How Do You Take Care Of An Aloe Vera Plant?

Aloe vera plant care guide with easy tips

How to take care of aloe vera
 
Aloe Vera or Aloe Barbadensis is one of the most popular houseplants on this planet. Not only is it attractive, but also carries loads of medicinal benefits. For millennia, this wonder plant has been valued for its beauty properties as well.  No wonder you can find these plants practically in every household.

 

If you are by any chance planning to plant an Aloe Vera, we are here to tell you how do you take care of an Aloe Vera plant correctly and enjoy all the benefits it has to offer.

 

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How To Prepare Before for Planting An Aloe Vera?

The first and foremost thing that you need to be aware of about Aloe Vera is it is a succulent just like a Cacti. Know that succulents do well in dry conditions. Freezing temperatures can kill your plant so if you live in a cold climate, make sure not to plant your Aloe Vera in frozen soil.

 

If you are wondering how to take care of Aloe Vera plant outdoors, keep in mind that while choosing a location, make sure the spot is well-drained. You don’t need to water your plant regularly. If your area hasn’t received any rainfall in months, water your Aloe Vera and let the soil dry out before giving it another spell.

 

Plant them in a regular potting soil altered with additional building sand or perlite. When growing them in a pot, you also need to make sure that the pot has many holes for drainage as Aloe Vera cannot tolerate standing water.

 

Keep in mind the size of the plant you are choosing. If it is a baby plant, use a 3-inch pot, whereas if it is a bigger plant, go for a 6-inch pot.

 

One of the most important things to take care of while planting Aloe Vera is you should plant them at a spot that receives proper light. They need bright light to grow well so they will do well in the south or west-facing directions.

 

How To Plant Aloe Vera?

Now that you have done the prep for planting Aloe Vera, let’s dive into the process of planting  it.

  1. If you are planting Aloe Vera in a pot, start by using a pot with good drainage. Take a terracotta pot with a diameter of 3 inches. Make sure that the root of the plant must cover 2/3 space of the pot. If your plant has long roots, trim the roots carefully. Leave as many roots as possible.
  2. In case you are planting it in water, how do you take care of an Aloe Vera plant? Submerge the whole roots and then suspend the plant in water. Change the water from time to time.
  3. Place your plant in a spot that received bright but indirect light. Direct sunlight can burn your plant if you expose it to light suddenly. Sunburnt Aloe Vera plant will have white or light brown discoloration and it will stay that color.
  4. The Aloe Vera plant is sensitive to fluctuations in temperature. So, make sure not to place it near drafty vents or doors, especially in winter.
  5. Know that the soil should be dry between waterings.

 

Aloe Vera Plant Care Tips – How to Make Your Aloe Plant Thrive?

Taking care of an Aloe Vera is very easy once you know the basics. If you make a little effort, you can make your plant survive for many years.

 

1.  Soil

Using the right kind of soil is extremely important for the growth of a plant. Aloe needs well-draining soil to grow well. A succulent potting mix made of sand, perlite, or lava rock is ideal.

 

2.  Bright Indirect Sunlight

Place your plant in a bright and sunny spot. Make sure to not place them in direct sunlight. If your plant is leggy, it means it needs more sunlight. In that case, move it closer to the window.

 

On the other hand, if your plant has developed dryness and brown spots on its leaves, it is overexposed to sunlight. Move it away from the window and monitor its watering schedule.

 

3. Temperature

Aloe vera plants can survive in a varied range of temperatures and will not die in freezing conditions. However, if they are exposed to extremely cold temperatures for too long, they might get damaged and could ultimately die.

 

So, how to take care of aloe vera plants outdoors if the temperature is low? Aloes prefer warm climates and grow well in temperatures between 80-85 degrees Fahrenheit during the day. If at night the temperature falls below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, your plant may succumb to frost. So, it is best to move it indoors.

