Aloe plant care is all about the cultivation of Aloe vera plants. Growing Aloe vera in pots. How to grow it in the ground and care for it over the winter. Tips for growing Aloes indoors.
When it comes to Aloe vera plant care, I think what concerns new gardeners most is Aloe plant watering.
Because it's a succulent, they're afraid their Aloe plant will rot if they get it too wet.
This is both true and false.
Aloe vera is a succulent. It's thick leaves contain a watery, medicinal gel that will confer all kinds of benefits on those who are wise enough to employ it. Because of these reserves, Aloe plant care involves little watering.
But don't be misled by this, Aloe is not a dessert plant. It grows mostly in Africa, the southern Mediterranean and the West Indies. Plentiful water doesn't bother it.
At least not the most common types.
I have been growing and using aloe for nigh unto 20 years here in central Florida. I grow the type most commonly sold as "the" medicinal Aloe vera as well as a wickedly thorny spotted Aloe maculata. I use them interchangeably and have never noticed a difference in efficacy.
The Aloe maculata does seem to contain less of the bitter yellow latex.
I care for Aloe vera plants both in pots and in the ground.
Florida weather alternates between drought and deluge. Between dry and scorching and damp and freezing. My Aloes have never been one bit bothered by any of this.
During hurricane season, we sometimes have torrential rains. One plant or another is always lost when this happens. But I've never lost an Aloe plant. They always come through unscathed.
I must mention that I believe one of the reasons for this great water tolerance is the sandy soil in my yard. It drains very quickly.
My potted Aloes are planted in Miracle Grow potting mix (not the one with the moisture crystals). I tend to forget to water my pot plants so these are always on the dry side.
The only time I've ever seen any water related damage to them was once when heavy rain blew into the porch and flooded an urn of aloe plants. I didn't notice this right away so they sat in water for several days.
A couple of the smaller pups had to be discarded as they were too
far gone to save, but the larger plants were fine. I don't think they
would have been if I had left them sitting in water for much longer.
So, you see, Aloe plant care is not such a tricky business at all. Just give them some water but don't leave them with wet feet and they'll be fine.
Another aspect of Aloe plant care is feeding them. This is just as simple as watering them. They don't need a lot of food. If you feed them twice during the growing season they'll be satisfied. They are also not picky as to what they eat. I just give them whatever I'm giving the plants around them. Sometimes they get liquid fertilizer, sometimes granular. It's all the same to them.
Let's move on to the final topic regarding Aloe plant care: Siting your plant.
Aloe enjoys full sun but is quite shade tolerant when planted outdoors. In the home, Aloe vera plant care demands very bright light. You'll get more of those interesting orange aloe vera flowers when growing aloes in the sun.
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Temperatures as low as 25 degrees F. don't seem to harm aloe vera plants. You can successfully grow Aloe vera (and other varieties) unprotected in the open ground from zone 9a to zone 11.
The leaves of Aloe growing outdoors in the winter will sometimes turn a brownish color after a frost but they always green up once the weather warms up.
If you live north of zone 9a, plant Aloe vera in a pot so that you can move it indoors for the winter. It can be kept in a sunny window or near an artificial light source.
Water it very sparingly and do not feed it until it goes back outside in the spring. When you set it back out, don't place it directly into full sun. Set it in the shade for a few days first.
When growing Aloe as a houseplant, keep it in as bright a spot as you can and try not to over water it.
Give it any houseplant food you happen to have on hand in the spring and again in mid to late summer.
Aloe plants make fantastic, unfussy houseplants. As long as they get some fresh air on a regular basis, they will rarely develop problems. Crack a nearby window when the weather allows.
Aloe plant care is easy. The plants will only become unhealthy if you give them too much food and water.
I do recommend growing a dwarf aloe variety when cultivating aloe in the home. Aloe vera stays small as does Partridge Breast Aloe but some Aloe species grow quite large.
Aloe vera growing in a pot or the ground will multiply on its own. Cute little pups will form all around the mother plant eventually filling the pot.
You can separate them any time you want and plant the babies in their own pots or move them to another location. They are shallow rooted and it is easy to dig them out without disturbing the rest of the clump.
It is o.k. to transplant aloe plants at any time during the growing season. I have done it countless times and have never noticed any transplant shock.
Aloe seeds can also be used for propagation. This is a good way to get new types that you can't find plants of.