do u repot a baby from the mother plant. I currently have it in water, will it survive in it or do I need to put it on soil??

    • Brian says:

      Hi Melissa,

      I have re-potted baby aloe’s a few times already. My mother plant gave off like 9 baby plants. All you have to do is just fill a small with a good soil. I use Miracle Grow Potting Soil but not entirely sure myself if its a good kind to use or not. But anyway, once you have soil in the pot, just dig a little hole with your fingers and then place the plant inside the hole. Then fill in the hole with soil around the plant. Then make sure to water it. That is all that I do. I would recommend planting it in soil. I hope this helps.

      • Brian says:

        “All you have to do is just fill a small with a good soil.” I meant to say: All you have to do is just fill a small pot with a good soil. Sorry for the error.

  31. chris derk says:

    if i cut a leaf off the aloe plant and stick it in some soil will it regrow??? (not a pup like if i cut one off)

    thx chris..

  32. angeleen says:

    i have a nice plant from a grocery store and its growing out of its pot i’d like to repot but scared it’ll die, any advice? And also i like the idea of giving out pups to family and friends any advice on that also? thanks

  33. Nolan says:

    I bought an Aloe Vera plant yesterday, since I work with the Boy Scouts for my Summer job I will be putting my plant to good use thanks to these tips. I may need to use a few more websites for my plant to keep it healthy.

  34. Shannon says:

    I just added a little bit of soil to my aloe plant, watered its and left its outside for a couple days now its wilted and I dont know what to do about it. Its was a very healthy plant. Any tips? :(

  35. nitin says:

    Hi,

    I need to know how to preserve Aloevera jel. Kindly suggest

  36. Bob says:

    Nobody should use chemical fertilizers. They don’t supply adequate nutrition and they also have toxic heavy metals in them (I’m serious, look it up). Use organics like liquid fish (without chlorine in it) and kelp, or better yet sea solids. Sea solids are what remains when ocean water is evaporated. They contain ALL of the minerals in the sea (90+ minerals) and they are the best single fertilizer in my opinion. Sea solids also make plants more resistant to freezes and diseases. Look up Dr. Maynard Murray’s research and Acres USA magazine. Acres has over a hundred articles on their website about organic gardening, health and nutrition, etc., that you can read for free, just click on the Toolbox button at the top right.

    From what I’ve read about aloes you can’t plant a leaf and grow another plant, but some people claim that they have done it. Aloes are a very powerful medicinal plants, not just for scrapes and burns either. They have proven to be very helpful with cancer and AIDS patients. The gel must be properly stabilized to be effective, but I think fresh from the plant is the best. The aloe sold in the supermarkets and pharamacies, and even in health food stores, isn’t anything like the aloe that you can get fresh from the plant. Again, organically grown aloe will certainly be more potent.

  37. rishard says:

    HOW AND WHAERE CAN I GET THE ALOE PLANT?? OR THE SEEDS TO GROW ONE??
    HOW DO TRANS PLANT IT?? FROM SEED OR OTHER???

  38. karen says:

    I have 2 aloes that were planted pups. I have now had them for about 4 years. They are out on my patio now in giant pots and get semi-shade. I am in S. CA, very hot and dry.
    Both of these aloes are now at least 3-4 feet across and about 4 feet tall. They are absolutely HUGE and HEAVY. Every year in the spring they bloom, tall stems with yellow “flowers”. Each year spring they get more stems shooting up with more flowers, this spring they each got 4- 3 ft. tall blooms.
    The only thing I ever do with them is cut off the so called leaves that threaten to break the pots, and some older giant leaves.
    They tolerate the rainy season here, last winter we got huge amounts of rain and they seem to have thrived from that.
    My secret to growing them this huge is to otherwise ignore them. I have not fertilized them. I water when the leaves start get soft and lose their firmness. That is the best way to tell when they need water.
    Every spring I look forward to the blooms. The hummingbirds love them.
    So my answer to luck with these is “ignore.”

  39. Kathe says:

    one of my aloe plants has a hard curly growth coming from the edges or centers of some of the leaves. The plant seems helthy and only 1 plant has this. Does anyone know what this is and if it is harmful?
    Thanks

  40. lynn says:

    hi.. i want to know if i can put the aloe plant in water instead of sand till i get some sand .. i got it from my friend she gave it to me unpotted cuz i was gonna travel .. is it okay if it passes through the x-ray ?? or it will harm if i use it afterwards ?

  41. Trish says:

    Three big pots of aloe vera were outside when it snowed and froze a few days ago – will they make it?

