I’ve seen some pictures of aloe flowers—how can I get my plant to blossom?
Plants (including aloes) are most likely to flower when they’re outside in their native environment. They also need to be on the mature side, with aloes typically needing at least four birthdays under their belt before they’re able to bloom.
To encourage your mature aloe to show off its rosettes, move your plant outdoors into full sun. Just make sure that the temperature outside won’t dip below 60°F at night. “When moving a plant outdoors, you’ll also want to make sure it’s in a planter with a drainage hole. This will help protect it from being overwatered if and when it rains,” says Marino. To further coax those pretty blooms, fertilize your aloe (again, making sure to use a balanced fertilizer and dilute it). While these steps won’t guarantee that your aloe will bloom, you just might get lucky (and have some gorgeous new fodder for the ‘Gram).
My aloe has a black base and yellow leaves…what’s happening?
Your aloe has root rot. But that doesn’t mean you need to kick your plant to the curb. Remove your aloe from its planter and prune off any mushy, rotting roots as well as any yellowing leaves. Once you’re left with healthy growth only, repot your aloe with a new potting mix. “This won’t work one hundred percent of the time, but generally aloes are pretty hardy and can bounce back with a little help,” says Marino.
Ouch, I have a sunburn. How can I remove aloe vera gel to ease the pain?
While there’s no clinical evidence that aloe vera can heal a sunburn, its cooling properties can help relieve pain and swelling. Here’s how to reap the rewards of this magical plant. “Pick a mature leaf on your aloe vera, towards the bottom or base of the plant. With sharp scissors or pruners, make a clean cut right where the leaf starts. Aloe leaves don’t grow back, so you don’t want to cut the leaf at a halfway point. Wear gloves in case any of the gel or latex sap leaks out when cutting the leaf off. Now depending on how much time you have before you need the gel, you can extract it from the cut leaf in a few different ways. If you don’t need the gel right away, you can cut the mature leaf into smaller sections and stand them upright in a bowl, so that the gel will drip out over a few days. If you need the gel sooner, you can extract it yourself by cutting the leaf in half lengthwise and scraping out the insides. You might notice a yellowy substance between the gel and the leaf (the same substance that might have oozed out when you first cut the leaf)—try to keep as much of this sap, or aloe latex, out of your extracted gel as possible. It has serious laxative properties and isn’t recommended to ingest without direction from a medical professional.”