- Aloe Vera plant care
- Information About Aloe Vera Plant
- Aloe Vera Plant Benefits
- Tips For Aloe Vera Plant Care
- How Often To Water Aloe Vera
- How Much Sun Does An Aloe Plant Need
- Best Potting Soil For Aloe Vera Plants
- Best Fertilizer For Aloe Vera
- Propagating Aloe Vera Plants
- Aloe Plant Insect Pest Control
- Aloe Vera Plant Care Problems
- Products I Recommend
- More Posts About Growing Succulent Plants
- Watering Your Aloe
- When to Water
- How Often to Water
- Here’s what I’ve learned about growing Aloe vera:
- Factors that cause Aloe to use up more water
- Aloe Water Needs – Watering An Aloe Vera Plant The Right Way
- Signs of Excessive or Inadequate Aloe Watering
- Aloe Water Needs
- How to Water an Aloe
- How to Water an Aloe Vera Plant the Right Way
- When to Water Aloe Vera Plants
- What are the signs that an Aloe is getting too much water?
- Signs of Too Much or Too Little Aloe Watering
- What are the signs of an overly dry Aloe vera plant?
Aloe Vera plant care
Aloe Vera is a hugely popular plant for a multitude of reasons; from health to skincare to hair growth and even surface burn relief. Aloe Vera is proven to contain vitamins and enzymes that detoxify and support the immune system, lower cholesterol and blood sugar, help with digestion, provide a boost of vitamins, and also help with acne and dehydrated skin.
No wonder it’s the latest health and beauty craze… Use the product in smoothies or apply directly to the skin or hair to add a boost – and of course, you can simply enjoy your Aloe Vera plant for interior purposes, for which there are also many more benefits…
Caring For Your Aloe Vera Plant
Positioning And Timing
First off, Aloe Vera is a really easy plant to care for. Although Aloe Vera grows better outdoors in the warmer months, they have no problem existing potted on a window sill. Aloe Vera thrives bet in indirect sunlight, as although they soak up the sun willingly, too much can cause browning. Also, on the other end of the spectrum, frost can cause damage to Aloe Vera so make sure to protect your plant during the winter months.
Watering Your Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera is more in danger of being overwatered than under-watered. Ensure you keep a well-drained soil. Sandy soil is best, especially with larger pots (smaller pots drain well on their own). In the winter the moisture will not dry up overly quickly so water sparingly – once every week if not a fortnight. Whereas in the summer you can freely water more heavily, however, make sure to allow the soil to dry between sessions. Also, ensure that your pot has a drainage hole to prevent the roots from rotting. A good way to test the soil is to analyse the condition 2-3 inches deep. Ideally, the soil should be crumbly and light brown as opposed to moist. Allow this soil condition for a few days and then water again.
Monitoring Your Aloe Vera
Indicative signs that your Aloe Vera plant is not in the best condition are best seen in the leaves… If your Aloe Vera plant’s leaves are thin and curling then it is likely that you would benefit from watering your plant more. Secondly, analyse your plant’s leaves for the direction of growth. Healthy Aloe Vera should grow upwards if however, the leaves appear flat chances are your Aloe Vera plant is not receiving enough light. However, as aforementioned too much light can be observed in browning leaves.
Repotting Your Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera plants often come in flimsy and small pots when you first purchase them. As aloe Vera thrives better in larger pots, move your plant as soon as possible to a concrete drainable pot. Ideally, pick a pot three times the size of the root ball – Aloe loves to spread and grow. Tip: Spread pebble, shell or rock over the soil surface to hold moisture and create the natural environment Aloe is accustomed to.
Propagating Your Aloe Vera
Often, small Aloe plants will sprout separately from the main Aloe Vera plant. To repot this new plant, detach it from its mother ensuring you do not damage the roots. Place it on its own on a dry area and leave it to callous over for a period of a few days. Following this, repot the small Aloe in a sandy soil mixture in its own pot. If the baby Vera has no roots, fill a small pit with potting soil and place the tiny plant cut-side downwards on the soil surface. Spritz instead of heavily watering every few days and you should see roots sprout in no time. Then all that is left is to plant the Aloe in the soil – voila.
