How to Troubleshoot an Aloe Vera Plant

Overview

The aloe vera plant is easy to grow and can add both color and texture to any backyard landscape or houseplant collection. Gardeners value the plant for more than just aesthetics, since the plant's sap is often used to treat skin disorders and injuries, according to the University of Hawaii. Aloe is relatively low maintenance, but several problems may occasionally arise. Troubleshoot the plant to resolve any potential issues and restore your plant's health and appearance.

Step 1

Water the aloe vera in moderation. An aloe vera plant that's overwatered may rot, and a plant that's underwatered will shrivel and die. Water the plant only when the soil around the aloe vera plant is dry, according to the University of Hawaii.

Step 2

Provide the aloe vera plant with sufficient sun if the plant appears pale. Aloe vera plants require full sunlight with a minimum of six to seven hours of sun per day. If you cannot modify the plant's environment enough to provide this amount of sun, you'll need to transplant the aloe vera to a new location.

Step 3

Fertilize the aloe vera plant if it's potted or in very sandy soil, according to the University of California. Otherwise, don't fertilize the plant. If fertilizing, the University of Arizona recommends a standard 10-40-10 fertilizer. Apply the fertilizer according to its labeled guidelines since potency varies by product; spread the fertilizer once in the late spring and again in the middle of summer.

Step 4

Bring the aloe vera plant indoors before winter if your area is susceptible to frost. The extremely high water content of the aloe's foliage makes it very sensitive to cold temperatures, which may result in burn marks on the plant's leaves.

Things You'll Need

  • 10-40-10 fertilizer

References

  • "Succulent Container Gardens: Design Eye-Catching Displays with 350 Easy-Care Plants"; Debra Baldwin; 2010
  • University of Hawaii: Aloe Vera
  • University of California: The Genus Aloe
  • University of Arizona: Growing Aloe Vera
Keywords: growing aloe vera, aloe vera troubleshooting, aloe vera problems

About this Author

Josh Duvauchelle is an editor and journalist with more than 10 years' experience. His work has appeared in various magazines, including "Honolulu Magazine," which has more paid subscribers than any other magazine in Hawaii. He graduated with honors from Trinity Western University, holding a Bachelor of Arts in professional communications, and earned a certificate in applied leadership and public affairs from the Laurentian Leadership Centre.