How to care for and cut an aloe vera plant – the foolproof tips and tricks

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Many households opt for an aloe vera plant as they are low maintenance and beautifully leafy. As a type of succulent, aloe vera plants store water in their leaves and they do not require as frequent watering as some other plants. While many people keep their aloe plants indoors, they can also be put outside in the summer months.

How to care for an aloe vera plant

Aloe vera plants will thrive in many composts suitable for succulents or cactuses.

When it comes to watering an aloe vera plant, this should be done “sparingly”.

Gardeners’ World explains: “Aloes are killed by overwatering, so water sparingly.

“Water only when the top few centimetres of compost have dried out, allowing any excess to drain away fully, and don’t water at all in winter.”

Overwatering an aloe vera plant can lead to root rot, so it is best to avoid this for a healthy plant.

Consider a terracotta plant for aloe vera with good drainage so the soil can dry out in between waterings.

Pick a warm area for the plant which gets bright, indirect sunlight to help it to flourish.

How to cut aloe vera

When cutting aloe vera leaves, it is important to do so properly to avoid damaging the plant.

Hand-picking aloe vera leaves can cause leaves to tear, so avoid doing this.

Gardening Know How explains that it is best to use a clean and sharp knife for the job.

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Pick a thick and large leaf and cut as close to the trunk as possible and give it a rinse.

By keeping the aloe vera plant healthy, it should keep growing over time.

Aloe vera plants can be propagated to produce new aloe vera plants too.

Good Housekeeping explains: “Aloe plants also produce new, smaller plants perfect for propagation.

“If you notice one of these “babies,” dump out the dirt and tease apart the roots of the different plants, replanting in separate containers.”

Some suggest aloe vera gel can be used as a remedy for sunburn and other skin ailments.

However, if planning to use aloe vera for health reasons, it should not be used on the skin or taken by mouth without consulting a health professional.

Ingesting aloe can cause health problems and it should also be noted that aloe vera latex has been shown to have a laxative effect.

It is also important to note that topical aloe vera may irritate the skin.

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