About Aloe Vera Soil & Care
Aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis) is a popular houseplant known for its thick leaf system.
This succulent plant is also known for the magical benefits of the aloe vera gel.
Naturally, aloe vera grows in sandy soil with limited moisture and nutrients. It also thrives in a bright spot with lots of direct sunlight.
Moreover, as this succulent can store its food, you won’t need to add fertilizer often.
Best Soil For Aloe Vera
Regular potting soil, gardening soil, or all-purpose soil mix isn’t great for aloe vera since the soil usually has moisture-retaining properties.
For an aloe plant, the best soil is fast draining soil like Rosy Soil, succulent soil mix or cactus soil (cactus mix).
Let’s find out all about aloe vera potting soil:
The main characteristics of aloe vera potting soil are:
Drainage: Aloe vera is susceptible to root rot, so it prefers soil with good drainage.
Aeration: This indoor plant likes well-aerated potting soil, which promotes oxygen circulation and helps roots absorb atmospheric moisture.
Fertility: Ensure that your potting mix (or succulent soil) has the right nutrients for your houseplant.
Soil pH: This succulent plant can tolerate acidic to alkaline soil (pH of 5.5-8.5).
The right soil for an aloe vera plant should contain ingredients (like biochar) that improve soil drainage while providing ample breathing space for plant roots.
It may also contain coarse sand, lava rock, and pine bark chips for better porosity and aeration.
Avoid a potting mix (or any other potting soil type) that contains peat moss.
In addition to being unsuitable, peat moss retains a lot of moisture which can cause root rot — not best to maintain dry conditions.
And when peat soil dries out, it repels water, stopping it from reaching the aloe’s roots.
Aloe Vera Plant Care
Growing aloe vera is pretty simple.
Here’s a beginner-friendly guide for aloe vera plant care:
- Aloe vera loves a spot with lots of bright, direct sunlight. But it can grow indoors in indirect sunlight, preferably beside a north facing window.
- Don’t move your plant from indirect light to full sun directly — it may cause sunburn and turn the aloe vera leaves yellow. For a smooth transition, expose aloe to direct sunlight slowly.
- Water your aloe plant when the top 2-3 inches of the soil go dry. Overwatering can cause root rot or even leaf rot. Also, the pot should have a drainage hole so the excess water can run out from the bottom of the pot.
- Repot when aloe grows leggy or outgrows its container.
- To propagate aloe vera, you can take a leaf cutting from the mother plant or use aloe’s offsets (new plants attached to the parent plant.) Leave the leaf cutting or offsets in a dry place for a day, so they form calluses. You can then plant the propagations.
The best seasons to propagate aloe vera are summer and spring.