 

4. Water

Aloe Veras do not require much water. Once you water the plant, see that the soil is dry and water is two inches below the surface. Water again gradually until water comes out of the drainage. Do not water your plant again until the soil is dry. Avoid overwatering as it may rot your roots and cause droopy leaves.

 

5. Fertilizer

Though Aloe Vera does not require fertilizer, you can fertilize them twice a month from April to September. Do not fertilize during winters. Dilute 15-30-15 fertilizer in the water. Provide fertilizer when you water the plant.

 

6. Pruning

Pruning your Aloe Vera from time to time will help you achieve faster growth. But, pruning too often or too much can be harmful to your plant. Hence, avoid it. Once or twice a year is sufficient. In case of any dry or damaged leaves or yellow or brown aloe leaves, it is best to prune them. If you notice any pests or diseases, pruning the plant immediately is necessary.

 

7. Cutting & Harvesting

Aloe Vera plants should not be cut until they have reached maturity. Before cutting from a single plant, it is better to wait for a few weeks to give it time to heal. Always cut the leaves diagonally with a sharp knife as closer to the base as possible.

 

8. Repotting

Aloe Veras should be repotted once a year to keep them healthy. Repotting also solves the problem of the accumulation of mineral salts in the soil. Gently take the plant out, clean out the dead roots and plant again.

 

How To Take Care of Aloe Vera Plant Indoors, Is It Different From Outdoors?

Aloe Vera is a popular indoor plant for its hardiness and the fact that it can tolerate infrequent watering.

 

For indoors choose a terracotta pot with good drainage as terracotta dries faster as compared to plastic or glazed pots. When it comes to soil, either buy a succulent soil mix or take equal parts of potting soil and sand.

 

The plant can survive in snug conditions so don’t worry if your pot doesn’t have much space for the plant. However, see to it that the plant is not tipping over due to its weight, or else you need to re-pot it.

 

One of the most important Aloe Vera plant care tips – make sure to place your pot in a bright and sunny spot. You can move your pot outside during the summers, but don’t place it under direct sunlight. Every few days gradually move it to brighter areas to prevent overexposure to sunlight.

 

Water the plant well once every two weeks. The soil should dry out between waterings. Overwatering can make the roots rot. If you notice any limp or brown leaves, it is a signal that you have been overwatering your plant.
 
Related: Indoor Water Plants|Aloe Plant Lifespan

 

Does Aloe Vera Plant Bloom?

Not all Aloe Vera plants bloom. If you are thinking about how to take care of Aloe Vera plant indoors so that they bloom, let us tell you that indoor aloe rarely bloom. However, certain aloe varieties grown outdoors if grown under the right conditions can produce flowers. Aloe Vera needs adequate sunlight, water, exposure to pollination agents, proper fertilization, etc., to bloom.

 

In tropical climates, these plants produce flowers anytime between spring and summer, its peak growing season. In winter, Aloe Vera buds start their development when temperatures are the lowest and the days are shorter. However, the buds develop very slowly and it usually springs when flowers start to bloom.

 

Young plants do not produce any blossoms, even when grown outdoors. Blooming only begins when the rosette branches out in thick stems.

 

Aloe Vera Plant Pests and Diseases

As with other plants, Aloe Vera also faces the issue of pests and diseases. If you can identify the problem, you can fix it and save your Aloe Vera.  Read further to know about the common pests and diseases that can attack and damage your succulent and how our Aloe Vera plant care tips can help.

 
Let’s look at the pests first:

 

1. Spider Mites

Spider mites find the Aloe Vera plant extremely delectable. If your plant has been infected by these insects, you will notice small, pale markings on the surface of the leaves. If your plant has flowers, the flowers might be distorted or you might see them attacking the flower stalks.

 

The mites can be contained by insecticide powder. Spray it in the center of the plant. They might succumb to most insecticidal sprays.

 

2. Gall Mites

The first sign of mites is a new crooked flower cluster. You may see the first growth on the flower stalk, which later on develops into galls on the small flower stalks.

