Aloe Vera is one of those plants that I remember from my childhood. My neighbor had a huge plant he inherited from his mom. I loved that thing! It seemed to be the solution to all life’s ails. Aloe is a succulent with medicinal properties that is cultivated all over the world.
Sometimes when people think succulents they think lots of light like a cactus. This sometimes can be true but direct sunlight is not the way to go with aloe. These plants prefer bright indirect light as they can get sunburnt in direct light. (Kinda ironic huh!) When this happens they can turn reddish-purple. As aloes dry out they shrivel up and turn yellow.
It is best to water aloe very well but not often. They like a deep soak but be careful not to let the roots sit in water or soggy soil for too long. This can cause root rot. A good rule of thumb is to let the soil dry out on the top two inches and then water again. Outside the growing season like in winter you can wait 3 weeks or so to water.
Aloe does not need any extra humidity like other houseplants and tropicals. They handle dry air like a champ. Whatever is comfortable for you inside your home will most likely be comfy for your Aloe Vera too.
Aloe vera thrives in temperatures between 55 and 80°F (13 and 27°C). The temperatures of most homes or apartments are ideal for growing those little guys.
From May to September, you can bring your plant outdoors without a hitch but do bring it back inside in the evening if nights are cold.
Aloes can be kept outdoors in full sun during the summer, when temperatures are above 70°F (21°C). Make sure to acclimate your aloe slowly when transitioning it from inside to outside in full sun. Otherwise, they will burn quickly. If nighttime temperatures drop below 60°F (16°C), bring them inside.
These guys don’t need much in the way of fertilizer. You can fertilize once a monthly half strength in the growing season. No need to worry about adding fertilizer in the winter.
Aloe Vera is a great plant to use as a topical treatment for minor skin irritations but ingesting aloe especially in high quantities can be toxic causing nausea and vomiting. Use it carefully!