An aloe plant is one of those plants that you love to have around. Besides being nice to look at, it has an important function that will make you feel that no home should be without one.
What Is an Aloe Plant?
Native to the Arabian Peninsula, in the south-west area, the Aloe Vera plant is a succulent that grows wild in climates that are tropical.
They have a distinguished look because their tall spiky leaves are filled with a gel and they stand straight up whether they are growing in a flower bed, in your garden, or in a pretty pot inside your home.
It takes very little care to keep your Aloe plant happy and healthy. Aloe does best in indirect sunlight that is bright but it can still flourish indoors under artificial light. It enjoys temperatures that range between 55 and 80 degrees F. Not too hot and not too cold.
When you water this plant, make sure you water it deeply but you don’t have to water them a lot. They can go for about three weeks between watering and need even less watering during the winter months.
Why Is My Aloe Plant Turning Brown?
With the Aloe plant requiring so little care, why is your plant suddenly turning brown? One of the main reasons could be the amount of water it is getting.
Here is where this plant becomes a little bit like Goldilocks – it could be turning brown from too much water or from too little water. It needs it to be just right.
If the leaves on your plant are puckered and are turning color, your plant is probably too dry. The leaves should be full and a nice glossy green color. The best way to resolve this issue is to repot your plant.
When you remove your plant from the pot it is in, make sure to check the roots and remove any rotted areas if you find any.
If you fertilize your Aloe plant, it may have too much fertilizer in it which would mean it has too much salt in the soil. This could also be the reason the leaves are turning brown.
It is suggested that you leach the plant to remove the excess salt from the soil. Bring the plant in a location where you can pour a lot of water in the pot. You can either bring it in the bathroom, the kitchen sink or outside.
Bring a container that can hold more than the usual amount of water, so if you water your pot about a half-gallon of water, fill a one-gallon container of warm water and let it run through the potted plant. The water will run through and bring the salt with it.
If your aloe plant is planted directly in the ground, follow these instructions on how to neutralize the salt in soil.
Your Aloe plant should only be fertilized once a month. Feed it fertilizer at half the strength, so the diluted amount will not hurt it at all.
What Are the Health Benefits of an Aloe Plant?
It is suggested that if you are going to keep your Aloe Vera plant inside, one of the places you might want to keep it is in or near your kitchen.
If you suffer from a burn while cooking or baking, simply break off a leaf from your Aloe Vera plant and apply the gel from the leaf. It will be clear but a little thick and gooey. But it will give you instant relief from your burn.
It is able to effectively heal first and second-degree burns.
Besides an actual burn from the kitchen, many people use the Aloe Vera gel to soothe the burning and itching that comes from too much exposure to the sun.
If you find that you stayed out a little too long in the sun, you may not feel anything at first but don’t be surprised if your skin turns bright red, becomes hot to the touch, and begins to itch or become sore.
They sell Aloe Vera gel in pharmacies and medical sections of grocery stores and it will help soothe your sunburn right away. It is always easier to just break off a leaf from your plant and squeeze the gel right on your burn.
While the health benefits of Aloe Vera are proven, it is important that you do not ingest the latex layer of the plant. The gel and skins can be eaten safely if prepared correctly, but watch out for the latex layer that lies in between these two parts.
You should keep your pets away from this plant as it is toxic to dogs and cats.
Aloe isn’t the only plant with medicinal properties, for more information see my article on The Many Ways Plants Are Useful to Us.
How Do You Repot Your Aloe Vera Plant?
When your plant gets to the point where it needs to be repotted, what do you need to do? Here are a few tips to make the transition easy on your Aloe Vera plant.
- Look for a terra-cotta pot for your plant. The Aloe Vera needs a container that is porous rather than one that will let water build up and sit at the bottom.
- Make sure the pot has a drainage hole at the bottom so the water has a place where it can run out.
- Look for a pot that is deep and wide enough so the stem can be covered in soil.
- When choosing a base for your plant, look for a porous kind that is used for succulents and cactus plants. You will need a potting mix rather than potting soil. This plant will flourish with a mix that consists of lava rock, perlite, and coarse sand.
- You do not have to put any materials on the bottom of the pot, the drainage hole will do its job.
- An extra tip: Put a light dusting of a powdered rooting hormone on the stem of the plant. You can find this in any garden center. It will help encourage the roots to spread and grow.
There are 26 different versions of the Aloe Vera plant, each one with its own unique personality. A quick tip: If you are looking to get a gift for a person in your life who loves to cook, pick up a sweet Aloe Vera plant they can keep in their kitchen.
Even the best cooks get burned every once in a while!
Growing up with a mom who filled her home (inside and out) with all sorts of plants, Lisa got her start in gardening at a young age. Living now on her own with a home and yard full of plants (including an indoor greenhouse), she shares all the gardening tips she’s gained over the years.