You know, it's rare that we have a succulent-styleplant that is so beloved outside of just people who love cacti and succulents.
But aloe vera is one of those plants.
So let's figure out how togrow it in today's video.
Kevin Espiritu here from Epic Gardeningwhere it's my goal to help you grow greener thumb.
And it's really a pretty simple plantto grow despite being very popular.
And I think it gives somegardeners a lot of challenges.
If it gives you a challenge, dropit down in the comments below.
How many aloe plants have you killedbefore? I know, I'll be honest, I've killed probably two in the past.
But once you understand how the plantlikes to grow, what it does to survive, it's quite simple to grow.
So that's why in this video we're goingto go through the critical elements of its care, light, water, fertility, repotting, the type of pot you should use, how it propagates.
And evenat the very end of this video, and I'm really excited about this, I found an absolutely massive aloeleaf that we're going to cut open and harvest.
So stay tuned for the endof that.
But without further ado, cultivate that Like button for Epic aloeleaves.
And let's get into the video.
Our first category is light andtemperature.
If you're growing it indoors, which you certainly can and I encourageyou to do it if you don't have a lot of space, then give it as much light as you humanlycan and potentially even supplement it with a grow light.
You can putit right up next to a window.
This is my window right here, south or west or east facing.
Maybe a foot or two awayis a really good idea.
If you're growing it outdoors however, I recommend shading it throughthe hotter parts of the day.
And I know this both fromresearch and also practice.
This is an aloe that I just kind of leftout and it was in full sun and so you can see some of these lower tipshave started to burn a little bit.
Some of them actually I cut one off lowerhere and it was getting kind of orange reddish, which is a signof a bit of sunburn.
So you do want to avoidblasting it with sun.
And then temperature-wiseit's a zone 9 to 11 plant, but in layman's terms that basicallymeans keep it within a band of let's say mid-fifties to low to mid 80 degrees.
Anything outside of that, it'snot going to have the best time.
For soil and repotting you can see I haveit in the nursery pot that I bought it in and I've left it inthat for quite some time.
I don't remember exactlyhow long I've grown this, but it's been a while and that'sbecause generally speaking, aloe prefers being slightlyroot bound.
However, I am going to repot it in this video.
We're going to use someEspoma Organic Cactus Mix, which is a fantastic mix and againthat speaks to the type of soil that it wants.
Loose, well draining and we'regoing to swap it over to this terracotta.
Why? Because terracotta is porous and it'sactually going to wick even more water out.
I suspect that some ofthe issues I've had with this, as we've had heavy rains, is that it's just kind of sat inthis water and this plastic edge, even though there's drainageholes at the bottom, it's still just retaining too much.
So we're going to repot it right now andhopefully it'll be in a happier home.
Okay, unlike most times, I actually have something tokeep it somewhat tidy here.
But let's crack this open and if you'retrying to make your own cactus mix, you can use maybe one third compost, one third perlite or pumiceand one third of sand.
That's a really good way to doit.
But for me I prefer at least, especially with cactus mix, to just buyit.
And Espoma Organics is fantastic, so I highly recommend checking that out.
We'll put a tiny bit here in thebottom.
But since we're not repotting, we're not up potting it, we're just transplanting itinto a different style of pot, I'm not going to needto add too much soil.
So just take it out here and youcan see if we look at the roots, it's slightly rootbound, but not too much, but you can see it's pretty moist thereand so I'm glad that I'm repotting it.
So what I'll do is I'll probablybrush some of this off here.
We're going to get the rootball exposed a little bit.
We'll loosen it slightly.
Nothing too crazy.
Now let's see how it fits in this pot.
It's going to remain in thispot for probably, who knows, maybe the rest of itslife.
I have no idea.
It'll be in here for quite sometime and then we'll just fill around and we're good to go.
Now that we've given our aloea nice new, beautiful home, it's going to be a lot happieras it won't be sitting.
It won't have wet feet pretty much ever.
Now that the terracotta's in hereand we have that nice cactus mix, we can talk a littlebit about fertilizing.
I'm not going to do it right now becauseI just repotted it with soil that's full of fertility, but ifyou want to, you can use, what I would recommend is a soluble liquidwater soluble fertilizer instead of a granular one.
Because of course it's going to get intothe plant's system a lot quicker that way.
You can do it twice, maybethree times throughout the year, maybe twice in spring, once in summer, and taper it off as you go into fall.
The thing that I particularlylike about this one, the Organic Cactus from Espoma, is it's got an auto dose.
And so if I was to turn this upsidedown right now it wouldn't just keep pouring, a specific amount would comeout, which is actually kind of nice.
So you'd put that in your waterand then you'd water that in.
When propagating aloe, you're looking, let's pretend we'll callthis one the mother.
You're looking for what are called pupsand they're just offshoots that come off of the main stem.
So I don't have any right now otherwiseI would love to show it to you.
But it's very similar to other plantswhere you'll see little off shoots start to come out like this or like this.
And what you would do is you might brushthe soil away and you'd go in and you'd very gently pluck off that pup withas much stem material as possible.
And because it's a succulent, you're going to propagate it in much thesame way as you would propagate other succulents where you'd have thatlittle piece of stem material with the offshoot.
And you'd lay that out and you couldlet it dry for a little bit and then you would pot it back up into some soil oryou could pot it back up immediately.
But really you justwant to let it callous.
So if you're going to potit back up immediately, youwouldn't want to water it.
But otherwise you can just endlesslypropagate from your mother aloe.
I don't know about you guys, but the moment is here.
We're going to chop into big mama aloe, but if you want to just harvest from yourmain aloe and you don't have this big kahuna like I do right here, what you would do is you would comethrough with some scissors or some snips like this.
And you could comeand just cut half of a leaf, a chunk of a leaf.
Or as I like todo, cut the entire leaf.
First of all, I think it looks better.
Second of all, I don't know, I don't want to leave like a random openwound on this thicker part of the leaf.
I would just come through, for example, right here, this one's kind of weak lookingand a little lame.
So boom, and then I've got a little bitright there.
But, we have to do it.
We have to do big mama aloechopping and squeezing montage.
So it's pretty incredible, right? I mean, this is probably one of thebiggest leaves I've ever seen.
Let's just give this a squeeze.
I can't even get it out.
But man, there's just so much gel in there.
Andyou might be wondering – Hey Kevin, you left watering out, and I didn't.
The reason why I kept it to this part ofthe video is to show you the anatomy of the plant.
When youunderstand things like this, then you figure out howto water on your own.
If you had all of this insideof you, and this is extremely, extremely water retentive, whywould you need a lot of water? So what you're going to see in an aloeplant when you overwater is it's going to start to sog out.
It'll be a little squishy because you'rebasically bursting the interior of this.
And when you underwater, it's going to start using this.
And when it does that, it's going tostart shriveling and wrinkling a bit.
Kind of like your fingers in ajacuzzi.
Albeit for different reasons.
So guys, I hope you enjoyed this.
This was a lot of fun.
This massive, massive aloe leaf.
I would love to know what youguys think about this.
What, what should I do with this? Ihave no idea.
I have so much aloe.
But until next time, good luck in the garden.
Keep growing and I'll seeyou on the next video.