How to Grow Aloe Vera Plants Successfully at Home

Aloe Vera Plants are famed for their ornamental beauty as well as their multitude of medicinal benefits. I find these low-maintenance plants very easy to care for and thrive in most living environments at home. In this guide, I’ll share my fundamentals of Aloe plant care at home, including potting, soil considerations, watering, light preferences, temperature tolerances, and fertilizing needs.

How to Grow Aloe Vera Plants Successfully at Home

How To Grow Aloe Vera Plants 

Extremely low maintenance yet attractive and easy to grow, Aloe Vera adds charm to many home and office interiors. Also, it comes with various nutrients and advantages. 

Planting Essentials

When you decide to have a beautiful Aloe Vera plant at home or office, there are certain factors you need to check before actually planting it. Growing an Aloe Vera plant is easy, but there are a few tricks. Let us have a look at them in detail:

  • The first thing you need to do before planting is to choose a suitable planter. Terra-cotta planters or any porous material are always a great choice. This is because it allows the soil to dry well and keeps the plant safe. 
  • Be careful about the size and volume of the pot you choose. As a general rule, aim for a pot or planter that’s in proportion to the size of your current pot. A super small Aloe Vera Plant in a huge pot will be difficult to water. Conversely, a pot that’s too small won’t allow space for the roots to grow and aerate.  
  • The container should have at least one drainage hole to allow excess water to drain. If your planter doesn’t have drainage, simply place the growing pot (usually plastic) your Aloe Plant arrived in directly in the planter, and you’ll have a 2-pot system working.  
  • Aloe Vera plants are succulents. Thus, the Aloe Vera plants like very sandy soil while they grow. Using gravel at the bottom layer, a mixture of perlite, lava rock, coarse, and garden soil would be the best while potting Aloe Vera. 

How to Plant

A young aloe vera plant in a contemporary plant pot

The attractive Aloe Vera can be potted in just a few simple steps. There is not much to do, but the things that are done have to be done carefully and correctly. The key steps to follow: 

  1. Once you have finalized the pot concerning size, depth, and type, fill the pot with potting mix till a third of the way up. Then, place the plant in the soil mixture filled in the pot. 
  1. After placement of the plant, continue filling the pot with the soil, but leave at least 3/4th space between the soil and the rim of the pot. 
  1. Now, keep the plant in a warm place, receiving indirect bright light. 
  1. Don’t water the plant for at least a week. Not watering the plant minimizes the chance of provoking rot and will give the plant time to grow new roots.

Generally, the size of the Aloe Vera can grow up to 60–100 cm (24–39 in) tall. The leaves will get juicy, thick, and fleshy. It takes 3-4 years to grow the full-grown Aloe Vera plant with mature leaves. 

Light Preferences 

Since Aloe Vera doesn’t need much water, it does require plenty of bright and indirect light. Eight or more hours of bright and indirect light every day would do for growing Aloe Vera indoors. 

Overexposure to direct sunlight can cause aloe plant leaves to start curling. For more, see our in-depth guide on where to position Aloe plants in the home for optimal growth and Feng Shui benefits.


How to Care for Aloe Vera Plant? 

A mature aloe vera plant in a blue plant pot on a windowsill next to a bright window

Watering

The Aloe Vera plant should be watered when the soil completely dries out. This will probably work out to every 7 to 14 days in spring and summer and less during winter. 

Pour the water onto the soil near the base of the plant until the soil completely soaks. After about 30 minutes, let the pot fully drain, and then empty the excess water into a pot’s tray. 

The plant tolerates drought really well, so don’t be too concerned if you’re a bit late with your regular watering cycles. 

Fertilizing

As mentioned, the Aloe Vera plant needs little attention and care to thrive. The plant is adaptable to poor desert soils and can live with fewer nutrients.

In my experience, occasional feeding in the right amount can help the Aloe Vera grow faster and healthier. But you have to ensure you do not overdo it, especially for the ones you grow in containers. 

Feeding is best done in the growing season, starting in the Spring. Applying organic fertilizers once a month would be fine for indoor Aloe vera plants.

