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Aloe care

Latin name: Aloe

Under the weather circumstances of Pannonian (Carpathian) Basin, it needs sunny place in summer and dry, cool place in winter. Appropriate keeping of this plant in winter is very important, especially because most of the species bloom in the winter. The most commonly grown (succulent) species like the loose, water permeable soil. They can be propagated well from their coppice shoots, such as branched speciesfrom cuttings, made of cut branches.

Where to keep it?

It likes clear places the best, but sheltered from the blazing sun. Although in the winter rest period, we should ensure it a lower (minimum 5°C) temperature. There might be ideal a bright entrance hall or corridor, where there is no radiator. In a place like these, our only problem might be the lack of space, because if our aloe feels good, it can grow to a meter height and similar width. In summer, we can move it outside, just pay attention in the rainy period, that it does not have stagnant water in its bowl.

How to take care of it?

We should not forget, that aloe origins from drier, almost desert areas of South America, so it is not a water-intensive plant, they say it can stick up half a year without being watered. Too much watering can cause more damages than good effects on the plant: its roots can easily become rotten. It is more than enough to water it once a week, maybe more often on the days of summer heat wave, but if we notice there is water left in its bowl, we have to pour it immediately, because if we don't, we may realize that the lower leaves become yellowish, withered one by one. If we notice that, probably there is water left under the pot, in the case we pour it out immediately we can save the plant, but the withered leaf will not survive.
If it outgrows its pot, transpose it into loose, sandy potting soil. If our plant feels well, it will surprise us with small sprouts from the third year. When sprouts reach their 15cm height, separate them from their mothers, they can live their lives in their own pot from that.

Requirements and care:

It is a native tropical plant, not winter resistant under our weather circumstances. The lowest temperature it can stand with no damages is 5°C. It's a light-demanding plant, it can be kept outdoor in summer, but it is not recommended to put it to blazing sun, because the fresh green colour of leaves can become brownish. Therefore if you intend to keep it outdoor in summer, rather move it to a half shaded place (or garden or balcony), or under a tree where it can get filtered sunlight. 
It requires soil with good drainage, it means that the structure of soil is loose, with good air and water permeability, there is no unwanted, left water after watering, the excess water passes. There should not be left water in the bowl of the aloe, it is useful to pour out the water passing through the pot! If we keep it outdoor, water it regularly but not too often. It can not be included in rules how often is it recommended to water our plant, just pay attention to its soil in order not to have it wet all the time, but when soil becomes separated from the side of the pot, it is time to water! The aloe "reveals" itself about the lack of water: touching it you can feel it is not firm and springy, but soft and the leaf tissue can be pressed.

It is recommended to fertilize: at every second watering, water it with liquid fertilizer for ornamental plants. (Water the ornamental lief plants with nutrients richer liquid fertilizer. The N-P-K value is on the bottle, if the first number is the highest, we chose the right one.) The concentration is entitled on the bottle, do not make a stronger fertilizer, because the plant will not utilize it and we will do an unnecessary job.

Of course, those who can't move the plant outdoors in summer, should not worry, it also can grow a lot in a bright room during the summer. If you move it into the south room, do not put it directly to the window, because the sunshine passing through the glass can also make the leaves brownish, such as leaving it on the sun in the yard.

Winter keeping:

Winter is the dormancy period of aloe, move it to a bright place with relatively lower temperature if possible. 16-18°C are the ideal. But if it is warmer in our house, we should move our plant close to a bright window, because in a dark, warm place its tissues become elongated, and there will be light green, weak shoots. If the air of the house is damp, it is enough to water the plant very rarely, every 2-3 weeks. It is not necessary to water it more often than every 10-15 days in winter even in houses with drier climate. Reduce fertilizing as well, it is enough to put it into the water at every 3rd watering. Be careful with remaining water in winter as well, because the roots can not get enough air in wet soil.

Home propagation:

The aloe is good in sprouting already in its young age, but it worths waiting with separating the sprouts untill the growth reaches its 10-15 cm. Then turn out the plant from the pot, carefully clean the root and find the original location of the sprout. Detach it using a sharp knife and transpose the plants into an appropriate, loose, airy soil. Of course, sprouts don't have to be detached from the main plant, as they are nice and decorative in a bunch as well. But in this case, make sure you have chosen a pot wide enough for the plant!
In general, it don't raise big root, so there is no need to use the deep, so-called palm pot during the transplantation, rather choose a bowl-like, large, flatter dish for the plant.
Don't be sorry for transposing it into the soil of good quality, because soil taken from the garden is unlikely to be good for it. Among store-bought soils choose one with loose structure, and mix the peaty soil with a little amount of fine gravel, then soil will not become tight at the root.

Most common diseases, pests of the Aloe, main reasons of their destruction:

root rot, scale insects