How To Grow Aloe Vera In Pots: The Complete Guide

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Aloe vera is an easy-to-grow plant that is not only fun to have around but has many uses as well. These plants have been used for centuries because of their medicinal properties.

I love keeping an aloe vera as a houseplant! They are easy to care for, and they can have a stunning look (especially when they get large!).

This post will cover all things aloe vera, including what it can be used for and how to grow it.

How To Grow Aloe Vera

What Is Aloe Vera?

Maybe when you hear aloe vera, you think of that green bottle of aloe goo that you slather on when you get sunburned.

While that green stuff does contain aloe vera, it doesn’t tell the whole story of this unique plant!

Aloe vera, or Aloe barbadensis, is a succulent plant that also happens to be a convenient natural remedy. Since it’s a succulent, it stores water in its short, thick stems.

Historically, these plants are thought to have been used in medicine in North Africa, the Canary Islands, and Southern Europe.

Now, these plants are more important (and popular) than ever, and for a good reason.

Aloe Vera Health Benefits And Uses

There are many things that aloe vera can be used for. You’ve probably heard of aloe vera as a treatment for burns, but did you know it has a whole host of other potential benefits?

When we talk about the uses of aloe vera, we are talking about the aloe vera gel inside the plant’s plump leaves. The leaves are filled with a gel-like substance brimming with beneficial properties.

I love to use aloe vera gel in a number of homemade beauty recipes (like this toner or this makeup remover), but it has lots of medicinal properties as well and can be taken internally as a beverage or supplement.

Here are just a few of the beneficial ways to use aloe vera:

  • As a treatment for skin problems and sunburn
  • Help speed up wound healing
  • Hydrate skin
  • As a natural laxative
  • As a collagen production booster
  • Oral care, including decreasing plaque and helping with mouth ulcers
  • to reduce heartburn

I could go on and on about the benefits and uses of aloe vera gel, but that’s for another day. As you can see, it is a wonderfully helpful plant to have around!

So let’s learn how to grow it.

How To Grow Aloe Vera

How To Grow Aloe Vera

Aloe vera plants are notoriously easy to grow and care for at home.

Like all succulents, these plants store water in their leaves and do not like to be overwatered.

The best way to start growing aloe vera is to purchase a transplant from your local nursery. You can also have an aloe plant shipped right to your door if that’s more your style!

Aloe vera is a warm-weather plant that can grow outdoors in USDA zones 8 to 11. For many people in North America, it is best as a potted indoor plant.

I love to take my aloe vera (and many of my houseplants!) outside in the spring and summer for some sunshine and fresh air, and I find it often has a growth spurt when I do this.

Unless you are in warm southern climate that doesn’t get below freezing, your best off planting aloe vera in a pot.

Potting Aloe Vera

Before you plant your aloe vera, you need to pick the perfect plant pot and soil.

Choose a plant pot made from a porous material like terracotta. This will allow the potting soil to dry between watering. These pots are also a good weight, so you won’t have to worry about the plant tipping over.

Pick a pot with at least one draining hole, preferably more. Since succulents don’t like too much water, make sure that any water you pour into the pot can drain out. Remember – your aloe vera wants to be dry, so give them plenty of drainage!

Pick the right size pot for your plant. It’s important to choose the right size pot for your new aloe vera plant. Pick a pot that is one size larger than the pot it is currently in. Don’t go too big, but give your plant plenty of room to spread its roots and grow.

Buy a potting mix that drains well. Choose a potting mix especially for succulents and cacti. Gardening soil is not optimal this type of plant as too much moisture will be retained. Your potting soil should be a mix of bark chunks, perlite, or lava rock (or all three).

Once you have everything prepared, you can pot your aloe vera.

  • Carefully remove the aloe vera plant from its pot.
  • Gently remove excess dirt from the roots (be careful not to damage them!).
  • Add some succulent potting mix to the bottom of your pot.
  • Place your plant in the pot and cover the roots and bottom of the stem with more succulent soil.
  • Place your newly potted aloe plant in a warm spot with indirect sunlight.

I know it seems counterintuitive, but don’t water your aloe for about a week, as watering too soon could keep the plant from rooting properly.

After your plant has had a little time to adjust to its new home (about a week), give it some water and place it in a bright spot with indirect sunlight.

Close up Aloe Vera Plant, outdoor pots

Caring For Aloe Vera And Its Perfect Conditions

Temperature – these plants do well in temperatures between 55 and 80°F (13 and 27°C). This is the average temperature of most homes, so this shouldn’t be anything to worry about. Keep the plant away from cold drafts in the colder months, and in the summer, it would do well outside during the day, but it should be brought back inside at night in cooler climates.

Lighting – aloe vera plants love bright but indirect sunlight. A west or south facing window is perfect for this plant.

Watering – only water your aloe vera every 2-3 weeks in the spring and summer months, and roughly every 5-6 weeks in the winter and fall. Allow the top third of the soil to dry out between watering. Remember – aloe vera is a succulent! They like it dry.

Fertilizing – these plants don’t need to be fertilized often. Fertilizing them once every two months during the spring and summer months is plenty. Make sure you use a balanced houseplant formula at ½ strength when you do, and your plant will flourish.

When to re-pot – your aloe vera should only be repotted when it becomes root bound, which will not happen very frequently. I check mine every spring and evaluate if it’s time for a bigger pot.

Aloe Plantlets

When your aloe reaches maturity, it may begin to produce offsets (called plantlets or pups), which can be removed and planted.

Removing these can allow you to clone the mother plant and have a second aloe vera! Here’s how to safely remove the offsets:

  1. Find the pup on the plant.
  2. Use garden shears, scissors, or even a sharp knife to cut it from the mother plant. Leave an inch of stem on the pup.
  3. Keep the pups out of any soil for a few days to allow them to form a callous over the cut area (to prevent them from rot). Make sure they are kept in a warm location that has plenty of indirect sunlight
  4. When the pups have formed callouses, plant them in a standard succulent or cacti potting mix, like you did with the mother plant
  5. Pick a bright spot for them to live, and wait around a week before watering them, so they can establish roots.
  6. Now you have a whole new plant!

Do You Want To Grow An Aloe Vera?

Aloe veras are great, and so useful, too! They make a wonderful addition to a home herb garden or as an ornamental houseplant.

They are super easy to care for and their long, striking leaves always make an impression. Aloe vera is one of my must-have houseplants and natural remedies!

Let me know: do you grow aloe vera, or have you ever used fresh aloe gel before?

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