Aloe Plant Care
People have been growing aloe plants for literally thousands of years. It is one of the most widely used medicinal plants on the planet. Not only is it a gorgeous plant, aloe is easy to grow indoors as a potted plant, and makes a wonder houseplant. Given the proper aloe plant care, these amazing plants can live for many, many years.
There are a few things you need to do to keep your aloe growing it’s best. The two most important parts of aloe plant care are proper watering and lighting. The most common mistake people make when it comes to aloe plant care is overwatering. Consistent overwatering is the number one killer of aloe plants!
In nature, aloes grow in desert climates where they hardly get any rain. Aloe succulent plants hold water in their leaves, so they can go a very long time without water. Overwatering will cause root rot, and eventually cause the stem of the plant to rot, eventually killing the whole plant from the bottom up. Below are some very useful tips and videos to assist you with caring for your plants.
- Aloes like rich well-draining soil, but have little tolerance for heavy clay. To improve poor drainage, try raising the beds by adding about 30cm of river sand and a generous helping of compost.
- If you’re planting aloes in pots, use a succulent potting mixture with some added compost. You’ll know you have the right mix when the water doesn’t collect on the top of the soil.
- Most aloes need full sun but there are exceptions so do a bit of research. Generally those grown in full sun have better colouring, flower strongly and are less susceptible to pests and diseases.
- Aloes in the garden respond well to organic fertilising, especially at the beginning of spring (for better summer growth) and in February to March (to enhance flowering).
- Due to leaching, aloes in pots need more feeding. Use an organic, slow-release fertiliser like Talborne 3:1:5 every three months.
- Aloes love well-rotted kraal manure. It can be mixed into the planting hole or potting mixture or use it as top dressing around the base of established plants.