- Lighting: Place in bright, indirect sunlight or artificial light. A western or southern window is ideal. Aloe that are kept in low light often grow leggy.
- Temperature: Aloe vera do best in temperatures between 55 and 80°F (13 and 27°C). The temperatures of most homes and apartments are ideal. From May to September, you can bring your plant outdoors without any problems, but do bring it back inside in the evening if nights are cold.
- Fertilizing: Fertilize sparingly (no more than once a month), and only in the spring and summer with a balanced houseplant formula mixed at ½ strength.
- Repotting: Repot when root bound, following the instructions given in “Planting,” above.
WATERING ALOE VERA
Watering is the most difficult part of keeping aloe vera healthy, but it’s certainly not rocket science! The aloe is a succulent plant that’s accustomed to arid environments, but its thick leaves still need sufficient water nonetheless.
- Water aloe vera plants deeply, but infrequently. In other words, the soil should feel moist after watering, but should be allowed to dry out to some extent before you water again. If the soil stays overly wet, the plant’s roots can rot.
- To ensure that you’re not overwatering your plant, allow the top third of potting soil to dry out between waterings. For example, if your plant is kept in 6 inches of potting soil, allow the top 2 inches to dry out before watering again. (Use your finger to test the dryness of the soil.)
- Generally speaking, plan to water your aloe plant about every 2-3 weeks in the spring and summer and even more sparingly during the fall and winter. One rule of thumb for fall and winter watering is to roughly double the amount of time between waterings (as compared to your summer watering schedule). In other words, if you water every two weeks in summer, water every four weeks in winter.
- When watering, some excess water may run out the bottom of the pot. Let the pot sit in this water so that the soil absorbs as much as possible. Wait 10-15 minutes, then dump any remaining water.