Agave (aloe) is a plant that has been grown at home for more than one hundred years. These modest-looking plants could be found on the windowsill of every grandmother, who always called him “father”, and looked after the flower especially diligently, because aloe was not just a window decoration, but a healer, an assistant in the treatment of many ailments.
Today, aloe has not lost its popularity. It is used as a decorative element in the room, as well as for the preparation of a huge number of medicinal potions. It’s difficult to name a disease that this green doctor cannot cope with. They have long been treating skin diseases, suppuration, inflammatory and infectious diseases of internal organs. Growing the agave is often reminiscent of a multi-year ritual, because in order for the plant to become healing, it must reach an age of at least 4 years. The older the aloe, the more healing power is concentrated in it.
General description of the family
Aloe is a large family of tree, shrub, grassy succulents. A distinctive feature of these plants are the xiphoid fleshy leaf plates dotted along the edge with teeth, spikes or cilia. In nature, there are more than 400 species of agavediffering in some morphological characters. In home culture, the most common aloe tree.
The root system of plants of the Aloe family is represented by cord-like long roots of a yellowish color. There is no stem in some plant species, and some plants have a pronounced stem. Aloe blossom in nature once every few years, and in indoor conditions this resident of the desert regions rarely pleases with flowering.
Medicinal properties of aloe
Centennial is a source of juice, amazing in its healing power, which is used both in therapeutic and cosmetology practice. The leaves of the plant contain a unique phytocomplex, which has the properties to slow down and suppress cancer cells, bacteria and viruses. Also this the complex actively stimulates the process of regeneration of damaged tissues, positively affects the processes of self-healing of organs at the cellular level.
The use of juice from aloe leaves is justified in many diseases:
- with insufficient production of bile;
- with a reduced level of hemoglobin;
- with skin injuries of any origin, including eczema, burns, boils, and even skin cancer;
- with colds, viral and bacterial infections;
- with intestinal infections;
- with pulmonary diseases.
How to plant aloe
Official medicine uses aloe-based drugs to recover from chemotherapy and radiotherapy, with debilitating infections, and with immunodeficiency. Keeping such an amazing plant on your windowsill means providing yourself with a practically free, but very powerful cure for any disease.
Varieties and types of aloe
The most common in the culture are considered no more than 5 species of aloe. Almost all of them have healing properties (with very few exceptions). These plants quite successfully adapted to room conditions, and therefore few people think that in nature they are found exclusively in the desert regions of the African continent.
The most popular types of agave in culture:
|Folded aloe||A tree or shrub plant, which when grown in a greenhouse can reach a height of 3 meters. The xiphoid leaf plates, up to 20 cm in length, grow on stems in the form of a fan of 10-16 leaves. The diameter of the rosettes of this species can reach 60 cm. This species often blooms with beautiful tubular flowers|
|Aloe spinous||A plant with narrow and long leaf bends folded up into large rosettes with a diameter of about 80 cm. The color of the leaves is blue-green, with small colored spots intersecting the leaves in the horizontal direction|
|Aloe Awesome||A compact, undersized plant with a maximum height of 45 cm. The leaves are xiphoid, very thick, dotted with brownish-red spines along the edge. Blooms rarely, once every few years. Inflorescences in the form of an ear of red color|
|Aloe tree||The classic medicinal form for growing on window sills. Grows in the form of a branched shrub. The stems are straight, sometimes with a slight bend, dotted with transverse xiphoid leaves with teeth along the edges. At home, the view does not bloom|
|Variegated Aloe||The smallest type of indoor aloe, growing up to 30 cm in height. The leaves of this species are scaphoid, dark green, mottled with numerous strokes of a light shade of green. On the stem, the leaves of motley aloe are arranged in a spiral. With good care, it can bloom annually|
The only species of aloe that interested breeders was aloe variegata. Thanks to its amazing unpretentiousness and vitality, they were able to create several interesting hybrid varieties:
- Leafy - a variety with greenish-gray triangular leaves collected in a roundish rosette.
- Descuanas is a variety with a motley greenish-gray color of pointed triangular leaves.
- Chess - a variety with olive-green leaves covered with a checkerboard painting lighter in color along the upper plane of pointed leaves.
- Pearl - a variety with green pointed leaves, covered with light growths-beads on both sides.
Cultivation and care
Aloe is considered a relatively unpretentious plant, care for which can be carried out even by an inexperienced grower. All the conditions that are present in nature, where aloe grows, can be easily recreated in the home. Another advantage of this plant is its high ability to adapt to the existing temperature and illumination. This is especially distinguished by the appearance of a motley agave.
