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Archive for the ‘Aloe’ Category

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It’s a question I often hear, and often answer as simply as I can, usually after asking a few questions.

  1. Is it an orchid that has just decided it doesn’t want to bloom in the next year or two???  (and you don’t care to wait!)
  2. Whatever kind of plant it is, is there anyone you know who might want to adopt your plant?
  3. Is the plant diseased or buggy?
  4. Are you willing to WORK on it, or are you DONE with it?

After we talk about those possibilities, we then go on to a possible solution.

#1-There are a few people here at Horizon House who will “adopt” spent orchids and bring them back to flower. What they do with them at that point is unknown!

#2-Would a neighbor, or family member like to have it?

#3-If it is diseased or buggy, it should go “down the shoot” into the garbage.  Put it in a plastic (or paper) bag and into the garbage.  It is neither recyclable, NOR compostable.

#4-If it’s just beyond your interest or appears to be dying a natural death, or you can’t find an adoptive “parent” for it, here’s what you can do.

If the plant is small, and in fairly good condition, put it on the shelf in the Service Room.  Perhaps someone on your floor will take a liking to it.  OR maybe the person who empties the trash may know someone who would like it.

If no one takes it…or it’s beyond help…

Allow the plant to dry out.  Take a large, PAPER grocery bag, dump the plant (with it’s soil) into the bag WITHOUT the pot.  Close up the bag and put it (carefully sealed) in the compost container in the Service Room on your floor.  If it is too large for that, bring it to the Potting Room on B-2 and put the bag into the compost container there.

Just so you know, this is perfect compost!  It is living (or having once been alive) material.  compost-handSoil is exactly what compost will become, and is a needed part of the composting process.

The pot remaining, if you don’t have a use for it, can be washed out, and put into the recycling bin.  If it’s a pretty one, consider Monday Market!

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I hope this answers your questions.  Happy Gardening, inside or outside!!!

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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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