As a gardener, you probably know that aloe vera plants are 95% water. This emphasizes how much care should be given when it comes to watering your plant. If you are watering this succulent type of plant, here is our guide to answering the common question: “how often to water aloe?”
What Is an Aloe Vera Plant?
An aloe plant is like a cactus-type that has thick stems. These thick stems have water stored in them. Aloe plants grow only in hot climates. They have been used for skin injuries for many years now. Still, people can’t get enough of these plants—especially women. When the stems of the Aloe Vera plant are cut in half vertically, latex can be extracted which has its uses.
Watering Your Aloe
The succulent type of plant naturally contains a lot of water. Sometimes it may seem to you that the soil is dry and you need to water it. Probably you are assuming the wrong concept about the Aloe. Most of your houseplants have water in their soil, but with the Aloe, things are different. Aloe stores water in its leaves and supplies it to the soil whenever it needs.
Therefore, people tend to water their Aloe plant, again and again, thinking the soil needs to be wet. If you over-water the plant, it will end up dying.
When to Water
You can examine the soil to see if the plant is getting the right amount of water or not. Stick your finger and reach to the soil. Does your finger feel sopping wet? If the answer is yes, then wait for a while to water your aloe again. And if your finger appears moist, you should pause for a few days more.
How Often to Water
Most of the Aloe experts agree that you should water your Aloe once every week when it is the summer. But this doesn’t easily end here. There are lots of things for you to take into consideration. The weather, environment, season, plant itself (not every plant) triggers the timing when your plant is in need of water. So, how often should you water aloe? It changes slightly with seasons.
The winter is a sort of hibernation period for Aloe plants. At that time, Aloe becomes dormant. So, you don’t need to water more often than usual. In fact, you should be waterless. As it goes almost hibernated, it doesn’t use energy that much. So, the water consumption is less than the times when it was more active. It’s suggested to water once every two weeks in that case.
Where you placed your Aloe is another crucial factor. A pot with a proper drainage system helps a lot to water correctly. If your container has holes under it, you got the right one. The cuts under the pot allow the extra water to drain.
If there is no hole, the water would have stuck under the pot and will produce fungus and other threatening diseases that will eventually kill your precious Aloe. So far, we have told you about general factors regarding watering your Aloe. Now, let’s jump into more specific things.
Aloe grown in an outdoor garden rarely requires water and gets enough moisture from rainfall. If you notice the soil completely becomes dry and fleshy leaves start to shrink, then the water can make a positive impact on the plant.
But this scenario isn’t common, it usually happens in extremely dry periods. The leaves provide enough water for moistening the upper few inches of the soil.
If you are growing Aloe in a container, things are different than what we just mentioned earlier. The indoor condition requires watering the complete dry soil before withering of the plant takes place. If the ground feels moist to you, most likely you don’t need to water any further.
Water your plant till you can see the extra moisture begin to drip from the middle of the pot. To water again, wait till the soil dries out completely.
Things To Be Aware Of
- Aloe doesn’t live to be dehydrated, but it enjoys the dry period. Don’t confuse these two conditions.
- They can handle much more water than you think. So, it’s better if you let them slowly absorb the water till the leaves are plumped and full of miraculous gel.
- Don’t expect this to happen overnight. Give some time to adjust to the water, considering the climate.
Signs that You Just Over-watered
Does the soil feel soppy and squishy to you? This is because of the over-watering fact. You may also notice droopy leaves. The growth of the plant stunts and there is no flower blooming. These are the signs that your plant is infected with fungus and other diseases.
How to grow Aloe Vera plants?
Aloe plants are elementary to grow. If you want to develop an aloe plant in your home and want to benefit from these lovely plants, then you are at the right site.
Here are the simple instructions for you people to grow aloe plants at your home.
If you want to grow an aloe plant in your yard, take an aloe plant stem by cutting it from the mother roots of the plant. If you don’t have any grown aloe plants in your house, you can buy a stem as it’s readily available. Moving forward, place the aloe stems in your desired pot or container.
The container or pot should be heavy and wide. Because aloe roots are rich when they start to grow, they might circle the container or jar, suffocating themselves. After placing the stems extracted from the mother plant into a new container, fill the pot or container with soil. Try your best to use soil that is rich in nutrients.
As we have mentioned before, aloe plants grow naturally in hot climates. That means they love sunlight. Place them where you can ensure they have plenty of direct sun. Aloe plants need approximately 8-12 hours of sunlight to grow properly. This doesn’t mean that these plants can’t get burned from sunlight. As they say, anything in excess is not good. If you expose your aloe plants to direct sunlight for a more extended period, they might get burned. Move your aloe plants in a shady place or under your roof when the leaves start turning brown. Brown leaves are the indication of burning.
