Overwatering your aloe vera plants can cause their roots to rot, which can often lead to your plants’ death. But just like any other plant, too little water can also make them shrink and die.
If what I said is confusing, keep on reading for tips on how to water and care for your aloe vera plants the right way. Many gardeners find aloe plants unique that need careful attention.
Aloe vera is an attractive succulent that makes great indoor ornaments. On the other hand, lots of people use their leaves to relieve pain from cuts and burns when applied topically.
This plant has thick, greenish, fleshy leaves. The edge of its leaves has a sawtooth design that adds to its unique feature.
Aloe Vera Plants: Plan Beforehand
Choosing the right type of planter containers is the very first thing you need to consider when planting your aloe vera plants. Porous planters like terracotta are highly recommended. They dry the soil thoroughly between waterings and are heavy enough to keep the plants from tipping.
Also, choose a container that has at least one drainage hole at the bottom. It will help drain excess water and save your plants from rotting.
If your aloe plant has the stem type, pick more spacious planters enough to accommodate its entire stem under your potting soil.
Aloe vera plants are succulents that require a well-draining potting mix. A mix of soil containing perlite, rocks, or coarse sand are good and even better with all of the three.
Lack of proper drainage can cause a plant to rot and wilt, the most common cause of death for this type of plant.
Laying gravel, clay balls, and any other draining material at the bottom of your pot isn’t necessary. It will only take up the space your aloe roots could be using. The hole in your container pot is adequate to drain the soil.
How To Plant Aloe Vera and When To Repot
Any idea when to repot your aloe vera plant? If your plants have grown lanky, it means it’s the right time to replant.
Prepare your pot
- Give your new pot a quick rinse.
- A good scrub will do if you decide to reuse the old pots. Let it dry thoroughly before using it.
- Place a small piece of screen over the hole drainage. It will keep the soil from falling out.
- A piece of a newspaper or paper towel can work fine too, though these will break down over time.
Prepare your plant
- Remove the plant from its current pot.
- Brush any existing specks of dirt in the roots. Be careful not to damage the roots.
- Remove any pups from the mother plants.
- Trim the stem off partially if your plants have long skinny stems that won’t fit in the pot.
- Next, take your plants in a warm area with indirect sunlight. When a callous is formed over the wound, it is the right time to continue repotting the plants.
Note: Cutting the plant stem is risky and could kill the plant. But when done correctly, there will be no problem with it.
To trim the stem, cut off part of the stem, leaving an inch as much as possible on the plant.
Time to plant
- Fill the pot about a third of the way with a well-draining potting mix.
- Next, place your plant in with the soil. Fill in more soil around the plant, leaving ¾ inch of space between the top of the soil and the rim of the pot.
After setting your plant into its new pot, leave it for at least a week with no water to avoid from possible rot. On the other hand, it will give the plants time to put out new roots.
Keep your plants in a warm place to receive indirect sunlight until it seems to be rooted and healthy.
Water and Care For Your Aloe Vera
- Western and southern windows are an ideal place to sit your plants. Their warm temperature and indirect sunlight are beneficial to your aloe plants. Artificial light will do. Aloe plants kept in low light often grow lanky.
- Apartments and home temperatures are adequate to warm aloe plants. These plants do well in temperatures between 55 – 80°F.
- Move your plants outdoors from May to September to enjoy the sun. But you need to bring them back inside in the evening when nights are cold.
- Water your plants every three weeks in warmer months, and even more sparingly during the winter. Finger-test the soil before watering your plants. Use your finger to check the dryness of the soil before watering. Remember that if the potting mix is always damp, the roots will start to rot.
- Water your aloe vera plants deeply, but not often. Dry the soil at least two inches deep to water again. Excessive watering can cause the roots to rot and will also generate fungus.
- You don’t need to fertilize aloe vera plants. But if you want to feed them, do it sparingly during spring or summer, only once in the entire year.
- Repot the plant when the roots crawl outside of the pot, following the guide provided above.
Detaching and Replanting Offsets
Matured aloe vera plants usually provide pups that you can remove to produce an entirely new plant.
To do that:
- Detach offsets from the mother plant by using a sharp knife or pruning shears.
- Sit offsets in the soil for several days. Let a callous form over the cut to protect it from rot. Place in a warm area with indirect sunlight for a few couples of days.
- Pot individually once the callous is formed. Make sure the soil drains well.
- Place the newly potted pups in a sunny area, water after a week, and keep the soil dry.
Let Your Aloe Bloom
You may find some aloe vera plants produce a tall flower called inflorescence. The flower consists of many tubular yellow or red blossoms that add style to your lovely aloe!
