How to grow aloe vera?
Since aloe vera plants are well adapted to drought conditions, they can live long and thrive with minimal care. Water deeply, but only when the soil is completely dry (about every two to three weeks), and reduce watering during winter. Since too much water can cause root rot, it's important not to leave your aloe vera plant sitting in standing water. Pots made of terracotta or other porous materials help with drainage and keep plants healthy.
Mature, healthy aloe vera plants of many varieties produce tall spikes each winter with a series of orange, red, or yellow tubular or trumpet-shaped flowers. Once the flowers have faded, cut off the spikes at the base with clean, sharp garden shears.
Generally speaking, aloe vera doesn't mind being a little snug in a pot, but if roots start growing out of the drainage holes, it's time to transplant to a slightly larger container.
Optimal Growing Conditions for Aloe Vera
Like other succulents, aloe vera prefers conditions that mimic hot, dry, sunny desert conditions. Plant the aloe vera in a container that is a few inches larger than the base of the aloe vera, and make sure it drains well—the pot needs to have at least one large hole in the bottom to prevent standing water from damaging its roots.
Plant aloe vera in soil specially formulated for cacti or succulents. You can find cactus soil at most nurseries or local hardware stores, or make your own from a mixture of perlite, rock (such as lava rock), and large pieces of bark. Line the bottom of the pot with rocks to collect excess water and keep the roots in a healthy soil mixture.
When it comes to watering needs, if you notice your aloe vera has yellowing leaves, brownish leaf tips, or a brittle root texture, you may be underwater. Conversely, if the leaves have water-soaked spots and are wet and limp, that means you're overwatering.
Choose a location for your aloe vera near a south- or southwest-facing window to get plenty of bright, indirect light. The temperature in the space should not fall below 50 degrees. To keep your aloe vera green and well-proportioned, avoid exposing it to too much direct sunlight, which can cause the leaves to turn brown. Rotate plants regularly and move them to a shady location if you notice signs of scorched leaves.
If your plant is in a happy mood, it will regularly produce small plants that grow from the roots of the larger plant. These babies, or "pups," can be left to grow next to the mother plant—just watch for signs that the pot is too crowded, such as a tired-looking mother plant surrounded by several pups.
Why do aloe vera plants have sharp leaves?
What causes some aloe vera leaves to appear light yellow while others appear dark green?
Overwatering: Overwatering can cause root rot, which can cause leaves to turn yellow and eventually fall off.
Lack of Sunlight: Aloe vera plants require bright, direct sunlight to grow properly. If the plant doesn't get enough sunlight, its leaves may turn yellow.
Nutrient Deficiencies: Aloe vera plants require proper nutrients to thrive. If a plant doesn't get enough of certain nutrients, such as nitrogen, its leaves may turn yellow.
Pests and diseases: Pests such as whiteflies, scale insects, and spider mites can cause aloe vera leaves to turn yellow. Fungal diseases such as root rot and leaf spot can also cause yellowing.
Dark green leaves, on the other hand, indicate that the aloe vera plant is healthy and is receiving enough sunlight, water, and nutrients.
What Causes My Aloe Vera Plant's Leaves to Be Soft?
Most likely there is too much water. Aloe vera is a desert plant that stores its own water. Too much water can kill plants. Stop watering and buy sterilized potting soil without added fertilizers or water-retaining techniques. Dump out the wet soil and replace with fresh bagged soil. Firm the soil. Do not add anything to the soil or bottom of the pot. There are many reasons for this, but currently requires good potting soil with good drainage. Place 1/4 of the tile under the pot or whatever the pot is on.
Do not water for 2 days. No fertilizer was applied for 2 weeks. Pick up the pot and feel how it feels when it dries. Water well and drain well. Then pick up that pot, plant it again, and feel the weight of it when wet.
Do not water the plant until the pot and plant feel light again. It may take a few weeks...with plants, there is no timetable.
Is aloe vera easy to care for?
Yes! Aloe vera is a very low-maintenance plant to add to your collection and is ideal for beginners. Just be sure to give it plenty of bright light and less is more when it comes to watering.
How fast does aloe vera grow?
This depends on environmental conditions, but generally a healthy aloe vera plant will produce about one new leaf per month during spring and summer. Healthy aloe vera pups take approximately four years to reach their mature size of 8 to 10 inches. This may sound slow, but aloe vera is actually one of the fastest growing succulents.
How long does aloe vera last?
With proper care, indoor aloe vera plants can live up to 12 years. Larger outdoor varieties have been known to live for more than twenty years.