HOW TO CARE FOR ALOE VERA

The popular succulent known for its healing properties and spiky, desert look!

written by Gabrielle Smith

HISTORY OF ALOE VERA:

Aloe barbadensis, or more commonly known as Aloe Vera, is a popular and easy to care for houseplant with many medicinal and healing qualitiesThe history of the Aloe Vera plant is vast, and spans multiple cultures around the world. The first writings found on the Aloe Vera are from 3000 B.C. in Chinese and Sumerian texts where it was said to have therapeutic qualities. Aloe Vera was also a popular remedy during World War II where it was used to treat burn victims. A large plant, the Aloe Vera has thick dark green leaves speckled with white and is extremely easy to care for. The Aloe Vera is the perfect, low maintenance addition to your houseplant collection or for a first time plant owner.

Botanical Name:Aloe barbadensis
Common Names(s):Aloe, Aloe Vera, Barbados Aloe, Medicinal Aloe, Medicine Plant, True Aloe
Plant Type:Succulent
Place of Origin:
The Arabian Peninsula 
Sun Exposure:Full Sun
Seasonality:Year-round

HOW MUCH WATER DO ALOE VERA PLANTS NEED?

The Aloe Vera's water needs are not complicated. Like many succulents this plant does not require much water. You should water your Aloe plant every 28-30 days with half a cup of water or until the top inch of soil is moist. Remember that your Aloe Vera does not like soggy soil, so make sure that you are not overwatering your plant. The best way to ensure your Aloe does not sit in stagnant water is to keep it in a pot with good drainage holes. This will ensure any excess water does not sit at the base of the pot and potentially harm your plant's health. 

HOW MUCH SUNLIGHT DO ALOE VERA PLANTS NEED?

Ideal Aloe Vera Light Requirements:
Aloe Vera plants LOVE bright, full sun exposure! Native to Africa, the Aloe enjoys bright, full sun exposure. Full sun exposure is the most intense form of light your plant can receive indoors and ensures your Aloe is exposed to the bright sun rays for the majority of the day. The perfect location to place your Aloe plant is 2 to 3 feet from a southern or western facing window. This location will allow your Aloe plant direct exposure to the sun’s rays.

Does the Aloe Vera Plant Always Need Direct Sunlight?
Though natural light is the preferred light source for plants, artificial light for Aloe Vera is also acceptable. Artificial and fluorescent lighting will work just as well to ensure your plant is growing and thriving. Artificial light is particularly encouraged on cloudy or overcast days when natural sunlight is not at its strongest. Artificial light can also be used during the winter time when your Aloe plant is in danger of frost from potential cold entering through nearby windows. 

WHAT IS THE IDEAL TEMERATURE FOR ALOE VERA?

The ideal temperature for an Aloe Vera plant is between 75 - 85 degrees Fahrenheit. An average household room temperature of 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit will also satisfy your plants needs. However, it is worth nothing the Aloe Vera is not frost resistant!

Keep Your Aloe Vera Away From The Cold!
Do not expose your Aloe Vera to any temperature below 50 degrees Fahrenheit or you may risk serious damage or death of the plant. When you use the Flora Pod ™ Sensor, you will be alerted when the temperatures are too cold for your plant, making it that much easier to keep your plant healthy! Here are two great ways to keep your Aloe Vera at an appropriate temperature:
 1. You can increase the temperature for your plant by wrapping its pot in bubble wrap. Bubble wrap creates a type of insulation for your plant and will protect it from colder drafts.
2. Another way to increase the temperature for your plant is through heat lamps. Heat lamps are a great way to ensure your plant is at the ideal temperature and is not at risk of exposure to lower temperatures.

WHAT IS THE IDEAL HUMIDITY FOR ALOE VERA?

Aloe Vera's humidity needs require keeping the humidity low. As it is native to dry climates, the Aloe Vera prefers humidity between 20 and 35 percent, with the ideal humidity being at 25 percent.

How to Maintain Proper Humidity:
1. To ensure your plant’s humidity needs are met, keep your Aloe Vera plant in a room with great air circulation near an open window or a nearby fan. Air circulation and a well draining pot will ensure your Aloe Vera plant is growing and healthy!
2. Another way to ensure humidity needs are met is by keeping a distance between your Aloe Vera plant and other house plants. Plants release moisture from their leaves through the process of transpiration, which will increase the moisture in the air and create increased humidity for the plants. By keeping your Aloe Vera plant at a distance from your other house plants, high humidity due to transpiration will not effect your plant.

WHAT ARE THE COMMON PESTS & DISEASES FOR ALOE VERA: 

1. Root Rot - Root rot is caused by overwatering your plants. The easiest way to protect your Aloe Vera from this disease is to be mindful of how much water you are giving your Aloe Vera. When overwatered, the leaves will become mushy and flaccid.

2. Bacterial Leaf Spots - Overwatering also causes bacteria and fungus to mature in your plant’s soil, potentially causing your Aloe Vera  to develop bacterial leaf spots. Bacterial leaf spots are small oval shapes on your plant that appear in a brownish-yellow color. The best way to treat bacterial leaf spots is through chemical or organic fungicide spray. By targeting the infected areas with the fungicide spray, the bacterial leaf spots should improve and eventually disappear.

3. Snout Beetles - In addition to diseases such as root rot and bacterial leaf spot, your Aloe Vera is also susceptible to pests such as snout beetles. Snout Beetles, also known as Weevils,  are the most common pests and are attracted to moistu
re. Snout Beetles can be removed through placing a bowl of water near your plant to attract the beetle and therefore removing it from your plant. If the snout beetle infestation is overwhelming, pesticides such as permethrin and bifenthrin. 

Use the Flora App to ensure all of your plant's needs are being met. Flora will send you alerts and reminders to let you know when it's time for your plant to be watered as well as give you a detailed guide on the optimal conditions to help your plant to thrive!