Pour the water into the soil to make it the best medium for aloe plants to grow profoundly. Although aloe plants are resistant to dry climates, they still need water to grow. Of course! Every plant needs moisture to grow. A basic rule for growing plants of any type is to water them with a drainage system. Don’t water aloe plants excessively without having a drainage system.
Use pots and containers that have holes on the bottom line. This will make the plants healthier and will grow fast. When placing the aloe stems in a pot of soil. Remember to put only roots in the soil, not stems. Stems can get rotten if they touch the soil.
Usually, people place stones on the soil to prevent evaporation. However, aloe plants are dry plants, so they don’t need any prevention from evaporation. However, stones can help preserve the heat around the soil.
When you have planted the roots of aloe in soil, wait for a few days to let the roots grow and set in your container. As we’ve mentioned, aloe plants absorb vast amounts of water so, watering them in the initial stages can harm them as the roots have not adequately grown.
Water your aloe plants when the soil is dry to the touch. In summer, aloe plants grow profoundly as they are hot climate plants. For better results and health of your plant, sprinkle fertilizer once a year. Fertilizers help enrich the soil and ultimately helps the plant grow faster.
Weeds grow anywhere, anytime. Keep in mind to remove or extract the weeds that grow in your aloe plants. Remove them daily as they can harm the growth of your aloe plants.
One tip to remember is that aloe stems should only grow outwards and upwards. If your aloe plants are inward direction or low to the ground, increase the sunlight intake. This will help your aloe plants to grow at the right angle (upwards). If your leaves have grown thin and sleek, start watering them more often because stems absorb the water and make them thick and heavy. Slender stems are an indication of dehydration.
Moreover, if the leaves of your aloe plants are yellow, stop watering them. Yellow leaves are an indication of excessive watering. Brown leaves are the indication of burning. Start placing them in a shady place.
What Is This Plant Good For?
The Aloe plant has been used for ages, and its benefits and advantages have only been increasing as we find out more and more about this amazing plant. The primary and foremost use of this plant is for skin injuries.
There are a variety of more than 300 species of Aloe plants all over the world. But the most common is the Aloe vera plant. Aloe vera plant is suitable for skin health and can cure any skin injury. However, many experts say long time and continuous usage of Aloe vera can cause some problems.
How to Use an Aloe Vera Plant?
Aloe vera is being used in home remedies and on an industrial level in making many medicines. As far as home remedies are concerned, aloe vera gel is used in hair masks. The latex of aloe is used by boiling and mixing it with other essential oils that make the hair mask more effective.
You can also apply natural aloe vera latex on your skin if you have dry skin or acne. Aloe vera drinks are also used in homes for refreshing skin regardless of its taste. Women have always been conscious about their skin and looks. And Aloe Vera plants have been traditionally used to hydrate the skin and the results are spectacular.
Can the Aloe Vera Plant Be Used in Cooking?
Some of you might not know, but Aloe Vera can be used for cooking purposes too. Asian people primarily use a tiny amount of Aloe Vera in their food for better health effects.
Moreover, Aloe Vera is also used in making a drink to keep the skin fresh and hydrated. It has also been proven to reduce digestive problems. In short, aloe vera has a variety of benefits and uses one can only imagine.
Benefits of the Aloe Vera Plant
Aloe vera plant, apart from the fancy look, also serves many benefits to humankind. According to experts and botanists, Aloe Vera had been used for various remedy purposes in ancient times. Aloe vera plant’s latex and juice are the factors that provide benefits to us. Here are a few.
Aloe vera plant is used for healing purposes. In ancient times when there was less medical knowledge to help heal someone. Aloe vera plants served those people at that time in healing skin injuries and burns. Before the world’s evolution in technology and advances in the medical field, the aloe vera plant was used to treat digestive, skin, and hair loss issues.
However, in this era, aloe vera is still being used but with advanced features and its uses. Now, its juice is being added to cosmetics for better results. Blush tints are made with aloe vera gel to have a good consistency, and consumers love it.
Hair loss and hair fall is an emerging issue nowadays. Whether it’s in climate or genes, but hair falling is a very critical topic nowadays. Many people are sensitive about this topic. Don’t worry, and we got you. Aloe vera is the best tonic for hair fall problems. Natural aloe vera prevents the hair from falling and makes the roots more substantial and nourishes them.
Pharmaceutical Uses of Aloe Vera Plant
As we have told you before, aloe vera plants are now being used at the industrial level because of their various health benefits. Aloe vera plants are being used in medicinal industries for two of their parts.
