Aloe plants (Aloe spp.) come in many varieties, with some well-suited for indoor growth. One of the more common potted types, Aloe Vera, produces a sap that can help heal burns and small scrapes. The succulent leaves of aloes are usually green, although some types may feature pale green or white variegation or spots. Most types have few spines on the sword-shaped foliage. Like most succulents, aloes thrive on minimal care and require little moisture to survive. The Aloe Plant makes a lovely tabletop plant or floor plant when it matures.
Potting Aloe Plant
Plant aloe in a pot that contains at least one large drainage hole and is 2 to 3 inches larger in diameter than the base of the aloe plant. Drainage is important because too much moisture around aloe’s roots can cause root rot. Plant the aloe in a soil mixture formulated for cacti and other succulents, or combine equal parts potting soil and coarse sand to make your own mix.
Choosing a Location
Place aloe plants near a sunny window where they receive plenty of indirect sunlight, such as a few feet from a south- or west-facing window. Too much bright, direct sunlight can brown aloe’s leaves. Rotate the pot once or twice a week so that all sides of the aloe receive equal lighting. This also helps balance out the look of the plant, as leaves tend to grow toward the sunlight. Maintain a room temperature above 60 degrees Fahrenheit, and do not expose the plants to temperatures below freezing.
When to Water
Water the aloe plant only when the soil has dried out completely, or every few weeks. Water it even less in winter. To water aloe, pour water onto the soil near the base of the plant until the soil is thoroughly wet. Allow the pot to fully drain for about 30 minutes, and then promptly empty any excess water that has drained into the pot’s drip tray.
Fertilizing the Aloe Plant
Aloe plants generally do not require fertilizer, although applying it on occasion can can help a plant that doesn’t seem as healthy as it should. Fertilize the aloe in mid-spring with a water-soluble liquid fertilizer formulated for houseplants. Dilute the fertilizer with water to half the package-recommended dosage for the pot size.
When to Repot Aloe Plant
Repot the aloe into a pot 2 inches larger in diameter when the aloe’s base grows to within 1 inch of the edge of the old pot. Aloes don’t require frequent repotting and can live in the same pot for five or more years, depending on the variety.
Aloe reproduces by growing small offsets around its base. You can leave the offsets in place, pinch them off for disposal or cut them off and plant them into new pots. Allow the plantlets to rest for a day or two before repotting them.