Growing aloe vera is something that can be very helpful. You’re likely growing it because you want to be able to use it for its useful properties.
Often, you’ll find aloe vera is used as an ingredient in skincare products. It also has some interesting medicinal uses such as being able to fight heartburn.
The usefulness of aloe vera is so great that many people have started growing it in their gardens. If you want to harvest it, then you’re going to need to cut it at some point.
You don’t want to have to kill the plant when you harvest it, though. Is there a way to harvest aloe vera without killing it?
Continue reading to learn about harvesting aloe vera. You’ll be able to determine how to harvest it in the safest way possible so that you can keep enjoying your plant.
Ensure That You’re Using a Sharp Blade
The first thing to do is to focus on the blade that you’re using to harvest the aloe vera. If you try to harvest a plant with a dull blade, then it’s going to be more likely that you will damage it.
The best type of knife to use for cutting plants is a serrated blade. It should be very sharp so that you can make precise cuts without it being a big deal.
It’s also going to be imperative to sterilize the blade before and after using it. This can be done by rubbing alcohol on the blade before you go through with the harvesting process.
Sterilizing the blade won’t take that much time at all. It’s well worth doing because it reduces the chances that the plant will have issues such as fungal infections or diseases due to the cuts that you’re making.
If you don’t have a good blade for the job right now, then you’ll want to go out and get one. Thankfully, these knives aren’t that expensive.
Avoid Cutting the Plant More Than You Need to
You should try to avoid cutting the plant more than you need to. Understand that pruning an aloe vera plant is going to take away the nutrients that it needs.
This plant is capable of healing itself, but it’s going to need two or three days to do that after you’ve cut it. To protect the plant, you should try to only cut it when you need to while giving it time to heal between cuttings.
You shouldn’t have to prune an aloe vera plant too often, but it will be wise to remove dried or discolored leaves. Snipping those away without harming healthy leaves will be very wise.
The leaves that you’ll want to remove for harvesting are the ones located on the outer sections of the plant. Thankfully, the extra outer leaves that you’ll see contain the most gel that people use in items such as skin care products.
When making these cuts, you’re going to want to cut as close to the base of the stem as you can. Making clean cuts will be better for the plant, and you shouldn’t kill it so long as you’re being careful.
It’s also worth noting that you should remove leaves starting with the bottom ones. Experts recommend going from the bottom to the top when cutting an aloe vera plant.
What Will Cause an Aloe Vera Plant to Die?
You’ve learned about how to do things the right way, but you should also understand the ramifications of doing things wrong. When you cut an aloe vera plant improperly, it’s going to put it in danger.
Essentially, making bad cuts will damage the plant, and this could cause it to die for different reasons. Bleeding the aloe vera is something that will weaken the plant over time, and this is why you need to make cuts at the right spot to avoid harming the plant too much.
Cutting an aloe vera plant too often won’t give it enough time to heal. If you’re not waiting long enough to harvest more leaves from the plant, then you’re doing things wrong.
Failing to sterilize your blade could potentially cause the plant to become diseased. Fungal and bacterial infections can occur when you don’t use rubbing alcohol to sterilize the blade before cutting the plant.
Thankfully, it’s easy to avoid making these mistakes that will endanger the life of the plant. You’ll be able to take a step back and do things the right way even if it takes slightly more time.
Knowing how to approach harvesting aloe vera will allow you to get good results. To get the job done right, it’s going to be necessary to use a sharp knife.
Ideally, you’ll want to use a sharp serrated knife that is meant for cutting plants. You’re also going to need to remember to sterilize the blade with alcohol before getting started so that you don’t cause the plant to get infected.
Making cuts as close to the base of the stem as you can is best. Also, you want to cut from the bottom to the top when harvesting aloe vera.
Be sure to take the extra outer leaves if possible since those won’t harm the plant as much. These leaves also contain the most gel that you can utilize in useful ways.
Allow the plant to heal before you take cuttings again. If you try to cut into the aloe vera plant too often, then you might wind up damaging it over time.
Hopefully, you’ll be able to continue making good choices so that you can keep enjoying your plant for many years. It’s also about approaching the harvesting process with respect and intelligence.
If you have friends who are also caring for aloe vera plants, then you should let them know what you learned. This will ensure that they can have an optimal experience as well.
These plants are great, and it makes sense that everyone wants to grow them. Knowing how to care for them and how to harvest leaves properly will make a huge difference by allowing them to keep the plants alive for longer periods of time.