Aloe vera at home

Aloe vera at home

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Aloe vera at home

Aloe vera is a beautiful succulent plant: it is liked for its vigorous growth, for its autonomy and for its very attractive blue-green leaves. It comes from the tropics and therefore adapts quite easily to apartment living. This provided you offer it the right exposure and suitable temperatures at any time of the year.

Aloe vera is a succulent that can reach 60 cm in height and develop indefinitely in width (thanks to the abundant production of suckers). It is very decorative not only for the large leaves, but also for the flowering stems, more than a meter high, which it produces in mid-summer.

Cultivation of aloe

The ideal location for aloes, as for all succulent plants, is certainly outdoors. In fact, in order to have good vegetative growth, they require extremely bright and warm exposure. However, with some precautions, cultivation is also possible indoors. Here are some tips to be successful.

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Aloe display

Aloe grown in the apartment should always be kept in very bright rooms. We recommend a room facing south or, better yet, a heated stairwell that has a large French door. Undoubtedly, the light must be abundant during the summer, although it is good to avoid it being concentrated by the windows. In the summer months (from June to the end of August), and especially in the afternoon, we make use of a light tent. In this way we will avoid the appearance of harmful and unsightly leaf burns.

Aloe vera in winter

In some places it is possible that, during the winter period, temperatures drop below 16 ° C for most of the day. In this case we recommend moving the plant to a slightly less bright area in order to induce a slight vegetative rest.

Ideal temperatures for aloe

Aloe hardly have problems with high temperatures: the ideal range is 18-25 ° C, but if the thermometer rises above 30 ° C it will be sufficient to adjust the irrigations.

Instead, attention must be paid when the thermometer drops below 15 ° C: the plant will certainly enter vegetative rest. However, we must begin to fear only when we approach 7 ° C, a critical threshold for aloes: in apartments, especially in inhabited areas, it is quite difficult for this to happen.

Substrate and repotting of aloe

Repotting for these succulents is recommended every year, given their growth in width. We can decide from time to time whether to simply switch to a larger container (maximum 4 cm more) or divide the mother plant from the suckers, changing only the substrate. Adult plants (with pots over 50 cm in diameter) slow down growth and interventions can therefore be delayed.

As a substrate we recommend a specific product for succulents. However, the ideal is to create an equal mix of soil for green plants and coarse sand (sand and perlite), then adding a little bit of field earth.

It is important to create a thick draining layer on the bottom.

We recommend not too deep, but wide, to allow the development in width typical of this species.

Aloe irrigation and watering

Irrigation is one of the key points for the successful cultivation of succulents. From spring to autumn, the administration must be light but frequent. It is not possible to give a precise rate because the water needs depend on many factors such as temperature, lighting and ambient humidity. The only reliable method is to ascertain the moisture level of the soil: insert a finger at least 5 cm deep and administer water only if it is completely dry.

In winter the distributions must be further diluted, especially if the temperature in the house is below 18 ° C. Generally it is not necessary to give water more than once a month: it is only good to make sure that the ground bread does not dry completely.

Aloe fertilization

Fertilization is only necessary from spring to early autumn. We can opt for a specific product for cacti, following the instructions given. Alternatively, liquid products for green plants are also good, to be administered every two months, halving the doses indicated on the label.

Pests and diseases of aloe

Aloe kept in apartments are more subject to attack by parasites than others.

The most frequent is undoubtedly the scudetto cochineal. If the attack is light, we can eliminate it manually. However, if we see that the problem recurs cyclically (and maybe the roots are also attacked) it is advisable to make use of systemic insecticides given by irrigation (good ones in tablets or granules) combined with a distribution of white oil on the aerial parts (keeping to lower doses).

In very dry environments, red spider mites can also occur: we increase the ambient humidity and eventually use specific products.

Watch the video

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