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If you’ve ever had a bad sunburn, you’ve probably slathered aloe vera on your body to make yourself feel better.
However, aloe vera is far more than just a sunburn remedy. In fact, aloe vera is a desert plant that many people enjoy growing!
The best part about aloe vera is that you can grow this plant indoors. Let’s take a look at what you need to know to grow aloe vera inside your home.
What Is Aloe Vera?
Aloe vera is a type of succulent that has quite a short stem. It’s usually a pretty short plant, although it can grow as tall as 40 inches.
Most people grow aloe indoors as it’s a hardy plant and easy to cultivate. However, there are plenty of individuals who choose to grow them outdoors, especially in warmer areas.
Aloe plants thrive in warm, dry climates. Aloe vera will quickly freeze and dry in cool climates, which is one reason it’s become such a popular indoor plant.
How to Grow Aloe Vera Indoors
Growing aloe vera indoors is actually easier than growing it outside in your backyard or on your patio. Let’s take a look at what aspects of growing your aloe plant you need to focus on to grow the plant indoors.
One of the first elements of growing your aloe vera plant that you need to pay attention to is the soil. Although aloe vera isn’t a sensitive plant, getting the soil right can really make or break your growing success.
For aloe vera plants, it’s best to choose a dry, cactus potting soil. This type of soil is coarse and allows water to easily drain through. That makes it possible for the aloe to soak up just enough water without drowning.
You’ll typically grow aloe vera plants once they’re already mature. Still, if you are growing them from seed, you’ll still want to use this type of soil.
Aloe vera plants, just like indoor avocado, need a lot of sunlight, which is why it’s best to store them in a place where the light hits them directly. Generally, a large window or a room that gets a lot of sunlight works well for these types of plants.
You want to try to give your aloe plant a minimum of six hours a day. The more sunlight you’re able to provide your plant with, however, the healthier it will end up being.
Those who live in warm climates that get a lot of sun are more likely to have success in growing aloe plants.
Picking the right pot is an important part of growing any houseplant, not just aloe vera. If you’re going to grow an aloe plant, look for pots that are about 2-4 inches tall.
Now, that might sound small for a plant, but aloe plants actually do better in smaller pots. Since these plants don’t grow to huge heights, they’re better able to soak up the nutrients.
Another tip for finding the right pot is to look for one with good drainage. A pot with multiple small holes in the bottom or one large hole can work well for helping drain out the water and keeping your aloe plant healthy.
Aloe plants, like most succulents, don’t need a ton of water. That’s actually one of the reasons why they’re so popular!
You’ll only need to water your allow plant once every two to three weeks. If you live in a cooler climate, you’ll be able to water your plant even less.
If you’re unsure of whether or not it’s time to water your plant, simply touch the soil around the plant. If the soil is dry, you can add a bit of water to your aloe plant.
However, if the soil is at all damp, it’s best to avoid watering. Doing so could cause overwatering which would lead to other complications.
Aloe vera doesn’t actually need regular fertilization. Still, if you want to add some nutrients to the soil, you can do so – sparingly! Although I am a fan of Bokashi tea, I would not risk it on my indoor plants. It’s too strong – even diluted.
Aim to add fertilizer to your plant once every six months or so. This helps give the plant fuel to keep growing without overwhelming it.
Keep in mind that the type of fertilizer you use on your aloe will play a big role in how healthy it is. It’s best to go for neutral or mildly alkaline fertilizers.
You can use most types of cactus fertilizers on your aloe vera plant without worry. Just try to steer clear of coffee grounds. These are pretty acidic and can cause damage to the plant, especially if added in excess.
Aloe Vera Propagation
Aloe Vera can be easily propagated and they make wonderful gifts. Here’s a handy video on Aloe Vera propagation:
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Aloe Vera Grow in Water?
Although aloe vera is typically planted in soil, you can actually grow it in water. The way to do this is to fill a clear glass with fresh water and place the base of the plant (where the roots are forming) in the water. Make sure to position the glass in a post where it receives direct sunlight.
Does Aloe Vera Need Direct Sunlight?
As with most succulents, aloe vera needs a steady amount of direct sunlight. You should aim to give your aloe plant about eight hours of sunlight a day when possible.
Can Aloe Vera Grow in Regular Potting Soil?
Although you can use regular potting soil for aloe vera, it’s not recommended. This type of soil doesn’t drain as easily as cactus potting soil, which can cause the plant to drown or grow moldy (yuck!). If you do use regular potting soil, add a bit of perlite to help break it up and make it more coarse.