Lighting and temperature
Indices of illumination and temperature are priority when choosing a place for aloe. In nature, this culture prefers to grow in illuminated open areas, and therefore flower pots should be placed closer to the window on the south side. In the same time ages tolerate a shortage of light in winter. However, this does not mean that it can be put in a dark room for the entire autumn-winter period. Aloe just does not require additional illumination from the grower when the daylight becomes short.
In the summer, when the weather permits, aloe can be taken outside. Some species of agave can be planted in open ground to lower temperatures. At the same time, it is necessary to place it on the sunniest site, but make sure that the scorching sun's rays do not burn its leaves until the flower finally “takes root” in place.
The best temperature for aloe content is considered to be a range from 22 to 26 degrees. In winter, it is allowed to lower the temperature to 10 degrees (in a positive value).
Watering and humidification
In the summer, any kind of aloe should be watered abundantly, at least once a week. In this case, it is necessary to ensure that the soil lump is properly saturated with moisture. It is important that water can flow out through the drainage holes. A prerequisite is the lack of water in the pan. After watering, it must be drained without fail.
In the winter months, the interval between regular irrigation can be increased to 4 weeks. At the same time, the soil lump may completely dry out, but the plant should remain in a normal state, that is, not wither.
The water temperature for aloe vera irrigation must match the air temperature. To achieve this, you need to leave the water collected from the water supply for a day in the room where the agave grows. In addition to temperature equalization, sedimentation will allow you to get rid of some salts dissolved in tap water.
In summer, aloe responds positively to increased air humidity, however, it is worth remembering that falling drops of water on its leaves can cause burns or rotting of the plant. therefore it is recommended to spray water literally in the form of water dustwhile trying not to direct the jets at the flower. An easier way to make the air more humid is to place a moistened pebble bowl or decorative fountain next to the aloe.
Soil and fertilizer
Despite the fact that aloe grows in semi-desert hot regions, the substrate for its cultivation must be sufficiently fertile, but at the same time loose and breathable. Suitable for agave standard substrate for succulents, as well as a mixture of coarse sand, charcoal and expanded clay crumb, independently prepared from sod-clay and sheet soil.
During the period of active growth of aloe, it is recommended to increase the nutritional value of the soil due to top dressing with complex mineral fertilizers. This advice is relevant only for fairly adult plants (older than 3 years), while young ages can well do without fertilizing.
Agave transplant and reproduction
The best time for transplanting and propagating aloe is the entry into the phase of active growth, that is, in the spring. Young agave require annual pot replacement and soil renewal, as they need more space and nutrients to grow. Adult aloe need a transplant once every 3-4 years.
Aloe need to be transplanted carefully, without destroying the earthen coma. The procedure for transferring to a larger pot is most suitable for this crop.
In parallel with the transplant, you can do reproduction. For this, flowers are ideal, in which two stems have formed. During the transplant, you need to carefully separate the smaller plant, preferably with a part of the root system, and transplant it into a small pot with drainage. You can use the standard mixture for succulents.
If root processes have formed in the plant, you can carefully cut them from the mother plant and put in water for rooting. This method of propagation can be carried out at any time, even on those plants that are not yet ready for transplantation.
Those types of aloe that do not form radical rosettes and offspring can be propagated by leaf. To do this, adult leaves are cut from the plant and left for drying for a period of at least 24 hours. When the cut becomes completely dry, planting material is planted in pots with loose and moist soil mixture, consisting of sand and clay-humus substrate.
Possible growing problems
Despite the unpretentiousness and relatively simple requirements for care, aloe can be exposed to various diseases. All kinds of pests of indoor plants also like to attack him. The most common problems a florist faces when growing aloe:
|The pallor of leaves and their wilting||Excess moisture in the soil||Reduced watering, when rotting roots - transplanting with pruning of damaged roots|
|Yellowing and drying of the leaves||Excess chlorine in water, air pollution from tobacco smoke, lack of potassium||Watering with well-maintained water, frequent airing of the room, additional fertilizing with potash fertilizers|
|Slow growth||Too compact soil||Transplanting into light soil|
|Cessation of growth with drying of the stem||Root rot||Transplanting into a new pot with good drainage, pruning damaged roots, reducing watering|
|Wilting plants with whitish clumps present on shoots||Mealybug||Mechanical collection of the pest, treatment of plants with systemic insecticides or alcohol tinctures of garlic|
|Withering of individual shoots with the formation of single lentils of dark color on them||Shield||Mechanical removal of the pest with treatment with vinegar or an insecticide|
|Slowing growth, the formation of nodes on the roots||Root nematode||Removing damaged roots, thoroughly washing the root system of a plant in a solution of potassium permanganate, transplanting into calcined soil|
To avoid the described problems when growing aloe, it is enough to follow the recommendations on the agricultural technology of this plant, as well as examine it at least once a week for any damage. The flower will certainly respond to this with rapid growth and the formation of new and strong leaves that will be useful to those who use the advice of traditional medicine.