Aloe Vera is a succulent plant of the family of Aloeaceae also called Barbados Aloe. Easy to cultivate, this plant used since Antiquity for its thousand medicinal and cosmetic virtues, must however be installed in pots in regions with harsh winters because it is a chilly plant that does not tolerate frost. Let’s see how to plant Aloe Vera, what its needs are, how often it should be watered and when to repot plants grown in containers.
Planting Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera likes very bright exposures. Only in our Mediterranean regions, it is possible to install this succulent in the garden, sheltered from the prevailing winds, in poor soil, mixed for example with pebbles so that it is well drained. Everywhere else Aloe Vera is grown as a indoor plant.
At home, avoid exposing it too close to a south-facing bay window because the direct rays of the sun can burn its leaves. On the other hand, it needs a maximum of light. As for its preferred temperatures, they should be between 18 and 22°C throughout the year. On the substrate side, potted Aloe Vera is planted in a well-draining soil, such as potting soil for cacti.
Entertain Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera is a plant that is suitable for all people who appreciate plants, even those who do not have a green thumb. Easy to growthis succulent does not have high needs.
At most one can make a contribution of special fertilizer for succulent plants if its substrate is old. But in this case, do not delay in repotting.
Leave the Aloe Vera
This succulent appreciates being able to spend the summer outside where it supports the heat very well. From the beginning of June until September, it can therefore be installed in the garden or on the terrace, in the light but sheltered from direct sunlight. However, one must think about put the Aloe Vera in pot from the slightest cooling, especially during the night periods at the end of summer.
Of course, it is preferable that it does not suffer from frost because it quickly bursts the cells of its juice-soaked leaves.
Pests and diseases
The scale insects can attack Aloe Vera, especially if the subjects are raised indoors. As soon as scale insects are observed on the leaves, you must pass a cotton ball soaked in beer or methylated spirit to eradicate them. In contrast, this succulent is less susceptible to diseases as long as it is not confronted with excess water.
Water the Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera is a drought-tolerant plant. This means that she is able to survive in an extremely water-poor environment. Native to arid environments, this succulent stores water in its leaves. It can therefore be grown without difficulty where it is very hot and dry.
However, for growing in pots and indoors, care must be taken to always water it. very moderately because excess water leads to rapid rotting of the plant. To do this, it is necessary to wait until the surface of the substrate begins to dry. We also don’t wait for the leaves to wither, of course… which happens if the substrate is completely dry.
Ideally, in order not to stress the aloe, it is watered with rainwater at room temperature. The specimens that are brought out in summer take advantage of the few good summer rains which can only do them good.
Watering must be reduced during the period of vegetative rest, that is to say in autumn and be even rarer in winter to resume, always moderately, on the return of spring.
Repot Aloe Vera
It is strongly recommended to repot Aloe Vera every 2 or 3 years, that is to say as the plant grows, which should not be too cramped in its container. But that’s no reason to install it in a pot that is too big since that tends to increase the risk of rotting during the winter.
One must use a terracotta pot or container with a pierced bottom. First, a layer of medium gravel or pozzolana is laid so that the drainage be perfect. As for the recommended substrate, it is composed as follows:
- A third of good loam,
- A third fairly coarse river sand,
- A third of organic matter, i.e. potting soil leaves perfectly decomposed.
One or two handfuls of small pozzolan can be added to the substrate to guarantee drainage. Finally, dropping a few cubes of charcoal into the pot is a good tip to prevent fungal diseases. It is necessary to pack the substrate sufficiently around the foot of Aloe Vera and to water very lightly just after repotting.
If Aloe Vera likes its environment, we should take advantage of its flowering in winter or spring. This succulent produces orange, yellow or red flowers, grouped in spikes along a long stem. However, it is easier to get this plant to flower if it is grown outside in the heat.