Aloe Plant

OFFICIAL NAME

Aloe vera

ALSO KNOWN AS

Aloe barbadensis

ORIGINS & CLIMATE

Southeast Arabian Peninsula | Tropical (semi-arid region)

ABOUT THE
PLANT

A lovely rosette of spear-like leaves fan out from a central stem. This particularly easy going succulent sports extra plump leaves that contain a first-aid bonus inside. The watery gel in each spear can provide quick relief for burns or bites.

HOW MANY GREEN THUMBS?

easy going, direct, drought tolerant, mid-size, clusters, shelf, tabletop, cactus or succulent, tropical, arid or semi-arid, plump, bright indirect

👌️ EASY PEASY 👌

Aloe Plant

The basics

Water Needs

Allow the top half of soil to dry completely between thorough waterings. Reduce frequency as needed in winter or in lower light conditions.

Water

Preferred Light

Primarily plenty of bright, indirect light with a few hours of direct light is ideal for a happy, thriving Aloe.

Light

Humidity Needs

While not at all bothered about high humidity, your Aloe will appreciate the occasional misting, which helps remove dust from their leaves.

Humidity

Ambient Temperature

Adaptable to average indoor temperatures, but generally prefers the warmer side and may complain when exposed to cold drafts or dry heat from vents.

Temperature

Toxic or Not?

While Aloe gel is safe to be used topically, ingestion will cause mouth and stomach irritation and possible vomiting. In some cases, may even cause swelling of the upper airway. Keep away from children and pets.

Toxicity

Size Potential

Indoors, this plant can grow up to around 1-2 ft tall with a similar spread (when mature and with enough light)!

Size

Overall Look

The spear-like leaves fan out from a central stem (usually very short or not visible) in a rosette pattern. Works best as a tabletop plant or on a shelf to showcase this helpful plant.

Format

Leaf Look

Living up to its succulent nature, each spear-like leaf is quite fleshy and plump. Generally found in a paler shade of green or blue-green, often with a smattering of white freckles in varying densities. The edges, or margins, are dotted with small "teeth" creating a jagged or serrated appearance.

Leaf Shape

Pro Tip

The pooling or accumulation of water in the crevasses between leaves can quickly lead to rot. Do your best to water at the soil level rather than directly over the plant.

Pro Tip

Did You Know?

Aloe vera is an ingredient well known for its soothing properties. If you're in a pinch, you can simply cut a leaf of your Aloe plant and squeeze out the watery gel. The gel can be applied directly to your burn or bug bite for quick relief.

Fun Fact

Water

|

Allow half of soil to dry out before watering again.

Water Needs

Allow the top half of soil to dry completely between thorough waterings. Reduce frequency as needed in winter or in lower light conditions.

Light

|

Bright, indirect to direct light.

Preferred Light

Primarily plenty of bright, indirect light with a few hours of direct light is ideal for a happy, thriving Aloe.

Humidity

|

Not too concerned by humidity levels.

Humidity Needs

While not at all bothered about high humidity, your Aloe will appreciate the occasional misting, which helps remove dust from their leaves.

Temperature

|

Can adapt, but doesn't like sudden change.

Ambient Temperature

Adaptable to average indoor temperatures, but generally prefers the warmer side and may complain when exposed to cold drafts or dry heat from vents.

Toxicity

|

Highly toxic to humans and pets if ingested.

Toxic or Not?

While Aloe gel is safe to be used topically, ingestion will cause mouth and stomach irritation and possible vomiting. In some cases, may even cause swelling of the upper airway. Keep away from children and pets.

Size

|

An in-betweener. Not too big, not too small.

Size Potential

Indoors, this plant can grow up to around 1-2 ft tall with a similar spread (when mature and with enough light)!

Format

|

Densely packed upright leaves.

Overall Look

The spear-like leaves fan out from a central stem (usually very short or not visible) in a rosette pattern. Works best as a tabletop plant or on a shelf to showcase this helpful plant.

Leaf Shape

|

Plump green or blue-green spears with serrated edges.