However, you choose to use your Aloe Vera plant, taking care of yours will ensure you can reap the benefits year after year. For a bit of inspiration – why not mix Aloe Vera gel with coconut oil to create a hydration body cream – lather over hands and feet for maximum hydration and soothing – perfect. Or mix with honey to create a sweet and hydrating face mask.
Not only is it a gorgeous plant, aloe vera is easy to grow indoors as a potted plant, and makes a wonder houseplant. Given the proper aloe vera plant care, these amazing plants can live for many, many years.
This guide to aloe vera plant care covers:
- Information About Aloe Vera Plant
- Aloe Vera Plant Benefits
- Tips For Growing Aloe Vera Plant
- How Often To Water Aloe Vera
- How Much Sun Does An Aloe Plant Need
- Best Potting Soil For Aloe Vera Plants
- Best Fertilizer For Aloe Vera
- Propagating Aloe Vera Plants
- Aloe Plant Insect Pest Control
- Troubleshooting Aloe Vera Plant Problems
Information About Aloe Vera Plant
Aloe vera (also known as medicinal aloe plant) is a very popular plant that is best known for the healing qualities of the gel. They are common succulent plants, and aloe vera is just one of hundreds of different types of aloe plants.
Whether you want to grow aloe vera to harvest it’s medicinal gel, or you simply love the look of the plant, it’s definitely one that you will be able to enjoy for many years to come!
My aloe vera is one of the oldest plants in my collection (it’s almost 20 years old now, maybe I should throw a party!). I bought it as a tiny plant that was barely large enough for the four inch pot it came in.
Over the years it has grown to be huge, and has been propagated many, many times.
How fast does aloe vera grow? They can grow pretty fast outdoors, but are much slower growers when kept indoors as houseplants.
If you want your potted aloe plant to grow faster, then put it outside during the summer (just make sure the pot has drainage holes!).
Growing aloe vera plant outdoors
Aloe Vera Plant Benefits
Most people are already very familiar with the medicinal and healing benefits of aloe vera plants. These days you’ll find aloe vera gel in everything from skin and haircare products, to drinks, supplements, and food products.
Heck, I’ve even heard it referred to as a superfood (the buzzword of the century, right!).
You can harvest aloe vera gel from your plant to use it on minor burns and cuts, and even to make your own soaps, lotions, and other skin care products if you want.
Another great benefit of growing aloe vera as a houseplant is that it helps to purify the air in our homes.
Now we know why aloe vera is such a popular plant these days, and everyone wants to grow their own (me included)!
Aloe vera succulent plant growing indoors
Tips For Aloe Vera Plant Care
The good news is that aloe vera plants are super easy to grow houseplants, and they grow very well in pots.
There’s really not much to it, and guess what – your aloe vera might just do better if you ignore it, they thrive on neglect.
But, there are a few things you need to do to keep your aloe vera growing it’s best. The two most important parts of aloe vera plant care are proper watering and lighting.
Gently clean dusty aloe vera plant leaves with damp rag
How Often To Water Aloe Vera
The most common mistake people make when it comes to aloe vera plant care is overwatering. Consistent overwatering is the number one killer of aloe vera plants!
In nature, aloes grow in desert climates where they hardly get any rain. Aloe vera succulent plants hold water in their leaves, so they can go a very long time without water.
Overwatering will cause root rot, and eventually cause the stem of the plant to rot, eventually killing the whole plant from the bottom up. Oh boy, we definitely don’t want that to happen!
Aloe vera plant outside for the summer
Aloe vera plants like to be watered more during the summer than the winter months, but will not tolerate being consistently overwatered at any time during the year. It’s best to allow the soil to dry out completely between waterings.
