The years fly by so fast it's a good job we have the seasons to guide us. Here are some ways you can take care of your plants so that they grow well and endure the extremes.
Aloe vera is a clever little plant. It stores a lot of water, and can live for weeks and weeks without it. It has a few more tricks up its sleeve for when the ambient temperature falls outside of ideal tolerances.
When it's cold outside, and the mercury falls below 10°C (<50°F), the leaves of the Aloe Vera will begin to turn pink as the plant attempts to absorb and hold more warmth.
The best remedy is to keep your plants underneath trees, and other areas around the home which are shielded from the chilly air. Though be careful - if your plant is too shaded or over-grown by other plants, it will develop some mighty ugly black spots and the leaves will become impotent and squishy.
Aloe vera thrives when it gets at least 5 hours a day of direct sunlight - with water every other day - in rich soil with good drainage.
When the harsh Aussie summer rolls around, Aloe vera plants can certainly receive too much sunshine. The leaves typically turn yellow and end up with burned tips. You can rescue a heat-stricken plant, by moving it to a cooler spot and water it daily. It will take a week or two to recover.
If you can think back-in-time to when plants first evolved, our planet Earth is reported to have been closer to the sun and with a very fast rotation period of about six hours. This would mean three hours of sun, three hours of darkness. This fact gives a great deal of credence to the good practice of keeping your plants underneath trees. They will receive a few hours of sun in the morning, then another few hours of sun in the afternoon, avoiding much of the harsh sunlight that beams down throughout the middle of the day.
At any time of the year, it’s a good idea to give your Aloe vera, and all your vegetable plants, a good feed of seaweed-based-fertiliser. It’s a great way to give them all a super-boost of protection and strength.
A product like Seasol (pictured) provides a stack of bio-organic compounds and awesome glyco-nutrients that your plants will love. It's also great for the organic bacteria and enzymes in the soil which are essential to breaking down larger molecules so that the plants can use them to grow.
So now your plants are well placed to get just the right amount of sunshine, watered and well fed, they will grow really well. It won't be long before you have many plump gel-filled leaves to harvest for all your natural health and healing needs. Better still, new tiny Aloe Vera plants will start to pop-up from the ground all around as the plant spawns what we call "pups". In a future edition of the Healthy Living Garden, I will show you the best ways to propagate the pups into new pots and other places in your own garden.
Warm wishes and best regards,