I am so excited to introduce you today to aloe vera. That is these three beautiful plants that you see right here. These are probably the most commonly known succulents. Almost everyone has heard of aloe vera because it’s really well known for its medicinal properties and a lot of times you’ll see it included in lotions and creams and that sort of thing. So how do you take care of aloe vera? Aloe vera likes to be grown in full. Sun, it will take at least 5 to 6 hours of full Sun every day and does fairly well in the heat as well. It’s not a plant that’s gonna grow especially well indoors. If you do want to bring it inside, make sure that you have a grill light on it. At least 12 hours a day to make sure it’s getting adequate light. Otherwise, you’ll start to see it. Look kind of limp. It’ll start to lighten and lose its color. It just won’t be as healthy. It’ll also start to kind of stretch out and get elongated, So the other thing about aloe. Vera, is it actually doesn’t need very much water. So with this plant, you can follow the soap and dry method that I recommend. If you’re not sure what that is, be, sure to check out our watering video but basically just soak the soil. Let it dry out completely before you water it again and your aloe Vera will be happy you can even add, you know, four or five days between when the soil is dry, and when you want her again, it is a really good drought tolerant plant and you can see that here because it has really thick fleshy leaves and especially as the plant gets larger, which it can grow to be about 24 inches, both in height and in width, so it’s a decent sized plant once it’s outside and in the ground or you can also grow it in containers as well. Um, it is a zone 9 plant, which means that it can handle temperatures down to 20 degrees Fahrenheit now keep in mind with all zone ratings and minimum temperature requirements that doesn’t mean it can handle 20 degree weather for an extended period of time. This is like the extreme low, So I would say that. If you’re gonna have, you know, a full week where it’s get into the 20s or even where it’s just getting below freezing, you’ll probably want to cover your aloe vera with frost cloth or if you can bring it inside for that time, but it is one that, you know, will it will tolerate a few nights of frost and it will be fine, and then if it does start to get some frostbite, you’ll notice the the tips will start to kind of turn black and look a little crispy or a lot of times. It’ll start out looking white, but they’ll look dried up and damaged and usually you can just cut those off and as long as the base of the plant is okay, then it should keep growing. Now you’ll also want to make sure that when it is in the ground that it is either mounded or in a well draining soil so that it doesn’t sit in soil in wet soil for very long when it’s watered and be sure to keep it dry during those times when it is extremely cold as that will help it be more frost tolerant. Now you’ll also want to probably grow more aloe vera, right, so the way that this propagates is through offsets, so it will put off little babies all along all around the mother plant, and once those have grown to be, you know, normal ish plant size, maybe about 2 or 3 inches in size. You can go ahead and pull those off. Keep some of the roots if you can. And then plant them in a new area, Something else to know about aloe vera is that it grows actively in the really temperate climates, so it’s technically considered a winter grower and generally you’ll see blooms in really really early spring and sometimes in late fall, but it will actively grow in the spring and fall. It’ll slow down a little bit in the winter when it gets into those really cold seasons and the coldest month of the year it’s probably not gonna grow very much, but other than that it is going to take advantage of that cool weather, and that’s when it will grow them. It will slow down significantly in this summer as it will go dormant, so you want to be careful not to water too much in the summer as that can cause it to rot because it’ll get too much water because it’s not actively growing, but just enough to keep it from drying up completely in this summer. Heat now. The other thing that you likely know about aloe vera is that it can be used medicinally. So I wanted to show you how to harvest the the SAP or that. Lovely gooeynes’s inside that people will use in lotions or just as a gel to put on sunburns. Keep in mind that everyone is going to react to this a little bit differently, but aloe vera is definitely not considered toxic to humans. It can be to some animals, so be careful that way and always, you know. Be careful, test it out on a little area. First before you move forward, So what you would do is you would actually just break off one of these leaves or cut them off, so I’m gonna show you what that looks like, so I just have some pruning shears here, and I just cut it straight off and you can see in there. It is really nice. Wet kind of gooey, and there are different ways that you can do this. A lot of people will just squeeze out the SAP, but you can also cut off the skin around it and harvest it that way, so I’m just going to show you that you can actually peel this open and the skin just comes right off. Let’s see and you can see. There is a lot of gooeyness in there and this can be placed directly on your skin. Some people will eat it again. Always just to be careful. You can see how gooey and messy it is, but it is really great for sunburns and treating various things. I’m not gonna go into all of those here because mostly I want to help you learn how to grow this, but know that you can cut it off. If you get a sunburn or have something else that you’d like to try treating so aloe vera is an amazing, succulent. It’s one of the most popular one that people know most people know about, and it’s pretty easy to grow. So just make sure that you’re soaking the soil letting it dry out completely before you water again and then keep it protected from extended periods of frost. And you’ll be good to go. I’d love to know if you’re currently growing. Aloe vera in your garden or what your experience has been with it. Go ahead and leave a comment below and tell me all about it. And if you haven’t already be sure to hit that, like button, subscribe and share it with any succulent loving friends and I will see you next time you.