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Aloe vera (Katralai)
Botanical Name – Aloe vera L.
Family – Lilliaceae

Importance

  • 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.
  • The leaves attain the height of 0.5m.
  • The major planting areas of Aloevera are India, Australia, USA, Japan and Europe.
  • In India it is found in Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Orissa, Rajasthan, Uttaranchal states.

Alkaloids

Cathartic anthraglycosides (barbolin)

Soil and Climate

Soil

  • The plant can be grown in a variety of soils ranging from sandy coastal soils to loamy soils of plains.
  • It can’t 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. 

Climate

  • Temperature – 25-40°c . 
  • Rainfall – 35-40
  • Sowing temperature – 30-35° c 
  • Harvesting Temperature – 25-35 °

Seed Rate

Seed Rate
Usually about 22000 suckers are required for one acre land.

Seed Treatment

  • Use healthy suckers for cultivation.
  • 3-4 months old suckers having 4-5 leaves are used as planting materials. 

Varieties

  • 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.

Land Preparation

  • Incorporate 10 t/ha of FYM during last ploughing.
  • For fertile soils manuring is not required at all.
  • But for low fertile soils, apply 30 kg/ha of Nitrogen + 120 kg/ha of Gypsum during field preparation.
  • In addition, 30 kg N can be applied after 20 days of planting.
  • Roots of Aloe vera did not penetrate below 20-30 cm so depending upon soil type plough the land thoroughly and bring soil to fine tilth.
  • Forms ridge and furrow for planting of suckers at 45 or 60 cm apart.
  • If necessary irrigate the field.
  • Plant suckers at 40 or 30 cm apart.

Sowing

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

  • Parts used Aloe vera 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

Seed Rate
Usually about 22000 suckers are required for one acre land.

Seed Treatment

  • Use healthy suckers for cultivation.
  • 3-4 months old suckers having 4-5 leaves are used as planting materials. 

Fertilizer

Fertilizer Requirement (kg/acre)

UREA SSP MURIATE OF POTASH
44 125 34

Nutrients Requirement (kg/acre)

NITROGEN PHOSPHORUS POTASH
20 20 20
  • 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 control

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

Irrigation

  • 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.  

Plant Protection

1) Mealy bug :

Aloe Vera Farming | Aloe Vera Information

Symptoms-

  • Caused by Lepidocephalus and Pseudococcus.
  • The leaves start yellowing and withering.

Management-

  • Application of Methyl parathion@10 ml or Quinalphos@20 ml in 10 Ltr of water is done on roots and shoots of the plant.

Disease Control

1) Black brown leaf spots :

Pests and Diseases - Aloe Aloe    Should I be worried about these dark spots on my aloe? : r/succulents

Symptoms-

  • Black Brown spots are characterized by reddish- brown spores that occur in oval or elongated pustules.
  • The disease can develop rapidly when free moisture is available and temperatures are near 20°C.
  • Successive generations of urediniospores can be produced every 10-14 days if conditions are favorable.

2) Anthracnose :

Brown Spots On Aloe Vera Leaves : What could be the reason?

Symptoms-

  • It is a disease that causes many diseases such as dieback, twig cankers, blotches, defoliation and shoot blight.

Management-

Spraying of 70% Neem oil helps to cure from this disease.

Harvesting

  • Harvesting can be done 6 – 7 months after planting.
  • Plants are uprooted and processed (gel extraction) within 6 hours after harvest
  • 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.

Post Harvesting

  • Allow freshly harvested plant to wilt and loose moisture in the field before transporting.
  • Wilting is noticed normally within 24 to 72 hours.
  • But the plant should be kept dry and cool to prevent fermentation or mould growth.  A concrete floor under shade can be used.

Yield(t/ha)

An average leaf yield of 15 t/ha can be obtained.