Aloe vera is a succulent plant species that is commonly used in alternative medicine. The clear gel inside of the aloe vera leaf is used topically to soothe skin that has been burned or irritated, and the plant is also sometimes ingested for its purported health benefits. If you’re interested in growing your own aloe vera plants, there are a few things you should know.
How Fast Does Aloe Vera Grow
Aloe vera plants are native to Africa and thrive in warm, arid climates. If you live in an area with cool winters, you can grow aloe vera as a houseplant. Aloe vera prefers sandy, well-drained soil and lots of sunlight. If you’re potting your plant, choose a container with drainage holes to prevent the roots from sitting in water.
The Right Pot
Aloe vera plants are easy to grow, making them a great choice for beginners. They’re also perfect for people who forget to water their plants regularly, as they can withstand periods of drought. When growing aloe vera, it’s important to choose the right pot. The pot should be heavy enough so that it doesn’t tip over when the plant is fully grown, and it should have drainage holes in the bottom to prevent the roots from rotting. You can grow aloe vera in a regular potting mix, or you can purchase a special cactus mix from your local nursery.
One of the main things to keep in mind when growing aloe vera is how to water it. Aloe vera needs very little water to survive and too much watering can actually be harmful to the plant. Allow the soil to dry out completely between watering and then give it a good soaking. Be sure to drainage is good so that the plant doesn’t sit in soggy soil. During the winter months, you can water even less frequently.
Fertilizing aloe vera is best done with a water-soluble, balanced fertilizer that has an NPK ratio of 3:1:2. Fertilize every two to four weeks during the growing season, using one tablespoon of fertilizer per gallon of water. For best results, apply the fertilizer to moist soil and water the plant thoroughly after application. Leach the soil with plenty of water every six weeks or so to prevent salt buildup. Fertilize aloe vera sparingly, if at all, during the winter months.
Aloe vera thrives in bright, indirect sunlight. It’s a succulent, so it doesn’t need much water to survive — in fact, too much water can actually be harmful. Allow the top inch or two of soil to dry out before watering again. If you’re not sure whether it’s time to water, stick your finger in the soil — if it feels dry to the touch, it’s time to water.