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As a kid I remember my grandmother screeching from an occasional but always painful burn to the fingers from a hot stove. Yet she instantly knew what to do to end her misery: reach for a leaf from the aloe vera plant growing on her kitchen windowsill. After popping off a thick lower leaf Tip: How to cut an aloe leaf , she would rub the broken end over her burn, coating it with the sticky gel inside—then remind us kids what wonderful healing powers her little plant held. Today aloe vera—a plant whose medicinal uses have been hailed as far back as Greek and Roman times—is enjoying renewed interest as succulents in general become more popular than ever with gardeners.
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NC State Extension does not guarantee the accuracy of the translated text. While the poinsettia remains the most popular holiday plant, a healthy Christmas cactus in full bloom makes a great gift or decoration.
Christmas cactus is easy to care for and can be grown indoors throughout the year. The flowers range in color from yellow, salmon, pink, fuchsia, and white or combinations of those colors. When a Christmas cactus is taken to its permanent home, place it in a sunny location indoors. A north or east window gives the ideal light. If you want to grow it indoors in a south or west window, you should shade the plant with thin curtains.
Christmas cactus is a succulent plant and can store a reasonable quantity of water in the leaves. However, it is not as drought tolerant as you think. Water thoroughly when the top half of the growing mix feels dry to the touch. The length of time between watering will vary with the air temperature, amount of light, rate of growth and relative humidity. Humidity is important to Christmas cactus. Place the container on a tray of pebbles. Keep water in the tray to increase humidity around the plant.
Continue caring for the plant this way until the plant finishes blooming. After blooming is done, let the plant rest by withholding water for six weeks. Resume watering then to keep soil fairly moist but let the surface dry out.
As tender growth appears in the spring, transfer the plant to a new container if needed or top-dress with fresh growing mix. Use a commercially packaged potting mix for succulent plants. Plants should be repotted every two or three years or whenever the container is filled with roots. Plants that appear unhealthy can be repotted any time of year.
Follow up by applying half the recommended rate of a liquid houseplant fertilizer every 2 to 3 weeks. Christmas cactus can be moved outdoors in summer but should be kept in a partial to full shaded area. Direct sunlight can burn the leaves. Some growers move plants to the shade of a porch or patio for the summer.
During summer, water to keep the growing mix moist after it dries on top. When fall arrives in September, move the plant indoors after making sure no insects are tagging along. Spraying with a stream of water knocks off most insects that may try to hitch a ride. Place the Christmas cactus in a sunny location like it was before it went outside for vacation. High light intensity is important to flower development. As part of fall maintenance, water only well enough to prevent wilting.
You should let the top half of the potting mix to get dry before watering. During the month of October, do not water the plant unless it wilts. You may cautiously resume watering in November. Over-watering causes branches to droop and break. Water when the surface of the growing mix dries out. Christmas cactus is easy to grow but can be difficult to get to bloom again according to some. Although warm temperatures are good during the growing season, cool temperatures are important for flowering.
From October on, keep the plant where temperatures are between 60 to 65 degrees. Keep Christmas cactus away from heat vents, fireplaces, or other sources of hot air. As long as temperatures remain in this range for a period of six weeks, flower buds will develop. If there is no place where you can keep temperatures in this range, you need to give the plant 13 hours of uninterrupted darkness each night to cause flowering starting around the first of October.
Place the Christmas cactus in a completely dark room each night or cover each night with a dark piece of cloth or box. During the period of flower bud formation starting in October, stop fertilizing and only water enough to keep the leaves from wilting.
Do this by watering when the top half of the growing mix gets dry. Once buds form, keep Christmas cactus in the medium to high light it likes and normal home temperatures. When the top of the growing mix dries, water to keep the plant evenly moist. Fertilize Christmas cactus every other week with a half rate of liquid houseplant fertilizer. Good luck with Christmas cactus and all your indoor and outdoor gardening in the coming year. If you have any gardening or landscaping questions this winter, give the Extension Master Gardener Volunteers of Pitt County a call at or email questions to pittcomgv hotmail.
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While they are technically a cactus, Christmas cacti don't naturally live in the desert like other cacti. They originate from coastal tropical rainforests in Brazil. If you're struggling to keep your Christmas cactus happy, here are some of the most common problems that Christmas cactuses have and what to do about them. Generally, holiday cactuses are quite resilient and don't have too many problems with diseases. Here are the few fungal or disease issues they can be affected by:. Looks like: soft brown watery spots on the stem of the plant, usually near the base.
