There are over 600 kinds of aloe vera that are growing all over the globe. While all are beautiful, however, there are a few toxic varieties. Therefore, before you remove the leaf and apply it to your skin, ensure that it’s a safe species of aloe vera. True aloe vera is a topically medicinal plant used to soothe the skin. It is easy to identify the edible version through its leaves. It is green, with a dusty greyish blue color, growing straight upwards, surrounded by dense, pointed leaves with spikes running along the edges. Aren’t you sure of the kind of aloe vera plants you bring into your home? This guide will help you to learn how to identify medicinal aloe vera plant.
What is aloe vera
Aloe vera could resemble a cactus. However, taxonomically, it’s a member of the Asphodelaceae family and not the Cactus family. While the botanical designation is A. vera, there are many synonyms for this evergreen plant: A. barbadensis, A. indica, A. elongata, and many more. Other commonly used names include the primary aid plants, the burn aloe and the true aloe. The word “aloe” comes from its Arabic word allow, which translates to “shining bitter substance,” and the Latin word vera translates to “true.” Large leaves, up to 39 inches long, develop from a small stem.
The leaves are bright green and speckled as they grow and have sharp edges. The flowers are greenish-yellow and grow from the central spike, which extends up to 35 inches and can only bloom if you plant the aloe outside. The leaves comprise three major components that comprise the outside”green “rind” or skin, an outer layer of latex and mesophyll called”the “gel.” This gel holds water that allows the plant to photosynthesize in drought conditions. Made up of 99.9% water and a range of amino acids and minerals, enzymes, lipids and vitamins and anti-inflammatory hormones. Aloe vera gel widely use in traditional and natural healing methods across the globe.
What is aloe plant considered to be medicinal
The most commonly used sort of aloe kept in the house is also the one with medicinal properties. It’s easy to identify as you come across it, but it has many different names.
Aloe vera medicinally is known as:
- Aloe barbandensis
- Barbandensis Aloe vera var
- Aloe vera barbandensis Miller
- Barbados aloe
- True aloe
- True aloe vera
Nowadays, people call aloe plant aloe vera. It is available across the globe from markets to plant shops – and even supermarkets offer the long leaves.
How to identify medicinal aloe vera plant
Learn to identify medicinal aloe vera plant by searching at these traits:
- Thin pointed leaves that taper towards their tips
- Small spikes are found along the leaf’s edge
- The leaves grow mostly vertically, with the outer leaves bent slightly
- New leaves sprout from the middle of the plant
- Fresh leaves show greyish-white spots, whereas older leaves have unmarked
- The leaf color is green, with the appearance of blue-grey dust.
- Flowers that spout out in yellow
Many aloe plants have the same appearance as leaves, so it is crucial to look for all the above features. A missing identifier could signify that you’ve got another aloe plant to be concerned about.
- It is crucial to select the appropriate container. Terra-cotta pots or similar porous material is recommended. It will permit the soil to completely dry between waterings and be sturdy enough to stop the plant from falling over. A glass or plastic pot can also be used, but they’ll hold more water.
- When choosing a container, ensure that you select one with at least one drainage hole on the bottom. This is crucial since the hole will allow the excess water to drain. Aloe vera plants are tough. However, the absence of drainage is a cause of Wilting and rot, which is the leading reason for death in the plant.
- Choose a container that is roughly the same width as it is profound. If your plant’s aloe has an elongated stem, select an aloe container deep enough to plant the entire stem beneath the soil.
- Plants of aloe vera are succulents; therefore, you must use a well-draining pot mix, like the ones made for cacti or succulents. Avoid using garden soil. The ideal combination will contain perlite or lava rock, pieces of bark, and all three.
- A layer of clay, gravel balls, or some alternative “drainage” material in the bottom of the pot isn’t required. It is only a way to take up the space that roots could otherwise utilize. A drainage hole can be enough to drain!
How to grow
When you purchase plants from the nursery or even propagate them from a puppy, you can make sure it grows into a long-lasting and healthy plant with the proper care. If you’re planning to grow aloe vera as a plant for the home, be sure to transplant it into an 812 to 12-inch pot to allow it to spread out more. Be aware that plastic pots are fine, and terra cotta can be perfect due to its porous clay that lets the soil dry out faster so that it doesn’t get wet. A larger pot will also aid in keeping the heavy leaves from tipping the pot over.
It is essential to ensure that the container you choose to use has enough drainage holes at the bottom since succulents cannot withstand wet feet. Use potting mixes specifically designed for succulents and cacti. It will ensure enough drainage and avoid excessive saturation, which could cause root rot. Do not use regular potting mix for your houseplants or garden soil as it is too heavy and will hold excessive moisture. Aloe plants thrive indoors in a light and sunny spot. That is south-facing, or west-facing window would be the best alternative. In the summer, when the plant begins to show red or brown patches on the leaves, this indicates exposure to too much sunlight.
The absence of sufficient sunlight will weaken the plant, causing the leaves to become pale. They might appear “leggy” and elongated as they try to extend toward their light source. Find plants in temperatures between 55 and 80 degrees, and in the summer, you can bring the pot outside. Just remember to bring it inside at night when the temperature expected to fall to below 50degF. When it comes to watering, as far as this is concerned, you should water thoroughly when the top 2 inches of the potting medium are totally dry in the summertime. In winter, let the top 3 inches dry before you require another drink. Water is at the bottom of the plant, at the soil level.
Click here to know about how long aloe vera take to grow
How to care to maintain the Aloe Vera Plant
- Light: Place in bright indirect sunlight or artificial light. A southern or western window is the best. Aloes that are kept in dim light can become sagging.
- Temperature: Aloe vera thrives at temperatures between 55 and 80 degF (13 and 27 degC). The temperature of the majority of houses and apartments is suitable. From May until September, you can take your plant outside without problems. However, you must bring it inside in the evening if the temperatures drop.
- Fertilizing: It recommends fertilizing in a controlled manner (no more than twice a month) but only in the summer and spring with an equilibrating houseplant formula mixed at half strength.
- Repotting: Rootbound. According to the directions that are within “Planting” above, the report.
Although you can grow aloe seed from seeds, the process is lengthy and can be a little tricky. The most efficient method to propagate it is to eliminate and transplant offsets of established plants. Fortunately, aloe makes the propagation process a breeze since it spreads through the growth of offsets, commonly referred to as “pups,” that essentially offer you an utterly new plant once you remove them from to plant.
Propagating aloe through pups
Pups are plants that are clones of their parent which grow in an offset to the original plant’s stem or roots. They rely on the water supply of the parent plant and nutrients until their own hearts can fully support them.
It is easy to identify medicinal aloe vera plant simply by looking at their leaves’ shape and color. Broad greyish-green leaves with tiny spikes at their edges grow mostly vertically. Beware of the very similar variety, the aloe vera variety. Chinensis that, unlike aloe vera, isn’t edible. There are also harmful varieties; avoid using the gel unless confident that it is the most secure form made from aloe vera.