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Growing Aloe - Agave
Growing Aloe - Agave

Video: Growing Aloe - Agave

Video: Growing Aloe - Agave
Video: How to Grow Aloe Vera in Containers and Harvest Massive Leaves 2023, March

Read part 1. ← Types of aloe

Aloe tree, agave, sabur

Aloe tree
Aloe tree

Description of the plant

Aloe tree (Aloe arborescens) - translated means "patient under the scorching rays of the sun", "bitter".

Perennial succulent plant of the lily family. The leaves are juicy, greenish-gray with a thin, easily washable waxy coating; sessile on the stem, alternate, elongate-xiphoid, slightly grooved, slightly curved. Along the edges of the leaves are characteristic cartilaginous triangular thorns, often curled towards the top of the leaf.

The height of the plant in indoor culture is up to 70-80 cm, the length of the leaves is 15-40 cm. A branched bush with a lignified stem usually requires support, the more the single-stem form of the plant needs it. The roots are fibrous, long, air roots are formed on the stems.

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Origin and history of culture

The homeland of aloe is South and East Africa. In our country, it is best known as an indoor medicinal plant agave. (Agaves with powerful fleshy leaves with thorns are often called a century.) In indoor conditions, aloe blooms extremely rarely - there is little light and heat. A flowering plant can occasionally be seen in the greenhouses of botanical gardens in winter: red or orange tubular flowers are collected in a dense axillary race. At home, it blooms annually.

The healing properties of aloe were known more than 3 thousand years ago. Information about him is found in the writings of Cornelius Celsus (1st century AD), Pliny the Elder (23-79 AD). From the Gospel of John it is known that for the burial of Christ, a composition of myrrh (myrrh) and aloe "about a hundred liters" was used.

Aloe was found in the gardens of Arabia and Palestine more than two thousand years ago. The Romans also bred it in gardens. The juice was used to make incense. It was collected from cut leaves and dried to produce greenish-brown resin pieces called sabur. Due to the bitterness of the leaves, animals do not eat the succulent leaves of aloe.

From the leaves of some types of aloe, fibers were extracted for the manufacture of carpets and sea ropes. The ropes were light and strong; they served longer than hemp ropes under the influence of sea water.

One of the first types of aloe used for medicinal purposes was

aloe vera. In modern cosmetics, this type is actively used in creams, shampoos, balms, toners and other skin and hair care products.

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Growing tree aloe and caring for plants

Aloe tree
Aloe tree

In the rooms. Growing aloe in your room is easy. The main condition is a bright place, moderate watering in summer and rare in winter. The air temperature in the winter months should not be higher than + 12 … + 14 ° С. Warmer or colder content in winter and abundant watering lead to rotting of the plant.

At a soil temperature of + 10 ° C and below, the roots rot, especially in damp soil. For this reason, aloe rosettes are often easily removed from the ground, and the appearance of their leaves with a lost turgor becomes obviously painful. In this case, all damaged tissues, dead roots are cut off with a sharp knife and the sections are dried for 2-3 days in a cool place. Then the cuttings (rosettes) are planted in a moist sandy substrate or perlite for rooting.

Rooted plants are planted in a small bowl in a sandy-stony substrate mixed with garden soil, granules of long-acting complex fertilizer AVA are added to the soil to reduce frequent dressings with fast-acting fertilizers, and kept in a semi-dry substrate in a well-lit place. Since AVA does not contain nitrogen, from spring to autumn, plants are fed once every 2-3 weeks with a quick-acting complex fertilizer in a weak concentration (no more than 1 g per liter). In winter, these plants, as southerners, need additional lighting.

Propagate aloe tree, as a rule, vegetatively: rooting shoots in sand or water, as well as by cutting the stem. The stem is cut into pieces 10-15 cm long, the slices are dried in the air for 1-3 days, sprinkled with activated carbon powder and planted in clean washed sand or sandy soil mixture to a depth of 1-2 cm, tied to a peg - the cuttings are heavy. The cuttings are not sprayed, the sand is kept moist, shading is not required.

When the roots appear, young aloe plants are planted in small pots. As they grow, they need to be transshipped into larger containers. Good drainage is required at the bottom of the pot (a layer of 2-3 cm of expanded clay or broken shards, pieces of brick), since the roots rot from waterlogging and the plant dies.

Watering aloeextremely rare in winter, moderate in summer - as the substrate dries out. Stagnation of water in the sump is unacceptable both in summer and winter. It is undesirable for water to enter the leaf axils. Spraying is not required. From time to time, it is useful to bathe aloe under the shower while lying down - in order to avoid waterlogging of the leaf sinuses. At the same time, the pot is placed in a plastic bag so that dust and possible pests (mites, scabbards) do not fall into the ground. Scabbards rarely infect aloe, but if this happens, they are removed with a cotton swab dipped in a soap-alcohol solution.

The composition of the soil mixture: sod land, sheet, coarse sand or gravel (2: 1: 0.5) with the addition of small pieces of broken brick (expanded clay) and charcoal, granules of a long-acting complex fertilizer AVA.

For the summer, aloe can be taken outdoors and on the sunny side, providing protection from the wind. First, it is necessary to gradually accustom the plants to the air and the sun - like seedlings of flowers or vegetables.

It should be noted that the agricultural technology of all other types of aloe is similar to that of the aloe tree.

Collection, procurement and storage of raw materials

Preparation of medicinal raw materials of aloe tree consists in cutting off adult leaves (over three years old) at any time of the year, but it is more useful to do this in autumn, in October - November, and placing them in a paper bag for 25 days in a cold (+ 3 ° C) dark place (pantry, refrigerator).

The studies of Academician V. P. Filatov showed that to enhance the biological activity of the components of aloe juice, a similar exposure is required under conditions that are borderline for leaf life. At the end of the specified period, the leaves are washed well, rinsed with boiled water, dried, crushed and squeezed out through a sterile napkin.

For long-term storage, it is filtered, boiled for several minutes, cooled, poured into a dark bottle and 95% alcohol is added (for 80 ml of juice - 20 ml of alcohol). Insist in a cool place for two weeks.

Pharmacies sell ready-made aloe juice. Contraindications to the use of aloe are gastritis and peptic ulcer disease, therefore, a doctor's consultation is necessary before using the drugs.

Read part 3. Therapeutic use of aloe agave →

Elena Kuzmina,

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