Gel Produced from Leaves
This gel is being used in various products. But the foremost and utmost use of this gel is to prevent burning issues on the skin. In addition, the gel is also used to cure all the acne types on the skin. Moreover, aloe vera gel is also being used in capsules for oral intake. Pharmaceutical companies are taking aloe vera capsules that are used to cure digestive issues and for glowing skin.
Latex from the Aloe Vera Plant
Aloe latex is yellow and found on the outer surface of aloe stems. It is a laxative that is being added to medicines to cure constipation.
Constipation is a problem that millions of people suffer from worldwide. If you have a more effortless and natural way to cure it, then why not? If you are suffering from constipation, start consuming aloe vera gel in small quantities.
Let’s move on to the health benefits of aloe vera plants.
- The intake of aloe vera gel has solved digestive issues. Remember to take aloe vera when it’s appropriately grown. Aloe plants are curing constipation and irritable down syndrome.
- Aloe vera plant treats acne problems.
- It is also being used to cure sunburns. Pink patches are formed on our skin when we expose our skin to direct sunlight for a more extended period. Apply aloe vera gel on the affected surface daily. You will see wonders on your skin after applying it for a few weeks.
- Aloe vera is also used to cure wounds. It helps in healing wounds effectively and naturally. Although sunburns may take time to recover by applying the aloe vera gel, it can effectively decrease the degree of sunburn.
- Research has shown that intake of aloe vera juice reduces the blood sugar level. Patients who have diabetes can drink aloe vera juice for effective results.
Although aloe vera plants have various benefits, it also comes with its fair share of health risks.
Aloe latex is used to cure skin issues, but if it is taken orally, it might have serious health issues. If you intake aloe latex orally for a more extended period, it can cause diarrhea. Additionally, it can impact the proper function of other medications. Prolonged intake of aloe latex can also cause kidney problems.
Repotting Aloe Vera
It’s better to repot it if your Aloe plant has grown leggy, has become too big, or just needs an upgrade.
Get your pot ready. Once the current pot has been quickly rinsed (or well rinsed, if it is a pot you used to dry up before) and has been completely dried up, place a tiny screen on the drainage trough, preventing the soil to drop out the bottom and allowing the water to drain correctly. A magazine could also function in a pinch, although it will collapse with time. Extract the aloe vera plant and brush off extra soil from its roots, and be careful not to harm the roots.
Hydrating an aloe thoroughly enables leaching from the soil of any built-up saline. Perennials in municipal water sources can be sensitive to minerals and pollutants. Use filters or rinsed with water while irrigating if your aloe seems peaky. Add water once each day, but only during the growing season, with diluted liquid fertilizer. Pull it out of the ground and dry it if your plant has been underwater. Any symptoms of microbial disease must be examined and clipped near the soil if any is identified. Repot and don’t water for a week, keeping in dry soil for a few days.
Choosing the Right Place to Keep Your Aloe Plant
Keep your Aloe near a bright kitchen window or a sunny spot on your property. In locations with indirect sunlight, Aloe also does well. Aloe is not going to flourish in full shadow, so make sure the space you plant the Aloe is at least sunny.
In the warmer months, you can take the plant outside as there is no risk of it freezing. Aloe plants are 95 percent water and as such, are prone to freezing. If you live in a hot climate and want to plant your Aloe outside, select a spot with moderate sunshine (six to eight hours per day).
Even During the Growing Season, Fertilise the Aloe
Aloe will grow aggressively between April and September. Two times daily in these months you can supply certain fertilizers. Combine with the water, dilute one part fertilizer to five parts water, mix 15-30-15 fertilizer. Put the fertilizer on your water for weeks. Quit the fertilizer during winter because when the plant does not grow vigorously, it cannot use fertilizer.
Some insects, like mealy bugs, are common pests of the aloe plant. The bugs are flat and brown or beige, and the liquid from aloe plants is a favorite for them. Use a herbal insecticide on your aloe plant to avoid them.
You Need a Cacti Potting blend
Aloe loves drier and sandy soil like other cacti, and they are not suited to the deep humidity of normal garden soil. Take a look into local garden shops for a combination of cacti and succulents, in particular, plants that retain their water and prefer dry rather than moist roots. Use a potting mix of medium 1/3 of sand, 1/3 of soil, and 1/3 of soil.
You might not be able to tolerate things that are beyond your capacity. But with the Aloe, they are very tolerable even if you water them a bit excessively. Well, that doesn’t mean you will always be tempted to water. If you are in doubt whether to water or not, please don’t! They will be totally fine for a couple of days even if you see the soil is drying out. That pretty much sums up everything you need to know about how often you water aloe plants.
Hopefully, you got what we were trying to say the entire time. Yes, that’s how you should grow and take proper care of your Aloe plant, regardless of indoor and outdoor conditions.