Aloe Vera Plant Growing Tips

Used medicinally for thousands of years, the origins of aloe vera (Aloe vera or A. barbadensis) are unclear due to its popular and wide-spread use among ancient people. Today it is also called the burn plant because of the soothing qualities of its sap when it is applied to minor burns, cuts and scrapes. Grow a plant on a sunny kitchen windowsill, for a ready supply of natural burn cream--just in case.


Put your aloe vera in a brightly lit spot--a south- or west-facing window is best. Move the plants outdoors during frost free weather. Put aloe vera in the shade the first day. After that, move them into dappled sun first for an hour and then for a little longer each day until they're in dappled sun all the time. Bring them indoors before frost in autumn.


During the hot summer months, water your aloe when the soil is dry an inch below the surface. Water thoroughly, completely soaking the soil. Allow the excess to drain out of the drainage hole in the bottom of the pot. During slower growth periods in winter, water when the soil is completely dried out. It is not unusual to water aloe vera more often than every two to three weeks during the winter months.


Feed aloe vera in spring using liquid 10-40-10 (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium) fertilizer mixed at half the manufacturer's recommended strength. Water the fertilizer into the soil the day after you give your aloe vera a thorough watering. Do not apply fertilizer to dry soil as it can burn a plant's roots.


Aloe vera grow slowly and will not need repotting for several years. When they do outgrow their pot, move them into a pot an inch larger in diameter than the current pot. Use a well-draining potting mix specially formulated for succulents. Or make your own by mixing one part indoor potting soil, one part perlite and one part coarse sand.

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About this Author

Sharon Sweeny has a college degree in general studies and worked as an administrative and legal assistant for 20 years before becoming a freelance writer in 2008. She specializes in writing about home improvement, self-sufficient lifestyles and gardening.