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How to Care for Aloe Plants

Rachel is a passionate plantsperson, YouTuber and author living in Ireland. She grows a wide range of hardy subtropical and tropical plants.

A complete guide to growing aloe in pots.

A complete guide to growing aloe in pots.

How to Care for Aloe Plants in Pots

Aloes are succulent plants that are fairly easy to grow. They do really well in a pot in a sunny location, either indoors or outdoors. The aloe group of plants is vast, and some of the plants get enormous.

If you live in a very warm climate, you probably know aloes as outdoor plants that add structure and interest to your garden. But, if you live in the temperate zone, you'll keep your aloes as pot plants in either the house or greenhouse.

Whether you own the very popular Aloe vera or another aloe variety, care of these architectural plants is the same.

Elongated Aloe vera grown with too little light.

Elongated Aloe vera grown with too little light.

How Much Light Does an Aloe Plant Need?

Aloes thrive in full sun and places of low atmospheric humidity. Provide your plant with the sunniest windowsill in your house or greenhouse, ensuring it gets a minimum of six hours of sunlight a day.

Lack of light is a common complaint about aloes grown indoors, and it can cause them to elongate and grow a kind of trunk. Some people find the elongated Aloe vera more attractive than when it's grown in good light. But spindly leaves can also be the result of too little light, and nobody likes that. Plants may be placed outdoors in summer, but you'll need to acclimatize them gradually to more light—especially Aloe vera.

Aloe striata subsp. karasbergensis.

Aloe striata subsp. karasbergensis.

How to Water an Aloe Plant Correctly

The second important aspect of care is correct watering. The aloe is a desert plant that needs to dry out completely between waterings. Your aloe should be watered thoroughly once the surface of the compost feels dry to the touch during spring and summer. So always check before you apply water.

When you do water, give the plant lots. This is a common error people make. If you only give a small quantity of water, you will encourage the plant to root shallowly. Be careful not to dribble water on its leaves. Let the excess water drain away so the plant is never left standing in water. Your plant should be potted in a well-drained mix that allows water to quickly run through.

Growing Season

From November to the beginning of March, give your aloes a period of rest. At this time, water should only be given if the plants are shriveling or becoming limp. Overwatering of aloes can result in root rot, mushy leaves, and plant death.

Feeding Aloe

To encourage good growth and flowering, feed once a month during the growing season. From April to September, use a liquid feed when you water. The feed should be high in potassium, such as tomato fertilizer or a specialist liquid cacti feed.

Flowering aloe plant.

Flowering aloe plant.

Best Temperature for Growing Aloes

Temperature is an important factor in growing aloes. They need to be overwintered indoors or in a greenhouse that maintains a minimum of 41 degrees Fahrenheit or five degrees Celsius.

I wish you much success with your aloe plants and happy growing.

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© 2021 Rachel Darlington