Aloe plants are known for their many health benefits and their ability to thrive both indoors and outdoors. But if you’re considering growing aloe plants indoors, it’s important to do it the right way to ensure they remain healthy and vibrant.
In this blog post, we’ll cover the best way to grow aloe plants in your home or apartment. Then, if you have a medicinal variety, you can snip and use it whenever it’s needed.
Choosing the Right Pot and Soil
The first step to growing healthy aloe plants indoors is to choose the right pot and soil. Aloe plants prefer pots that have drainage holes to prevent water from accumulating in the bottom.
You should also choose a container that is slightly larger than the root ball of your aloe plant. A pot that is too large may lead to overwatering and root rot.
Plants used for internal or external medicine should avoid containers that have the potential to leak chemicals. If you’d like to learn more, check out our article on choosing pots. Even though it’s for herbs, we go over the pros and cons for many varieties of containers.
When it comes to soil, a well-draining potting mix is ideal for aloe plants. Many aloes originated in desert-like conditions where water was whisked away quickly.
You can use a cactus or succulent-specific potting mix to mimic the soil structure. Another option is to create your own mix. Combine regular potting soil with perlite or sand to increase drainage.
Aloe plants need bright, indirect sunlight to thrive when grown inside. Place your aloe plant in a location such as a south or west-facing window, but avoid direct sunlight as it may scorch the leaves.
It’s surprising they require indirect light having adapted to a desert environment. But after investigation, I learned at least one reason why your aloe might prefer indirect light.
The answer lies in your humidity. If there is too little humidity with direct light, it can dry out the plant and leave it susceptible to damage.
If your home doesn’t receive enough natural light, you can supplement it with artificial grow lights. Aloe needs at least 6 hours of light per day and potentially more in the summer.
How Often to Water Aloe
Watering is an essential aspect of growing healthy aloe plants. Over-saturation of the soil or underwatering can occur without proper management.
A good rule of thumb is to wait until the soil has completely dried out before watering your aloe plant again. Aloe plants are succulents and store water in their leaves, so they can go for long periods without needing it.
When watering, give your aloe plant a thorough soaking, then allow the excess to drain out of the bottom of the pot.
In the winter your aloe may need less water. Signs of over-watering include:
- Yellowing leaves
- Soft or mushy leaves
- Drooping or wilting leaves
- Root Rot
We have a thorough guide on how to tell if your aloe needs water here.
Temperature and Humidity Requirements
Aloe plants prefer temperatures between 60°F to 75°F (15°C to 24°C).
They are sensitive to the cold, so avoid placing them in areas with drafts or near air conditioning units. I made this mistake and my little plant was not happy. 🙁
Aloe plants also enjoy moderate humidity levels (between 40-60%). Fortunately, this is similar to the levels people enjoy in their homes. If the air is too dry for your plants, you can increase humidity levels through the following means:
- A humidifier
- Spritzing the leaves of the plant with water
- Creating a mini greenhouse-like effect by placing other plants nearby
Aloe plants benefit from occasional fertilization, which can help promote healthy growth and vibrant foliage.
Use a balanced fertilizer once every two to four weeks during the growing season (spring and summer). Be sure to follow the directions to prevent overfeeding. And avoid fertilizing in the winter when aloe plants are growing more slowly.
Some fertilizer options include:
Repotting and Propagation
Repot aloe plants every two to three years, or when the plant has outgrown its current pot. Here are some common signs your aloe has outgrown its container:
- Roots are growing out of the drainage holes
- The soil dries out too quickly
- The plant looks crowded
- The plant is top-heavy
- The plant stops growing or appears to be stunted.
When repotting, choose a container that is one size larger and ensure it has adequate drainage holes.
You can also propagate aloe plants by removing the offsets (baby plants) that grow around the base of the parent plant and pot them in their own containers.
Common Aloe Plant Problems and Solutions
Despite your best efforts, problems can arise when growing aloe plants indoors. Common issues include:
- Root rot
- Pest infestations
To address these problems, ensure you are following proper watering techniques and providing adequate light, temperature, and humidity conditions. If pests are a problem, you can use a natural pesticide or insecticidal soap.
Growing aloe plants indoors is a rewarding and easy way to add some greenery to your home while reaping the health benefits they offer. I can’t wait to see what you grow!
Have a cool pic you want to share or want to ask a question? Please reach out!
All the best,