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Aloe veras do not grow out of Bananaboat bottles 
22nd-May-2008 11:08 am

Our family always has plants around the house. My dad has this fascination with botany that he tried to impart onto us, which unfortunately, due to my severe lack of a green thumb, never really took on. If anyone were to ask what my weak point is, it's that I am capable of killing cactii.

The family home was one of those you'd see in those movies, where orphaned English children are pawned off to some eccentric uncle who had spent much of his life living in the mad heat of an exotic India. The rooms wouldn't have walls, it would just be ceiling-to-floor shelves of dusty books and luscious plants in every available space. Saying we had lots of plants is a gross understatement: dumbcane, ferns (bird's nest, maidenhair, tender brake, can can, etc), orchids, money plants, mother-in-law tongue, pathos vine, hibiscus, honeydew, papaya... the list was endless.

But we never had an aloe vera. Aloe vera, to me, came in a tube of Bananaboat and looks fluo-green. I knew it was an amazing plant with wonderful healing properties, but it's the same as knowing tigers are ferocious killers and then going to the zoo to watch one flop lazily in the sun, and wonder what all the fuss is about. Looks pretty cute to me, you'd think.
That's until you're breathing in its bad breath from less than arm's length.

After a stupid stunt involving bare hands and a plate in an oven, I have come to revere this plant. They don't require much sun nor very much watering, making them a more suitable plant for a botany murderer, such as myself. So upon returning to Australia, I asked the SO's mum for a plantling, if she could spare one. She took me round the house and deposited a whole pot into my arms. The pot itself was completely overwhelmed with baby aloe vera plants, around one very large mummy plant. Like everything in nature, I've repot them into their own containers, namely Campbell's soup cans, to prevent driving the mummy plant to suicide with overly demanding kids who won't leave home.

At last count, we have a dozen aloe veras now. Anyone wanna adopt or trade for some other plant?
22nd-May-2008 03:19 am (UTC)
Doesn't everyone have them? They should!
22nd-May-2008 12:00 pm (UTC)
I actually didn't see many aloe vera plants growing up or in many gardens. And those who had them, you could tell they had never been harvested at all (our largest has a few tips missing from us taking it to apply on sunburns).

It's a pity, cuz just a leaf tip is enough to soothe most minor burns.
22nd-May-2008 02:01 pm (UTC)
How do you get aloe plants to make baby aloe plants?
22nd-May-2008 09:15 pm (UTC)
If given proper conditions (ie. the plant is large, mature and healthy - ours is a good 13 inches tall), it will propagate offsets around its base via its root system on its own. All you gotta do after is carefully pull them out to re-pot them.
25th-May-2008 01:25 am (UTC)
And... three days after you tell me this, my big ugly aloe plant just birthed a baby plant :)

I'll do my best to replant it after it grows just a bit larger.
25th-May-2008 10:37 am (UTC)
Yay! Aren't baby aloe veras cute? If you wait some more, you might find it will sprout a couple more babies.

Just you wait till they flower. (^_^)
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