Aloe vera is an attractive succulent houseplant with many medicinal uses. Plus, it is low maintenance. That makes it the perfect houseplant for anyone just getting in touch with their inner plant freak. As long as you have it in a happy spot and you don’t try to love it to death, your aloe plant could live for a little over a decade!
Aloe has been used for medicinal purposes for ages for treating burns, and minor skin irritations such as scrapes, cuts, sunburn, and insect bites. In more recent times it has also been shown to benefit the human digestive tract. Though I don’t recommend eating it in the raw form as it is not a pleasant taste, however, there are many other more palatable forms on the market that will have a very similar benefit.
How to Grow Aloe
The most important thing to provide for your aloe plant is light. Bright light is the key to success. However, you do not want your aloe to get direct sunlight as it may burn the leaves, which is kind of ironic considering the plant is used to treat burns. 🤔🤔🤔
Be sure that your aloe has good drainage. They do best in well-drained quality potting soil. In potting soil, you get what you pay for. We recommend our custom blend for house plants as it doesn’t contain fertilizer. Most houseplants do not like a lot of fertilizer. If you have a saucer or tray under your pot, be sure to pour out the excess water so that it is not left sitting with wet feet. Aloe vera doesn’t need a lot of water. Their fleshy leaves hold water thereby making it unnecessary to be vigilant about water. The best time to water your aloe is when the top three-quarters of an inch of soil is dry. Overwatering is the number one cause of death among these plants. People are so determined to keep it alive that they literally love their aloe to death.
Terracotta pots are the very best pot choice for aloe. It is porous and allows the roots to dry out between waterings, making the watering chore almost foolproof. Be sure that whatever pot you use, has sufficient drainage holes in the bottom. You will need to feed your plant every eight weeks or so from around April to September. Use a liquid fertilizer that you mix according to directions when you water.
Aloe is very easy to propagate. It will produce small offsets at the base of the plant. You can carefully separate these from the parent plant and put them directly into their own high-quality potting soil. Do not try to start a tiny plant in a large pot. Use a container that is more fitted to the size of the plant itself. Aloe is a slow grower. At least that’s what it is supposed to be. It has been our experience that aloe is really more of a moderate grower. If your Aloe vera is truly happy you will see more rapid growth from it.
- Red Leaves – If you see that the leaves of your aloe are turning reddish, this is a sign of too much direct light. Simply move your plant to a new location where it will not receive direct sunlight. Basically, this means it has received light from the sun’s rays as they shine directly into your window. Move it to a window where the sun rays do not directly penetrate or somewhere in the same room but farther from the window.
- Wrinkled leaves – If you notice that your aloe suddenly looks like a cross-country road map, chances are pretty good that your plant is dehydrating. DO NOT suddenly soak your plant if it has gotten to this point. This near-death experience will make it hard for your aloe to take up the water at a speed that would keep the roots from rotting. Instead, just give your plant a little bit of water daily for several days, and be sure to mist its leaves. when the leaves have returned to their regular firm form you may resume regular watering.
- Pale or yellow leaves – This is a sure sign of not enough light. Simply move the aloe to a brighter spot, but not where it will receive the sun’s rays directly.
- Scale – This will appear as brownish blobs or spots on the leaves. It is actually insects. Gently wipe the leaves with a cotton pad soaked with organic insecticide and this should take care of the problem.
Brown Mushy leaves – This is usually overwatering. Once the leaves have reached this point they are done. If there are still any green leaves left, remove the mushy parts and then remove the plant left from the pot. Lay the root ball out on cardboard or paper towels and remove any rotted roots you may see. Allow the root ball to dry out for 24 hours before returning it to its pot. Keep in mind that during the winter months, your aloe will go dormant, and other than misting the leaves once in a while, you do not have to water it during this time. Even if your house is very dry from the heating system, your aloe is not using water, so wetting the soil will only lead to bacteria growth and root rot.
So, enjoy your aloe plant. And love it for the low-maintenance plant that it is. Don’t assume that just because it is a plant you will need to throw water at it often. Putting water on it while it is dormant is like pouring water on a sleeping person….it gets them wet but that’s about all.
So, remember that aloe vera appreciates your willingness to love them but appreciates less attention even more.
- SPIDER PLANT
- FIDDLE LEAF FIG
Happy House Planting!!!