Stick your finger one inch into the soil to make sure it’s dry before watering aloe vera. When it’s time to water, give your aloe vera plant a good drink, allowing all of the excess water to run out the bottom if it’s planted in a pot.
Never leave an aloe plant sitting in water though, and the soil should never be soggy.
If you struggle with overwatering plants, I highly recommend using a soil moisture gauge to help you figure out when to water your aloe vera.
Aloe vera plants go into a state of dormancy during the winter, and mature aloes won’t need much water at all during that time.
I only give my large aloe vera plants a small amount of water 2 or 3 times during the entire winter, smaller plants will need to be watered a bit more often.
How Much Sun Does An Aloe Plant Need
The second most important thing about aloe vera plant care is proper lighting. Aloe vera plants will grow their best when given lots of light.
f they don’t get enough light, they will grow tall and leggy over time. This can be especially challenging when growing aloe vera indoors.
Outdoors, aloe vera can be grown anywhere from full sun to partial shade. A south facing window would be the ideal spot for an indoor aloe plant, but they also grow well under artificial lights.
If you don’t have enough sunlight in your home, then you should definitely get a grow light for your aloe vera.
If you’d like, you can move your potted aloe vera plant to a sunny spot outside during the summer months, but be very careful when you first move it outside.
An aloe plant that has been growing inside all winter will be sensitive to direct sunlight. So make sure to slowly acclimate your plant to the sun or the leaves could burn (it’s kinda ironic that aloe vera plant leaves can get sunburned, don’t you think?).
My huge aloe vera plant happily growing indoors
Best Potting Soil For Aloe Vera Plants
The best soil for aloe vera is one that drains very quickly, and doesn’t hold water. A commercial succulent soil potting mix for aloe vera and other succulents would work great.
Or you could use a gritty succulent soil mix which will make it even easier to ensure you don’t overwater your aloe vera.
I like to make my own succulent soil, using a mix of perlite or pumice, sand, and regular potting soil, which tends to be cheaper than buying the commercial stuff.
Related Post: DIY Succulent Potting Soil
If you plan to repot your aloe vera, make sure you use a container that has drainage holes in the bottom. Pots made out of terracotta or clay are the best pots for aloe vera, and will help to keep you from overwatering your plant.
The clay wicks water out of the soil helping it dry out much faster, which is ideal for growing aloe vera (and it looks pretty too!).
To keep the soil from spilling out the drainage holes, but still allow the water to drain, cover the holes with drainage netting, or an extra piece of window screen or landscaping fabric.
Small aloe vera plant in a pot
Best Fertilizer For Aloe Vera
Aloe vera plants don’t really need to be fertilized. But like most plants, they will benefit from being fed once and a while during their active growing season (spring through summer).
I recommend using organic plant fertilizer on your aloe vera, rather than the chemical stuff – especially if you plan to harvest and use the gel. A general purpose organic succulent plant fertilizer will work great for aloe vera plants.
Compost fertilizer is also a great choice. You can use a pre-made compost tea, or you can buy compost tea bags and brew your own.
Fish emulsion and liquid kelp are also fantastic natural liquid fertilizers for feeding aloes (but I recommend only using those on outdoor plants because they are stinky).
Aloe plants go into a state of dormancy in the winter, and will hardly grow at all. So, don’t fertilize your aloe vera plant during the fall and winter months.
Fertilizing your aloe vera plant a few times during the growing season can also help to encourage flowers.
Even though they can bloom, it’s very rare to see an aloe vera flower on plants that are growing indoors. I’ve had my aloe vera plant for almost 20 years, and it has never flowered (I wish it would, that would be amazing!).
Aloe vera pups potted up
Propagating Aloe Vera Plants
It’s easiest to propagate aloe vera plants by division, but they can be propagated from stem cuttings as well (which can be much more difficult).
To propagate by division, all you need to do is remove the aloe vera offsets from the mother plant.
