How to Water Aloe Plants

Overview

Aloe vera is grown indoors or outdoors in pots, and in garden beds in areas that rarely experience winter freezes. A succulent plant, the leaves produce a gel when broken that is soothing to burns and other minor skin irritations. Aloe vera is low-maintenance, making it prized as a houseplant because it requires so little to thrive. Aloe only needs minimal fertilization and rarely requires repotting. The main concern when growing aloe is proper watering.

Step 1

Stick your finger into the soil near the aloe plant. Water only when the soil feels completely dry along the entire length of your finger.

Step 2

Water pot-grown aloe until the excess moisture drains from the bottom of the pot and into the drip tray. Water garden-grown aloe until the soil feels moist to a 6-inch depth if you stick your finger into it.

Step 3

Empty the drip tray under potted aloe vera plants within one to two hours of watering. This gives the soil enough time to drain thoroughly. Leaving the pot in standing water can lead to overwatering as the soil reabsorbs the excess moisture.

Step 4

Mix a soluble, 10-40-10 analysis fertilizer with water at half the rate recommended on the fertilizer package. Water aloe with this solution in spring when the plant first begins actively growing again.

Tips and Warnings

  • Overwatering is more likely to kill aloe than underwatering. When in doubt, wait to water. Proper drainage is vital for pot-grown aloe; otherwise, even infrequent watering can lead to overly wet conditions. Check the bottom of new aloe plants to ensure the pot has drainage holes. When repotting, use a sandy, cactus-style potting mix as opposed to regular potting soil.

Things You'll Need

  • Water
  • Soluble fertilizer

References

  • University of Arkansas Extension: Growing Aloe Vera
Keywords: watering aloe plants, aloe vera care, irrigating succulents

About this Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications, including the "Dollar Stretcher." Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.