Aloe Vera Plant Care
Learn All About Aloe Vera Care with our Guide
Aloe vera is a succulent plant native to the Arabian peninsula. The gel of the Aloe plant has medicinal properties and is known to help heal skin conditions including burns and wounds. Aloe vera is an easy to look after plant. Being native to arid, desert regions they are happiest in a sunny and dry spot.
Caring for your Aloe Vera
Aloe vera plants love direct sunshine and will thrive in a position near a south-facing window. Aloe vera can also cope with less light, but growth may be leggier and weaker and leaves may go a paler colour. If you are moving your Aloe vera from a shady to a sunnier spot make sure to acclimatise it to more light over a few weeks in order to avoid sunburn. If you don't have a south-facing spot for your Aloe and in the darker winter months you may also want to consider using a grow light to provide the energy it needs to grow. If your Aloe is kept outdoors during the brighter and hotter summer months, it will most likely thrive in a bright position but with just 3-4 hours of direct light.
Soil & Nutrients
Aloe vera prefers sandy, gritty well-draining soil. Cactus soil mix is a perfect choice. Well draining soil ensures that the roots of the Aloe vera can absorb the moisture they need, but then can take up oxygen and ensure that the roots don't rot as the soil dries out. Aloe vera will appreciate liquid cacti or succulent feed once a season during the growing season from spring to autumn, simply add the liquid fertiliser when watering the plant.
Aloe vera will cope best with a thorough watering when the soil has completely dried out the whole way down the pot. This ensures that the soil dries and aerates and that the roots don't rot from sitting in too much moisture. If your Aloe leaves looks shrivelled and the soil is dry this is an indication that your Aloe is dehydrated and would love some more water. If your Aloe is in a hot location it may dry out more quickly so you may need to water more frequently. Always water your Aloe much less in winter when your Aloe will enter a dormancy phase and will not require as much water.
Climate & Humidity
Aloe vera is native to the hot and dry Arabian peninsula. As a succulent plant, Aloe vera stores water in its thick fleshy leaves and is drought tolerant. Aloe can cope with a wide temperature range, including hot daytime temperatures above 30 degrees and nighttime temperatures just above freezing. At temperatures below freezing, the water in the leaves can freeze damaging the plant.
Aloe vera does not require much in the way of maintenance, however, it can be worth occasionally wiping the leaves to remove dust. This will help your Aloe vera to absorb sunlight through its leaves and keep its pores unblocked. Also, if leaves or leaf tips are brown you can prune the ends or the whole leaf off with a clean knife. Never prune the leaves in the middle.