Aloe is an attractive and fairly easy plant that makes for a great indoor companion. These plants aren’t just for decoration, as they are also very beneficial for our health!
When it comes to caring for an aloe plant, as it is a type of succulent, it thankfully doesn’t require too much attention after it has been set up.
There are a few basics to remember with your Aloe Vera;
Aloe Vera requires a certain amount of sunlight each day for it to reach its full potential. To be able to achieve great source of light, some use a grow light that attaches to a plant pot if grown inside.
Aloe Vera needs a minimum of 6 hours of light under the shade or indirectly. However, if possible, try to ensure your aloe gets around 7-8 hours of indirect sunlight per day.
Remember that direct sunlight can dry out the plant too much, which could turn the fleshy leaves red. This will require you to water more often if your aloe plant lives in a very sunny spot.
If you want your aloe to continue to grow, you’ll want to keep it in the temperature range it likes. Aloe Vera does best in temperatures between 19-20°C (66-68°F). Try to keep your aloe on the higher side of that range for it to grow to its maximum potential.
Aloe Vera needs a well-draining, slightly alkaline soil to ensure that the roots don’t suffer from too much moisture. Commercial succulent/cactus potting mix works, or you can opt to make your own!
The best soil for Aloe Vera is one that is well draining. Other beneficial ingredients for increasing drainage are as follows;
Pumice, a porous, lightweight volcanic rock that adds structural integrity to the grow mix and drains well.
Perlite, a type of fluffy volcanic glass that resembles Styrofoam pellets. Sometimes called “volcanic popcorn,” perlite keeps potting soil from becoming compressed, but it does absorb a small amount of water and then releases it slowly.
Chunks of bark, which are often used as a base ingredient in potting soil suitable for growing Aloe Vera.
Lava rocks, another volcanic rock, adds stability to the soil and drains well.
Peat moss, which may be included in some mixes but usually in small quantities since it retains some water.
Fertilizer that is added to the mix to encourage healthy plant growth. Feeding an Aloe Vera plant won’t be necessary for 1 to 3 months if the blend contains a fertilizer product.
Coconut coir, which keeps soil from compressing.
When it comes to a pot for your Aloe Vera, you will need something that has excellent drainage. A pot that doesn’t have sufficient drainage will cause more serious problems, so to avoid this issue, use any pot that has a drainage hole. Terracotta is a great option, as it will naturally release moisture from the pot which will help reduce water retention in your soil.
Repotting will become necessary if your Aloe Vera becomes rootbound. All you will need to do, its lift the plant out of its current pot, if it looks like there is more root than soil, its time to find a bigger pot (about 1-2” bigger).
Proper watering is essential for any plant to grow. Aloe Vera is easy to water, simply water the potting soil thoroughly, but allow the excess water to drain. After this, allow the soil to dry out completely before watering it again. When it comes to aloe, less watering is better since they are built to withstand droughts.
As a general plan, water your aloe every 2-3 weeks in the spring and the summer. However, in fall and winter, double the amount of time between watering compared to your spring/summer schedule. For example, if you water every 2 weeks in the spring/summer, water every four weeks in the fall/winter.