Aloe vera will grow offsets (aloe vera pups) around the base of the plant, and these babies can be removed from the mother plant and potted up on their own to create a new plant. It’s as easy as that! Get my step-by-step instructions for how to propagate aloe vera by division.
Propagate by transplanting aloe pups
If your aloe vera plant has grown huge and has a long stem at the bottom (and you’re feeling brave), you could try propagating the whole thing from one large stem cutting (this is how I ended up with two humongous aloe vera plants!).
It’s much easier to do if your plant has already started growing roots on the stem.
After you make the cut, allow the wound to cure (dry out) for several days so it calluses over (the larger the cutting, the longer you should let it cure).
Then dip the cutting into rooting hormone and stick it in a dry sand/perlite soil mix, or use a gritty succulent potting soil. Keep the air around the cutting humid, and do not water the soil until you see new growth.
You can also leave the stem piece growing in the pot after you cut off the main plant. That will start to get new leaves again, and grow into a whole new plant.
Propagate aloe vera plant from cuttings
Aloe Plant Insect Pest Control
Healthy aloe vera plants rarely have issues with insect pests, but sometimes mealybugs or houseplant scale can attack a plant.
If you notice some yucky bugs have invaded your aloe vera, make sure you treat them using organic pest control methods.
Toxic chemical pesticides don’t always work on houseplant pests, not to mention the fact that they’re really bad for our health too!
For small pest infestations, simply dipping a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol and using it to remove the bugs is usually all you need to do to get rid of them.
Organic neem oil, insecticidal soap or a horticultural oil spray work very well to control larger outbreaks of houseplant pests.
But aloes can be sensitive to certain sprays. So, be sure to test anything you use on a small part of a leaf before spraying the whole plant.
Super healthy aloe vera succulent plant
Aloe Vera Plant Care Problems
The main problems that most people have with aloe vera plant care are due to overwatering or insufficient lighting, so make sure you’re familiar with all the care tips above to avoid any issues.
Here are some other common aloe vera plant care problems, and what to do about them.
- Mushy stem – If the stem of your aloe plant is completely mushy it means that the plant has been overwatered, and now it’s rotting at the base. If the rot has just started, and most of the stem is still firm and healthy, then you might be able to save your plant! But you have to act fast. Cut the stem just above the rotted section, and try propagating it (see the propagation section above). Make sure you cut off all of the rot before propagating or it will just continue to spread up the cutting.
- Brown leaves – The first thing to do is check the stem of the plant to make sure it’s firm and healthy. If the stem looks good, then check the brown leaves to see if they are mushy, or if they are dried and shriveled. If your aloe has brown mushy (rotting) leaves, but the stem is still firm, simply trim off the mushy leaves at the point where they’re attached to the stem, and slow down on watering. On the other hand, if the leaves on your aloe are drying out and shriveling up, that’s a sign it’s getting too dry (yes, it is possible to under-water an aloe vera plant!) and could use more water. Dry leaves can also be trimmed from the plant.
- The plant is very tall and thin – This means your plant hasn’t been getting enough light. Move it to a sunny window, or add a grow light to give it more light (see the section above about sunlight requirements for more details).
Bottom leaves of aloe plant drying up
If you don’t already have an aloe vera plant, I highly recommend getting one. If you’re wondering where to buy aloe vera, check your local garden center, or you order one online.
Aloe vera plants are easy to grow, and thrive on neglect. The make excellent home or office plants. Once you get the hang of these simple aloe vera plant care techniques, your plant will grow for years to come.
Products I Recommend
More Posts About Growing Succulent Plants
- DIY Indoor Succulent Garden
- How To Care For A Jade Plant Indoors
- Gritty Succulent Soil Mix Makes Growing Succulents A Snap!
- How To Grow Succulents As Houseplants
Do you grow aloe vera? Share your aloe vera plant care tips in the comments section below.
