In this article, I want to give you a care guide on the aloe vera plant. So there are a lot of varieties of aloe out there but I’m going to be talking specifically about Aloe Barbadensis which is your traditional medicinal aloe and I wanted to do it on this specific plant because they are so readily available.
You can find them at most garden centers box stores even your grocery store. These are the type that you can cut leaves off and use the gel for like cuts and burns and things like that.
So there are 11 best tips I want to talk about Aloe Vera plant care:
- Light Exposure
- Soil Type
- How to repot
11 best tips on how to take care of an Aloe Vera
1. Light exposure
Now, this is going to vary depending on where you live and whether or not you’re keeping your aloe inside or outside but typically if you’ve got your aloe inside you want to give it as much light as possible.
The only thing you want to watch for is not to put it up really close to glass especially if you’ve got a position in a west-facing window because that glass can intensify the Sun and can burn the leaves of your aloe plant.
If you’re keeping your aloe outside you actually will treat it a little bit differently you want to protect it from any really scorching afternoon Sun.
But you do want to make sure it gets a little bit of Morning Sun-like maybe two to three hours which is different than the other succulents you might have outside which can typically take four to six hours of morning Sun but then you know just make sure it gets bright indirect light for the rest of the day.
And again it will depend on what climate you live in like in more mild climates they can take more Sun and really hot dry climates they will need a little bit more protection.
But you will know if your plant is getting stressed if the leaves start to turn orange and start to burn.
2. Temperature tips for Aloe Vera care
Aloe vera does best in a temperature range from about fifty-five to eighty degrees Fahrenheit which is I think about 13 to 27 degrees Celsius. They live natively in zones nine through eleven.
So typically if you live in a colder climate you want to make sure that you bring them inside before frost happens in the fall.
3. Soil type for Aloe Vera care
Aloe vera just like the rest of your succulents and cactus prefer a soil mix that drains really quickly because they don’t like to have a lot of moisture accumulating around their roots.
So I just use Espoma cactus mix, you do not want to use either garden soil or regular potting mix because those two types of soil will hold on to way too much moisture and easily rot your plant.
Speaking of soil that actually brings me to point number four which is about repotting your aloe. They actually do not prefer to be repotted very often they like to be a little bit pop down.
So what I like to do is just pop my aloe out of its container about once a year and take a look at the roots.
If it looks like it’s more roots than it in soil then it’s probably time to repot. So you want to make sure that you pick a container that has drainage to keep your plant happy.
5. Watering for Aloe Vera care
Watering is probably the most important thing to nail down because I think overwatering is the number one reason people fail with aloe vera.
Now, how much water you give and how often is totally dependent on where you have your aloe whether or not it’s inside-outside, whether you have super hot temperatures and a lot of wind or if you’ve got it inside where it’s a little bit more humid it just depends.
The best way to know is to do a finger test where you stick your finger in the soil and you just wait till that top 1 to 2 inches of soil has dried out before giving it more water.
I typically keep mine inside all year round and so I give them water about every 14 days during the growing season and then in the fall and winter months I kind of back off on that and go every maybe 3 to 4 weeks because their plant is not utilizing that much water.
You’ll know that your aloe is getting way too much water if they leave start getting like kind of squishy and they lighten in color and they’ll start to flop over the sides that are usually the first sign that your plant is being overwatered.
If you’re under-watering your plants not giving it quite enough the leaves will start to get thinner because they’re having to utilize their own moisture to survive so the leaves will get kind of shriveled and thin.
Aloe vera are actually very low-maintenance in this category. They don’t like to have that much fertilizer they don’t need it.
Typically I will give them a shot in the spring about March and then one to two months later I’ll give them fertilizer again.
So typically May and then one more time in July and then I don’t give them any more fertilizer for the rest of the year because usually toward the end of summer into fall they’re starting to power down and they’re not needing food to grow.
Aloes do flower on occasion it’s not super consistent but usually, it’ll happen late winter early spring they’ll come up with these nice little stalks with yellow bell-shaped flowers that are really pretty and just enjoy them while they’re blooming.
When they’re all done and all dried up you can follow that stock all the way back down to the base of the plant and just clip it off with your pruners.
It’s really easy to do. So the aloe vera that I have is actually producing a little baby chute we call them pups they produce them off their main stalk.
So all I’m gonna do is I’m gonna reach down in there and try to pop it off as close to the stock as I can of the mother stock.
I just repotted this aloe so I really don’t want to take the whole thing out of its container and upset the balance. So I’m gonna try to do it this way.
It is probably better if you take the whole thing out and kind of remove some of the soil so you see exactly what you’re doing but I can feel pretty good down in there. You want to remove as much of the stock as you can.
I got a couple of inches of stock there which is great and then I’ve got another little baby not as much stock but we should still be okay.
So at this point, you can do one of two things you can let them sit out for a day or two and let this cut and callus over and dry so that no moisture enters into that stock which can cause rot, or you can go ahead and pot them up.
And you just want to make sure to wait to water them for about five to seven days because there’s
still oxygen in that soil and the end will still dry out but you don’t want to introduce water right away.
9. How to repot
So I’m going to show you how to repot it. You want to use your cactus succulent mix so I’m just gonna pour a little bit into the container, almost all the way to the top making a huge mess okay and I do want to pack that soil down pretty firmly and then I’m just gonna make a nice deep hole in there and that’s where I will take my aloe and I’ll push it down.
Let’s see I’m going to remove a tiny bit of the stock so it fits nicely and then I’m gonna just pack this cactus mix around the base of the aloe.
So sometimes your aloes are a little bit top-heavy because they are not holding on by anything there are no roots in there holding them into the soil.
A really good thing to do is just to grab a little bit of rock top dress to put on top of the soil and that will create a little bit of weight on top of it so that the aloe won’t move around.
So I’m gonna go grab a few little rocks, okay so I’m going to hold the aloe in place and just pop a few little rocks around it and look at that it actually looks tidy or – to have the soil covered up so this little baby will start to form roots in about a month or two.
10. Harvesting Aloe Vera
How to harvest your aloe vera so that you can use it. It’s really easy to do you can either cut one to two-inch sections off of your leaf and then let that leaf heal over and then harvest more later or you can harvest the entire leaf all at the same time.
So all you do is you going with a pair of scissors you cut the leaf and then you can see the gel. You can squeeze that leaf look at that gel coming out.
This gel is good to use on scars, burns, rashes, acne, psoriasis I mean you can google everything that you can use aloe gel on there’s a ton of different uses. A little word of warning though it stinks it smells kind of like body odor.
11. Toxicity of aloe plants
So these should not be consumed orally like they should not be going in your mouth either pets or humans.
A really large amount can be really toxic but even in smaller quantities, they can be a little unpleasant they can cause kidney issues so it’s just a good idea to keep these ones out of reach of pets or kids.
So that’s it you guys that is my care guide on aloe vera I’ve been growing these plants for a quite a number of years and I’ve had pretty good luck with them I think that they’re really really pretty plants just not only to look at but I love the fact that there’s a practical aspect to them as well.
I would love to know what your experience has been with aloe vera and how do you take care for your aloes.
leave me a comment down below and I know that a lot of people like to get in the comments, so leave your experience down below would love to read that thank you guys so much for reading this article.