Planting an Aloe Vera Plant


Aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis) is a leafy succulent. The leaves grow in rosettes. The young spotted leves turn a solid green as they age. The 2-foot-long leaves are edged with soft spines. Aloe vera has been used for its healing properties for over 2,000 years. The sap from the fat leaves is used to treat burns, scrapes, cuts and rashes. Aloe vera is a cold-sensitive succulent that does not survive cold, wet winters when planted outside. Aloe vera makes a sturdy, long-lived houseplant when cared for properly.

Step 1

Mix equal parts potting soil and sand. The potting soil gives the aloe vera plant the nutrients it needs, and the sand creates a fast-draining soil mixture. Fill a terra cotta plant pot half full with the mixture.

Step 2

Remove the aloe vera plant from its small pot. Shake off the soil without bruising or damaging the roots. Trim off the dead or dying leaves with a sharp knife. Remove any fading flower stalks if present.

Step 3

Loosen the tangle of roots so the new soil can surround the roots completely. Set the aloe vera plant on the soil with its roots spread out.

Step 4

Fill the pot the rest of the way with soil, working it in around the aloe vera plant. Check that the crown is level with the soil line. If the crown is under the soil, it will rot. Gently firm down the soil so the aloe vera plant stands up in the soil.

Step 5

Wait one week before watering the newly planted aloe vera. Give the aloe vera 1 cup of water every two weeks. Place the succulent plant in an area with full sunlight exposure and warm temperatures.

Tips and Warnings

  • Aloe vera plants need transplanting every two to three years to prevent overcrowding. Aloe vera plants develop pups or offshoots as a way to reproduce. This can cause crowding in a limited space. Transplanting allows the removal of the pups and refreshes the soil nutrients. Leave the pups in a cool, shady spot for a few days to heal any cuts and scrapes inflicted from the removal process. Plant the pups in small plant pots.

Things You'll Need

  • Potting soil
  • Sand
  • Terra cotta plant pot
  • Aloe vera plant
  • Sharp knife
  • Water


  • University of California Davis Botanical Conservatory Notes: The Genus Aloe PDF
  • Union County College---Plant of the Week: Aloe Vera
  • University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service: Aloe barbadensis PDF
Keywords: aloe vera plant, aloe vera care, planting aloe vera

About this Author

Karen Carter has spent the last three years working as a technology specialist in the public school system. This position included hardware/software installation, customer support, and writing training manuals. She also spent four years as a newspaper editor/reporter at the Willapa Harbor Herald.