One of the most popular plants to grow at home, not only is this flowering succulent beautiful to look at, it’s also relatively easy to take care of, making it the ideal plant for those of you not blessed with a green thumb.
Aloe vera is also one of the best plants for cleaning pollutants from the air. According to a study by NASA, aloe helps to remove carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and replace it with oxygen. So these plants are ideal for city apartments or any location with poor air quality.
While it is fairly simple to grow aloe vera both outdoors and indoors, it does require a little bit of knowledge. So here is everything you need to know about aloe vera plant care:
How To Look After An Aloe Indoors
Aloe plants need to be watered only once every week or two. Overwatering or planting aloe in a planter that prevents drainage can cause the roots to rot and the plant to die.
However, if you suspect your plant has been overwatered, Scott suggests gently removing it from the pot and allow the soil to dry while the plant recovers away from direct sunlight. Afterwards, trim off any rotten or mushy roots and replant in fresh soil.
Indoor aloe plants should be planted in pots with plenty of drainage holes and a dry soil mix with sand and or gravel and placed in direct sunlight for approximately seven hours a day. Rotate your aloe from time to time for equal exposure of the leaves. Keep in mind that too much direct sunlight can burn the plant’s leaves and they will become brown. On the other hand, if it doesn’t get enough light its leaves become high, thin, and ugly.
Choosing the right size and type of planter is imperative, because specific planter materials impact the soil drying schedule, the width of the planter is important and should be as wide as it is deep so the entire stem is covered under soil. Terra cotta and clay planters are the best option because they allow the soil to dry thoroughly between watering and its best to avoid the plastic type.
How To Look After An Aloe Outdoors
Aloe plants thrive in near-desert conditions, so water infrequently. It is also vital to avoid using pesticides because aloe vera is too sensitive for strong chemicals. Aloe plants don’t usually have problems with insects but sometimes they can be attacked by mealybugs. If the pest invasion is not too severe, clearing the leaves with rubbing alcohol should suffice.
Most bugs are attracted by dead leaves, so make sure you remove them to prevent an infestation.
Choosing the Right Soil
Planting aloe vera in soil suitable for it is a must. Most experts don’t recommend using regular soil, but rather something that will dry fast. The key is to prevent soaking and overwatering.
A pre-made cactus mix works well, or make your own by mixing one part coarse sand, one part perlite, and one part potting soil. Once you have potted the aloe into damp potting soil, do not water it again until the top one inch of potting mix has dried completely.