Propagating Aloe Vera from a Mother Plant Successfully If you try to propagate aloe vera by immersing a cutting in water, it will most likely decompose before growing roots. In potting soil, the odds of the cutting roots aren't much better. Growing aloe vera from seed is a time-consuming and labor-intensive procedure. It's not for everyone!
Aloe vera is an evergreen plant that grows up to 2 meters tall. The leaves are thick and leathery with a glossy green color. They contain 10-20 mm long needle-like tips. Beneath the leaf skin is a white pulp with small red glands near the center. This is where the latex is produced. Latex is a clear fluid that can be found inside the leaf veins or on the surface of the leaf skin. It can be removed by washing the leaf with water and then drying it thoroughly.
Aloe vera has several uses including medicine, food, and crafts. It can be used as a vegetable or salad ingredient. The juice extracted from the leaves can be used as a wash for sunburned skin. The gel made from the liquid contains many nutrients such as vitamin C, fiber, iron, and calcium. You can make crafts with aloe vera plants too. See our craft tutorial here: http://wwwaging.org/aloe-vera-crafts/.
You should only use parts of the plant that are safe to eat.
If you try to propagate aloe vera by immersing a cutting in water, it will most likely decompose before growing roots. Succulents grow slowly, but propagating using pups will get you off to a far speedier start. Here's how: take a piece of bark from an aloe plant and place it in water. Within a few weeks, you should see small green leaves and white flowers emerging from the bark. These are called "pups" or "offsets." The puppies are small plants that can be separated when they reach about 1 inch tall. Each puppy has an embryonic leaf and a tiny stem with buds that will develop into new aloe plants.
Aloe vera is a succulent that grows in warm climates across Europe, North America, and Asia. It can be found in parks, along roads, and in gardens. Although aloe vera is native to South Africa, it is now cultivated worldwide. Two species of aloe are recognized, with aloe vera being the only one used for food and medicine. Aloe has thick fleshy leaves and produces red berries when mature. The entire aloe plant is poisonous if ingested, so use caution not to consume any part of it without knowing what it is. There are several varieties of aloe, including aloin blue, golden glow, and white frilly petals. All have similar properties but differ in color.
"Can I develop an aloe plant from a leaf cutting?" many people wonder. You can, although offsets or "pups" are the most successful form of aloe plant multiplication, producing seedlings practically instantly. It appears like rooting an aloe vera plant leaf should work, however all you will get is a decaying or withered leaf.... As long as the tissue of the leaf is alive, new plants will grow from its fragments.
Aloe vera leaves are very hardy and can be planted in soil almost any place where they will receive at least six hours of sunlight a day. They do best if planted during the fall or spring when their colors are strongest. If you want to grow aloe vera for its latex, remove the leaf from the plant when it's still young (before it produces flowers). Allow the leaf to dry completely before disposing of it. The next year, expect to see new aloe vera leaves growing from the base of the old one.
You can keep planting new leaves, but eventually you will need to divide the aloe vera plant by cutting it back close to the ground. This will allow more light to reach the roots and help them grow stronger.
When dividing aloe vera plants, try to avoid breaking off too many pieces because these will require separate plants.
You can, but offsets, or "pups," are the most successful way of aloe plant multiplication, producing plants practically instantly. It appears like rooting an aloe vera plant leaf should work, however all you will receive is a rotted or withered leaf. The secret to developing an aloe plant from a leaf cutting is to use a fresh, non-rotten leaf. If you try this method with a dried-out or old leaf, it won't work.
Aloe leaves are very nutritious and contain large amounts of vitamin C, potassium, and calcium. They also have small amounts of protein and iron. Aloe leaves are used in traditional medicine to treat diarrhea, dysentery, insect bites/stings, and sunburn. Scientists are still studying how aloe products benefit health, but so far researchers have identified over 80 compounds in aloe plants and juices that may be responsible for their healing properties. Some of these compounds include amino acids, enzymes, polysaccharides, and salicylic acid.
People have been eating aloe leaves for thousands of years. Native Americans used the pulp from the center of the leaf as food when making pemmican, a form of preserved meat. They also made tea from the leaves to help cure diseases and infections. In 17th century Europe, aloes were popular as ornamental plants because of their large colorful flowers.
Because aloe vera leaves contain a lot of moisture, they perish before they can take root. It is more effective to grow an Aloe Vera plant from a "offset." Aloe may be produced from cuttings, but only stem cuttings, not leaf cuttings. The new shoot will develop roots where the stamens or male flowers were once located.
Aloe plants are very easy to care for and require little water other than when they're growing actively. If you don't give them any water for several days then all the cells in their body will begin to collapse. Once this starts happening the plant is in danger of dying even though it still has some leaves left on it. But as long as you act quickly by giving it water then it should be fine.
You should stop watering your aloe plant when the first sign of drought appears on its leaves. This will help it prepare for future droughts. When you re-water it, use a gentle stream instead of a full bucket of water. This will help avoid washing away valuable nutrients that have leached out of the soil due to dryness. Also remember that aloe likes to dry out between waterings so leave it alone for at least a week between showers.
Aloe plants reach their maximum growth potential when they're about 10 years old.
It can grow from suckers known as "pups," from germinating seeds, or from leaf cuttings. Propagating from pups is the most straightforward and successful approach. It may be possible to coax it into growing when planted in soil, but this would not be recommended for a commercial operation that requires many plants to be grown at the same time.
Aloe vera has several names depending on the part of the plant used: leaves, shoots, stalks, cubits, or pups. The term "aloe" is derived from Arabic meaning "garden aloe."
The species name "vera" means true in Latin. This is because the plant was believed to be a sterile copy of its predecessor until Richard Anthony Parker discovered female flowers on a specimen he grew in his garden in Oxford. He also happened to be a professor of botany at the University of Oxford, so they named the plant form she displayed after him: A. vera parkeri.
In addition to being used for medicinal purposes, aloe vera has many other uses including food, paper, and textiles. The vegetable called "romaine" or "cos" is actually just dried aloe vera leaves. In fact, aloe vera is one of the top ten vegetables produced worldwide!