  42. Cathy Owens says:

    After doing all the “right” things Aloe websites say to do and almost killing my plant many times, I put her in a bigger pot in my south facing kitchen window. Oh my! She has filled the pot with pups twice this year, up to 2 dozen at a time! Now, I have a question I haven’t seen asked here – she appears to be beginning to bloom! Over a foot tall with another coming. Looks a little like asparagus. Any more information you can give me would be appreciated. What should I expect now?

  43. susan says:

    hello i bought 2 plants t a yard sale and was told i could use them to grow others
    how do i do this,,,

  44. kels says:

    Hi I’m sending off for aloe vera seeds. As in the uk the weather is very changeable I will be growing the plant in the house for some time. My question is I’m totally new to this I’m using the tables and just started taking the drink. But thought growing the plant would be the next step.Could someone advise me on how to grow from seed plse

  45. Lesley Zelmer says:

    Can someone tell me what to do with the 2 ft stalk that is growing out of the center of my aloe vera plant?

  46. Jennifer says:

    My kids broke a lot of my leaves on my new aloe vera plant. Is there anyway to save it?

  47. Dean Clemens says:

    I HAVE AN ALOE PLANT THAT IS GROWING OUT OF IT’S POT, wHAT TIME OF YEAR SHOULD I TRANS PLANT THIS PLANT? I live in the central valley in California.Zone # 9
    The plant is growing a long sprout out of the center, Looks like it might have flowers soon.( Looks like my cap lock was on when i stared this.)What color will the flowers be? I have never seen this before and i’m looking forward to when it does flower.The plant is out side in a two gal. pot.

  48. James says:

    I have a huge Aloe in my bedroom. Last year I was getting ready to repot it and it tipped over, falling on the floor and spilling a lot of dirt. I immediately repotted it, but the spine was crooked and leaning to one side. For a while a number of the leaves withered and fell off and I was afraid it was going to die. It was down to about four healthy leaves, but then it came back and now has many healthy leaves and is sprouting babies like crazy.

    Whenever I harvest the babies, they often wither and die, or several leaves so before they come back. It seems like most of the plant turns mushy and rots, yet eventually the “good” leaves prevail and usually it grows into a healthy plant. it has continued to grow and is now bigger than ever,

    My problem is that I think I let the pups grow too much before I harvest them, and when I try to dig them out I find that the roots have entangled with the mother’s root. If I try to seperate them, sometimes I the pups will die shortly after replanting and sometimes both the mother and pups will die. I think (but I don’t know) that this is from letting the pups get too big before repotting. Anyway, I need to get the pups off my big plant before they harm it, but I’m afraid I may harm one or both in the process. Can anybody tell me the best way to remove the pups?

  49. Nicole says:

    Agh James I just answered your question but Safari crashed! Here we go again… Let them get a few inches high before removing them. Waiting awhile will have them steal nutrients from the mother. Do not water when you replant them. The leaves are soggy because they are getting TOO much water. The pups may get brown, but not wither, which is normal. However, if you suspect they are brown from too much direct sunlight, move them to an indirect spot and spray with some water. Note, spray not water. Water them 2-3 weeks after repotting them.

    I have a few questions. Well established aloes won’t take nutrients from each other will they? I have 3 in a long rectangular plastic pot. The aloes are 7-8 high, unrelated (not clones or mothers/daughters) and 5in apart from each other. It is normal potting soil will some sand and part of an orange peel (help them get nutrients they lacked from lowe’s soil).

    How do I get rid of brown spots? I know it is from a disease they had before. Can I slice them off (the spots) and will the plant heal with green skin? I have a cut in a leaf (the leaf isn’t cut off but just has a small cut in it) from accidentally nipping it with a knife. Will this heal? I know leaves that are cut off won’t heal.

    Why are the very tips of my aloes squishy? It’s not mushy, just a little bit soft. It is only on the middle one and only two out of seven leaves had it. I don’t think it is too much water, but is it? They accidentally got broken off but the leaves were closed at the end they broke off from. Like when they got taken off, the new tip where the old one came off from, is closed. It did not close overnight but it was like that. I don’t think that will grow now. I will try and answer your questions too!

  50. gloria says:

    I’ve just been given a baby plant from a friend and have no idea where to store it or how many times to water it. Help

  51. fortue ma says:

    So does aleo vera plant contain amino acids naturally ?

  52. Pat Glenn says:

    I have used fresh Aloe gel on poison ivy and it worked like a miracle !!

  53. Lisa says:

    Why is it that the leaves “closest to the ground…are the most mature and most potent.”??
    Wouldn’t the tallest ones be the oldest and thus the most mature?

