Like most plants, aloe plants require different care in the winter than they do during the rest of the year. Providing the proper environment, water, and care will help your aloe plant thrive all year long. Keep reading to learn how to care for aloe plants in winter.
How to Care for Aloe Plants in Winter
Just as humans tend to slow down a bit during the winter months, so do plants. This slowed growth demands that you alter how you care for your aloe plant.
If you’re wondering how to keep your aloe plant happy during the dark and cold months, keep the following tips in mind.
Decrease the Amount You Water
During the winter, aloe plants slow their rate of growth. Therefore, they use less water and also release less water through transpiration.
This, along with decreased daylight, means you will not have to water your aloe plants as often as you do in the summer.
While the top of the soil may dry more quickly in winter due to low humidity, this doesn’t mean you need to water more often.
Aim to water your aloe plant when the top two to three inches of soil is dry. If you water when the soil is still wet, you may encourage plant stress (such as drooping) as well as the development of root rot.
The amount of time it will take the soil to dry out depends on factors including temperature, humidity, soil type, and light.
That said, you can expect to water your aloe plant every two to three weeks in the winter. Use room temperature water to avoid shocking your plants.
If you aren’t confident in your ability to measure soil moisture with your finger, you can opt to use a soil moisture meter. Insert the meter about three inches into the soil and water when it reads dry.
In general, aloes don’t need much fertilizer to thrive. Applying too much fertilizer can actually be a bigger problem than applying not enough fertilizer.
This is especially true in winter.
Since aloe plants slow their growth during the winter, they do not need added nutrients to thrive. Therefore, you should avoid fertilizing during the winter months.
Monitor the Air Temperature
Despite winter’s lower temperatures, you should aim to keep your aloe plant in a warm area. Maintaining an air temperature between 60-85ºF will help keep your plant happy.
You should also make sure to keep your aloe plant away from any drafty areas. This includes both hot and cold drafts.
Avoid placing your plant near an exterior door that is frequently opened as well as poorly insulated windows. You should also keep your aloe plant away from heating vents, furnaces, and fireplaces, which can result in curling aloe leaves.
If you’re growing aloe plants outside, it’s often prudent to bring them indoors during the very cold months.
In addition, aloe plants will need plenty of bright, indirect light to thrive during the winter months.
Keep an Eye Out for Pests
Sap-sucking pests like aphids, whiteflies, spider mites, and thrips often pop up during dry winter conditions. While a few of these pests won’t cause significant harm, they can rapidly multiply and decimate a plant.
It’s a good practice to check your aloe plant for pests at least once a week. Be sure to check the undersides of the leaves as well as the tops.
If you spot a few pests, you can wipe them off with a wet and soapy rag.
Don’t Worry About Dry Air
Indoor spaces tend to be drier in the winter than they are during other times of the year. However, this isn’t a concern for aloe plants!
While many houseplants prefer humid conditions, aloe plants like the air to remain dry. Therefore, you should not mist your aloe plant or use a humidifier.
Allow Your Aloe Plants to Thrive
By implementing the previous care tips, you’ll help your aloe plants thrive throughout the darkest months. Late winter is also the best time to split and transplant aloe plants if desired and you can prune and repot your aloe plant if needed in the early spring.
For more, see our in-depth guide on where to position aloe plants for optimal care and feng shui benefits in the home or office.