How to Take Care of An Aloe Vera Plant – Tips to Grow and Take Care
The aloe vera is not just a sunburn soother. It is an attractive succulent that can enhance your indoor decoration and add a tropical flair to your garden. You can grow this beautiful succulent at your home with proper aloe vera plant care. Here is an article with all you need to know about how to take care of an aloe vera plant.
Aloe vera is a species of succulent plant and belongs to the Aloe family. This cactus looking plant is short and stemmed with greenish, thick, and fleshy leaves that fan out from the central stem of the plant. The margin of the leaves is serrated with small thorns or teeth.
The aloe vera plant is more than just a decoration. It is highly useful and has been used for thousands of years to treat different health conditions. It has antiviral and antibacterial properties, which makes it an extensively used medical plant for a good reason.
Now you must be thinking about how to grow an aloe vera plant or how to take care of it. Relax! Here are some useful tips for growing and caring for an aloe vera plant.
How to Grow Aloe Vera Plant
The spiky aloe vera plant has magical benefits. It is easy to grow this plant; however, you need to follow certain guidelines to grow a healthy aloe vera plant. Below mentioned are some tips you can follow.
Tips to Follow Before Planting
Aloe vera is one of the favorite plants for many home gardeners. If you are forgetful water, this person is a perfect choice for you. You need to take care of certain aspects before planting an aloe vera plant.
Choose the Right Planter
It is essential to opt for the right type of planter. We suggest you choose a pot that is made from a porous material like terra-cotta. It allows dry the soil properly between waterings. Moreover, it is heavy enough to avoid tipping. You can also use a glazed or plastic pot. It will help more moisture.
When opting for a container, make sure to pick the pot with a minimum of one drainage hole present at the bottom. It will allow the extra water to drain out.
Choose a container that is equally deep and wide. In case your aloe vera plant has stems, opt for a sufficiently deep container to plant the complete stem under the soil.
Use High-Quality Potting Mix
Aloe vera is a succulent plant. Therefore, it would be better to use an appropriately draining potting-mix. Opt for the one made from succulents and cacti. Avoid using soil. A good mix is made from lava rock, coarse sand, and perlite or all of three. Though alive vera plants are hardy, lack of appropriate drainage can cause wilting. It is one of the common causes for the death of a plant.
You do not necessary to make a layer of clay balls, gravel, or any other drainage material at the bottom of the container or pot. Moreover, it would be enough to have a drainage hole.
Opt for Rooting Hormone (Optional)
If you want your aloe vera to put out new roots, then you can dust the stem of your plant with rooting hormone powder. You can find it at local garden centers or online. It will allow your aloe vera to put new roots and grow appropriately.
Tips to Plant an Aloe Vera Plant
If you are growing a new aloe vera or repotting a plant, then here are some tips to follow.
Prepare the Pot
Give your plant a quick rine or a good scrub and let it dry appropriately. Now place a small piece of screen on the drainage hole. It will help in preventing the soil from falling out. In addition to this, it will also allow the water to drain out properly.
You can also use a doubled-up piece of newspaper or towel. However, it will break down after some time, and you will have to replace it with a new one.
Prepare the Plant
After preparing the pot, the next step is to prepare the plant. Follow the below-mentioned steps.
- Remove the small aloe vera plant from the old pot. Now brush away excess dust present in the roots. Be careful while doing so hard brushing might damage the roots.
- Remove the pups from your plant.
- In case your plant has a stem that would not fit the pot, you can partially trim off the stem. You can cut off the stem, leaving a smaller part on the plant.
- Now take the bare plant and put it in a warm area where it can get direct sunlight. After some days, your plant will form a callous over the wound. Now your plant is also ready to replant.
Plant Your Aloe Vera Plant
Now it is time to plant your aloe vera plant. Pot the offset in a succulent potting mix. Fill the pot only a third of the way. Continue to fill the mix around the plant. Keep in mind to manage space of around ¾ of an inch between the pot’s rim of the top of the soil. In addition to this, the bottom leaves of the plant should be present just above the soil.
Pro Tip – Do not water the aloe vera plant just after planting.
Ignore the Plant (Temporarily)
After putting the plant in a new pot, keep in mind not to water it for approximately one week. It will give the plant to form new roots. Moreover, it will also reduce the chances of inducing rot. Keep the plant in a warm place with indirect sunlight until it looks rooted and healthy.
Tips to Replant an Aloe Vera Plant
Mature aloe vera plants have the ability to form offsets, which are known as pups or plantlets. You can remove the pups to form a new plant. Here are some steps for replanting aloe vera offsets.