Unfortunately, houseplants can’t achieve such a bloom. This plant requires lots of sunlight, sufficient rainwater, and the right temperature range to bloom.
Due to these needs, aloe flowers are commonly seen only on plants grown outdoors year-round in warm environments.
Give Your Aloe the Best Shot at Flowering
Provide your aloe vera plants as much light as possible, especially in spring and summer. Leave them outdoors in full sun when temperatures are above 70°F during summer. Bring them back inside when the night temperature drops below 60°F.
Your aloe plants need to adjust to the intense sunlight when moving from indoors to the full sun. Sit your lovely aloe in partial shade for a week before moving it to full sun exposure.
Water plants deeply, but not enough to drown its roots! If you choose to keep the plant outdoors, ensure the plant is not soaked by summer rains all the time.
Give your aloe a proper period of rest by watering less in the fall and winter. Cooler temperatures in late winter encourage the plants to bloom.
In most cases, all the methods above all work fine in getting your aloe plants to flower. Yet sometimes, despite our best efforts, don’t be discouraged if it still refuses to bloom. Staying indoors for some time isn’t ideal for most aloe vera plants.
Pests and Diseases
Aloe vera plants are most susceptible to mealybugs, scale, and molds in the soil. These all indicate the plants suffer from excessive moisture. They are the common indoor plant pests that can cause plant diseases like:
- Root rot
- Fungal stem rot
- Brown spots on the leaf
- Softening of the stem
Avoid too much watering to keep your plants free from developing these conditions or even worse.
To enjoy aloe’s soothing properties:
- Remove mature leaves from the plants.
- Cut lengthwise.
- Scrape and apply the gel directly onto your skin, especially the areas with severe sunburns.
How To Store Aloe Vera Gel
Treating sunburn, making homemade soaps, making a refreshing hair gel, and creating facial masks are only a few of the countless uses of aloe gel.
And for people with severe sunburns, aloe vera gel is the most potent and natural remedy. It is also best in treating cold sores.
Its natural substance to treat is famous all over the world. You can enjoy its benefits after harvesting the gel directly from the plant.
Yet, do you know how to store its gel to increase its shelf life after harvesting?
Storing aloe vera gel is a little bit complicated, but there are three easy ways you can follow to enjoy its optimum benefits.
Freeze the gel
- Pour the gel into an ice cube tray in a smaller portion. This way, you can take a few pieces easily just enough for you to use whenever you need them.
- Using a silicone tray for this particular project is highly recommended. Taking the frozen gel is a lot easier as you can turn the ice tray inside out.
- Using a smaller plastic container is a good idea if ice trays are not available.
- Fill the trays gradually to avoid spilling.
- Leave the cubes overnight, freeze to preserve.
- Transfer the frozen gel into a sealable plastic bag, and don’t forget to label your plastic bags with a date. Store them in your freezer.
You can use the frozen gel for up to a year. Keeping it in a sealed plastic bag makes it easier for you to access whenever you may need the frozen gel.
Mixed Gel Honey
A medium-size canister is sufficient enough to mix your gel with honey. It should have a lid to ensure your preserved gel is contaminant-free. Store the gel away from direct sunlight.
This method is best to use for:
- Facial scrubs
- Body wash
- Hair products
Blend Along with Your Vitamin C
- Pour aloe vera gel into a blender.
- Add your crushed vitamin C tablet.
- Blend your aloe gel along with your crush vitamin C on high. Doing this will ensure your vitamin C is well mixed with now liquified gel. It should now be runnier than it was before.
- Transfer into a plastic container. The foamy layer on the top of the liquid will go away after a few days.
- It’s now ready to use. Refrigerate to preserve.
Best to use as:
- body wash
- hydrating wash for your hair
Adding 500mg of vitamin C for every 60ml of the aloe gel can preserve the combination for up to 8 months in the refrigerator.
Highly Recommended Varieties of Aloe
Tiger Aloe (Aloe variegata) – A compact variety of aloe with short and smooth leaves with uneven white stripes.
Lace Aloe (Aloe aristata) – A smaller variety of aloe with white-spots and finely toothed leaves.
Blue Aloe (Aloe glauca) –The larger variety of aloe with silver-blue leaves.
These types of aloe vera plants are especially attractive and elegant in your balcony or your living spaces.
Final Thoughts on Watering and Caring For Your Aloe Vera Plants
Decorating your kitchen shelves, living spaces, and balcony are only a few of the popular uses of aloe vera plants. We’ve learned that the slimy tissue that makes the leaves thick is responsible for all the benefits we enjoy. So, let’s make our aloe vera plants healthy by watering and caring for them appropriately!
Did you find these tips helpful? What else do you do with your aloe vera? Feel free to leave comments in the comment section below. We are always thrilled to have them!