As a gardener, you probably know that aloe vera plants are of 95% water. This emphasizes pretty much everything to you on how much care should be given when it comes to watering your plant. If you are watering this succulent type of plant, here is our watering recommendation for your Aloe plant.
Watering Your Aloe
The succulent type of plant naturally contains a lot of water. Sometimes it may seem to you that the soil is dry and you need to water it.Probably you are assuming the wrong concept about the Aloe.
Most of your houseplants have water in their land, but with the Aloe, things are different. Aloe stores water in its leaves and supplies to the soil whenever it needs. Interesting, isn’t it?
Therefore, people tend to water their Aloe plant, again and again, thinking the soil needs to be wet. If you over-water the plant, it will end up dying.
When to Water
For enquiring, you can examine the soil to see if the plant is getting the right amount of water or not.
Stick your finger and reach to the soil. Does your finger feel sopping wet? If the answer is affirmative, then wait for a while to water your Aloe again. And if your finger appears moist, you should pause for a few days more.
How Often to Water
Most of the Aloe experts are agreed that you should water your Aloe once every week when it is the summer. But this doesn’t easily end here. There are lots of things for you to take into your consideration.
The weather, environment, season, plant itself (not every plant) trigger the timing when your plant is in need of water.
The winter is sort of hibernation period for Aloe plants. At that time, Aloe becomes dormant. So, you don’t need to water more often than usual times.In fact, you should water less. As it goes almost hibernated, it doesn’t use energy that much.
I would hazard a guess to say that Aloe Vera is the most widely sold succulent the world over. Yes, it’s true, this plant has been used for 1000’s of years and is still favored today. You find it in many homes and gardens and it also goes by many other names as well. Aloe barbadensis, First Aid Plant, True Aloe, African Aloe, Burn Plant, and Miracle Plant, to mention a few. This beneficial plant with purpose is really easy to grow in your home and in the garden so stay tuned because there are care tips coming your way.
As you can see, Aloe vera grows in a rosette form as it ages. It does wonderfully in containers & I think it’s especially suited to terra cotta – it’s a great look.
My Aloe veras grow in pots year round outdoors and I hardly do a thing to them in terms of care. They also make fine houseplants (so fine that it’s included in my houseplant care book) and are particularly handy to have growing in the kitchen. If you burn yourself that soothing fresh gel contained in the leaves is right there waiting for you. Head’s up because there are 2 important things you need to know to grow them successfully in your home. Hint, hint: they’re listed under the 1st 2 care tips.
Here I am on my back patio talking all things Aloe vera care:
Here’s what I’ve learned about growing Aloe vera:
In the garden, you want your Aloe vera to get 2 or 3 hours of sun a day. As a general rule, along the coast it can take more sun than hot inland areas. It’s best protected from the hot afternoon sun & mine was actually stressed from being in too much sun (plus it desperately need repotting). Now it lives on the back patio where it gets lots of light but little direct sun.
Indoors, it needs as much light as possible, like a south of west exposure. This is not a low light plant & if it’s not getting the light it needs, the leaves will droop downwards. Just be sure to keep it away from hot glass (like a west exposure) because it’ll burn. It can be near that window but not in it.
No matter where you have it growing, you want your Aloe vera to almost completely dry out before watering it again. Water it thoroughly & make sure all that water drains out – you don’t want it to be sitting in any water. In the summer I water mine every 7-14 days, depending on the weather. Indoors, once a month should do it. In the winter, it might need it even less, maybe once every 2 months. Remember, those fleshy leaves & roots are full of water & they can easily rot out.
Following hot on the heels of watering (or over watering!), it’s very important to make sure that the mix you have your it planted in drains well. I always use succulent & cactus mix & recommend that you use it any time you’re planting Aloe vera in containers.
In the great outdoors, you can see what I did in my own garden in preparation for planting succulents
The leaves of my Aloe vera have really greened & plumped up since I repotted it & moved it to a less sunny spot.
Aloe vera is hardy to around 28 degrees F.
