Aloe plants are captivating succulents that make an amazing indoor companion. They are one of the popular houseplants, as these type of succulents comes with great benefits as a skin aid since the juice from their leaves can be used to relieve pain from scrapes and burns when applied.
On top of that, there are dozens of Aloe species to choose from! And most have juicy, triangular leaves that form starfish-like rosettes. Plus, these quirky-looking plants are great for beginners because they thrive on neglect.
Here’s all you need to know to grow and properly care for aloe plants in your home.
Like most succulents, watering Aloe Plants can be a bit tricky. They can easily rot with excessive watering, and at the same time, may shrivel and die when given too little water. So make sure that you are just giving your Aloe Plant enough water to keep it from drying out completely, but not too much to drown it!
An overwatered Aloe Plants will start to develop water-soaked spots on their leaves, making it look soggy and soft. You will notice that the entire leaves will look as though have become saturated with water, then turns mushy and eventually dies.
To discourage any problems related to watering, always water your Aloe Plant deeply until it comes out of the container's drainage holes, allowing the top 1 to 2-inches deep of the soil to dry before giving it another drink. You can use a moisture meter to check or by sticking your finger in the soil to the second knuckle. If it feels dry, then it is time to give it a good soak of water. Also, do not forget to throw away any excess water collected on the pot’s saucer, as Aloes don’t like sitting in the wet for too long.
Ideally, from Spring to early Fall, where Aloes are actively growing, once every 3 weeks of thorough watering should be enough to keep them lightly moist. And even more sparingly during their dormancy period, which happens from late Fall to Winter. To encourage blooming, continue watering it less frequently until early Spring.
When it comes to light exposure, Aloe plants need at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight to continuously thrive. However, be cautious because immediately moving an aloe plant from a shady area to direct sun can cause an aloe plant to dry out too much and turn its leaves yellow. So consider placing them in a location that offers bright, indirect sunlight (or, artificial light).
Tip: You can check the light level in your home using a light meter or a method called “shadow test” before placing your Aloe Plant.
If you are growing your Aloe Plant outdoors, the ideal spot for them is in a south or west-facing outdoor area. However, if you are planning to move your indoor aloe outdoors, make sure to gradually acclimate the plant over the course of 1 to 2 weeks before leaving it outside. Doing this should lessen the risk of your plant to get sunburned due to sudden changes to its environment.
The most suitable temperature to grow Aloe Plants ranges from 55 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Meaning, this plant can grow outdoors in zones 9 to 11 without any problems.
However, if you are located outside the recommended zones of this plant, it is best to plant it in a container where you can easily carry them out in Summer and back into a sunny location for the Winter. This is because Aloe Plants are frost tender and cannot handle temperatures below 25 degrees Fahrenheit.
Since Aloes are succulents that are prone to root rot when left sitting in water for too long, it is recommended to use sandy soil with a neutral pH. But a cactus potting mix or a regular soil that has been amended with additional perlite or building sand is also a great choice for this plant.
In general, Aloes don’t need to be fertilized. But if you want to add fertilizing as part of your care routine for this plant, you can use a phosphorus-heavy, water-based fertilizer at half strength or mixes designed specifically for succulents and apply this once a year in the Spring.
One of the advantages of having an Aloe plant is they help clean the air. And since they often produce offsets, propagating one is very easy! On top of that, doing it is very fun and exciting, whether you’re just trying to fill out your garden or make gifts to share!
Before you start propagating, prepare the following materials below:
After you have all the necessary equipment on hand, you may now start propagating your Aloe by the step-by-step process below:
Step 1: Find where the offsets are attached to the mother plant. Separate them using a sharp, clean knife or scissors and make sure to leave at least an inch of stem on the offset.
Step 2: Brush away as much soil as possible from the offset and allow it to callous over the cut for several days. This should help protect your pups from rot. You may also dip the ends of your offsets in rooting hormone to encourage root development. And make sure to place it in a warm location with indirect light.
Step 3: Once the offsets have formed callouses, pot them in a dry well-draining soil intended especially for cacti and succulents plants. While your offsets are still small, their roots need to breathe and adjust to the fresh soil, so make sure not to pack the soil down tightly.
Step 4: Put the newly-potted pups in a sunny location. Wait at least a week to water and keep the soil on the dry side. Their roots need time to heal, which is best done with dry soil. Moderately start watering your Aloe plant again after at least a week has passed.
So that’s all there is on caring for aloe plants! With these tips, we guarantee that you will not only be able to properly take care of them but also lets you expand your aloe collection without spending a dime or share them with others.
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