Leaf Look

Living up to its succulent nature, each spear-like leaf is quite fleshy and plump. Generally found in a paler shade of green or blue-green, often with a smattering of white freckles in varying densities. The edges, or margins, are dotted with small "teeth" creating a jagged or serrated appearance.

Pro Tip

|

Avoid getting water in-between the leaves.

Pro Tip

The pooling or accumulation of water in the crevasses between leaves can quickly lead to rot. Do your best to water at the soil level rather than directly over the plant.

Fun Fact

|

A natural first-aid kit.

Did You Know?

Aloe vera is an ingredient well known for its soothing properties. If you're in a pinch, you can simply cut a leaf of your Aloe plant and squeeze out the watery gel. The gel can be applied directly to your burn or bug bite for quick relief.

Beyond The Basics

Soil & Potting

Thrives in an airy, light, fast-draining potting mix—you can use a good quality potting mix labeled for succulents/cactus or supplement a standard indoor mix with an equal quantity of pumice or horticultural grit. Ensure the pot has the appropriate drainage and don't forget to pour out any excess water collected in the drainage tray or cachepot.

Repotting

Try to repot every 3-4 years in the spring, especially when tending to a younger plant. Increase the pot size by about 2 inches each time or until you're satisfied with the size. It's still important to repot at this stage, but it'll be an exercise of refreshing to soil, keeping the pot size the same, and possibly doing some root trimming to restrict the plant's growth. More on repotting here.

Feeding

If you're not already planning to repot, you can fertilize during the spring and summer months. Once to every two months should be plenty. No fertilizer is necessary during the winter when plant growth naturally slows down. You can try a balanced liquid or water-soluble fertilizer—always diluted more than the recommended strength. A cactus and succulent specific feed would also work well. More on using fertilizer here.

Grooming

While no specific pruning is required for this plant, it's always good practice to regularly remove yellowed or dying leaves and any fallen plant debris. Ensure your scissors or pruners are sanitized to avoid spreading disease or pests.

Propagation

Aloe practically propagate themselves! You’ll see little mini Aloe offsets, or pups, popping up from the soil near the base of the parent plant. You’ll want to wait until the pup is at least a few inches in length. Dig under and around a little bit and cut the pup out from the soil, making sure to get some roots. You can then place the pup in water to develop stronger roots or pot up right away if the root system is complex enough. More on propagation techniques here.

Variants

TrOUBlESHOOTING

Why is my Aloe Plant wrinkled or shriveled?

Symptom

Leaves are wrinkled or shriveled, but not soft or yellowing.

Cause

Wrinkling or shriveling of leaves is often a sign of dehydration from either too much light or not enough water. If accompanied by softness or yellowing, this is more likely a sign of not enough light or too much water.

Solution

The key is a well tuned balance between the amount of light and your frequency of watering. Instead of going by a set schedule, check-in with your plant to see if they need the water or not. You'll want to allow around half the soil to dry out completely before watering again. While this may be on a consistent schedule for some months, as the seasons change, so will the amount of light and therefore your watering schedule must shift.

More on watering here.
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Why does my Aloe Plant have soft, yellowing leaves at the base?

Symptom

One or multiple leaves feel a bit soft and may be starting to yellow or brown at the base.

Cause

This is a sure sign of persistent overwatering. The root rot has spread and led to stem rot as well.

Solution

You will have to cut back any leaves with signs of rot. To avoid further spread, you should also take a peak at the roots by removing the plant entirely from their container. If there are any black and mushy roots, trim them back completely before repotting with fresh soil in a new or sterilized container.

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Why isn't my Aloe Plant growing?

Symptom

Slow or no new growth. Possibly accompanied by pale new growth.

Cause

This is most likely due to insufficient light. Aloe Plants are accustomed to receiving plenty of sunlight. Unlike most houseplants, they can generally withstand multiple hours of direct sun every day, something they'll be craving especially during the winter months.

Solution

Improve the lighting conditions for your Aloe Plant to thrive. These plants prefer plenty of bright, indirect light along with a bit of direct light. Make sure to adjust your watering to accommodate the increased light.

More on lighting here.
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