Immensely popular for its medicinal effects, aloe vera is a popularly grown houseplant. Having it on hand, especially during the summer, for it’s burn healing properties is a clear benefit. Fortunately, this plant is relatively easy to grow inside your house. Here are a few tips to take note of while venturing to grow aloe vera indoors.
Zeroing In on the Type of Aloe Plant
There are a number of aloe plants, with a wide range of sizes, shapes, and colors. In fact, some aloes are flowering plants too.
The most common type of aloe is called aloe barbadenis, also known as aloe vera. This is also one of the most suitable type of aloes to grow indoors (although other smaller varieties grow equally well too).
Recognizing If You Have the Ideal Climate
Generally, aloe vera plants thrive particularly well when grown indoors. They thrive under warm conditions and do not too well in the cold. What’s more, given the fact that they are predominantly made up of water, these plants are highly susceptible to frosting in very cold conditions.
For lighting, a good tip is to choose a place that is exposed to shaded, indirect light. While too much direct sunlight can dry out the plant, too little light can cause stunted growth. Shoot for around 6+ hours of indirect sunlight per day. Likewise, make sure the place is not subjected to extreme cold as the plant freezes rapidly when exposed to cold conditions. As always, the key is to find the right balance.
Factoring Ideal Soil Conditions and Planting Options
Once you’ve zeroed in on a place that’s ideal for your aloe vera to live, it’s time to consider your potting options. To begin with, choose a soil that is specific for the plant. Since aloe vera thrives in dry soil, it’s best to use a cactus potting soil mix. You can also add perlite to your regular potting soil. These types of soil are usually extremely good at draining excess water, which is key to growing healthy aloe plants.
Plant your aloe vera in an upright position while covering its base and root with soil. You might also want to give your plant enough space to grow as the mother plant generally offsets babies from the exterior base.
Choosing the Right Pot
Since Aloe Vera is a small to medium –sized plant, it’s best to choose a medium to large-sized pot. Choose a pot with a large drainage hole to prevent clogging as aloe vera does not grow well under standing water conditions. A standard clay pot is a good choice here as they come in a variety of sizes and are naturally good at expelling excess water.
Harvesting Your Aloe Vera Leaves
Harvesting your aloe vera leaves upon its maturity is the best way to harvest your plant. You’ll want to only harvest mature leaves as this will allow your aloe plant to replenish itself and continue to grow.
While harvesting, start by selecting mature leaves that are present within the exterior most section of the plant. Cut them close to the base but do not disturb the roots.
You can also uproot any babies and carefully re-plant them in separate containers. Not only will this enable you to seamlessly repopulate your plant but it will also allow you to make the most of its nutritional and aesthetic benefits.
Grow Aloe Vera Indoors
In addition to the above tips, here are a few general pointers to make note of:
- Generally, an aloe vera plant does not need fertilization. However, if you think your plants needs a little extra boost, then use a phosphorous-rich and water-based fertilizer that is mild in overall strength. You can also dilute the formula a bit with additional water.
- A leaf becoming thin and/or curled is indicative of your aloe requiring more water.
- Lastly, your aloe might require more sunlight if its leaves begin to droop or fall flat.
For more information check out our guide to succulents. Aloe vera is actually a type of succulent, so a lot of the general care tips will also apply here. Aloe is on the easier side in terms of difficulty to grow, so get excited and start growing!
Get Started With An: Aloe Vera Planter Set.