Aloe-Vera for your garden

By pjain      Published July 1, 2019, 8:15 a.m. in blog Health   

Aloe 101

Why grow Aloe vera plants

Aloe vera is a versatile addition to any landscape design. It is easy-care for as a landscape plant in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones ranging from 8 to 12 or as houseplants elsewhere. It is hardy and largely disease and pest resistant. It has many medical uses

Though often mistaken for a cactus, aloe vera actually belongs to an entirely different family of succulent! It just happens to grow into cactus-like shapes from time to time. Aloe vera is only one member of a large genus of plants with rosettes of succulent leaves and spikes of tubular or bell-shaped cream, yellow, orange or red flowers.

About Aloe vera

Aloe vera, also known as the true or medicinal aloe, is a species of succulent plant that probably originated in the southern half of the Arabian peninsula, Northern Africa, the Canary islands and Cape Verde. There are over 250 species of Aloes in the world. They range in size from little one inch miniatures to massive plant colonies consisting of hundreds of 2 foot diameter plants. Aloe vera grows in arid climates and is widely distributed in Africa, India and other arid areas.

They can be very small (as short as 1 inch), or grow in large colonies of hundreds of plants reaching 2 feet in diameter. All Aloes are semi tropical succulent plants, and may only be grown outdoors in areas where there is no chance of freezing (USDA zones 10-11). However, they make excellent house plants when they are given sufficient light. Container grown Aloe plants benefit from spending their summer outdoors. Older specimens may even bloom, producing a tall stock covered with bright colored coral flowers. The nectar from Aloe flowers is a favorite food for hummingbirds!

As succulents, aloe plants are very adept at water storage. The leaves contain a cool, soft gel that has been used medicinally for centuries. This gel cools burns, bites, and wounds on human skin. Because of its relatively hardy constitutions, the aloe plant has become popular household plants.

Aloe vera is a stemless or very short-stemmed succulent plant growing to 60–100 cm (24–39 in) tall, spreading by offsets. The leaves are thick and fleshy, green to grey-green, with some varieties showing white flecks on the upper and lower stem surfaces. The margin of the leaf is serrated and has small white teeth. The flowers are produced in summer on a spike up to 90 cm (35 in) tall, each flower pendulous, with a yellow tubular corolla 2–3 cm (0.8–1.2 in) long. Like other Aloe species, Aloe vera forms arbuscular mycorrhiza, a symbiosis that allows the plant better access to mineral nutrients in soil.

Aloe vera has been widely grown as an ornamental plant. The species is popular with modern gardeners as a putatively medicinal plant and due to its interesting flowers, form and succulence. This succulence enables the species to survive in areas of low natural rainfall, making it ideal for rockeries and other low-water use gardens. The species is hardy in zones 8–11, although it is intolerant of very heavy frost or snow.

The species is relatively resistant to most insect pests, though mealy bugs, scale insects and aphid species may cause a decline in plant health. In pots, the species requires well-drained sandy potting soil and bright sunny conditions.

During winter, A. vera may become dormant, during which little moisture is required. In areas that receive frost or snow the species is best kept indoors or in heated glasshouses. Large scale agricultural production of Aloe vera is undertaken in Australia, Bangladesh, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, China, Mexico, India, Jamaica, Kenya and South Africa, along with the USA to supply the cosmetics industry with Aloe vera gel.

r Aloe Vera Resources

  • http://www.aloe-vera-and-handy-herbs.com/propagation.html
  • http://www.aloe-vera-and-handy-herbs.com/eating-my-aloe-vera.html

Aloe Care Videos

How To Revive Almost A Dying Aloe Vera (For Eng use CC) - YouTube A Plant with Purpose: How To Care For Aloe Vera - YouTube SIA ENTERTAINMENT - YouTube A Plant with Purpose: How To Care For Aloe Vera - | How to Grow Aloe Vera From Leaf | Grow indoors - YouTube Front Yard Aloe Garden Tour: How to Harvest, Transplant & Divide Pups - YouTube Learn Organic Gardening at GrowingYourGreens - YouTube How to Best Prepare and Eat Aloe Vera & Aloe FAQ - YouTube 13 Foods You Can Buy Once & Regrow Forever - YouTube Pulling Aloe Pups for Transplanting - YouTube Succulent Transplanting: Aloe vera - YouTube How to revive a sick aloe vera plant - YouTube

