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New leaf on an Aloe Vera

How to care for an Aloe Vera

An Aloe Vera is succulent-like cactus that has many health benefits. They don't just look great, but you can also use them to treat burns and has other health benefits.

Aloe Vera's are great plants for those of you who don't have a lot of time to take care of your plants or you always forget to water them. The Aloe Vera needs very little from you and thrives when it's neglected for weeks at a time.

In this plant care guide, we're going to learn how to take care of the Aloe Vera and help it be happy. These are the topics we're going to highlight:

Let's get into the these aspects of taking care of an Aloe Vera and learn how to help this amazing plant grow and be happy.

Sunlight needs for an Aloe Vera

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Aloe Vera in a Windowsill

An Aloe Vera is very much like a cactus in many ways. It has sharp thorns, but also loves a lot of sunlight. It's a great plant to put right next to your window if you live in a colder climate, but you can also grow them outdoors if you live in a hot and dry place.

When you expose your Aloe Vera to a lot of sunlight, it starts to grow. In the same way, if you put it in a place that's too dark, it will stop growing and become dormant. You could use this as a way to keep your Aloe Vera smaller, but it's better to keep it happy in the sun and propagate it when it gets too big for its spot. This way you have more of them and you could share them with your friends and family.

Watering your Aloe Vera

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In the previous section, we've already discovered that your Aloe Vera is very much like a cactus. This goes for sunlight, but also for watering your plant. You should rarely water your Aloe Vera, it loves the dry soil and dry environment.

The best time to water your Aloe Vera is when it has been dry for a few days. Usually, this means that you should water your Aloe Vera once every two weeks. This gives it plenty of time to thrive in the dry soil, without being under watered.

When you water your Aloe Vera, make sure to water it plentifully. This plant has deep roots, unlike some succulents. If you were to water your Aloe Vera more often, but only a little every time, the moisture will never reach the roots of the plant. By watering it plentifully, you make sure that the moisture is throughout the whole pot and the roots can absorb the moisture.

It's important that you have proper drainage holes to get rid of any excess water. Your Aloe Vera can't survive in moist environments for very long. If you have water standing at the bottom of the pot, this could be very harmful and kill your plant.

The best soil for an Aloe Vera

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The best soil for an Aloe Vera

An Aloe Vera thrives in dry environments. The easiest way to give it this dry environment is to plant it in soil that drains moisture very well. The best soil for an Aloe Vera is a cactus soil: a lot of Perlite and/or sand mixed in with potting soil. This helps the soil to drain moisture away quickly, as the Aloe Vera does not tolerate moist soil very well.

An Aloe Vera is also a great plant for rock gardens, as this drains any moisture away very quickly. You could even plant your Aloe Vera in Leca or Pumice, as these growing mediums drain away moisture instantly and water your plant slowly. As you can see, there are many great ways to help your Aloe Vera stay in a dry environment.

Fertilizing an Aloe Vera

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Aloe Vera leaves

Plants need energy to grow, even if they grow quite slowly. You can give these plants the extra energy by fertilizing them regularly. The Aloe Vera, like many other plants has a growing period and a dormancy period. During the growing period (spring and summer), your plant grows more quickly than during the dormancy period. The dormancy period (fall and winter) is when your houseplants rest.

During the growing period, you should fertilize your Aloe Vera twice: once during the spring and once during the summer. It's best to fertilize them at the beginning of the season, so it can use all of this extra energy to grow bigger and stronger.

You shouldn't fertilize your plants during the dormancy period, as they won't use the fertilizer at all. If your plant doesn't use the fertilizer you give it, it's staying behind in the soil and will make the soil acidic. This makes it a very tough place for your plant to grow and stay healthy. When this happens, you can wash the fertilizer away by watering your plant thoroughly.

Propagating an Aloe Vera

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Sometimes, you might want to propagate your Aloe Vera. Perhaps your plant is getting too big for its spot or you just want more of them. Luckily, propagating an Aloe Vera, like many succulents, is quite easy.

You can propagate an Aloe Vera by cutting off one of it's leaves/stems and letting the end dry for 2 days. You can let the end dry by putting it in a warm and sunny place. You need to wait for a callus to form at the place where you cut it off the parent plant. It's important to wait for the callus to form, because this protects your Aloe Vera against diseases when you plant it in soil.

When the callus has formed, at around 2 days, you can stick it in the soil. The thorns are sharp, so be careful while handling the leaves. After you've planted it in soil, you can water your plant like we've described earlier in this guide. Don't worry about the Aloe Vera drying out when it doesn't have roots. It's fleshy leaves contains a lot of moisture: it will be fine.

Your Aloe Vera starts to grow roots out of the bottom, where the callus has formed, after a few weeks. At this point you'll have a completely new plant, and you'll see new leaves grow soon after.

Conclusion

The Aloe Vera is a beautiful succulent-like cactus that has many health benefits besides being a great beginner-friendly houseplant. It's a hands-off plant that thrives when you forget about it for a few weeks. It needs plenty of direct sunlight, so place it close to a window. It doesn't need to be watered a lot, because it loves the dry soil. Water it about every two weeks, and it'll be a happy houseplant.

Thank you for reading this post! I hope it helps you to keep your plants healthy and beautiful! If you're looking for more guides on specific plants, you can always request a plant guide or donate a plant in order to get a guide for the plant you have trouble with.

Tags: beginner-friendly, succulent

Posted on: Jun 13, 2021

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