    • Carole De says:

      The leaves closest to the ground are the oldest and probably the biggest. They have had time to mature. As a plant grows up from the roots, the newest leaves are on top. If you harvest leaves for a burn, use the oldest bottom ones first. I hope this helps you.

  54. Roy Lent says:

    Here in Costa Rica I have seen and had big Aloe vera plants, in the ground, full sun, lots of rain and they just keep on growing. Mature Aloe vera plants have plain gray-green leaves, not bright green and no light green blotches. Many people have other Aloe plants and think they have Aloe vera. Aloe vera pups do have light green blotches on their leaves but old plants have very uninspired gray-green leaves.

  55. Roy Lent says:

    By the way, the plant pictured at the beginning of this artcle does not look like a typical Aloe vera plant. The leaves are much too short and too bright a green.

  56. vonetta says:

    thanks i have several differnt aloe plants and have been having trouble finding pictures and info online about the ones i have. I now have a better understanding about this aloe plant, thanks again.

  57. jan says:

    since I do not have sand on hand to re-pot my aloe vera plant….is it possible to use non-deodorized cat litter or mulch

  58. Fl Strom Orphan says:

    Aloe is not the prettiest plant in the garden but its benefits are priceless. I live in central Florida, have three vigorous patches of aloe growing in my yard started from cuttings just stuck in the sand. Here the plant seems to thrive on neglect. Mine only get rain water, no fertilizer and grow under my oak trees where there is a thin layer of fallen leaves. They produce enough vegetation for me to share with friends.

    I am 70 and eat one leaf daily. It gives me energy and reduces swelling and pain from arthritis. The leaves I harvest are about 12 to 18 inches long. I cut sections about an inch each. Cut off the ‘thorns’ on one side slice down the middle spread the leaf open and scrape the gel off with my teeth. Just consider the plant has similar benefits inside and outside your body. BTW stick the tip of the plant in the ground for another plant you can share.

    OK people complain it is slimy like mucous. Well yes but that is an illusion so shatter it! The benefits are worth this slight undesirable perception. The taste is slightly bitter but if you can’t tolerate the texture and taste go ahead don’t be lazy and scrape the gel from the plant with a spoon and mix it with juice. The benefits are worth it and far less costly than pharmaceuticals. Fresh from the garden always delivers the most benefit.

    Familiarize yourself with any possible side effects. Diabetics should be cautious and maybe some who suffer from other health problems. You are the best judge of what you need as you are most familiar with your diet and symptoms. We must all take responsibility for our own health.

    • marie says:

      this is new,i never heard before.

    • Dianne says:

      Thanks for this, I have a few plants and to b honest apart from the occasional water and finding the right spot, I do nothing else. I have heaps growing. I have health probs and I just want to make sure that I am eating the right part of the plant. I have read that eating the yellow part of the sap is not good. So do you just eat about an inch of a leaf a day for your arthritis then?
      Dianne

  59. Carole De says:

    My mother plant is very old and belonged to my boyfriend’s grandma. We would like to save it if we can, rather than just the new pups. It has a long bare spot in the middle and I would like to know if I just cut it off and plant it, will it grow? It has been very neglected for a few years and has a twist in its spine where it had to grow around another potted plant in the same window. Also, if we cut off a mature leaf to use on a burn, can we save it by putting that same leaf back into the soil directly? We are very attached to this plant because his grandma has been gone a long time and we don’t want to lose the mama.

  60. Stephanie says:

    I took my mother’s large aloe plant when she passed away, and I certainly do NOT have the same green thumb she had. I need some advice on how to care for it because I will be devastated if it dies. I’m pretty clear on the sunlight and watering aspects, its growth is my main priority. The plant is in a very large pot (not the correct type I have learned here), and it is about 2 1/2 feet tall. However, the lower leaves had been removed and now the plant is very top heavy. So much so that even after I put stakes in it and tried to tie it up, the weight is still pulling it over and now it hangs crooked. There are also several smaller baby aloe plants growing in the pot along with it. Do I need to repot it? I’m really at a loss as to what to do with it. Any advice would be tremendously appreciated. Thank you in advance!

  61. marie says:

    u can repot in a bigger one,or better if you have a place in the ground like garden.

  62. Helen Willis says:

    In some of the posts, I’ve noticed that writers allude to using aloe for burns. Aloe is good for many abrasions. My skin tears easily, and my fingertips are often painful, but aloe clears it up in a couple of days. This is very helpful because I’m a diabetic.

  63. sherry says:

    hi
    here in England i am keeping my aloe inside its had alot of babies it was dying so i decided to repot adding some sand to ordinary compost but they are all squishy and falling to bits
    what should i do???
    sherry

  64. Irene says:

    My aloe vera is quite large and outgrowing it’s pot. However, it has now decided to grow a “flower”. This flower is growing so fast and is already over two feet tall. I have asked friends about it and they say that they have never heard of them flowering. It is green like an ear of corn and doesn’t seem to have colour (except green). What do I do with it?