Aloe 'Christmas Carol' tends to need a bit less water than other succulents. It's best to use the “soak and dry” method, and allow the soil to dry out.
Aloe vera plant is known for the healing properties of its sap. Also called Burn Plant or Medicine Plant, m any people use the gel-like liquid from a broken leaf to soothe minor burns and abrasions. Sap from a snapped-off leaf has restorative properties that can be applied directly to skin. Aloe vera plant's sap is commonly used in medicines, lotions and cosmetics around the world. Aloe vera plants are hardy, slow-growing succulents that grow in rosettes of plump, upward-curving green leaves. Aloe vera leaves are faintly spotted and edged with soft teeth. Plants grown outdoors often bloom in spring with yellow, tubular flowers carried on tall flower spikes.
Succulents are able to survive on limited water resources, such as dew and mist, making them tolerant of drought. There are many different species and cultivars of succulents spanning several plant families, and most people associate succulents with Cactaceae, the cactus family. Keep in mind, however, that while all cacti are succulents, not all succulents are cacti. This makes them well adapted to indoor growing and ideal for people desiring low-maintenance houseplants.
Here are 5 reasons why you may be having problems growing Aloe vera indoors. Some people have a problem growing aloe vera indoors.
Happy DIY Home. In this Aloe Vera plant care guide we teach you how to care for the Aloe plant like an expert. As well as making an attractive addition to the home or garden, an aloe vera plant offers numerous medicinal and therapeutic benefits. With the occasional white fleck dotted around the surface of thick, stocky green leaves, this low-maintenance succulent can add a beautiful tropical touch to your home, all while delivering a variety of health and beauty benefits. After all, when you talk to your green-fingered friends about the best way to care for your Aloe Barbadensis , they all seem to have different advice, leaving you with more questions than when you started:. Aloe vera plants grow best indoors when placed by a window.
Plant parents describe this plant as being a survivor and having large, lush leaves with only 29 being grown with Greg around the world. Check out the reviews below for more details! Aloe 'Christmas Carol' likes soil that is extremely well-draining. Your plant shouldn't need added fertilizers if you repot each time it doubles in size. Aloe 'Christmas Carol' needs 0. Use our water calculator to personalize watering recommendations to your environment or download Greg for more advanced recommendations for all of your plants.
If you're growing it in a cool climate, water with care. In a hot climate, water regularly. Christmas Cactus. Botanical Name: Schlumbergera bridgesii. One.
Jan 16, Houseplants 1 comment. Cacti are succulents are easy care plants for any home or patio. They are all able to store water in the fleshy tissues of their stems, roots or leaves.
Taking care of succulents in the fall and winter depends on the specific plant at hand. Most come from hot desert regions way south, yet we have a few hardy to our zone 5 climate. Some species of Sedums and Sempervivums, among others, can withstand our Chicagoland winters, but many of your classic succulents, like Aloe Vera, Jade Plant, Panda Plant, and Christmas Cactus need to be hosted in the cozy warmth of the indoors. All of your non-cold-hardy, tender succulents need to be moved indoors before temperatures dip below freezing.
What characterizes Aloe Christmas Carol and the difference of other aloes; Its leaves are stiffer and less fleshy, so they store less water. Its leaves have a certain texture bulges , which makes it a beautiful and different plant.
The aloe vera plant is an easy, attractive succulent that makes for a great indoor companion. Aloe vera plants are useful, too, as the juice from their leaves can be used to relieve pain from scrapes and burns when applied topically. Aloe vera is a succulent plant species of the genus Aloe. The margin of the leaf is serrated with small teeth. Please note: The gel from aloe vera leaves can be used topically, but should not be ingested by people or pets. It can cause unpleasant symptoms such as nausea or indigestion and may even be toxic in larger quantities. A pot made from terra-cotta or a similarly porous material is recommended, as it will allow the soil to dry thoroughly between waterings and will also be heavy enough to keep the plant from tipping over.
You may consider yourself the perfect house plant parent, taking care of watering, feeding, dusting the leaves and repotting when appropriate. But the reality is that houseplants rarely get the levels of light they need. Most areas of our homes have low light levels beyond the first couple of metres in front of a window.