Today finding an article about herbs that every gardener needs. The first one is Aloe Vera. How many of you have that plant? I have a large, large pot of it, so will do some planting of from this.
The miraculous first aid remedy should be on every windowsill, deck and patio. Originally hailing from Africa, this succulent has been cultivated since antiquity. In fact, there are no known wild stands of aloe anywhere in the world. But that's all right, we know where it lives.
Aloe is a multiple leaved succulent, and those thick, fleshy and green leaves are the main attraction. Sometimes the leaves are spotted with white, and their margins are variously serrated with white, curved, thorny teeth. The yellow and red flowers appear erratically and usually bloom after a mild, wet winter followed by a warm drip spring. Aloe will not survive a hard freeze some most of us have to grow it indoors or grow it in a protected spot outside and bring it inside for the winter.
Healing properties the thick get from inside aloe leaves can be applied to any kind of skin trauma, including burns, stings, bits, acne, scrapes and sounds. This get contains glycoproteins and polysacharides shown in its studies to sped the healing of burns and wounds and stimulate production of new fissure. Quite a few preliminary laboratory studies show that aloe can speed the healing of burns and wounds. One study summary concluded that wounds treated with aloe healed up to 9 days faster than those treated with a placebo cream.
In the garden aloe is ideal for a rock garden or xeriscape( low water or desert area). Hummingbirds love the flowers. It won't survive a harsh winter, but if you only get a few mild freezes, it will grow outdoors with a little cosmetic damage each winter. Give it well drained, sandy soil in a big pot and place it ins a sunny warm spot. Poor drainage will cause the leaves to shrivel and blackens, give it a rest in the winter and don't water it. If this deer resistant plant is happy, it will develop side shoots, which can be gently separated from the mother and repotted. These will take up to 2 years to reach full size.
Harvesting Aloe Vera: For the gel, slice off the tip of a leaf and apply the open interior to burns, bites, and itchy spots. You can further slice the removed portion, lengthwise and expose more of the get. For the juice, wait until the leaves are 1 to 2 feet long, and don't remove more than three or four leaves from a plant at a time. Cut them cleanly, close to the plant and immediately stand them upright, cut side down on a support or sloped frame. Place a container underneath to catch the juice as it rains out. Bottle and keep the juice refrigerated.
Taken from Grow It, Heal it by Christopher Hobbs and Leslie Gardner by Rodale
till next time this is Becky Litterer from Becky's Greenhouse, Dougherty Iowa