How to grow an aloe plant at home?
Whether you're gardening indoors or outdoors, those serrated leaves contain something magical.
Aloe vera, or the king of herbal skincare, is a popular houseplant that is pretty to look at and comes with a ton of added benefits! They are known as medicinal plants which are good for wound healing, easing irritation, soothing sunburns and more. Just snap a leaf off and apply the gel to inflamed skin (just test out on a patch of skin first).
It’s no wonder why so many people have these plants handy at home. But to keep these little guys thriving, you first have to learn how to take care of your aloe vera so it can take care of you. These plants are easily recognizable as succulents because of their fleshy and thick stems; therefore, it’s best to keep your aloe vera in dry conditions and in bright, indirect light. Plus, they are pretty tolerant to infrequent watering — only needing a good watering every two weeks. Your plant might even produce aloe vera pups, with which you can get to enjoy a whole new plant!
So if this sounds like the perfect plant to have around, we are sharing all the details on how to grow an aloe vera, whether you decide to keep it indoors or grow outside!
Have you decided to grow it indoors?
Aloe has won over many home gardeners for its hardiness and tolerance of infrequent watering. To keep it happy, plant aloe in a terra cotta pot with well-drained dirt. The terra cotta also dries faster than other plastic or glazed containers. Your best bet is to mix equal parts sand and potting soil or buy a special potting mix, like Magic Soil by IFFCO Urban Gardens.
Re-pot your aloe if the weight of the plant causes tipping, but otherwise don't worry about giving it lots of space. This plant thrives in snug conditions.
Place your aloe in a bright, sunny place. Otherwise it will go dormant and stop growing. Water the plant heavily, about once every two weeks, waiting until the soil dries out fully. Since this is a desert species, keeping the dirt moist will cause the roots to rot. Limp or brown leaves also signal you've overdone the watering part.
If you like, you can move your potted plant outdoors for the summer, but don't put it in direct sunlight right away. Gradually place it in a brighter spot every few days to prevent overexposure.
Or, is it outdoors maybe?
If you live in a warm climate year-round, you can nurture your aloe outside. Freezing temperatures will kill the leaves, but you really have to worry about frozen soil, as that will kill the roots and no new sprouts will grow.
When picking a spot, look for a well-drained bed. You won't need to water your aloe with the exception of droughts. If it hasn't rained in months, give it a good soaking and then let the soil dry out again.
It's Aloe-care time!
The plant that would help you in your skincare routine would need one for itself as well! As a bonus, your aloe will produce a tall stalk of small, bell-shaped flowers from time to time. Once the blooms fade, you can snip the stem off at the base.
Even better, aloe plants also produce new, smaller plants perfect for propagation. If you notice one of these "pups," dump out the dirt and tease apart the roots of the different plants, replanting in separate containers.
If you're keen to give aloe plants to friends, you can try starting your own plants by cutting off a few leaves. Trim to about 3 inches from the leaf tip; then put the cut ends down in a container of potting mix. While not every one will take, some will sprout tiny new leaves at the base. Wait until this new plant grows a few inches before repotting again.
You can fertilize your aloe vera plant, but aloes generally don’t need to be fertilized. If you decide to some plant food to your aloe vera, then give them some once a year, in the spring. You can use an organic plant food for best results, like Green Diet, that can even be bought from the one and only IFFCO Urban Gardens.
Some brownie points to note down!
Besides providing pretty decoration, aloe leaves contain a clear gel that's a popular home remedy. Applying aloe gel to the skin could also help reduce acne and redness caused by mild to moderate psoriasis. With this in mind, you can snip off an aloe leaf (as close to the stem as possible) when you need it and rub the juicy end on a sunburn or sore spot.
Some people also like to use aloe vera juice as a hair conditioner, makeup remover, or even brow gel. While there's no guarantee it'll work as well as some of your favorite products, you can get more of the juice by slitting the spike lengthwise and scooping out the contents with a spoon. As long as your plant stays healthy, it'll just keep making more!
Now that you know a little more about how to care for an aloe vera plant, you need never be without this lovely and helpful plant.