If you own an aloe vera plant or are thinking about purchasing one, here are 5 aloe vera plant care tips that will ensure that your plant grows and thrives properly. Contrary to popular belief and their complicated-looking structure, aloe vera plants are actually very easy to take care of. They make great plants for beginners. Aloe vera plants are most commonly adored for the natural remedy gel found inside of the leaves. This gel can be used for many different purposes, from treating burns to aiding in digestion. These helpful benefits is what makes the aloe vera one of the most popular and desired plants. When taking care of your aloe vera plant, follow these plant care tips:
- Choose an aloe vera-friendly container. Aloe vera has shallow roots that grow outwards rather than deep like most plants. If you are growing aloe vera indoors, choose a container that is wider than it is deep. This will ensure that the roots have plenty of room to grow. It is very important that the container has a drainage hole on the bottom to allow excess water to drain out.
Use the right kind of soil. Aloe vera grows best in very well drained, sandy soil. Choose potting soil that contains pumice, perlite, sand or sharp grit. Specialty soil for aloe vera plants can generally be purchased at most garden centers and plant nurseries.
Place the aloe vera in an ideal location. Aloe vera plants need lots of sunlight and warmth in order to grow properly. Place the plant on a warm window sill that gets plenty of indirect sunlight, and preferably away from drafts. The leaves will start to brown if the plant is getting too much direct sunlight. Aloe vera plants can not tolerate cold temperatures and will freeze very easily.
Go easy on the water. This is the most important of the 5 Aloe vera plant care tips. Over-watering Aloe vera plants is one of the main reason why many people are not successful with growing these plants. Aloe vera is a succulent which means it is at greater danger of over-watering than it is at under watering. Aloe vera should be watered every two weeks. To water the plant, place it over the sink and add water until it begins to drain out from the drainage hole. Allow the water to drain until the soil is completely drenched. Place the plant on a saucer. The soil should be allowed to dry out completely before watering again. This is why it is recommended to use sandy soil, because it drains quickly and will help prevent the plant from sitting in overly moist soil for long periods of time which could cause the roots to rot. If the tips of the Aloe vera begins to turn yellow and mushy, then it is being over-watered. If the plant's leaves begin to thin and curl, then it is not getting enough water.
- Use a good fertilizer. Aloe vera only needs to be fertilized once a year. Fertilize it in the spring using a 10-40-10 fertilizer and following the directions on the bag. This fertilizer can be purchased at your local gardening store.
By following the above 5 aloe vera plant care tips, you will reap the benefits of owning a healthy, well-nourished aloe vera plant for many years to come.