Being a succulent, Aloe Vera plant care is extremely easy. In tropical climates, the Aloe can grow wild but for anyone living below USDA plant hardiness zone 9, the Aloe must be grown indoors (although it can be put outside in its pot if there is no risk of frost).
Aloe Vera grows easily and takes up quite a lot of space. Its long, sharp leaves are filled with a gel which has many medicinal properties.
In fact, the many species of the Aloe plant have been grown for their health properties for thousands of years. The gel can be used topically to treat burns and other skin conditions; the plant is also known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
The Aloe plant also removes formaldehyde and benzene from the air. Having an aloe plant in your home is a healthy choice!
WARNING: Only use the gel if you are sure your plant is an Aloe Vera!
Like most plants, succulents tend to cross-polinate, and Aloe is no exception.
Breeders also take advantage of this to create hardy and visually-striking species, so if your plant is labeled as an Aloe hybrid or you’re not sure of its origins, it’s better to stay away from its gel.
Aloe Vera Plant Care: Light Requirements
Just like the Jade plant, Aloe needs a lot of light, up to 6 hours per day. As a tropical succulent, it likes warmth and sun.
How Often to Water Aloe Vera?
As a succulent, Aloe Vera does not react well to overwatering.
Pots should have good drainage and although the Aloe plant should be watered deeply, it should be allowed to dry completely before watering again.
The best way to tell if the soil is dry is to stick your fingers into the first two inches of soil. If it’s try, it’s time for a drink!
Best Soil for Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera should be planted in either a cactus potting mix or regular commercial soil mixed with perlite.
Just like with other succulents, drainage is critical in Aloe Vera plant care.
It is time to repot the Aloe when its leaves are as tall as its pot. It should be re-potted in a pot that is three times the size of the root ball.
Aloe Vera Plant Care: Fertilization
Not quite necessary for Aloe Vera plant care, but if you’re keen on fertilizing, this should not be done more than once per year, using a half-strength water-based phosphorous fertilizer.
Aloe Vera Plant Care: Propagation
Interestingly, Aloe Vera is one of the few succulents that doesn’t propagate from leaves. However, it’s easy to propagate as “babies” will poke through the soil beside the mother plant which then can be transferred into small pots. of course, seeds are always an option if your Aloe bloomed and managed to self-pollinate!
Visit Florina’s in-depth succulent care guide to learn more about:
- how to know when to repot succulents;
- which is the best watering technique;
- why it’s important to let your plants go dormant in the winter.