 

They can travel through the air and so it is recommended to cut the affected area with a blade ad treat it with a strong aphicide or insecticide.

 

3. Snout Beetles

Quick action is required when it comes to these pests. This beetle is ¾ inch long and attacks the center of the plant. It drinks the leaf sap and inserts its snouts between the leaves. This leaves a dark spot and a dry spot with a puncture mark in the middle of the leaves.

 

Remove the beetles physically and kill them. Sprinkle insecticide powder on mature beetles. If you notice a large number of boreholes from the center of the plant, it means there are beetle larvae present inside the plant.

 

Cut the stalk of the plant above the infestation. If there are no more holes, dip the stalk in the rooting hormone and let it dry and see if it will root.

 

4. Fungus Gnats

These are generally caused due to overly wet soil. If you allow the soil to dry out, it will kill the gnats and prevent them from spreading. You can avoid this problem by making sure that you are not overwatering your Aloes.

 
Next comes diseases. Read more to know how do you take care of an Aloe Vera plant if it is affected by the following diseases.

 

5. Basal Stem Rot

This is the first and most common disease found in the Aloe Vera plant. This condition is majorly caused due to cold and wet conditions which lead to rotting stems. The affected tissues of the plant turn reddish brown and black.

 

To save your plant, you should cut the stem above the rotten portion. Early detection is a must as this rot travels up to the stem.

 

6. Aloe Rust

The next condition is Aloe Rust. It causes black or brown circular spots on the leaves. To prevent Aloe Rust, make sure that there is no wetness on leaves. Dust plants with sulfur powder once or twice a week. Copper oxychloride or foliar fungicides may help. You can also spray a solution of one teaspoon of baking soda and one quart of water.

 

7. Sooty Mold

This is a fungal infection that affects the Aloe Vera plant. Bugs like Aphids and mealy bugs will suck the moisture out of plants and leave a clear substance of honeydew that creates a moist atmosphere that develops into a sooty mold.

 

To prevent sooty mold, you need to wash off the honeydew. This sticky substance prevents light from entering the leaves, reducing the process of photosynthesis.

 

FAQs

Q. How to take care of Aloe Vera plant in winters?

Ans. Follow the steps given below to protect your plant from the cold climate:

  1. Move your plant to a warmer place
  2. Reduce the frequency of watering
  3. Cover your plant with frost clothes to keep your succulent warmer
  4. Prune off the frost-damaged leaves
  5. Gradually move your plant back to a brighter environment after winter

 

Q. How to plant Aloe Vera without roots?

Ans. Planting Aloe Vera with offshoots is possible.

  1. Pick the best offshoots
  2. Separate the offshoots from the plant
  3. Choose an appropriate pot
  4. Make a proper potting mix
  5. Plant the cuttings and water them appropriately

 

Q. How to take care of Aloe Vera houseplant?

Ans. A few things need to be taken care of when your plant is surviving indoors.

  1. Water the plant properly
  2. Soil should be allowed to go dry between waterings
  3. While watering the soil should be drenched, but the water should be able to float freely
  4. Avoid overwatering
  5. There is no need to fertilize but if you decide to fertilize your plant, do it once a year.

 

Q. Do you water Aloe Vera from the top or bottom?

Ans. The Aloe Vera plant doesn’t need much watering. So, instead of showering the leaves with water, you should water at the base of the plant, at the earth.

 

Watering the bottom of the plant is the best way to nourish the roots. You can also place the plant in a tray filled with water. This will strengthen the root system and also quench the thirst of the plant.

 

To Sum Up..

Aloe Vera is a beautiful succulent that needs minimal care. Plant an Aloe Vera and forget about it for weeks, it will still thrive. It is that easy and simple to care for this wonder plant.

 

Apart from being one of the most beginner-friendly houseplants, Aloe Vera has several health and beauty benefits. Our guide on how do you take care of an Aloe Vera plant will help you keep it happy and healthy.