So even though it is snowing here in Saskatoon, I like to pretend that it is warm like Spring should be so I bought another plant. I got an Aloe Vera plant because they are quite pretty as well as very beneficial to have on hand.
General Care: An Aloe Vera plant should be planted cactus mix soil. It should also be planted in a container with drainage holes. My container did not have a drainage hole so instead I added a variety of rocks at the bottom of the container to help with better drainage. I will have to take special care not to over water it. Make sure to let the soil dry out really well between watering it, letting the soil get crumbly and light in colour. Allow the soil to dry 2 to 3 inches deep to discourage rot. Try watering it every 2 weeks and adjust to what works for you. Make sure your plant gets a lot of sunshine (if the leaves are lying flat they aren’t getting enough light and if the leaves turn brown they are getting too much light).
Repotting: I repotted my plant into a prettier container when I got home. Make sure the container allows for a lot of room for the roots to grow. Make sure to do this outside or over an area that is easily cleaned. I added rocks to the bottom, added cactus mix, and gently loosened the roots into the new soil. Be very careful as the roots are not connected very well to the plant, the plant will wobble a bit in its new container. Try not to water it for a couple days after repotting.
Benefits: An Aloe Vera leaf is filled with a gel-like substance. This substance can be applied to burns, cuts, rashes and bug bites to relieve pain, soothe and prevent itching. Aloe Vera can also reduce the pain and swelling of acne and if applied often will help give an even skin tone. You can try replacing your lotion and replacing it with Aloe Vera gel for a great and natural moisturizer.
How I Use It: My favourite use for Aloe Vera is using it in homemade hair masks. It deeply hydrates the scalp and hair, in return providing extremely shiny hair and no dandruff! I massage about 3 tablespoons of the gel into my scalp and use the rest on the length of my hair and let it sit for 1 hour. The crazy thing is by the end of the hour my hair is completely dry, it absorbed all the Aloe Vera! Then I shampoo and condition as usual. This can speed up hair growth and promote healthy and strong hair.
There are many different opinions about if consuming Aloe Vera gel is safe, so I choose to only use it externally. I am very impressed about how moisturizing it is and will continue to use it as a lotion and in my hair masks. Tell me what you use it for!