Aloe vera is most commonly known for the healing qualities of the gel that you find in the leaves. It is used in many cosmetic and health care products. With a proper care, this amazing plants can live for many, many years.
Check out following tips and try to grow it yourself.
1. Where to plant it
Aloe vera is not difficult to grow and maintain no matter if it is planted indoors or as a potted plant. It will grow faster outdoors, during a warmer months so you can bring a pot with a plant outside.
Another advantage of pot planting is that you can bring the plant back inside during the winter and prevent it from freezing.
2. Proper pot
It is advisable to choose a little bit larger pot since plant can grow quite big. The best pots for aloe vera are the ones made out of clay or terracotta. Make sure that the plant will have a good drainage holes in the bottom. If your aloe vera plant doesn’t grow much it could be that it needs a bigger pot for the roots.
Aloe vera grows outward from the center so you should leave few inches of space between the plants. Position it in a way that it will be upright and cover the base and roots with the soil. It is also extremely easy to propagate aloe vera by division. Simply remove the aloe vera pups from the base plant and plant it in a new pot.
Aloe vera likes dry soil which drains quickly and doesn’t hold water. If the soil is too alkaline it can slower the plants growth. A good choice can be cactus mix or a sandy soil. Aloe vera doesn’t really need a fertilizer. It will benefit though if you add some during growing season which is from spring through the summer. If you decide to fed your plant it is better to use organic fertilizer instead of chemical one especially if you plan to use the gel from the leaves. Compost fertilizer is a great choice.
One of the most frequent issues when it comes to watering is that it is often over-watered. Before water the plant again, the soil should dry out completely. Especially during winter you need to be careful not to water your aloe vera to often or to much. You can always check the plant leaves if they feel moist it means the plant has enough water.
Aloe vera loves the sun and a lot of light but it is better to give your plant indirect sunlight. Too much direct sunlight can cause the plant to dry out. Be extra careful when you move your plant out just for the summer because it will be even more sensitive. If you are growing your aloe vera indoors and it doesn’t get enough light you should get artificial light.
It doesn’t happen often but if the leaves of your aloe vera become thin and curled the plant needs more water. If you notice that the leaves are turning brown it probably gets to much direct sunlight. If that is the case you should move the plant. If the leaves are lying flat instead of growing upward your aloe vera probably has insufficient light. When it grows very slowly it could mean that the plant has too much fertilizer or needs a bigger pot.
The plant can suffer from disease or fungus on the stem or roots. It can help if you keep the soil and plant dry. Healthy aloe vera almost never has problems with pests. The ones that are most common though are Mealybugs and houseplant scale. If there is not to many of them you can simply dip a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol and remove them with it.
Once aloe vera reaches maturity, when additional leaves have grown from the center of the plant, you can begin to harvest it for great nutritional benefits. Cut mature leaves from as close to the base as possible, but don’t damage the roots. Aloe Vera gel is a great treatment for minor cuts, burns, insect bites and even for a dry skin.
Aloe vera can become root-bounded. Roots will grow in circles and send up even more pups. You need to replant them otherwise they will suck the life out of the mother plant. If you notice bright green color in the horizontally growing leaves this might be the case. When planting baby aloe veras in new pots give them a good watering and then wait for three weeks. Keep them in a shade during that time.