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How to Care for Your Aloe Vera Plant

How to Care for Your Aloe Vera Plant

Learn how to care for your Aloe Vera plant. A must-have and popular houseplant because of its beauty and health benefits. Yes, those spiky leaves contain something magical.

Aloe Vera is one of the most popular houseplants to grow because it's easy to take care, especially for people who tend to forget to water their plants (guilty). It also offers a LOT of beauty and health benefits. For example, the gel in your Aloe Vera plant provides aid for burns, cuts, other irritations, and treating sunburns. Yes, those spiky leaves contain something magical. You simply need to cut the leaves to access the Aloe Vera gel inside and apply. Convenient, right?

Fun Fact: The Egyptians called Aloe Vera the "Plant of Immortality" because it can live and even bloom without soil.

The Aloe Vera plant is a very forgiving succulent, which makes it a perfect houseplant for first-time owners. Originated in the tropical climates of Africa, this houseplant can grow quite big. An average Aloe Vera plant can grow one to two feet tall, but it can reach up to three feet in height. One of the secrets in keeping this plant happy and healthy is to ignore it from time to time. Yes, that's right, especially if you're a new plant parent. I realized that giving it too much attention can definitely kill the plant or "killing it with kindness."

Similar to most succulents, the Aloe Vera needs a bright, sunny spot in your home and very little water to flourish. It's best to plant your Aloe Vera in a cactus potting soil mix. Be sure that the pot has plenty of drainage holes and only water it when the soil is completely dry since this plant cannot tolerate standing water and one of it's most common problems is root rot.

Botanical Name Aloe barbadensis
Common Name Barbados Aloe, Burn Aloe, Chinese Aloe, First Aid Plant, Indian Aloe, and True Aloe
Plant Size An Aloe Vera plant can grow from 2 to 3 feet.
Types of Aloe Plants Golden Toothed Aloe, Lace Aloe, Malagasy Tree Aloe, Mountain Aloe, Red Aloe, Sand Aloe, Short-Leaf Aloe, Snake Aloe, Soap Aloe, Spiral Aloe, Sunset Aloe, and Tiger Tooth Aloe
Sunlight Aloe Vera prefers bright light for at least six to eight hours every morning. The leaves of your Aloe Vera plant will drop downwards if it does not receive enough light.
Water As a rule of thumb, water your Aloe Vera plant only when the soil is completely dry. Be sure to completely wet the soil and let the water flow freely from the bottom of the planter.
Humidity Your Aloe Vera plant does not require any extra humidity and can handle dry air.
Temperature It prefers normal room temperatures between 65–85°F.
Toxicity Aloe Vera is safe for your skin, but it can be moderately toxic to humans and pets once ingested.
Food Your Aloe Vera plant does not require fertilizer, but if you want to add some, it's best to use a balanced liquid houseplant fertilizer once a year during the spring.
Pests and Problems Root rot is the most common problem with your Aloe Vera plant, so be careful not to overwater. Pay attention if there are ants on your plant as this can attract their aphid prey.
Omysa Plant Care Tip According to a NASA study, the Aloe Vera is an air purifying plant that helps remove carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and replace it with oxygen. So if you live in the city or a location with poor air quality, this is the perfect houseplant for you.

Aloe Vera Plant Care Tips

As I have mentioned, your Aloe Vera plant can tolerate all kinds of neglect, but it doesn't mean that you should ignore it forever. Even a Philodendron or Pothos wouldn't survive that way. If you're a new first-time owner, it's suggested to ignore your Aloe Vera plant (temporarily) after transferring it to its new pot. Don't water it for at least a week, but place it in a warm place that receives bright but indirect light. This will give the plant time to put out new roots and to reduce the chance of inducing rot.

Here's a detailed explanation of how to care for your Aloe Vera plant, from sunlight requirement to common problems and its solutions.

Sunlight

First, on our list on how to care for your Aloe Vera plant is to find a warm spot in your home where it can get bright light for at least six to eight hours every morning. This could be either in the west or south-facing windows. Do not put your Aloe Vera under direct sun for too long because it can burn the leaves and give the plant a scraggly appearance.

Common Problem: If the leaves of your Aloe Vera plant are turning brown and mushy, this could be because of improper light.

Solution: Your Aloe Vera plant will grow best under bright indirect sunlight. If you place it in very low light, the leaves will droop downward, and eventually, it will turn brown and mushy.

Water

The next on our list on how to care for your Aloe Vera plant is to water it when the soil is completely dry. One of the most common reasons an Aloe Vera dies is due to overwatering or too much moisture. Be sure to thoroughly wet the soil and let the water flow freely from the bottom of the planter to avoid root rot.

Common Problem: If the leaves of your Aloe Vera plant are turning brown and mushy, this could be because of overwatering.

Solution: One of the most common mistakes of beginners or new plant parents is giving your plant too much attention like overwatering the plant. Allow the soil of your Aloe Vera plant to completely dry before watering. Remember that this plant is native to very dry climates and is extremely drought-tolerant.

Humidity & Temperature

Your Aloe Vera plant does not require any extra humidity and can handle dry air. It will do just fine in normal room temperatures, between 65–85°F. To keep your plant happy and healthy, avoid placing it near air conditioning vents, doors, and drafty areas.

Toxicity

Your Aloe Vera plant is toxic to both humans and pets once ingested as it could cause mouth irritation and stomach indigestion. However, the plant's gel is safe to apply on your skin.

Food

Another on our list on how to care for your Aloe Vera plant is to feed it only once a year during the spring with a balanced liquid houseplant fertilizer. Remember to follow the recommended amount of fertilizer and schedule to avoid fertilizer burn or plant burn.

Pests & Other Problems

Your Aloe Vera plant's most common problem is root rot, which is caused by overwatering. It's recommended to wait for the soil to completely dry before watering. Also, watch out for ants since they are attracted to the center of Aloe Vera plants. They could also carry their aphid prey with them, which can lead to excess moisture and rotting of the plant.

That's a wrap on how to care for your Aloe Vera plant. We suggest placing this plant in your bedroom, home office, and kitchen. Provide your Aloe Vera plant with as much light as possible, especially during spring and summer, and the right amount of water for it to live a long time.

Grow your plant knowledge. Check out our Plant Care blog to learn more about different houseplants and tips on how to keep your plants alive and healthy.

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