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Archive for July, 2014

I just found a great Aloe identification site.  It’s called “The Aloe Page” visit it here:   http://succulent-plant.com/families/aloaceae.html

I’ve been doing a little more research on this plant, since it’s new to my menagerie.  Some of the things I’ve learned are pretty “common sensible”, but it never hurts to hear it again, so here goes!  IMG_2503

Your aloe will love being outdoors in the summer and particularly enjoy being in the sunshine.  It is a succulent of the most tender variety, being 95% water.  If it meets frost, the outcome will be what you find in the ice-cube tray in your freezer!  Definitely, NOT a good thing!  Keep it protected.  If you put it outside in the summer, be sure to get it back inside before there is ANY danger of frost!

Even though it is so full of water, you should allow the soil to completely dry out before watering it.  In fact, some of the articles I’ve read suggest putting gravel or marbles in the bottom third (1/3) of the pot when you plant it to create incredible drainage.

IMG_2508The root system is shallow rather than deep, so try to use a wider rather than deeper pot when you plant it.  If you already have it in a conventional pot, consider making that shift when you re-pot it in the future.   As you can see by my photos, I planted this aloe before doing research..  SOOO, I’ll have to be looking for a shallower, wider container when it’s time to re-pot!  (Whoops!)  As I keep saying, I’m learning, right along with you when it comes to houseplants!

You can propagate it by removing the off-shoots around the base of the plant and potting them.

Aloes are also used medicinally.   The sap found in the leaves are said to relieve burns and itches, as well as insect bites.  All you do is remove a leaf from the base of the plant, slice it open and apply the gel-like sap to the designated area and wait for relief!

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Today I cast a very objective look at both of the Aloe cuttings.

The one that was just sitting on the shelf having itself a little “drying out” fest, was NOT looking so good.  The leaves were shrinking, not plump any longer, and darker in color.  It just did NOT look well.

The one I had sitting in a jar of water looked GREAT!  So, I will take that one down to the Potting Room and get it into a pot of soil.

In the meantime, I went to an Ice Cream Social out on our terrace here at Horizon House.  AND WHAT DID I SEE THERE ON A TABLE?  Some jade plants planted in a SOCK!  Amazing!  Here’s a photo of it. IMG_2442

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Yesterday, I was given a few pieces of an aloe that is overtaking a friend’s windowsill.  When I brought it in, my husband wondered where I might be putting this new acquisition.  I guess, first into a pot!  I understand by my reading, that they can dry out a bit before planting, although my friend propagates her’s by putting the stems in water to root.  So, which method shall I try?  I’ve got 3 of them, so I guess I could try both methods and see which works best!IMG_2434

Here is a photo of my newest orphans…about to settle into their new home!

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We were gone to the East Coast for 4 weeks!  It was a wonderful trip, but I have to admit, we returned EXHAUSTED!

The plants all survived very nicely, thanks to my good friend Helen, who came once a week and watered.  The only plant I figured I’d probably lose was the Bonsai.  BUT, although it looked awful…lots of dead “stuff” in and around the little branches, I figured I had nothing to lose, so I pruned it and really just TORE OUT the brown clutter.  Guess what?  It now looks terrific!  Better than it’s looked since I got it!  I’m back in the BONSAI business!

IMG_2380IMG_2379

If you look at this photo, it shows how it looked when I got it…more or less like a little bush.  No longer!  I’m happy!!!IMG_1432

 

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