Have you ever soothed a sunburn with aloe vera gel? Most of us probably have, but did you know that you can harvest the gel directly from inside the aloe vera leaves? Aloe vera plants are famous around the globe for people with interest in skin healing properties of aloe gel or who think that aloe vera plants look great.
The aloe vera plant, also known as Aloe barbadensis miller, is a succulent. It is a low-maintenance plant that is easy to care for at your home. No matter where you plan to grow yours, keep reading for our best tips on how to take care of a potted aloe plant.
Do Aloe Plants Need Direct Sunlight?
Aloe plants like bright light but do not like a lot of direct sunlight. Keep them away from places that get a lot of full sun in the afternoon. Too much sun can cause their sensitive skin to burn.
Instead, these indoor plants prefer several hours of indirect sunlight each day. Place them in an area of your home that gets a lot of bright light. They do well in a sunny spot near a south- or west-facing window.
If keeping your aloe plant outdoors, be sure to place it somewhere that gets several hours of indirect light each day. They can survive in sunnier environments, but the tips of their leaves might start to burn or turn brown.
Should I Cut the Brown Tips off my Aloe Plant?
Brown tips might be a sign that your aloe plant is getting too much direct sunlight, and the leaves are starting to burn. If you can, move your plant to a shadier place that gets lots of indirect light instead.
Brown, shriveled tips can also be a sign that your plant is not getting enough water. Aloe plants like to dry out in between waterings, and the hardy plant can be pretty drought-resistant. However, too long without any water can lead to stress and cause some leaves to die. Check to make sure that your plant is getting enough water.
If your plant is getting the right amount of sunlight and water but leaves start to turn brown anyways, this might also signify that your aloe plant is rootbound. If that is the case, you will need to repot the plant.
Should I Cut The Brown Tips off Aloe Plants?
It can be tempting just to cut the brown tips off an aloe plant. However, cutting just the ends will cause a large scab to grow in its place. The plant will be fine, but it might not look perfect.
Instead, always try to trim off aloe leaves at the base of the plant. Take a sharp knife or garden shears and cut off the whole leaf from the bottom. This cutting is a great way to prune your aloe plant, encourage new growth, and keep it looking healthy and attractive.
What Do You Do with Broken Aloe Leaves?
If the aloe leaf breaks in the middle, you may wish to trim off the rest of the leaf from the bottom. This trimming will prevent an ugly scab from forming and will keep your plant from growing in an odd shape. Your plant will put out new growth from the bottom.
You can do a couple of things with the leaves that you cut off. You can wrap the ends of the aloe leaf up with aluminum foil and place it in your refrigerator. If you get a sunburn, you’ll have cool aloe gel ready for you to use topically.
You can also use the broken leaf to propagate a new plant. Let the leaf sit out for a few days. Once the ends of the leaf have hardened, repot the leaf and place it in the soil.
Keep the soil moist (but not wet) for the first month to encourage the leaf to root in its new pot. It may take several months for the plant to take root, but soon you should have a new plant!
Should I Mist my Aloe Plant?
Don’t let your aloe plant get too wet, and never let it sit in standing water. Standing in water can lead to root rot and wilting. The soil should dry out completely in between waterings.
One of the biggest mistakes when taking care of potted aloe plants is overwatering. Depending on how dry your climate is, you may only need to water your aloe plant every couple of weeks or even once per month. Aloe plants generally need more water in the summer months and less water in the winter months.
When it is time to water, give your plant a good soak but allow the excess water to drain out completely. Remove any excess water from underneath the pot if you are using a tray.
Should I Repot an Aloe Plant?
Be sure to repot your aloe plant in a pot with at least one drainage hole. Terra cotta pots work best because they allow the soil to dry out more quickly. Plastic pots can hold in too much moisture.
Use a potting soil mix with good drainage. Potting mix for cactus and succulents works best for aloe plants. Anything with perlite or coarse sand in it can work well also.
In summary, aloe plants tend to be reasonably easy to take care of in your home. They don’t need much water and tend to do fine with indirect light instead of sunlight. Also, these plants are great to have to treat minor sunburns as well!
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