Aloe lotions are the first thing we run to when tending to a nasty sunburn. Instead of purchasing expensive, commercially made products, learn how to grow aloe vera in a pot. Growing aloe vera in pots is not only easy, but it cleans your home’s air and adds a subtle touch of greenery.
These ornamental succulent plants are the perfect houseplant for beginners. Most gardeners or plant lovers spend a lot of time outside tending to their gardens and harvesting produce. However, a plant doesn’t have to produce something edible to be of use.
Planting aloe vera in pots and setting them around your house means you have a steady supply of aloe vera leaves full of medicinal properties. Though most of us recognize aloe for helping heal a burn, there are other uses that you can get out of these plants.
What is Aloe Vera?
If you haven’t already dedicated yourself to growing aloe vera in a container, you’ll be convinced after finding out just how easy they are to care for. Many gardeners assume that the fleshy leaves on aloe plants mean that they are a type of cactus. Though the varieties of aloe vera resemble cactus plants, they are a part of the Asphodelaceae family and are related to succulents.
We usually want to figure out how to grow aloe vera in a pot because we are attracted to its long, thick stems that reach up to 39 inches in length. Over time, the main plant grows, and the green leaves turn from speckled in color to having serrated edges.
A flower grows on top of a central spike that grows up to three feet tall in the wild. The blossom has a lot of small, reddish flowers. Unfortunately, they only bloom when grown outdoors year-round, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t still beautiful as indoor plants.
It helps to understand the three main components of the leaves when growing aloe vera in pots.
The outer green skin is the first part, a layer of latex is the second, and the innermost gel or mesophyll layer is the third. The inner gel stores water that helps each plant photosynthesize even in very dry conditions.
Aloe vera plants consist of 99 percent water and are full of enzymes, minerals, vitamins, lipids, amino acids, and anti-inflammatory hormones. It is often used in topical treatment for burns, acne, and bug bites.
It is generally safe to consume in small quantities, yet the latex layer between the skin and gel could be toxic to humans, cats, dogs, and horses. Some people drink aloe vera juice that is usually made with processed forms that remove the latex layer.
All the aloe benefits are incentives for learning how to plant aloe vera in pots yourself. Even if you aren’t interested in the health gains, having them around to simply admire might appeal to you.
Growing Aloe Vera in Pots
Planting aloe vera in pots outside is only hardy in USDA hardiness zones nine through 11. However, they can grow indoors as a houseplant regardless of where you live. Aloe and succulents are some of the simplest plants to grow and care for.
How to Grow Aloe Vera in a Pot
Growing aloe vera in pots happens in a couple of different ways. Propagation from seed is a long and tricky process, but not impossible.
The best method for planting ale vera in pots is to remove some from a mother plant and repot it into its own pot. Propagation is easy because it grows offsets called pups to help them spread. Each cutting gives you a whole new plant.
Planting Aloe Vera in Pots
You’ll need some four-inch plastic containers and a small sterile knife before you begin propagating the new plant. The best soil for aloe indoor plants is some cactus soil or succulent potting soil mix.
Only cut from stems with one or more pups and from a plant where the root system is established and thriving. Use your knife to carefully loosen the pup’s roots and pull it away from the mother plant.
Fill the bottom of the pot with potting mix and place the cutting directly into the prepared container. Ensure it has at least one drainage hole. More holes are better than one.
Backfill the pot until you cover the new roots entirely. Keep the leaves above the soil surface. Water the transplant thoroughly and place it in a warm, sunny location like a south-facing window. Aloe is not one of the best indoor plants for low light – it prefers the sun or artificial light. Only water aloe when the top two inches of soil are completely dry.
Plant Care for Aloe Vera
Try to repot an aloe vera plant once it has had a few inches of growth and is well-established. When transplanting aloe vera plants, move them to a larger pot that is eight to ten inches in diameter.
Plastic pots are okay when replanting, but terra cotta ones are ideal because they allow the soil to dry quicker and remove excess water. Only use a potting mix specifically for succulents or cacti when repotting them. Something with perlite is preferred.
Although they like full sun and direct sunlight, there are times where reddish-brown patches show up. If this happens, move your pots to a place where they get indirect light or partial shade.
Indirect sunlight locations with about four to five hours of rays are ideal. Fertilizing aloe vera isn’t usually necessary. Avoid overwatering to prevent root rot and mealybugs.
If you do discover fungus gnats or other troublesome pests or need to get rid of white soil mites, make a simple bug spray for plants with hydrogen peroxide and water. Use this solution or some diatomaceous earth when getting rid of aphids indoors or outside.
Recipes with Aloe Vera
We’ve already talked about the numerous benefits of aloe vera. Although there aren’t many recipes for this plant, there are a few that people love. Aloe vera juice is becoming increasingly popular and is simple to make at home.
After trimming a thick leaf from the base of the plant when harvesting aloe vera, cut the aloe leaf in half and set it aside for an hour. Rinse the leaf under cold water and use a clean knife to remove the skin. Scoop out the inner gel and make sure no green or yellow pieces are mixed in. It must be perfectly clear or white.
Put the gel into a blender with water, syrup, and juice. Blend the ingredients and add more lime juice or syrup if you prefer it to be sweeter. Serve the drink over ice.
Aloe vera might not be the first plant that comes to mind when you think of gardening. Expanding your knowledge about beneficial houseplants could help you and your family live a much healthier life.
You’ll never have to pay for expensive aloe products again, and you get to have a fresh supply of medicine right on your windowsill at all times.
If learning how to grow aloe vera in a pot has helped you experiment with more medicinal plants, share this guide for growing aloe vera in pots on Facebook and Pinterest.