Aloes make wonderful houseplants – they’re low maintenance, hard to kill, and handy if you have a sunburn. They’re also beautiful and distinct, so everyone who comes to your house will recognize them. But would these tough plants benefit from a little extra care? Keep reading to learn more about fertilizing aloe plants.
Is Feeding an Aloe Plant Necessary?
Aloe plants are succulents and, like pretty much all of their close relatives, they need very little attention in order to thrive. In fact, one of the worst things you can do for an aloe is look after it too closely, and root rot from over watering is one of the leading causes of aloe demise.
So, does the same hold for fertilizer? Yes and no. Aloe plants are adapted to very poor desert soils and can survive with very little in the way of nutrients, but that doesn’t mean they won’t benefit from the occasional feeding.
As long as you don’t overdo it, fertilizing aloe plants,especially those growing in containers, will work wonders for keeping them healthy and happy.
How and When to Feed Aloe Plants
Aloe vera fertilizer needs are few and far between. It’s best to limit your applications to the growing season, starting in the spring.
For aloe plants in the garden, a single drenching in the spring ought to be enough to last the whole year. For potted plants, more frequent applications are necessary, roughly once per month.
The best fertilizers to use are liquid 10-40-10 houseplant mixes, or mixes designed specifically for succulents. Avoid granular fertilizers. If your aloe is in a container, water it thoroughly the day before feeding. This should flush out any lingering salts and reduce the risk of tip burn.
When in doubt, always err on the side of less fertilizer when feeding an aloe. These plants need very little in the way of nutrients, and while a little boost is good for them, too much of a good thing will quickly overwhelm them.