Like the majority of succulents, none is really necessary. I top dress mine with a 1″ layer of worm castings every spring. You can do the same indoors or use a balanced liquid houseplant food once in the spring. Either way, don’t over fertilize & never feed in the colder, darker months. Shhhh, the plant is resting!
Propagating is done by division of the offsets, or those pups (babies) which appear at the base of the mother plant. Most succulents you can propagate by stem &/or leaf cuttings but not an Aloe vera. There are no stems & the leaves are way too full of gel. You see how I removed the baby in this video starting at the 1:40 mark.
Here’s the offset that came off the mother plant.
None is really needed except to prune off the spent flower stalks & of course to remove those fleshy, fabulous leaves. You can cut a leaf in 1 or 2″ intervals if you’d like because it won’t harm the plant at all. I always remove the whole leaf because I think it looks much better. I just wrap the leaf in tin foil & cut it as I need it. Sometimes that cool gel feels soooo good!
Mine outdoors gets an occasional light infestation of orange aphids, usually at the end of summer/beginning of fall, which I just gently blast off with the hose.
Indoors they can also be susceptible to mealy bugs & scale. You can wipe the mealy bug off with alcohol & a cotton swab. Scale can be removed the same way or you can scrape it off with your fingernail or a dull knife.
The yellow flowers appear on stalks that rise up above the plant. Here in Santa Barbara they flower in late winter into spring. It is early March & mine has a flower which will be opening soon.
This is a huge Aloe vera leaf I bought at the Mexican market near my house. All that wonderful gel!
What to know
About 6 Decembers ago we had a 4 day cold (around 35 degrees…brrrrr) & rainy spell, not too common for us here in Santa Barbara. The succulents were saying: “what’s up with this?”. That in addition to the fact that my poor Aloe was getting too much direct sun in the summer had caused the leaves to turn pale & orangish. Here’s something you need to know: the leaves of the Aloe Vera will turn orange (or orange/brown) if they get sunburned or stressed. I’m sure that cold rain didn’t help either.
Aloe doesn’t mind being a bit pot bound so you don’t need to repot it every year.
As this plant grows & the leaves get big & full of gel, it gets quite heavy. You’ll need a substantial base – no little flimsy plastic pots here, please.
Quick recap: if you’re growing this succulent indoors, just remember – high light, low water (hey, those roots need oxygen too). There are about 400 different species of aloes in the world and this one is definitely the most well known. How does it feel to be so fabulously famous Aloe vera??!!
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How often do you water aloe has been a common question that I receive. Actually, how often do you water ANY plant has been a question that many people ask me just about every day.
Ok, now let’s set the record straight! If you read any advice out there where someone specifically tells you how often to water your aloe or any houseplant, this is NOT correct!
If you’ve landed on this page, I would urge you to keep reading through to the end of the post. Because this is not the simple answer that you were looking for.
But it is the CORRECT answer! Part of my mission is to educate people on proper houseplant care and shatter any myths out there. And there is a lot of misinformation on there!
I will give you the real way to determine when to water your aloe. So steer away from anyone that tells you that needs to be watered .
Rant over. Ok, now let’s talk about why I’m not just going to tell you to water your aloe plant once a week, or once every two weeks.
That being said, in some cases, once a week might work. But you can’t generalize like this. How often you water a plant depends on how quickly the soil dries out.
You should determine WHEN to water by how dry the soil is. Not by your calendar! Let’s go through a couple scenarios and you’ll know what I mean.
If you have an aloe plant that is at least a little pot bound in a small 4 inch terra cotta pot, have average to warm indoor conditions and your plant is sitting in good light, then once a week may work for you!
However, if you have a larger pot of aloe, under cooler conditions, and less light, then you will probably rot out your aloe if you water once a week.
See, I told you it’s complicated (it really isn’t), but I want you to understand proper houseplant care and watering practices.
