Directions for Growing an Aloe Plant


With a moisture content as high as 95 percent, aloe vera plants can survive outdoors only when there's a guarantee of no frost or freezing temperatures. USDA zones 10 and 11 are ideal. In less temperate climates, aloe plants may be placed outside during the summer and brought in at the end of the season or at night. Aside from frost, the other common way of killing aloe plants is over-watering. If you can avoid freezing or drowning your aloe, it is otherwise very easy to take care of.

Step 1

Plant your aloe in a commercial cactus potting mix or other light, well-drained soil. Ensure that its pot has at least one drainage hole. If you're not sure the pot will drain quickly, add 1 or 2 inches of sterile gravel in the bottom of the pot to help with drainage.

Step 2

Place your aloe plant in a bright, sunny window. Aloe will thrive in temperatures of around 70 degrees Fahrenheit but can survive as low as almost 40 degrees for limited periods of time. If you move your aloe plant outdoors for the summer it should be located in full sun or light shade.

Step 3

Allow your aloe plant's soil to dry out completely before watering. Stick the tip of one finger an inch deep in the soil to make sure it's also dry beneath the surface. During the summer you should soak the aloe's dirt thoroughly, then allow it to dry out again before watering; in winter, give the aloe only about a cup of water if it's small or no more than two cups if it's large. The plant is dormant during this season and needs very little water. Remember, over-watering is the easiest way to kill an aloe plant.

Step 4

Fertilize your aloe plant once a year with a half-strength 10-40-10 fertilizer.

Things You'll Need

  • Cactus potting mix
  • 10-40-10 fertilizer


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Keywords: aloe vera, burn plant, aloe care, aloe plant

About this Author

Marie Mulrooney has written professionally since 2001. Her diverse background includes numerous outdoor pursuits, personal training and linguistics. She studied mathematics at the University of Alaska Anchorage and contributes regularly to various online publications. Print publication credits include national magazines, poetry awards and long-lived columns about local outdoor adventures.