- Find the place where offsets are attached to the mother plant. Now, separate them using scissors, sharp knife, or pruning shears. Always remember to keep an inch of the plant’s stem on the offset.
- Keep the offset out of the soil for some days. It will allow the formation of callous over the wound or cut. This helps in protecting the offset from rot. Always remember to keep the offset in a warm location. Moreover, it should have indirect sunlight during the day time.
- When callouses are formed on the offset, pot them in a succulent potting mix. Make sure to keep the solid well-draining.
Now put the pups in a sunny location. Now don’t water them for a week and keep the soil dry.
How to Take Care of Aloe Vera Plant
Care of aloe vera plant is an essential aspect of growing an aloe vera plant. Now the question is how to take care of an aloe vera plant? Below mentioned are some tips that you can follow to keep your plant healthy and growing.
Place the plant in bright or indirect sunlight. You can also keep it in artificial light. It would be better to place it in a southern or water window.
It would be better to keep the plants at a temperature between 55 and 80°F (13 and 27°C). The temperature of most homes and apartments is ideal. You can put the plant outdoors from May to September without any problem. However, keep in mind to bring it inside when nights are cold.
You do not have to water the aloe vera plant frequently. However, you have to water it deeply. To avoid rotting, allow the soil to dry at least one to two inches. Only after proper drying, water the plant again. Do not allow the plant to sit in water.
Pro Tip – Water the plant every three weeks. You can even water the plant more sparingly during winters. The roots of the plant can rot if the potting mix stays wet.
Fertilize the plant only once a month. In addition to this, fertilize it only in summer or spring. Use a blanched houseplant formula, which is mixed at 12 strength.
How to Get Your Plant to Flower
There are different types of aloe vera plants. Some mature aloe vera plants can occasionally produce flower spikes, which are known as inflorescence. From these spikes, dozens of red blossoms or tubular yellow blossoms appear.
Unfortunately, it is difficult to achieve a bloom with aloe plants that are kept in the house. The plant requires favorable conditions to produce light. These favorable conditions include sufficient water, lots of light, and appropriate temperature.
Due to these ideal conditions, aloe flowers are only seen in plants that grow outdoors in warm climates. You can follow the below-mentioned tips if you want the plant to bloom.
Provide it With Sufficient Light
The plant requires as much as light as possible and especially during summer and spring. During summer, you can keep the aloe plant outdoor when the temperature is above 70°F (21°C). If the temperature drops at nighttime, bring your plant inside.
Pro Tip – Never move your aloe vera plant from indoors to complete sunlight. It requires time to adjust to the sunlight, or it might sunburn. Keep the plant in partial shade for around a week before moving it to the direct sunlight or brighter locations.
Give the Right Amount of Water
Provide enough water to the plant to keep it from drying out. However, do not drown the plant. If you keep the plant outdoors, make sure that it is not getting often soaked with summer rains.
Provide Proper Dormancy Period During Winter and Fall
Aloe vera plant blooms in early spring or late winter. So provide them with a period of the less cool temperature and less frequent watering. It might encourage them to bloom.
Deposit your best efforts; if your plant does not flower, don’t be surprised. Sometimes, indoor conditions are not ideal for most aloe vera plants to bloom.
Harvesting Aloe Vera
It is easy to harvest an aloe vera plant for juice or gel. All you need is a mature plant that is a few years old. It will help in ensuring the higher concentration of required active ingredients. Follow the below-mentioned steps to harvest an aloe vera plant for gel or juice.
- Remove the leaves. Opt for thick leaves present on the outer section of the plant.
- Cut them properly close to the stem.
- Do not cut roots.
- Wash the leaves and allow them to dry.
- Remove the prickly edges using a knife.
- Now separate the interior gel from the outer portion of the leaf using your fingers or knife. Store the gel appropriately.
You can use the gel to make homemade beauty products. Moreover, you can also apply it directly to the skin. Aloe vera plant is not only for decoration; it has various benefits of using aloe vera gel, due to which it has been used in home remedies for the skin for centuries.
You can also make juice using aloe vera gel. The juice is highly beneficial for health.
Growing and taking care of an aloe vera plant is an easy task. It not only adds a touch to the interior of your house but is also beneficial for medicinal purposes. Now that you know how to take care of aloe vera plants and how to grow it, what are you waiting for? Grow this cute little succulent plant in your home and enjoy its benefits. DO share your experience with us by dropping a comment.