Sunday, March 10, 2013

The Plant I Never Grew

I guess just about every gardener has their own little "nemesis".  Let's just say I hope I'm not the only one.  I'll grow pretty much anything I can get in the ground or in a pot..  I dig up the Crepe seedlings from my neighbors tree.  I place them in a container and nurture them until they are ready to transplant to the ground.  No problem, piece of cake. I plant my garden and relish in the rewards of my efforts.  But I got this one little thorn in my side that always throws me for a loop.
I love the Aloe Vera not just for it's nurturing advantages.  I've long known the benefits of the plants juices and inner gel.  It's a prominent remedy for burns and a very natural form of relief from Eczema.  Aloe Vera Juice is more common on market shelves.  Studies show the juices have even been found to ease peptic ulcers.  Research also shows that it could be beneficial in immune support and digestive disorders. The fact-finding continues as new benefits are explored.  My mom has used this stuff  for as long as I can remember.  Me, well I'm a bigger fan of the plant itself,  but do admit I've torn open a stem or two to rub some jell on a rash or burn.

 I tried over and over again to figure out how to get one of these gorgeous plants to grow.  Some would even last a few years than fizzle quickly.  I'm husband would just shake his head at me knowing I'd rush off to get a new one.  I know I'm being stubborn.  My mother calls it determined, but than she's mom.  I'm no novice when it comes to nurturing plants.  I know Aloe Vera is a cactus.  It requires plenty of direct sun light, warmer temperatures and very little watering.  So what was I doing wrong?

 Was I giving it too much water?  Did it not get enough light?  The stems of the plant turned mushy at the bottom and fell off.  This is a sign that the plant is getting too much water.  My husband and I did not communicate well on our watering routine.  Aloe Vera hold natural moisture and do not need water often.  Sometimes the stems would turn yellow.  Turns out I didn't not condition the plant properly between indoors and outdoors and it suffered shock. Aloe Vera should be filtered slowing into direct sunlight if transferring from shade.

Now that I now the cause I can hopefully proceed with the cure this time.  I will remove the plant from it's current pot and make sure it has more than enough light.  I will also let my husband know when I have watered the plant.  I will feed it a small shot of coffee grounds blended into the soil to add a little fertilizer.  If my efforts don't pan out I know my husband will shake his head and I will be off to the nearest nursery.