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How do you care for an Aloe Vera plant?

Updated: Dec 6, 2022

Do aloe plants need direct sunlight? How often should aloe plants be watered?

Aloe vera is a cactus-like plant that grows in hot, dry climates. It is cultivated in subtropical regions around the world, including the southern border areas of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California.

Aloe vera plants bring a wonderful sense of greenery and healing to any space. Revered for their medicinal power and hardy nature, these popular house plants are low-maintenance and bring variety and diversity to any collection. They are perfect as an accent plant on a bookshelf or kitchen counter and can even be used as home or office décor.

Here are 6 tips to keep your Aloe Vera plant happy and healthy:

Tip #1 - Light

Place the aloe vera plant in a spot that receives plenty of bright, indirect sunlight. A tip I use to myself is find out how it grows in the wild. If it's a desert plant it will need more light and less water.

Tip #2 - Water

Water your aloe vera plant deeply, but infrequently. Allow the soil to dry out completely between waterings. You'll know your aloe plant is being overwatered when the leaves look full of water and mushy.

Tip #3 - Fertilize

Fertilize your aloe vera plant with a diluted liquid fertilizer once or twice a month during the active growing season, spring through summer. The best fertilizers to use are liquid 10-40-10 houseplant mixes, or mixes designed specifically for succulents. Avoid granular fertilizers. If your aloe is in a container, water it thoroughly the day before feeding. This should flush out any lingering salts and reduce the risk of tip burn.

Tip #4 - Pruning

Prune off dead or damaged leaves from the plant as needed. To maintain the plant's shape, and make sure that it does not grow too large or spread out too much, cut off its old, outer leaves.

Tip #5 - Pests and Diseases

Check the plant regularly for signs of pests or disease and respond with appropriate treatments. Some common diseases include Aloe Rust, Anthracnose disease, and Basal stem rot. Some common pests are the Aloe vera aphid, white and red scale, and spider mites.

Tip #6 - Repotting

Re-pot the aloe vera plant when it outgrows its current pot. Like cacti, succulents do best in dry conditions. When growing aloe vera plants, plant them in a cactus potting soil mix or a regular potting soil that has been amended with additional perlite or building sand. The best pot for aloe vera is a terracotta or ceramic pot that is 2 inches wider than the width of the aloe plant, with drainage holes in the base. Aloe vera plants cannot tolerate standing water.

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