If you’re after an easy-to-look-after, low-maintenance, attractive, and even medicinal house plant, look no further than the Aloe vera plant.
Not only does Aloe Vera brighten up a kitchen windowsill, but it’s a perfect topical pain reliever for burns and scrapes.
What is Aloe vera for?
If you squeeze Aloe Vera leaves, you’ll have an instant pain reliever thanks to the Aloe vera gel that comes out.
As a succulent considered highly drought-tolerant, the Aloe Vera plant is pretty easy to look after and maintain.
But this house plant still needs water, so you will need to know how often to water Aloe Vera plants to get them to blossom successfully.
How often do Aloe plants need watering?
Deciding when to water Aloe plants relies on the season. However, it would help if you kept this succulent plant moderately moist during the growing season, which generally falls into spring and summer.
But because of their drought withstanding nature, you should cut your watering schedule in half in the winter.
When established, Aloe Vera plants can even endure long durations of drought. But if your Aloe plant is young, it won’t have the same drought hardiness.
Young plants require regular irrigation for their roots to establish and withstand dry conditions.
Is my Aloe over or under watered?
Knowing when to water Aloe plants relies heavily on determining if they currently have enough, too much, or too little water.
You’ll want to make sure your Aloe Vera irrigation is enough to avoid shriveling and encourage growth, but not so much that you drown this house plant.
Generally, most people follow the once-a-week rule. Watering your Aloe vera plant weekly is enough in spring and during the summer months. But, in winter, you should halve this to about once every two weeks.
If your Aloe Vera plant tends to be kept in the garden, always safeguard it from consistent rains. These rains can lead to overwatering.
Sadly, most people get it wrong and don’t know when to water Aloe plants. But succulents like Aloe Vera prefer dry soil conditions. So, always keep this in mind.
How do I know if my Aloe plant needs water?
You need to know if your house plant needs water before determining how often to water Aloe Vera plants. To do this, always consider how much light your Aloe Vera plant gets.
If your Aloe houseplant gets direct, extreme sunlight, it can dry out. First, do a touch test to check how dry the soil is. Then, insert your finger into the soil up to the second knuckle.
If the soil is still moist (check the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot), you can wait a few days before watering. But if your Aloe’s compost feels dry, water it straight away.
You can also lift the plant pot to check your Aloe Vera’s irrigation levels to check if the irrigation holes show mushy potting soil. Wet soil like this shows it’s holding too much moisture.
What happens if you overwater an Aloe Vera plant?
Aloe Vera plants can be at the mercy of indoor plant diseases and pests, like scale and mealybugs, unlike other houseplants. These conditions can all be made worse by overwatering.
As a drought-tolerant plant, overwatering an Aloe Vera plant can be detrimental to the health of your plant.
It can lead to common plant diseases such as:
- Root rot
- Fungal disease
- Fungal stem rot
- Soft rot
- Leaf rot
But you can keep these diseases from developing or worsening by knowing how often to water Aloe Vera plants. If it looks like your Aloe plant has been overwatered, gently pull it from the potting mix and lay it out to dry on a towel or paper towels.
If the roots look like they have root rot or fungal disease, you’ll need to trim them.
Wait for a few days or a week and then replant your Aloe plant in fresh soil. As such a hardy plant, Aloe Vera can come back from pretty much anything.
But ideally, you should avoid watering too frequently and stick to deep and infrequent Aloe Vera irrigation. But, when you water an Aloe vera plant deeply but sparsely, it can allow any built-up salts to escape from the soil.
How long should Aloe Vera be watered: 3 rules
Physically checking the Aloe plant for how much water it needs and when it needs water is the only sure-fire way to ensure it’s getting the right amount of water. There’s a couple of easy ways to do this;
- Touch the soil with your fingers. Is it dry, moist, or completely saturated?
- Alternatively, insert your finger into the soil up to the second knuckle to check how wet or dry the soil is.
- Pick up the pot to check if it feels much lighter after being recently watered.
Making sure your Aloe Vera plant is adequately watered also relies on your water supply. The minerals and chemicals found in public water supplies can cause sensitivity. Using distilled, bottled, or filtered water for irrigation can help if your Aloe plant seems peaky.
You can also add diluted liquid fertilizer monthly to the water supply to encourage growth. But only do so during the growing season.
4 reasons why Aloe Vera sometimes needs more water
Sometimes, your Aloe Vera soil will dry out quicker than usual, meaning you need to water more often. To learn how often to water Aloe Vera plants, check your house plant is not susceptible to the below conditions.
- Drier air and warmer temperatures
- Bright, direct sunlight
- Smaller pots that hold naturally less soil
- Choice of the pot; terracotta pots usually make the soil dry out sooner than non-porous materials like glazed ceramic or terracotta
Have you let the soil of your Aloe Vera plant completely dry out? Have you overwatered it to the point of root rot? Yes?
Rest assured that Aloe Vera plants are hardy enough to deal with most irrigation errors and can be saved.