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There must have been times when you heard about all the wonderful and healing benefits that the aloe vera plant has.
Whether you found out about those things from a friend or just read about it somewhere before, now is the perfect time to look more into it, get one of your own aloe vera plants and enjoy all of the extraordinary qualities that it comes with.
And in case that you already got your hands on one of these useful beauties, here I can also help you learn how to care for aloe vera plant and enrich your home with all of this plant’s magnificent perks.
Aloe Vera Benefits
Other than the fact that the aloe vera is such an aesthetically pleasing succulent plant, it can also be extremely useful in some cases, and that’s why you should definitely have it in your home!
You can recognize this plant by its fleshy and thick green or grey-green leaves that are growing in an upward way and can reach the length of up 30 to 40 inches.
The gel that you can find on the inside of these leaves is genuinely convenient and can be used as a home remedy for treating things such as mild sunburn, cooling the sensitive and irritated skin and fighting some other skin problems.
As well as that, people are always discovering new ways to use it, reporting even up to 50 different ones. The plant can even be eaten, although some experts advise caution in cases like these because it could have a laxative effect when consumed in larger quantities.
However, the gel itself has a huge nutritious value with a lot of extremely important vitamins and minerals.
Basically, you should keep aloe vera close to you because it can be a natural type of the first-aid kit for small emergencies.
Poor Care – When To Take Precautions
Before you start taking care of your new aloe vera plant, it’s extremely important to analyze the condition it’s currently in. Many people don’t know how to take care of the aloe vera plant.
You should be able to easily recognize the signs of damage or poor care because it’s important to notice them early and prevent any further damage to the plant because any type of poor care can eventually lead to the roots rotting and even the plant itself dying. After all, it’s now a member of your home.
That being said, there’s no need to worry. In case you follow the advice and the instruction that I give you bellow considering aloe vera plant care, your new friend will be perfectly healthy and strong!
Planting Aloe Vera Plant
First and foremost, the most important step is to choose a proper pot for aloe vera. One of the great options is to use a pot made out of natural materials, as you would with your other succulents or cacti and give the aloe vera the option to breathe and dry. The perfect example of this could be a natural clay pot.
The pot should have at least one hole at the bottom so that all the excess water can get out of the soil and prevent the potential overwatering of the plant.
Another great option could be something like a glass pot, but you should be aware that they hold more water and that would require you to be a bit more careful with it and check the plant every once in a while.
If you’re feeling insecure about your aloe vera planting skills, you should check out the video below, where you can get a visual representation and the guidance through the whole process, making this experience much more enjoyable.
Best Soil for Aloe Vera Plant
Aloe Vera is said to be from the areas in the Mediterranean and North Africa, but some of the best conditions for its growth can actually be found in South America, as it’s climate is much more suiting. This can approximately give you an idea about what type of soil it is mainly used to growing in.
Because of the plant’s origin, only using the gardening soil is not going to be the best idea. Similar to other succulent and cacti, using the potting mix will be the perfect combination to aloe vera as well.
Good companions for this plant can also be some indoor exotic fruits and plants, as they can look beautiful together and really give off the vibe of an indoor jungle.
You can get great options for the soil in your local gardening store, or make one yourself by simply mixing regular potting soil with some sand, perlite or even lava rocks.
If you are not using bought potting soil, just the one from your garden, make sure to first go through a process or sterilizing it in order to not weak the plant’s system that has already been stressed out enough from the whole process of repotting.
Fertilizing Aloe Vera Plant
In this case, it’s enough to use fertilizer once or maybe even twice a year because the plant is naturally used to surviving in bad conditions and nutrition content poorer than the ones that you would give your other plants might not be a problem for them.
However, if you still choose to fertilize this plant, you have to take care and prevent over-fertilizing, and in order to do that you should make sure to use a small amount of fertilizer and to do it in the right time of the year.
So far, it was proven that the absolute best time to do this is in spring because that’s when the plant is ready to grow more and recover from potentially harsh winter, and also when it needs enough time to grow its beautiful flowers for the summer.
Like the most of every other plant in this world, Aloe Vera needs a warm environment and a lot of sunlight. However, both of these things in excess amounts could seriously harm the plant. It needs the environment that will be warm throughout the whole year, so somewhere between 50-80° F would be optimal.
In case it’s not too cold, depending on the are that you live in, you can even keep it outdoors, for example from spring till fall.
In case you have a window in the kitchen, that could be a perfect spot for this semi-tropical plant because of the sun-exposure and light, but depending on the time of the year you should check the temperatures around it.
For instance, during the winter, the windows can have bad isolation, and the location for aloe vera could be too cold.
You can even keep it under artificial lighting if the area you live in gets too cold during the winter. The grow lights can be a great solution, and you can use them for all of your succulent together.
Getting a sufficient amount of sunlight is extremely important for aloe vera plant care because if the plant is not getting enough of it, the leaves can fall flat to the side instead of pointing upward which is their normal position.
On the other hand, if they are exposed to too much light, the leaves can turn a darker brownish color. To prevent this you should frequently track the appearance of the leaves and notice their progress and growth with time.
How Much Water Does Aloe Vera Need?
As mentioned before, aloe vera is used to harsh conditions, and because of the climate that it’s used to this plant doesn’t really need to be watered frequently.
Inside her big fleshy leaves, it stores a lot of water that can make a sort of a reservoir for days that are too hot or longer periods without water. That doesn’t mean you are not supposed too water it, it just means that your schedule can be a bit more relaxed.
In general, it needs just a bit more water in the summer because that’s when it grows the most.
The best type of water to use for watering this plant is filtered water. Regular tap water can sometimes have added minerals and chemicals that can be harmful to the plant.
Also, like with many other plants, it is best to leave the soil to dry out almost completely before watering again so that you can make sure you are preventing overwatering and damage. As we said before, these types of succulent are typically not stressed out about drier surroundings.
One of the worst cases for this succulent is the root rotting, which can simply happen from overwatering! In this case, the leaves can get spots that are a dark brown or black color, but another symptom of overwatering can be a foul smell of the roots and a mushy appearance.
On the other hand, in case it is not getting enough water, the leaves could get a bit discolored or start to curl and wrinkle. If you notice this you should immediately water your plant.
Aloe Vera comes from a semi-tropical climate, and that means it is used to the irregular changes, the sun, and infrequent watering, so that’s why it is best to try to mimic those conditions when taking care of it.
If the plant is not getting enough air circulation and is being frequently watered, a thin layer of mold may appear on the surface of the soil.
Make sure to place it in a room that is being aired out a lot, like previously mentioned kitchen or the living room.
Avoid putting the plant in a dark and unused room without at least a bit of air circulating.
Aloe Vera Flowers
Aloe Vera flowers are really beautiful and long with orange and reddish tones.
If you decide to keep your Aloe Vera indoors though, it may not grow flowers that easily. It usually needs close to perfect conditions to do, so a lot of sun exposure, the right temperatures and the right amount of water.
This should not discourage you! There are some ways you can try and help it achieve these conditions.
Provide it with enough light, as it can do wonders for this plant, especially if the temperatures are above 70 degrees. In this case, you should definitely track how much water it is getting, and you should remember that it flowers during the summer, so it is the time that it needs the most nutrients.
In case you missed the step before, the right way to provide it with sufficient nutrients is to fertilize the soil during the spring.