Image by Tess Watson
By Heather Rhoades
People have been growing aloe vera plants (Aloe barbadensis) for literally thousands of years. It is one of the widest used medicinal plants on the planet. If you are wondering “how can I grow an aloe plant,” I am here to tell you that taking care of an aloe plant in your home is easy. Keep reading to learn more about how to care for an aloe vera plant.
How to Grow an Aloe Plant
The first step in aloe vera plant care is to realize that this plant is a succulent. Like cacti, succulents do best in dry conditions. When growing aloe vera plants, plant them in a cactus potting soil mix or a regular potting soil that has been amended with additional perlite or building sand. Also, make sure that the pot has plenty of drainage holes. Aloe vera plants cannot tolerate standing water.
One important thing in the care for an aloe vera plant is that they have proper light. Aloe vera plants need bright light, so they do best in south- or west-facing windows.
Another important part of how to grow an aloe plant is to water the plant properly. The soil of the aloe vera plant should be allowed to go completely dry before being watered. When the aloe plant is watered, the soil should be thoroughly drenched, but the water should be allowed to drain freely from the soil. The most common reason a aloe plant dies is that the owners water too often or do not allow the water to drain away. Do not make this mistake when taking care of an aloe plant.
You can fertilize your aloe vera plant, but they do not need to be fertilized. If you decide to add fertilizing to part of your aloe vera plant care routine, aloe vera plants should be fertilized once a year in the spring. You can use a phosphorus heavy water based fertilizer at half strength.
Growing aloe vera plants is not only easy but can also provide your family with a plant that can help treat minor burns and rashes. Now that you know a little more about how to care for an aloe vera plant, you need never be without this lovely and helpful plant.