Aloe vera is a medicinal plant grown for the sole purpose of curing many kinds of illness and diseases, it is in the family of
This herb also known as desert Lily is a low humidity crop, this simply means it does not do well on damp land, and so it requires a drained soil.
It is very easy for farmers to cultivate, due to the fact that it is not very selective in term of soil, it does great on any type of soil, for the fact that the soil is rich in nutrients.
It is often referred to as farmers friend because it requires less work and could be harvested for a long time because it is a perennial crop.
It is one of the most soughted medicinal crop, that is why it has good market both in the local market of many countries and also in the international market, so it makes a very good export product.
This medicinal Agricultural crop known as aloe vera is estimated to be around 915 million US Dollars in the year 2024, the United States of America has about 60 to 65% of market share, Latin America has a wooping of about 20 to 25% and Asia and the Pacific Rim Australia, China, and India in all has about 10% of the market.
The finished products containing Aloe Vera’s ingredients are estimated to be valued at 35 billion United States Dollars.
In this article, I am going to explain the truth or facts about aloe vera and it’s farming/growing process.
Types of Aloe Vera
I believe, before I could explain about the farming process of aloe vera, it is important to explain the various types of aloe vera, so that it will help you choose the right type to cultivate or grow.
Some of them are;
Aloe Crosby’s Prolific:
This is a miniature or a dwarf type of aloe vera, it has long leaves with translucent teeth. This type of aloe vera plant develops orange-red Flowers and the leaves turn red in the sun, It is very suitable for containers and beds.
Aloe Barbadensis Miler:
Aloe bardadensis miler is one of the commonest types of aloe vera, and it is very popular for the fact it has healing properties. The gel it produces when the leaves are cutted helps burns to heal faster and also resolves some of skin and hair diseases.
This type of Aloe Vera plant grows yellowish flowers and also has white spots that are found on the leaves, but tends to vanish as the plant grow.
This type of aloe vera, the small clumps of this evergreen plant change to purple or red when it suffers from stress.
The leaves poses white spots and red teeth along the edges.
It could be watered once a week in the summer and not at all in the winter, so it is quite easy to maintain.
This plant goes well in the winter and bears reddish-orange Flowers that is about 3 feet in height.
This is an Arabian Aloe vera and it is very tolerant to drought.
It grows awesomely in containers, patios, beds, borders, and in the gardens.
This particular type of plant looks very great with it’s blue-green leaves and the red teeth that surround them.
The leaves turn to purple in full sun.
It grows dense spires of red flowers in winter and it is free from diseases.
The Aloe Ferox each leaf has brown teeth and spines, especially in the lower part of it.
Ths type of plant develops large bright orange flowers, it’s transparent gel is used in burn ointments and other skincare products, it is also used in food supplements.
Preparation of land for Aloe Vera Cultivation
If you have been reading some of my articles, I always talk about land, this is because land is a very important factor in any type of Agricultural business, so aloe vera is not exempted!.
To cultivate aloe vera herb/plant, you need to get a good land, like I stated earlier above, aloe vera unlike other crop is a low humidity type of crop, so you should bear that in mind and get a farm land located in a place where there is minimal rainfall and where the soil is drained.
The land should be located where there is adequate sunshine, although this plant will survive in any wether condition, be it cold, hot, but it is prone to damp soil.
To get land at cheaper price, avoid the urban areas, so that you could maximize your profit.
Let’s assume you have gotten a good land that fits the above conditions I gave, then proceed to prepare it for the cultivation.
To prepare the land, clear of the bush or forest, cut down the trees around it so that sunlight could penetrate inside the farm, when you are through, plough the land with holes of about 5 to 8 inches deep and give a space or gap of 1 foot from one hole to another.
This is to make enough space for the plants to gain full access to the sun.
Planting Aloe Vera
After preparing the land and ploughing the land, get the aloe vera and plant.
To plant this type of plants, it is best to plant them with their roots inclusive, this will enable them to grow faster as planting them with their seed is far more slow in growth an germination, depending on the type of aloe vera involved.
Plant the with their roots down in the earth and their leaves and stem facing up on the surface, then cover the holes with sand.
Although aloe vera plants does not require much water, but at their early stage, watering them frequently is good till they start growing and can cater for themselves.
Immediately after planting, you can apply some manures if you want! organic manures like compost and animal dungs are good for a start
Care of Aloe Vera plant
After successfully planting the aloe vera plants, and they start growing, the next thing is to take care of them so that they could do very well and give you a continuous healthy and profitable yields.
To take care of this type of plants, there are there are things you need to be doing which are:
Fertilizing: Fertilizer is one of the most important care to give to this type of plants, in fact, the process of fertilizing starts even before the farm is prepared!.
Before the land preparation, about 8 to 10 tonnes of FYM/ ha is applied on the land. Before the last ploughing, 35 kg N, 70 kg P 20 5, and 70 kg K2 0/ha are applied.
For controlling termites and other insects, 350 to 400 kg Neem Cake / ha may be added!. In the month of September or October, about 35 to 40 kg N as top dressing should be applied, If the soil is rich in organic matter, N dose can be reduced.
