With summer on its way, we thought it was a good time to share some tips on how to care for one of our favorite (and most useful) house plants — the aloe plant. Well-known for its sunburn-soothing abilities, aloe plants offer more than sweet relief from scorched skin. The succulents are lovely to look at, with their long green limbs, and they’re relatively easy to care for, making them a great choice for beginner indoor gardeners. Here’s everything you need to know about caring for an aloe plant.
Planting Your Aloe Plant
Aloe plants do well in porous pots, such as terracotta, with at least one hole that allows for easy drainage. When it comes to soil, you can plant your aloe in a mix of equal parts potting soil and sand. Another option is to purchase a special succulent soil mix, which will be available at a nursery or garden retailer.
Aloe plants need lots of indirect light, so it’s best to place yours in a bright, sunny spot. If you have room to grow your aloe plant outside during the warmer months, it can thrive in the sunshine. However, its introduction to the direct sun needs to be gradual. If your plant’s leaves begin turning yellow, take it as a sign that it’s getting too much sunlight.
Water & Feeding Needs
Aloe plants don’t require frequent waterings. During the warmer months, plan to water yours once every two weeks. But be generous — the soil should be moist. Don’t water your aloe plant again until the soil has dried out.
If your aloe plant looks brown or limp, you may have watered it too much, so cut back on your waterings. You’ll only need to feed your aloe fertilizer about once a month during the spring and summer.
In the winter, your aloe plant will need significantly less water and no fertilizer. Pay close attention to your plant’s soil, and only give it water when the soil is dry to avoid the risk of rot. Some aloe plants do fine with just one or two waterings throughout the winter season.
Harvesting Aloe Vera
When applied topically, the clear gel found inside aloe’s leaves can provide soothing relief to burns, particularly sunburns. It may also help cut down on the time it takes your body’s burn to heal itself. Harvesting the gel is easy: Simply cut a piece of your aloe leaf off the plant close to its steam and squeeze the gel to apply it to your burn.
Looking for more house plant help? Check out some of our previous posts below:
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