How to Care for an Aloe Houseplant

Overview

Aloe plants are perennial succulents native to the Mediterranean region of Africa. They can grow to about three feet in height and produce flowers on tall spikes that can grow up to two feet tall. The flowers bloom during spring and summer and are yellow in color, although indoor plants may not bloom if they are given improper care. Aloe is grown almost exclusively as a container plant in the United States, as it can't tolerate cold winters. Aloe is easy to grow as a houseplant and requires only minimal care to thrive.

Step 1

Plant your aloe houseplant in a potting mix made of two parts potting soil and one part coarse sand to provide adequate drainage. Keep aloe in a location that receives full sunlight throughout the day. The plant will tolerate lower light, but growth will be slower.

Step 2

Water aloe plants once every two weeks during spring, summer and fall months, allowing the soil to dry out between applications. Reduce the frequency of watering to once per month during winter, when the growth of the plant has slowed.

Step 3

Keep your aloe houseplant at a constant temperature of 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Place a thermometer near the plant to ensure it never leaves this temperature range, or significant damage can occur. Aloe is not tolerant of cold temperatures.

Step 4

Feed your aloe plant annually in early spring using a high-phosphorous fertilizer, 10-40-10 NPK. Water the plant both before and after applying fertilizer to prevent root burn. Follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer for proper application and dosage.

Step 5

Prune your aloe houseplant to improve appearance by removing any weak, damaged or dead leaves as necessary. Remove older leaves from the bottom of the plant if it begins to grow too large, but keep in mind that once they are severed, they will not grow back.

Things You'll Need

  • Potting soil
  • Coarse sand
  • Thermometer
  • Fertilizer

References

  • University of Arizona Cooperative Extension: Growing Aloe Vera
  • Penn State Cooperative Extensive College of Agricultural Science: The Amazing Aloe
  • "Lasagna Gardening with Herbs;" Patricia Lanza; 2004
Keywords: aloe houseplant, aloe plants, aloe plant

About this Author

Willow Sidhe is a freelance writer living in the beautiful Hot Springs, AR. She is a certified aromatherapist with a background in herbalism. She has extensive experience gardening, with a specialty in indoor plants and herbs. Sidhe's work has been published on numerous Web sites, including Gardenguides.com.