Last Updated on August 29, 2022 by Plant Mom Care
Aloe Vera, a species of plant in the Aloe genus, can be cultivated indoors or outdoors, depending on the climate and temperature. It is extensively dispersed virtually everywhere and is often considered an invasive species in many regions.
It’s a perennial evergreen originating in the Arabian Peninsula’s southern regions but now thrives in semi-tropical, tropical, and desert conditions all over the world. The plant was imported to several areas of southern Europe and China in the 1600s.
It is a stemless plant that grows about 24–39 inches tall (even taller with some varieties), with green/grey-green colored fleshy leaves and white flecks in some varieties. The edges are serrated with little spikes or thorns on the edges. The tubular yellow flowers usually bloom on a spike almost 35 inches tall in summer.
It has been extensively cultivated traditionally as a topical treatment for several centuries. The leaves contain a clear gel that consists of antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and amino acids.
The species is attractive, tolerant of drought-like conditions and hardy, growing well indoors as a low-maintenance potted plant, and is ideal for novice gardeners.
Aloe Vera Light Requirements
The plant prefers to live in bright locations where it can get at least 6 – 7 hours of indirect bright light. Insufficient light will make it grow slowly, however, the growth rate can be increased if the plant receives enough light – a south/west facing window is the best location.
It can tolerate exposure to direct sunlight for a couple of hours – any longer will result in the leaves getting burnt and changing color to orange or brown. Light is important as it tends to grow gangly and start looking very unappealing. Rotate the pot every other month to ensure even growth.
Aloe Vera Watering
Water thoroughly once the soil is dry about every 3 weeks. Make sure the water drains out well as it doesn’t tolerate being water-logged, with wet soil causing root rot almost instantly.
Remember that this is a hardy desert plant, naturally growing in arid regions, and can even survive for months without water. Under-watering is a better and safer option since it stores plenty of water in its leaves. Reduce watering in winter as growth will slow down.
If you grow it outdoors in semi-shaded locations it will hardly ever need to be watered. Unless you are living in an area where it rarely rains, a little rainfall and well-draining soil will suffice for the plant to thrive.
Aloe Vera Humidity
Being succulents they prefer the environment to be dry and the average humidity in most homes will be enough to keep it happy.
Aloe Vera Temperature
It thrives best in temperatures between 60 – 75°F, even higher at times, and does not tolerate freezing temperatures below 30°F.
Aloe Vera Soil
The plant requires well-drained and sandy potting soil, similar to soil mixes suitable for succulents or cacti. Try and use terracotta pots to help with keeping moisture levels down.
Aloe Vera Repotting
Terracotta pots with porous drainage holes tend to dry out faster and are very suitable for growing as it prefers almost dry soil.
It does not have to be repotted often since the root system isn’t very extensive and it loves growing in tight spaces.
This also increases the possibility for the plant to produce more offshoots. Just make sure that the pot has a wide base to stop the plant from tipping over, particularly when the plant grows bigger and the leaves get heavier.
Aloe Vera Propagation
It is a very easy plant to propagate as it produces little offshoots all around the root base of the primary plant without any sort of intervention from anyone. More offshoots are produced as the plant gets older.
When offshoots reach a certain height, they can be removed from the primary plant because they will have formed distinct roots by then.
Loosen the dirt below offshoots and gently cut off the connection to the main plant. Plant these offshoots in pots filled with appropriate soil, watering well when done. This method is usually done in spring or summer when propagation is more successful.
Remarkably, even small plants already begin producing offshoots in the right conditions and as long as they are healthy.
Another technique with much slimmer chances of success is propagating plants from leaves. This is considered to be more advanced and difficult with some gardeners considering it impossible to accomplish.
They don’t need feeding since the roots naturally form fungi to help capture nutrients from the soil. It won’t hurt to fertilize them once a year with a diluted liquid fertilizer at half strength, giving them a little boost during the growth period.
Oddly enough, they grow better when they are neglected. If you follow the recommended watering schedule, you can enjoy living with your plant for many years as well as share new plants with friends and family for a long time.
Aloe Vera Common Problems
Leaves are like a feast for pests such as mites, scale, mealybugs, and aphids. Wipe them off with a damp cloth using rubbing alcohol. Repeat as necessary to ensure that these pests are completely gone.
Keeping your plants clean and healthy is the greatest approach to avoid insect infestations because it gives them a good chance of surviving any attack. Make it a part of your regular routine to inspect your plants for pests.