Joy Us garden
Joy Us garden
  • Hometalker
  • Tucson, AZ

Aloe Vera: An Easy Care Succulent to Grow As A Houseplant

2 Materials
$0
45 Minutes
Easy

Aloe vera is probably the most popular succulent houseplant in the world. Here are lots of care & growing tips so you can keep yours as healthy as can be & reap the all the benefits it provides.

Aloe vera – oh how we love and need you! Often times called just Aloe, this is a great plant to have around your home. This  succulent is truly a plant with purpose and so handy to have in the kitchen or bathroom. These care tips for growing Aloe vera as a houseplant will help keep yours in tip-top shape.


Aloe barbidensis, its fancy botanic name, has been used throughout the centuries for its healing properties. I grew mine outdoors in Santa Barbara and do the same here in Tucson. When I lived in colder climates, many moons ago, I grew it indoors. There are a few important points to know about growing this as a houseplant which I’ll summarize at the end.

aloe vera an easy care succulent to grow as a houseplant

Aloe vera care & growing tips:


Size

Outdoors, Aloe vera reaches 2′ tall & clumps & spreads. I’ve seen it as wide as 3′. Indoors it grows slower & will most likely max out at 18″ x 18″ although older ones can be even larger.


The larger it gets, the heavier it gets because those large leaves store a lot of water & of course the gooey gel.


Light

This succulent needs bright, natural light to grow successfully & for those leaves to get nice & plump. A south or west exposure in your home is best. East can be fine too as long as it’s close to a window. You want to rotate it every 6 months or so to make sure the light it’s receiving is even on all sides.


In winter you may have to move it to a sunnier spot as the light levels are lower & the days are shorter. In summer be sure to keep it out of any hot, sunny windows because that can burn the leaves. If you have a dark home or apartment, this plant will be a no go.


Watering

3 words – easy does it, when it comes to frequency. This fleshy succulent stores a lot of water in its leaves & thick roots. You want to water your Aloe vera every 2-4 weeks, depending on your environmental conditions.


Water it thoroughly, perhaps by taking it to the sink, & make sure all the water drains out. A drain hole or holes guarantees this. You never want your Aloe to sit in a saucer full of water so make sure to empty that out too. Water again when the soil is dry or nearly so.


The smaller the pot or the warmer or drier your conditions, the more often you’ll need to water. In winter, like with all houseplants, water less. Here’s a post I’ve done called  houseplant watering 10 1 to help you out with that.


With this plant, it’s best to water less often than more often. If you Aloe begins to smell, then it’s rotting out. Dark, transparent spots or crimping at the base of the leaves are also signs of too much water.

aloe vera an easy care succulent to grow as a houseplant
Humidity

Lack of humidity in our homes can be a problem for other  houseplants, but not the Aloe vera. It takes the dry air in our homes just fine. Mine grows outside here in the desert & has minimal brown tipping.


Just avoid misting your Aloe vera – it doesn’t need it & could rot out. If the leaves have gotten dirty & dusty, you can spray them off with water once or twice a year. Just avoid doing this in winter.


Fertilizing

Aloe vera isn’t fussy or needy in regards to fertilizing. It would appreciate a feeding once a year in spring. I sprinkle a thin layer of  worm castings on all my container plants, indoors & out. You could also use a balanced houseplant fertilizer,  kelp or  fish emulsion.


Soil

As with any succulent, the water needs to drain out & the roots need to go almost dry before watering again. A  succulent & cactus mix is the best because it ensures good drainage & aeration. If it’s in potting soil because that’s all you have, just be sure to water even less often.


Propagation

This is easiest & best done (in my opinion!) by removal & division of those pups. These are the babies which grow off the base of the mother plant. It’s best to wait until the pups are a good size before you remove them because that way the roots are much better formed. I’m doing a post & video to show how to do this very soon so check back in for that.


It can also be done by seed but that’s much more time-consuming. I’ve been told that propagation by leaf cuttings is a no go but I plan on experimenting with that real soon.

aloe vera an easy care succulent to grow as a houseplant

Aloe veras do just fine in plastic, fiberglass or ceramic pots but I think terra cotta suits them to a T. It’s just a great combo. Your Aloe would love to vacation outdoors for the summer but just be careful it doesn’t get too much rain because it could “mush out”.


Aloe vera is in our care guide  Keep Your Houseplants Alive if you’re craving more houseplant goodness and guidance.


Isn’t it about time for you to get an Aloe vera or 2? If you can’t find them locally, then be sure to check  this source out online.

Suggested materials:

  • Aloe Vera
  • Gardening Tools
Joy Us garden

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

Go

Have a question about this project?

1 question
  • Beth
    on Feb 6, 2019

    My sister gave me my first aloe plant about 2 months ago, I have it on a dresser where it does get some sun but now they won’t stand straight and are drooping over, I wasn’t sure if I needed to put something in the pot to help them stand up better?? I just kind of pulled on a smaller one that looked like it was rotten and it was mushy and aloe leaked out- it was a small stem one underneath the bigger ones. Any advice would be greatly appreciated! I do not have a green thumb but thought surely I’d be able to keep an aloe plant alive! Also, more toward the center it’s not as green....

    • Joy Us garden
      on Feb 7, 2019

      Hi Beth - The color on the new growth is paler green than it should be indicating it needs more light. Just keep it out of hot, direct sun. The leaves are bending due to too much water. AV needs to be watered again when it ha completely dried out. Many people over water AV so you're not alone! Nell

Join the conversation

1 comment
  • Beth
    on Feb 7, 2019

    Perfect! Thank you so much Joy for your help! I’ll move it today 😊

Your comment...