Pruning

Keeping the Aloe Vera plant in good shape is essential. However, regular pruning is not required. Frequent pruning poses a threat to the Aloe Vera plant. 

The pruning process should be done when any part of the Aloe Vera leaf has turned pinkish brown. The leaves turning pinkish-brown is a sign that the part is dead, hence trimming off would help the remaining Aloe Vera stay green and healthy. 

When trimming, make sure that you use a sharp knife or cutting shears, as the leaves of indoor Aloe Vera plants are small or medium-sized and can be a little tricky to cut through. 

Propagation

A young aloe plant in a clay plant pot near a window in a bright room indoors

You can propagate Aloe Vera in 2 different ways. 

The first one is to propagate from the offset, which is an efficient way of propagating and shows better results. Separate pups with a sharp knife or plucking away from the parent plant to propagate by offsets.

Either way, the pup should be cut or plucked with its root intact. After separating the pup from the parent plant, plant the pup in a pot. The pot should be watered, and the soil must be moist before planting the pup, as more water can kill the pup. The pot should be watered when the soil is dry. Soon, the results of the propagation will yield.

The second way is to propagate from cuttings. This method is easier and faster but doesn’t always show the desired results. Cut the Aloe Vera leaf using this method and keep it dry for about a week. Use rooting hormone at the tip after the week, and pot the plant. The soil must be moist. The plant will turn brown slowly and grow if it works; otherwise, it will die.

For more, see our in-depth guide on splitting and pruning aloe plants at home and everything you need to know about growing aloe plants in water.

Re-Potting 

Repotting is also essential when the Aloe Vera starts developing pups, and the plant gets too big for its current pot or planter. 

The process to repot an aloe is easy as all the steps have to be repeated just the way you potted the plant. However, you must be very careful while removing it from the current pot. Also, if any pups are available, you should pull them from the central root mass. 


Pests and Disease Considerations

A close shot of the thick green stems of an aloe plant

Pest and disease considerations are necessary for indoor Aloe Vera as they are susceptible to indoor bugs like scale and mealybugs. 

Common diseases include:

  • Root rot
  • Soft rot
  • Fungal stem rot
  • Leaf rot
  • Yellowing or browning Aloe leaves

Such diseases often happen because of overwatering. Overly hot or humid environments can also attract common aloe plant pests and fungal diseases, which may cause brown spots on your aloe plant leaves.

Common Problems

The main problem with Aloe Vera plants arises from insufficient lighting or overwatering. Other common problems you may run with Aloe Vera plants are: 

  • Mushy Stem– this happens when the base starts rotting due to overwatering (and can lead to a droopy aloe plant). It can be treated by cutting the stem from the rotted section and re-rooting it.  
  • Brown Mushy leaves– Trimming is the best solution to treat brown mushy leaves. Also, slow down the watering.  
  • Dried brown leaves– Need a little moisture. Trimming the dry leaves and a little watering will fix the issue. 
  • Tall and Thin – Lack of light is the reason. Hence, moving to a sunny window would fix this issue. 
  • Brown leaf tips– Typically caused by under-watering.

Essential Tools

A young aloe plant with long pointed green leaves

The basic tools required to plant an Aloe Vera plant are:

  • A small shovel
  • Knife or cutting shears
  • Watering can
  • Gardening gloves

Wrapping Up:

There are various different species of ‘Aloes’ in the world, and Aloe Vera is undoubtedly the most well-known. An epitome of healing, the Aloe Vera plants also bring luck and spiritual value to the house. They are very easy and attractive to grow. Having one at home would bring luck, spiritual upliftment, and healing power. Do remember, the key to growing an Indoor Aloe Vera plant is – high light, and low water!

Editorial Director | andrew@petalrepublic.com | Full Bio

Andrew is the Editorial Director at Petal Republic. He holds a BSc degree in Plant Sciences and has trained professionally at leading floristry schools in London and Paris. In amongst overseeing a global editorial team, Andrew's a passionate content creator around all things flowers, floral design, gardening, and houseplants.

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