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How to Care for an Indoor Aloe Plant

aloe vera image by Marco from

Aloe vera plants grow wild in many areas of Africa. These succulent plants form rosettes of pointed leaves that contain a wet sap. Many burn ointments and preparations contain this sap as a primary ingredient. Aloe vera plants produce underground rhizomes that spread and form new clusters of nearby plants. With more than 180 species, aloe vera plants thrive in warm, outdoor locations or as indoor houseplants. These houseplants require minimal care and quickly grow and reproduce in favorable conditions.

Plant or transplant your aloe vera plant into a gritty soil. These plants require the same type of soil as many types of cactus plants. Mix course sand and fine gravel with average potting soil. Combine equal parts of each to create a coarse, loose mixture. Use a pot with a large drainage hole in the bottom to minimize excess water near the roots of your aloe vera plant. Scoop a hole in the soil in the pot and place the small roots of your plant into the hole. Cover with your prepared soil and tamp down around the roots and base of the plant. Set the pot in a drip tray to collect drainage. Apply enough water after planting until water drips from the drainage hole.

Set your aloe vera plant in a bright, sunny location. Set near a window with a southern or western exposure. Do not place your aloe vera plants in areas with fluctuating temperatures, such as those near air conditioners and heating vents.

Water your aloe vera plant thoroughly throughout the summer months. Allow the surface of the soil to dry slightly between watering and apply enough water to cause drainage from the hole in the bottom of the pot. Reduce the frequency of watering during the winter months to allow the soil near the roots to dry slightly before applying more water.

Move your indoor aloe vera plant outside during the warm summer season to provide periods of full sunlight. Protect it from pets, heavy rains and strong winds. Bring your plant indoors before the temperatures begin to cool in the fall.

Propagate the offspring from your aloe vera plant to add to your houseplant collection or to share with others. Use a sharp knife to cut the small shoots away from the parent plant. Allow these shoots to remain out of soil for a couple of days. Plant these cuttings into soil, water and place in a sunny location.

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