Whether you grow it for its healing properties or simply to add a little green to your home, caring for an Aloe vera plant is simple, even if you’re a beginner, and it’s a great succulent to grow indoors.
Continue reading to learn everything you need to know about caring for an Aloe vera plant and growing this succulent in your own home!
Natural habitat of Aloe vera
Having said that, Aloe vera has become naturalized in many areas around the world. It is tough and adaptable to a wide range of tropical climates! As a result, it can now be found growing in the wild in Northern Africa, the Canary Islands and mainland Spain, Portugal and its islands, and even parts of Asia.
How to Care for an Aloe Vera Plant: Light and Temperature
Aloe vera, like most succulents, thrives in brightly lit environments. It will thrive in a brightly lit area of your home.
Having said that, your Aloe vera will survive and even grow in slightly darker conditions – it will just grow at a slower rate. Don’t believe the numerous articles that claim this plant can grow in the dark. Even if there is no direct sunlight, your Aloe will require bright indirect light.
Aloe vera wild variations occur naturally in warm climates. While this plant can tolerate cold temperatures, it has not evolved to withstand temperatures below zero. This means you can grow it outside for the majority of the year, but you’ll have to bring it inside when the temperature drops below 41 °F/5 °C.
Don’t be concerned about your Aloe vera during the summer. It can withstand fairly high temperatures and a lot of sun as long as the change isn’t too abrupt. Don’t be alarmed if the plant turns brownish. Many succulents change color in response to being exposed to a lot of sunlight. This is known as stress coloration, and it is not dangerous.
If your Aloe’s leaves are turning brown and crisping up, move it to a more shaded location. This is a potentially fatal case of sunburn.
According to the preceding, the best place for your Aloe vera is outside during the summer and on a brightly lit windowsill the rest of the year.
If you live in a wet climate, make sure to protect the plant from excessive rain. When it’s warm and sunny outside, it’ll be thirsty, but it needs to dry out between waterings. This is especially true during the colder months.
How to Grow Aloe Vera
Soil is an extremely important consideration when growing all types of succulents, including caring for an Aloe vera plant. These plants are drought tolerant, and their roots cannot tolerate being in moist soil for extended periods of time. This means that for the best results, you’ll need a soil that drains well.
A good basic soil mix for Aloe vera is 50% potting soil without peat and 50% gritty material like perlite. You can make your own with these two components, or you can buy a ready-made mix online.
In addition to well-draining soil, your Aloe vera will require a well-draining planter to allow excess water to drain. This means that any pot in which you grow an Aloe should have at least one draining hole at the bottom.
If your Aloe vera is still small, this may not be an issue for a while, but keep in mind that an adult succulent is very heavy. Its water-filled leaves may weigh more than the pot you’re using, causing it to topple over. To avoid accidents when working with large Aloes, always use a heavy pot. A larger, round cactus planter could also be a good choice.
Watering and fertilizing an Aloe vera plant
Over watering is most likely the leading cause of death in all popular succulent houseplants. Many houseplant enthusiasts are unaware that succulent soil should be allowed to dry completely before being watered again. Furthermore, many people are unaware that watering requirements vary depending on the amount of light, temperature, and season.
Because of the foregoing, we cannot tell you when or how much to water your Aloe vera. All that can be said is that the soil around the plant should be dry before watering it, which usually takes about two weeks during the summer. Outdoors, it could be less than a week, whereas during the winter, you may only need to water once a month, if at all.
Fertilizer for Aloe Vera Plant Care
If your Aloe vera is healthy and well-established, it will benefit from fertilizer on a regular basis. When I say “occasionally,” I mean it: most Aloe growers fertilize only once or twice a year. The best time to do so is during the summer, when the plant is actively growing.
For the best results, use a cactus fertilizer or a diluted regular houseplant food.
Propagation of Aloe Vera
Aloe vera propagation is simple, and Aloe babies make ideal little gifts. In fact, the plant will do the majority of the work for you! Puppies will be produced at the base of healthy Aloes. These can be separated by slicing the root that connects them to the mother plant with a clean knife and potting them up in their own planters.
Water sparingly until the plant establishes itself, and presto, you’ve just multiplied your Aloe vera.
Aloe Vera Complaints
The leaves of aloe vera are turning brown. If the leaves of your Aloe vera are turning a brownish or purplish color but aren’t soft, it’s most likely stress coloration. Is the plant exposed to direct sunlight?
The presence of stress coloration is not cause for concern in and of itself, but you are in danger if the leaves begin to become crispy.
Aloe vera leaves with black spots Do you have black spots on your Aloe vera leaves, especially at the base? Examine your watering routine. You are most likely overwatering, which can be fatal to the plant in the long run!
Overwatering symptoms can also occur if there is a lack of drainage or if there is insufficient light and the plant is unable to process the water you are providing it.
The leaves of aloe vera are soft. Do you notice any drooping? Your Aloe vera may be rotting, which can be fatal if you do not act quickly.
Because rot can spread and infect the entire plant, the only thing you can do at this point is cut off all the affected parts and hope that solves the problem. Also, take a look at the care you’re providing, because something isn’t quite right. Is the plant in the water for an extended period of time? Take appropriate action.
Purchasing Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is arguably one of the most popular houseplants due to its medicinal properties, and it can be found in almost any plant store or garden center.
Keep an eye out for low-quality plants at your local grocery store. They could have been there for a long time, sometimes overwatered and without much light. Buying Aloe vera online is often more effective because many are fresh from the nursery and thus in good condition.
Is Aloe Vera dangerous to cats and dogs?
Although Aloe vera gel is generally safe for pets, other parts of the plant can be harmful. The leaves’ outer layer contains a latex with laxative properties. This means that if your cat or dog chews on an Aloe vera leaf, he or she may experience tummy aches and diarrhea, which can lead to dehydration.
Overall, it is best to keep this plant out of the reach of curious pets!
If you have any questions about how to care for an Aloe vera plant or would like to share your own experiences with this succulent, please leave a comment below!