How Do I Care for Aloe Vera Plants?


Aloe vera can be planted on a landscape for medicinal, culinary or aesthetic purposes. It is a low-maintenance plant that can provide relief for burns, scrapes and scars, and can also dot a landscape quickly with its rapid growth. Larger aloe vera varieties can bloom with bright orange flowers off stalks, and while these are beautiful, they require more work with pruning. Smaller varieties can be purchased at any local gardening center and transplanted easily. Caring for this succulent requires minimal tools.

Step 1

Keep or plant aloe vera in loose, well-draining soil, particularly with sand. This succulent thrives in sandy atmospheres, so you can throw in some sand or perlite to your soil if necessary. Aloe vera should be in a planter pot at least two times its size.

Step 2

Fertilize the plant every three months with a succulent fertilizer found at your local gardening or hardware store. If you live in a desert region, fertilize only twice per year, once in spring and fall.

Step 3

Water the aloe vera rarely. The soil needs to be completely dry, which usually takes about a week and a half in moderate conditions.

Step 4

Keep the aloe in a full sun area. In colder regions, keep aloe vera indoors during winter. Since aloe has more than 95 percent water, it is extremely susceptible to frost.

Step 5

Re-plant and propagate healthy plants that are mature. Remove smaller offshoots by the aloe base with pruning scissors. Plant these in soil where you want a new aloe plant to grow.

Step 6

Prune back any flowering shoots after they die (these are the hard, brown sticks growing into the air). Cut back any dead, broken or dying aloe leaves. Harvest aloe by cutting the largest outside growth on the plant.

Things You'll Need

  • Loose, well-draining soil
  • Perlite or sand, if necessary
  • Containers
  • Fertilizer
  • Water
  • Pruning scissors


  • About Aloe Vera
  • OldFashionedLiving: Caring for Aloe
  • Aloe Vera Studies: Growing Medicinal Aloe
Keywords: caring for aloe vera, growing aloe, aloe vera plant

About this Author

Lauren Wise is a journalism major from Arizona State University with over forty published magazine and media articles and over 400 Web site articles. Wise owns Midnight Publishing with over eight years experience as a writer, editor, copywriter and columnist. She specializes in food and wine, music and pop culture. Her writing has appeared in magazines including Runway, A2Z, Scottsdale Luxury Living and True West.