  65. christine says:

    Hello I hope someone can help me out im trying to figure out what this strange stock is thats growing out of the center of my mother aloe it looks a bit like an artichoke at the end of a long thick stem I have several aloe that are years old and have never seen this!

  66. glad says:

    i have brown and yellow patches at the base of my bottom leaves on my aloe vera it has been in a cold dry concervatory over winter as i have been away ,could someone help

  67. barb Lang says:

    Do any of you who plant the aloe vera outside have any trouble with deer coming up to eat it? This would be in southwest Colorado, in the rural countryside

  68. Sharon says:

    My neighbor gave me a mature, outdoor aloe vera plant which was root-bound. I separated the pups growing alongside the mother plant and transferred them to another pot. I put the mother plant in a much larger pot in cactus soil. While the pups are now indoors, the mother plant remains outside.

    I live in Houston, Texas, which is great for aloes, but the plant’s exposure to the Texas sun has browned the leaves at its tips. As I write this, there is no shade available in the back yard, so I am wondering if misting the leaves on a daily or regular basis would help alleviate this problem.

    The mother plant also sprouted flowers, which have since blossomed and dried out. Is there anything that should be down with this growth now that the blossoms are gone? Will the stem produce more flowers or it this something that should be cut away?

    Will greatly appreciate any input.

    Sharon

  69. Doug says:

    How many leaves should I cut out at one time

  70. Gregory says:

    Too bad the photo is NOT Aloe vera. There are two varieties of Aloe vera commonly grown and they are quite different – leading to many diferences in response to direct sun as well as pupping. The more common one has light green spotted leaves and pups like crazy. The other has larger, more gray-green leaves, is much more sun tolerant and pups much less. Aloe vera ‘Barbadensis’ refers to one of these but the two names seem to be used indescriminately. I don’t know which is which.

  71. Tammy says:

    I have a large Aloe Vera plant that was given to me by a friend about 4 years ago. Last year it made about 8 pups. I removed all the pups, and repotted the mother with new MG cactus potting mix back in the same pot. The largest of the pups, I took indoors and planted it in MG Cactus potting mix. It has grown considerably and the leaves are very plump but I will wait another 4 years before I begin to harvest

  72. Anna Gail says:

    Hi All!

    I am from Ireland and they dont sell aloe vera stems in healthshops or supermarkets (for consumption) around here. So, I bought my own aloe plant recently from my local garden shop. I bought two big ones and two baby ones. The baby ones to grow. And the big ones to consume — Until i read the label that came with the plant that says “not suitable for consumption” !!!!!! I was sooooo gutted as this is the main reason i got the plant….to consume them (i suffer from arthritis and aloe vera has very potent anti-inflammatory properties).

    I asked the sales assistant about the label warning and he reassured me that the label was just a “collective european requirement” to warn people about plants in general. When it’s clearly stated on the label that the plant has medicinal purpose and so on….it clearly suggested that it was referring to the aloe plant. So i’m a bit sceptical. Unless they used pesticides or for whatever reason that the plant is deemed not safe to eat but is okey for use expternally.

    My question is, am I crazy to be consuming this plant? (As i am at the moment) Or will i be okey….

    Any opinion would be greatly appreciated.

  73. Anna says:

    Hi,

    I see there are varying types of Aloe plant. Are they all useful for health or should I be looking for one specific type?

    Thanks,

    Anna

  74. Suzy says:

    Help! I have a 10+ year old aloe I call “Momma.” She was very tiny when we bought her and she is huge now and I get anywhere from 27-30 pups off of her yearly. I’m into the stages now where her grandpups are having pups.

    My question is this — I’ve recently noticed that a few of my aloe “babies” 12″ high or more — and Momma now have pups coming out the sides of the main plant stalk — between the existing stems. Is this going to hurt Momma? She means the world to me and I want to do what’s best for her.

    Any suggestions or recommendations?

  75. Jean says:

    I bought an Aloe Vera plant back from Lanzarote this year, planted it up and it seems to be surviving ok. The only thing is I’ve noticed that it secretes a sort of sticky liquid…. is this normal.

  76. dorie says:

    Someone told me the aloe does wonders fo the face so i went and bought the plant to grow in my garden.Now my question is when can i start using it because the plant is still rather small..Need your advice please

  77. Wayne Murrow says:

    Our large plant has sent up a two foot stem and has blooms on the top. It has never done that before. Is it no0rmal?


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