Written by Paige Vandiver
Aloe Vera is arguably the most practical and low-maintenance houseplant to grace your window sill. Not only will this succulent provide a desert flare to your home, but it also contains a magical gooey gel in its leaves. The medicinal properties in that magic sap have been used to soothe burns and sunburns for centuries. Here are 7 things you need to know to keep your Aloe Vera plant healthy.
1 – How Much Water Does Your Aloe Plant Need?
When deciding how often to water your aloe vera plant, be sure to take a “less in more” approach.
Since aloe is a succulent, it is very low maintenance when it comes to hydration. In fact, overwatering can lead to root rot or fungus that can quickly kill your plant. It should only be watered about every two weeks during growing season and every 3-4 weeks during the winter.
To ensure your soil is completely dry before watering, you can do a finger check. Place your finger 1-2 inches into the soil. If it’s dry, give your plant a good, full watering. Make sure your pot has a drainage hole and also empty the saucer if there is any standing water after drainage.
2 – How Much Light Does an Aloe Plant Need?
Aloe vera leaves are sensitive to burning and should not be placed in direct sunlight. Your plant should live in bright, indirect light. Make sure the leaves are not touching the glass window pane. The window pane will intensify the sun and scorch the leaves.
Your plant will be happy in the 55-80 degree range and true to its low maintenance nature, it is not sensitive to humidity.
3 – What Kind Of Soil Does Your Aloe Plant Need?
You will want to use a cactus mix to pot your aloe vera. Don’t use garden soil or a regular garden mix – those will hold too much moisture and cause the roots to rot.
Stockslagers has the perfect cactus mix to pot your aloe vera by Proven Winners, so stop on by to grab all your succulent essentials — from pots, to fertilizers to soils — so your Aloe plant can get the strongest start possible.
4 – Potting Your Aloe Plant
Your aloe vera likes to have tight roots, so you won’t need to repot very often. A good rule of thumb is that if there is more root than soil, then it’s time to get a bigger pot.
Choose a terra cotta or clay pot for your plant. These pots will allow the soil to stay dry and won’t hold as much moisture as plastic containers. Always make sure your pot has a drainage hole!
5 – To Fertilize or Not to Fertilize?
Aloe vera plants do not need much fertilizing, if any. You can give them cactus feed or worm castings once in the spring, but don’t fertilize them once they’re ready to hibernate for the winter.
6 – Aloe Plants are Easy to Propagate!
Take advantage of aloe vera’s simple process to propagate. The pretty speckled leaves that grow off the parent plant are called pups. (Can you get more adorable than that?!) Follow these steps to propagate the pups:
- Separate the pups from the stalk of the parent plant.
- Lay the pup in a warm area outside of direct sunlight and allow them a few days to callous over.
- Plant them in a small amount of cactus soil mix and water them, making sure that there is a drainage hole at the bottom of the container.
- Place some pebbles on the soil since the plant will be top-heavy.
7 – Harvesting Your Aloe Vera Plant
When you need to take advantage of the healing power of your aloe vera, either cut a piece of the leaf as you need it or take the entire leaf from the parent stalk. If you cut a piece, the leaf will heal over but it won’t be as pretty as the other leaves. If you take the entire leaf but don’t need it all, you can always wrap the remaining leaf in aluminum foil and use the sap as needed.
You can’t beat the practicality of having a magical healing plant in your kitchen or bathroom.
Aloe vera is beautiful, low-maintenance dream plant for anyone with a green or black thumb. Follow the steps above and make sure to propagate your pups and gift them to all your friends!
Stockslagers Greenhouse & Garden Center: Your Resource for Healthy Plants in the Miami Valley
Here at Stockslagers, we have healthy aloe plants to add to your houseplant collection, as well as the proper soil and accouterments to give your aloe plant a strong start.
Looking for anything in particular? Give us a call at
(937) 687-2722 to see if what you’re looking for is in stock!