The short answer is that you should honestly just use your physical senses to tell you when to water.
- Use your finger to feel the soil. Does it feel dry to the touch?
- Pick up the pot. Does it feel much lighter than after you’ve just watered it?
Basically, you want to water your aloe when the soil has completely dried out. You can even wait a little longer than that, but not too long.
So depending on different factors, it might be once a week for my plant. It might once every two weeks for someone else, etc. To determine when to water your aloe, go by how dry the soil is. Don’t let your calendar tell you!
This is the correct answer!
Keep reading though because there is more information to understand. Read it all through, let it soak in, and you will be on your way to becoming a better plant parent.
Factors that cause Aloe to use up more water
So what factors will contribute to your aloe’s soil drying out quickly enough so that you know when to water it?
It is important to understand these factors so that you can change your conditions to make your aloe thrive.
The following factors will help speed up your aloe’s soil to dry more quickly:
- Terra cotta pots will dry out more quickly than plastic, glazed ceramic, or any other material that is not porous.
- Smaller pots tend to dry out much more quickly.
- Warmer temperatures and drier air.
- Brighter conditions. Plants in more direct sun will use up water more quickly and encourage the soil to dry quicker.
- Pot bound or root bound plants will dry out more quickly.
- More airy soils will dry out much more quickly than compacted soils that don’t contain materials to encourage drainage.
To summarize, you want to water when your aloe’s soil is completely dry. Don’t go by your calendar.
Be sure to read more details in a blog post that I wrote on Aloe care which goes into details on proper light, potting mix, pot size, etc. It is well worth understanding so you can best provide for your plant!
The post also contains troubleshooting so that you’ll know if you underwatered, or overwatered, your aloe.
I also wrote an aloe propagation post so you can make more of a good thing 🙂
Do you have any aloe plant? Did you know that there are many different species of aloe and not just the common “aloe vera”?
Aloe Water Needs – Watering An Aloe Vera Plant The Right Way
Aloe plants are succulents which are mostly considered drought tolerant plants. However, they do need water, just like any other plant, but what are aloe water needs? Aloe succulents are healthier and have the best appearance when they are kept lightly moist. If that is a confusing recommendation, keep reading for tips on how to water an aloe.
Signs of Excessive or Inadequate Aloe Watering
Excessive aloe plant watering can cause it to rot, often killing these beautiful and useful succulents. Watering an aloe can be tricky because they will suffer with too much water but can shrivel and die with too little. In the absence of a moisture meter, doling out the proper amount can be difficult. In order to keep those glorious sword-like leaves thick and healthy while preventing root damage, a hands-on approach is warranted.
Perfect watering techniques start with a well-draining medium. A purchased succulent mixture works great or cactus soil with some regular soil mixed into it is also adequate. Make sure the drainage holes in any container are open and plentiful. You may also want to place small gravel or pebbles in the bottom 2 inches (5 cm.) of the container, especially if the pot is tall.
An aloe that is getting too much water may wilt and become darkened. Blistered cells in the leaves are a sign of edema where too much water has been absorbed. Mold in the soil and any softening of the stems also indicate too much moisture.
Overly dry plant leaves will wither and pucker. These plants store water in their leaves and too little moisture causes this symptom. Some yellowing may also occur and indicate it is time to water.
Aloe Water Needs
Aloe vera irrigation should be regular enough to prevent shriveling and encourage growth but not so frequent you drown the plant. In the growing season, generally spring and summer into early fall, these succulents need to be kept moderately moist. However, in winter the watering schedule should be halved.
Aloes can withstand periods of drought if established but young plants need more frequent irrigation to help them establish root systems and can be severely damaged by overly dry conditions. On average, watering an aloe once per week is enough, but if plants are exposed to extreme sunlight and heat, a touch test is necessary.
This is the easiest way to tell if the soil is too dry. Simply insert your finger into the soil up to the second knuckle. If it is dry, water the plant. If it is still moist, wait a few days. Also, check the irrigation holes to see if the soil is mush and retaining too much moisture.