Apart from applying Fertilizer, organic manure is also very good for aloe vera plants, in fact, i do use organic manure in my own garden where i grow small aloe vera plants.
To apply organic manure, it’s very simple, get compost or animal dungs, infact, animal dungs is my best maure, this is because they serve me very well and that is why I always mention it in every of my post.
If it is cow, goat, sheep or fowl dung, heap them around the bottom of the plants and they will be absorbed by the soil, thereby providing the plants with the nutrients they need to survive and produce good yields.
Watering/Irrigation: Like I have explained above, this plant does not need too much water to survive, but this does not mean it doesn’t need water at all, so irrigation is also important to it.
When the plants are newly planted or transplanted, they require water, but not like other plants might do.
This type of plant hates waterlogged soil or damp soil, but they need water on a normal level, although they could survive in the drought, but this happens when they have grown and could cater for themselves, but at the little stage, they need water!.
The average watering times table should be once every 2 days and once in a week after they have grown.
one glass cup full of water is enough per plant.
Note – Don’t over water them.
Draining: As I have explained above about watering Irrigation, draining is the opposite!. Aloe very plant does not like too much water or a damp land, so in terms of over watering, the land should be drained!.
Over watering could be caused by too much rainfall and too much irrigation, so draining the land is a very great care for them.
To drain a the land, the water if too much could be channelled out of the aloe vera farm or garden and the sun could be allowed to penetrate the farm in full Force. so that it will help dry the wet land by cutting down any tree or bush blocking it.
Pruning: Pruning is another way to care for the Aloe plants. Sometimes in my garden, i see some few unhealthy leaves changing color and showing sign of drying, I immediately remove them, I found out that it is a very good act as it helps the plants and also help to prevent diseased leaves from spreading to the whole of the plants.
Weeding: In almost every crop/plant you could every think of, apart from few, weed is a major disturbing agent! aloe vera is not excluded from this.
whithin a short while of planting the aloe vera plants, weed is very likely to grow out from the ground and start harming the plants in terms of competing in sucking the soil nutrients and also is very likely to habour pests and infect the plants with diseases, this is why it is very important to remove them as quickly as possible once you see them because aloe vera is prone to diseases.
To weed the aloe farm or garden, get herbicide and spray on them, they will start dying gradually, leaving the plants alone or you will need to do the weeding manually with weeding hoe.
Pests and Disease Control on Aloe Vera Plant
Aloe Vera is a type of plant that is very prone to various kinds of diseases and pests, thus should be looked out for any sign of it on them.
This type of plant is easily infected by various insets and pests, so special care is needed for their control. In a medicinal plants like aloe vera where the juice of the leaves are directly taken as medicine, clean cultivation, interculture operation, regular and need based irrigation, application of adeguate organic manure, treatment of suker before planting, and cultivation of aloe vera in sunny conditions are conducive for healthy growth of the aloe vera plant. The use of organic source of plant protection materials such as raw garlic juice, neem oil (10,000 ppm) 2-3 ml / lit, tobacco extractant 20 ml / lit brings reasonably a good result.
Also pests could be looked out for and if any of them is seen, kill it!.
Harvest of Aloe Vera Plants
Aloe Vera is a herb that plant that has it’s medicine in it’s leaves and the seeds, this made the leaf and the seed harvestable.
It takes roughly between 7 to 8 months from the day they were planted to mature for a harvest.
To harvest this herb is very simple, use a kitchen knife or a pen knife or scissors to cut out the leaves which contains a bitter liquid gel which has an offensive odour.
Cut the leaves gently and carefully, in order not to waste the liquid gel inside.
Gently put them into a container and take to where you will store them ( this is if you are not selling or consuming immediately).
Aloe Vera can be is harvested once or twice in a whole year.
How to store Aloe Vera
After harvest, the next question or issue will always be how to store the harvested aloe vera.
Fresh aloe vera leaf can not be stored, unless it is dried.
To dry, place under hot for few days and they will dry and store in a dry place.
The flowers could be also dried and stored in a dry container with enough opening for air.
Uses/Importance of Aloe Vera
Like I mentioned above aloe vera is a herb and so it is purely for medicinal use.
Some of the uses are:
Aloe Vera is one of the best natural cure for skin diseases such as pimple etc.
It also cures nervous weakness, asthma, jaundice, etc.
The leaf flesh (about 7-Sg) mixed with honey, taken in morning and evening cures constipation. Besides, it is good medicine for many other diseases.
The gel in the leaves of this plant and it’s flowers are used as a medicine, but the medicines are prepared from its leaves.
Drinking the juice of the leave helps improves hunger, and also helps in the digestion system. The juice when mixed with sugar is a natural cure for cough and cold.
Apart from it’s many uses as a natural cure, pharmaceuticals companies rely on it for the production of many kind of medicines that is used to cure numerous number of sickness, this is the main reason why it is a huge market for farmers to cultivate.
Apart from drugs, it is used to produce things like bathing soap, body cream and even toothpaste.
The cultivation or farming of Aloe Vera has the potential of making huge amount of money for both the farmer and the the traders and it can also boost the economy of the country because it is a great export goods.
It can provide employment opportunities in the country.
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