How to Grow Aloe Vera in Containers and Harvest Massive Leaves


Aloe vera is a beloved plant that is relatively easy to grow, but can still present some challenges for gardeners. In this video, Kevin Espiritu from Epic Gardening provides an in-depth look at the critical elements of aloe vera care, including light, water, fertility, repotting, and propagation. He also demonstrates how to harvest aloe vera gel from a massive leaf.

In terms of light and temperature, aloe vera prefers as much light as possible when grown indoors, and should be shaded during the hotter parts of the day when grown outdoors. It also prefers loose, well-draining soil, and can be slightly root bound.

Fertilizing should be done with a soluble liquid water-soluble fertilizer, and propagation can be done by plucking off pups that grow off the main stem. Finally, to harvest aloe vera gel, simply cut off a leaf and squeeze out the gel.

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Key Takeaways

  • Aloe vera prefers as much light as possible when grown indoors, and should be shaded during the hotter parts of the day when grown outdoors.
  • Aloe vera prefers loose, well-draining soil, and can be slightly root bound.
  • To harvest aloe vera gel, simply cut off a leaf and squeeze out the gel.

Light and Temperature

Indoor Planting

Aloe vera is a popular plant that can be grown indoors. It requires a lot of light, so it is recommended to place it near a window that faces south, west, or east. If the natural light is not enough, growers can supplement it with a grow light.

Outdoor Planting

When growing aloe vera outdoors, it is important to provide some shade during the hottest parts of the day. This is because too much sun can cause the plant to burn and turn orange or reddish.

In terms of temperature, aloe vera is a zone 9 to 11 plant. Growers should keep it within a temperature range of mid-fifties to low to mid 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything outside of that range can harm the plant.

Soil and Repotting

Choosing the Right Soil

Aloe vera prefers loose, well-draining soil. A good mix for aloe vera is one-third compost, one-third perlite or pumice, and one-third sand. Alternatively, one can use Espoma Organic Cactus Mix, which is a fantastic mix for aloe vera.

Choosing the Right Pot

When it comes to pots for aloe vera, terracotta pots are recommended. Terracotta is porous and wicks away excess water. Aloe vera also prefers being slightly root-bound.

Repotting Process

If you need to repot your aloe vera, use a loose, well-draining soil mix like Espoma Organic Cactus Mix. Terracotta pots are recommended as they wick away excess water. When repotting, gently loosen the root ball and transplant it into the new pot. Aloe vera does not require frequent repotting and prefers being slightly root-bound.

Fertilizing

When it comes to fertilizing aloe vera, it is recommended to use a soluble liquid water-soluble fertilizer instead of a granular one. This is because liquid fertilizers get into the plant’s system faster.

The Espoma Organic Cactus Mix is a great option for fertilizing aloe vera. It has an auto-dose feature that releases a specific amount of fertilizer, making it easy to use. It is recommended to fertilize aloe vera twice or three times a year, with twice in spring, once in summer, and tapering it off in the fall.

However, it is not necessary to fertilize immediately after repotting since the soil already contains sufficient nutrients.

Aloe vera can be propagated by using the offshoots that grow from the main stem, which are called pups. To propagate, gently pluck off the pup with as much stem material as possible. The stem material with the offshoot can then be laid out to dry before being potted back up into soil. It is important to let the stem callous before watering it. Aloe vera can be endlessly propagated from the mother plant.

Overall, fertilizing aloe vera is relatively easy, and with the right soil and fertilizer, it can thrive.

Propagating Aloe

Aloe vera is a beloved succulent-style plant that is easy to grow once you understand its needs. In this section, we will cover the critical elements of aloe’s care, including light, water, fertility, repotting, the type of pot to use, and how to propagate it.

Light and Temperature

If you’re growing aloe vera indoors, give it as much light as possible and potentially supplement it with a grow light. You can put it near a south, west, or east-facing window, a foot or two away. If you’re growing it outdoors, shade it through the hotter parts of the day to avoid sunburn. Aloe vera prefers a temperature range of mid-fifties to low to mid-80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Soil and Repotting

Aloe vera prefers loose, well-draining soil. It’s slightly root-bound, so it’s best to leave it in the nursery pot for a while. However, if you need to repot it, use Espoma Organic Cactus Mix, a fantastic mix that’s loose and well-draining. Terracotta pots are porous and wick out water, making them an excellent choice for aloe vera.

Fertilizing

You can fertilize aloe vera with a soluble liquid water-soluble fertilizer twice or three times per year. Espoma Organic Cactus has an auto-dose feature that makes it easy to use.

Propagation

To propagate aloe vera, look for offshoots called pups that come off the main stem. Pluck off the pup with as much stem material as possible, lay it out to dry, and pot it back up into some soil.

With this knowledge, you can propagate aloe vera endlessly from your mother plant.

Harvesting

To harvest aloe vera, cut half of a leaf or the entire leaf with scissors or snips. The thick part of the leaf contains a lot of gel, which is extremely water retentive.

Harvesting Aloe

Aloe vera is a succulent-style plant that is very popular due to its many benefits. Harvesting aloe is a simple process. You can cut half of a leaf or a chunk of a leaf with scissors or snips.

Alternatively, you can cut the entire leaf. To harvest the gel, you need to squeeze the leaf. Aloe vera gel is very water retentive, which makes the plant able to survive in dry conditions.

When propagating aloe, you need to look for offshoots that come off the main stem, which are called pups.

You can pluck off the pup with as much stem material as possible and propagate it in the same way as you would propagate other succulents. You can endlessly propagate from the mother aloe.

For the best growth of aloe vera, it is essential to pay attention to light and temperature. If you are growing it indoors, give it as much light as possible, and potentially even supplement it with a grow light.

If you are growing it outdoors, shade it through the hotter parts of the day to avoid sunburn. Temperature-wise, keep it within a band of mid-fifties to low to mid 80 degrees.

Aloe vera prefers being slightly root-bound and likes well-draining soil. When repotting, use loose, well-draining soil, such as Espoma Organic Cactus Mix. Terracotta pots are porous and wick even more water out, making them an excellent choice for aloe vera. Fertilize aloe vera twice or thrice throughout the year with a soluble liquid water-soluble fertilizer.

Understanding the anatomy of aloe vera is crucial to figuring out how to water it. Aloe vera is extremely water retentive due to the gel inside its leaves. Therefore, it is essential to avoid overwatering to prevent root rot.

Understanding Watering Needs

Aloe vera is a popular succulent-style plant that is easy to grow once you understand its needs. When it comes to watering, it’s important to keep in mind that aloe vera is a succulent, which means it stores water in its leaves. Therefore, overwatering can be a problem that leads to root rot.

In terms of frequency, a good rule of thumb is to water aloe vera when the top inch of soil is dry to the touch. This can vary depending on the environment, so it’s important to monitor the soil moisture and adjust watering accordingly.

When watering, it’s important to give the plant a thorough soak, but then allow the soil to dry out completely before watering again. This helps prevent water from sitting in the soil and causing root rot.

It’s also important to use well-draining soil, as aloe vera does not like to sit in wet soil. When repotting, use a cactus mix or make your own by combining compost, perlite or pumice, and sand.

Overall, aloe vera is a low-maintenance plant when it comes to watering, as long as you avoid overwatering and use well-draining soil.

Sandy

I’m just a plant lover from Central Florida with a passion for sharing knowledgeable facts about all things plants.

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