How to Water an Aloe
Aloe vera irrigation should be deep and infrequent. Watering an aloe deeply also allows any built up salts to leach from the soil. Succulents can be sensitive to the minerals and chemicals in municipal water supplies. If your aloe seems peaky, use filtered or distilled water when irrigating.
Add a diluted liquid fertilizer once per month to the water but only during the growing season.
If your plant has been overwatered, pull it from the soil and lay it out to dry. The roots need to be checked for any signs of fungal disease and trimmed if any is discovered. Replant in fresh dry soil in a few days and do not water for a week.
These are practically foolproof plants that can survive most errors in irrigation.
The Aloe vera makes a wonderful houseplant. As a succulent, Aloe vera plants are very easy to grow and maintain. The one main thing to be concerned about is the Aloe water needs. Watering an Aloe vera plant the right way will help it to thrive. Be cautious about watering Aloe vera plants because too much or too little water may result in a limp, pale looking plant or it may even die.
The Aloe vera succulent is definitely a drought tolerant plant. Like all plants they need water but it should be done less frequently and a little differently than most of your other houseplants.
How to Water an Aloe Vera Plant the Right Way
Thoroughly soak the soil and let it drain completely. Then do not water again until the soil is dry. Stick your finger in the soil to make sure it is dry or to be more precise use a soil moisture meter. Deep watering will help leach unwanted salts from the soil. Some succulents may be overly sensitive to the chemicals and minerals in municipal water. If your Aloe vera is not thriving you may consider using filtered or rain water.
When to Water Aloe Vera Plants
Most Aloe plants in homes and offices should be watered no more than once a week or even every few weeks.
Appropriatley timed watering will prevent shriveling and you will see new growth. I the spring and summer some Aloe vera plants benefit from being kept a little moist. In the fall and winter you may only need to water once a month or so.
Young Aloe vera plants that are still establishing their root systems may need to be watered a little more frequently than mature larger plants.
What are the signs that an Aloe is getting too much water?
It will start to wilt and may start to become darkened. The leaves will get edema making them look blistered because of absorbing too much water. Excessive watering will sometimes bring mold which is bad for your plant. The leaves will get abnormally soft with too much moisture.
Even after being careful it is still possible to overwater an Aloe vera plant. You may still be able to help it bounce back. Simply take the Aloe out of the pot and lay it on its side to dry. Check the roots for signs of fungal disease or rot. If possible trim any sections that are not healthy looking. In a few days replant your Aloe vera in fresh dry succulent soil and do not water it for an additional week.
Signs of Too Much or Too Little Aloe Watering
Watering excessively may cause your aloe plant to rot which will eventually kill it if this is not corrected.
It can be tricky to water an Aloe vera because they will look bad or even die with too much watering or they may shrivel up and lose their vibrant green color if they are not watered enough.
It is highly recommended to use a moisture meter to test the soil dampness of Aloe vera plants and all succulents for that matter. It is better to be proactive and water an Aloe the best way than to wait until you see signs of distress.
Be sure to start with the right cactus and succulent soil mix. It does not have to be a perfect blend as long as it drains well which is key to most succulents. Use a pot with drainage holes.
What are the signs of an overly dry Aloe vera plant?
The leaves will begin to pucker and then wither. The leaves will often begin yellowing if they are not getting enough water.
Aloe vera plants are great houseplants and can also decorate an office or other business environment. Numerous studies show that Aloe vera is one of the plants that can clean toxic indoor air. They are so easy to care for and can also be used medicinally both topically and internally.
Should I fertilize my Aloe vera?
You may need to fertilize your Aloe vera once a month or so in the growing season. Dilute any fertilizer by half before the application.
Summary: There is not much to worry about when growing Aloe vera plants except to be careful about watering. If you pay attention to your Aloe vera water schedule you will enjoy a beautiful thriving succulent!