Do you want to learn how to grow Aloe Vera at home? Then, this guide is for you. Here, we’ll discuss everything you will need to know to keep your plants happy and healthy, whether in pots or in the ground.
Generally, Aloe Vera is easy to grow and thrives in drought conditions. In fact, healthy plants can survive weeks without water, provided they receive enough light. Yet still, they can die within days if planted in poorly drained soil.
In this article, You’ll learn the basics of caring for your aloe vera plant and 3 things you should consider before growing aloe vera indoors. I’ve also included some tips to take care of aloe pups when they appear.
How To Grow Aloe Vera Outside
Aloe plants are native to arid regions and well-adapted to temperatures between 55°F and 80°F. They grow best in well-drained soils and need at least 6 hours of sunlight daily. So, as long as you can provide these conditions your plants will do pretty well. That said, are some things to keep in mind.
1. Choose A Suitable Location
If you grow aloe vera plants in the ground, consider using raised beds. And avoid areas that receive strong shadows.
Aloe vera grows best in sandy soils, which drain quickly. You should amend your soils with organic matter or other material to help balance moisture.
If you live in cooler climates, you can grow aloe vera plants in pots. This will allow you to move them when necessary, whether for light or warmth.
2. Start With Healthy Aloe Vera Pups
While it is possible to grow aloe vera from seeds, it is more common to propagate aloes from pups. You can find these at the base of mature plants.
You can also purchase young potted plants at most garden centers and nurseries. They might be labelled Aloe Barbadensis Miller, which is the scientific name for Aloe Vera.
3. Take Care Of Your Plants As They Grow
Aloe Vera can take up to 4 years to mature. I prefer to keep them in pots for a few months before transplanting them into a garden bed.
Initially, I water the aloe vera plants about once every other week during the summer. I allow the potting mix to dry out between waterings. This helps to keep the roots health and prevents algae growth.
4. Transplant To Pots Or Garden Bed
If you repot your aloe vera plants into larger containers, you might have to water your plants every few months or not at all.
I live in the Caribbean, so I usually transplant aloe plants into the garden when their leaves are about 4 to 6 inches long, and their roots are fully developed. Otherwise, I keep repotting them if necessary.
5. Protect Plants From Extreme Weather
However, aloe plants cannot live outside in the winter, where temperatures drop below 55°F. So you can rule out anything colder than hardy zone 12, for the most part.
Growing Aloe Vera Indoors (2 Things To Consider)
Aloe vera is a resilient plant that can grow just about anywhere, provided their basic needs are met. However, if you choose to grow your plants indoors, there are some things you’ll need to consider.
1. Aloe Vera Requires Direct Light.
While aloe plants can survive in the shade, they tend to grow long and thin if they are not exposed to direct sunlight over some time.
To prevent this, you’ll need to place your plants in a sunward-facing area, such as a window sill or under a skylight, where they can receive at least 6 hours of direct light per day.
2. Aloe Vera Love Dry Conditions
It is safe to say that Aloe Vera does not like having “wet feet,” unless they are clean. In fact, they are more likely to die from poorly drained anaerobic soil than from drought.
When grown indoors, Aloe vera does not need much water. Typically, you can water your plants every 3 or 4 weeks, and they will be happy.
However, you will need to adjust this based on the plant’s size, container, and the time of the year. Also, you should ensure that the potting soil dries out before watering.
The Best Soil For Aloe Vera Plants Indoors
The best soil for indoor aloe vera plants is a well-drained, quality potting mix. I also add extra vermiculite or perlite to the potting soil to ensure proper drainage.
You can find these ready-made soils at the garden centers of most department stores, such as Home Depot or Creative Do it Best.
However, you can also create a suitable growing media by combining sterilized garden soil with lots of well-rotted compost and small pebbles such as river gravel.
As mentioned before, aloe vera plants, grown indoors, do not need to be watered often. Please allow the soil to dry out before watering. Otherwise, you will put your plants at risk of root rot.
How To Propagate Aloe Vera Pups
Aloe Vera Pups are the young plantlets found at the base of mature plants. To propagate them, you will need to remove the young plants from their parent. Then, place them in a suitable growing medium until they develop roots.
1. Remove Aloe Pups From Parent Plant
You can do this by pressing a sharp tool between the pup and the parent, effectively severing the root connecting the two.
Then carefully dig around the plantlet and remove it from the soil. In some instances, you will see small roots at the base of the young plant.
2. Plant Pups Into Potting Mix
Afterward, place the pup into a nursery pot containing moist potting mix. Water and move to a well-lit location.
Alternatively, you can put your aloe pups in just enough water to touch the base of the plant. However, I don’t use this technique since aloe vera root quickly enough in potting mix.
3. Care For Young Pups
Aloe Vera pups grow slowly and can take up to 3 months before you see any noticeable change. After some time, you can expect to see about one new leaf per month.
Ensure your young plants receive enough sunlight and moisture. However, avoid overwatering, poorly drained soil. Remember, once rooted, you should allow the potting mix to dry out between watering.
4. Repot Young Plants When Necessary
Usually, we grow several aloe plants in one pot and repot them when they are about 4 to 6 inches tall. This can take months!
Ultimately, this completes the cycle, and you can start the process again. Have fun!
Do aloe plants need direct sunlight?
Aloe plants need at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day or tend to grow abnormally. As a result, you should place your plants in a sunward-facing location away from large obstacles that can create intense shade.
Can you grow aloe vera from a cutting?
Yes, you can grow aloe vera from a stem cutting. However, unlike some other succulents, they cannot produce roots from their leaf cuttings.