Summer is coming! While we always do our best to avoid getting sunburn, it is almost inevitable during the summer time. I’ve started harvesting some of the leaves from our massive, 7 year old, aloe plant in preparation for Memorial Day weekend.
In case you’ve never done this before, here are a few tips for harvesting the aloe from your aloe plants!
What you need:
- Aloe plant with mature leaves (duh)
- Garden shears
- Sharp knife
- Spoon (a grapefruit spoon is even better if you have one)
- Ball jar with lid
- Garden gloves if the aloe leaves have sharp edges
Step 1 – Cut the aloe leaf as close to the base as possible. Be careful not to puncture the stem.
Step 2 – Carefully take a sharp knife and peel back the flattest side of the leaf – usually the top of the leaf.
Step 3 – Use a spoon or a grapefruit spoon (with serrated edges) to scoop out the aloe. Place into the Ball jar.
Step 4 – Refrigerate the jar of aloe once harvested.
Here are a few additional tips:
- Mature leaves will be a vibrant green color with a slight curve
- Harvest leaves that are at least 8” – 10” long
- It’s best to harvest leaves from the bottom
- Plan to use the refrigerated harvested aloe within 1-2 weeks
- If you’ve harvest more than you can use, you can freeze the aloe in airtight containers for future use
- Don’t forget to compost the aloe leaf scraps
Among other skin uses, aloe is amazing for your hair too! I like to use the aloe to make homemade shampoo and conditioner. Basically, I do the following:
I take 1 part lemon juice and 3 parts aloe and blend together to create an aloe puree. I have long hair, so I usually need at least 2 tablespoons lemon juice and 6 tablespoons of aloe.
Then place the aloe shampoo mixture onto your scalp/hair before showering. Let it sit for 10 minutes, then shower and shampoo/condition as normal. The lemon and aloe cleans out your pores and helps fight against grease!
You can also just add a few tablespoons of blended aloe to your conditioner and use as normal. The aloe helps hydrate your hair.
You can learn more about aloe and its amazing uses for hair care and recipes from this site: http://www.aloeplant.info/aloe-hair-care/
Have any other exciting uses for aloe? Please share in the comments below!