ALOEVERA CULTIVATION

Aloe barbadensis, Asphodelaceae (Liliaceae)

Aloevera is a shrubby, perennial, xerophytic, succulent, pea- green color plant. It is known and used for its health, beauty, medicinal and skin care properties. The name Aloe vera derives from the Arabic word “Alloeh” meaning “shining bitter substance,” while “vera” in Latin means “true”. Today, the Aloe vera plant has been used for various purposes in dermatology. It is grown mainly in the dry regions of Africa, Asia, Europe and America. In India, it is found in Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu.

Benefits of using Alovera

The inner part of leaf which contains gel and latex are used for preparing various medicines. It contains Vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, B12, Folic Acid, Niacine. Medicines prepared from Aloevera used for burns and sunburn, as well as a variety of skin diseases like eczema, pruritus, psoriasis, acne etc. It is stemless plant with average height of 24cm-39cm having thick and fleshy leaves.

It exhibits following properties

It has antiseptic effect

It gives moisturizing and anti-aging effect

It provides good immune system

It has Healing properties

Varieties and hybrids

There are around 150 species of Aloe belonging to family Liliacae. Out of which Aloe barbedensis, A. chinensis, A. perfoliata, A. vulgaris, A indica, A. littoralis and A. abyssinica are commonly grown varieties and have most therapeutic value.

IC111271, IC111269, IC111280, IC111273, IC111279 and IC111267:-Released by National Botanical and Plant Genetic Resource, ICAR, Delhi. It has high aloin content.

IC111267, IC1112666, IC111280, IC111280, IC111272 and IC111277: Released by National Botanical and Plant Genetic Resource, ICAR, Delhi. It contains high gel contents.

AL-1: Released by Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, Lucknow.

Climate

Aloe is a cactus-like plant that grows in hot, dry climates. It is cultivated in subtropical regions around the world. It requires temperature of 25-40 degrees and rainfall of 35-40cm for its growth

Soil

The plant can be grown in a variety of soils ranging from sandy coastal soils to loamy soils of plains. It cannot withstand in water logging conditions. It gives best results when grown under well drained loam to coarse sandy loam having pH ranges up to 8.5. 

Land preparation

Roots of Aloevera do not penetrate below 20-30 cm so depending upon soil type plough the land thoroughly and bring soil to fine tilth. At time of last ploughing add 6 ton per acre of well decomposed cow dung in soil. Form ridges and furrows for planting of suckers at 45 or 60 cm apart. If necessary irrigate the field. Plant suckers at 40 or 30 cm apart.

Time of sowing
Plant suckers in July-August for better growth. Under irrigated conditions, sowing can be done around the year except in winter month.

Spacing
Normally spacing of 45 cm x 40 cm or 60 cm x 30 cm is followed.

Sowing Depth
Plant three to four month old suckers in a pit having depth of 15 cm.

Method of sowing

Aloevera is obtained by cutting the leaves at their base and letting yellow, bitter Juice drain out. The water is evaporated off from the juice by heating and that result to light to dark brown mass.

Seed Rate
Nearly  about 22,000 suckers are required for one acre land. Use healthy suckers for cultivation. 3-4 months old suckers having 4-5 leaves are used as planting materials.

Manures and Fertilizers

At time of land preparation, apply 60-80 qtl per acre of well decomposed cow dung. Apply basal dose of N:P:K@20:20:20 kg/acre in form of Urea@44 kg, Super Phosphate@125 kg and MOP@34 kg per acre.

Weed and Water management

Do weeding and earthing up and keep field weed free. It is mainly done twice in a year at proper intervals

In summer or dry conditions, apply irrigation with interval of 2 weeks.  In rainy season, it does not require any irrigation and in winter season, less irrigation should be given as the plant not take up much water.  First irrigation must be done immediately after suckers get planted. Do not overwater the fields as they are harmful for crops. Remember that before watering the crops again let fields dry first. Before irrigation drenching should be done so that extra water will runs out.  

Harvesting

Aloevera crop take 18-24 months to fully mature. In year time, it bear yellow color flower. It can be harvested 4 times a year. 3-4 leaves cut from each plant. Carry out picking in morning or in evening. The leaves are regenerated and thus crop can be harvested up to 5 years

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