3 Ways to Revive a Dying Aloe Vera Plant - wikiHow Dried, Brown Leaves? You May Have a Sunburnt Aloe on Your Hands Why Is My Aloe Vera Plant Turning Brown? | Home Guides | SF Gate Why Is My Aloe Vera Plant Turning Brown? | Hunker Aloe vera turning brown and soft Save the Aloe Pups! How to Propagate Aloe Vera - YouTube

Growing Aloe in Pots

Buying & Planting Pot Based Aloes

Buying Baby Aloe Plants

When buying small plant, choose one having thick leaves with no brown parts on the plant, and looking robust overall.

  • If you get the baby aloe from nurseries, remove each baby aloe plant by carefully pulling it up out of the potting soil. Try to retain as much of the tiny aloe plant's root system as you can as you pull it up. Even the small hair roots are important.

Aloe Planting In Pots

Aloe is affected by even light frosts, and in areas where winter temperatures fall below 41°F (5°C), it is best grown as a pot plant and brought indoors in cool weather. It makes an excellent indoor plant in good light. So if your region's average temperature is cooler, an aloe will do better as a potted plant. You can put the plant outside during the day, and bring it in at night. Terracotta pots are preferable as they are porous. Potted plants should be allowed to completely dry prior to re-watering. Many people prefer to pot their aloes, so they can put them outside during the summer months and bring them in during winter. Aloes are prone to frostbite, and should never be left out in cold weather.

Aloes can be planted in pots or outdoors. These plants have shallow, spreading roots, so when planting or re-potting, choose wide planters or pots that have plenty of drainage. Aloes have a shallow, spreading root system so when it is time to repot choose a wide planter, rather than a deep one. Use a planter with a drainage hole, or provide a 1-2 inch layer of gravel in the bottom of the pot to ensure adequate drainage. Use a good commercial potting mix with extra perlite, granite grit, or coarse sand added. You may also use a packaged 'cacti mix' soil.

Fertilize yearly, in the spring with half strength, bloom type fertilizer (10-40-10).

Caring for Aloe Vera

The required care can vary based on the size and type of your aloe plant.

Water sparingly

Since their leaves are already filled with all of that aloe-y goodness, aloe vera plants need to be watered sparingly. With aloe plants, you want to only water when the soil is completely dry to the touch.
Aloe has its own growing cycle, and it tends to go sort of "dormant" in the winter so it needs less water.

Confusing > It says for potted plants to water till it drains out bottom, not just a little at top?

Water the plant well, until the excess water begins to drain from the bottom of the planter. Allow the soil to dry completely between watering to avoid root rot in the future. Water when the soil is dry, allowing excess to drain from the pot bottom. Place the container in a well-lit area for optimal growth.

As succulents, aloes consist of 95 percent water. Your plant's watering needs will depend on its location, and the environmental temperature. If your aloe is planted outside in a hot area, water your plant once or twice each week. If the aloe is planted indoors, or in a cool climate, it will only need water once a month. During the winter, when aloe goes dormant, water your plant minimally. Always allow the soil around your plant to dry out completely before watering your plant again. Too much water will make your aloe plant wither and die.

Roots will not survive if kept in a dish of water, due to the plant's intolerance for watery conditions.

The soil should be moderately fertile, and fast draining. Established plants will survive a drought quite well, but for the benefit of the plant, water should be provided.

Summer Watering

During the summer months, the soil should be completely soaked, but then be allowed to dry again before re-watering.

Aloe Lighting Needs

If they are grown outdoors in warm climates, they should be planted in full sun, or light shade.

Aloe vera plants need very bright indirect light, whether inside or outside. Place potted indoor plants near a window, where they will get plenty of light. Plant outdoor plants in mostly shady boxes that are near areas of bright light. Direct sunbeams will burn the tender aloe leaves, and could kill the plant.

Use sandy soil with good drainage

Because they are succulents, they also need slightly sandy soil with good drainage.

To do this, fill it with either cactus soil mix or a mixture of potting soil, sand and perlite or vermiculite. If you are creating your own mix, use 50 percent potting soil, 25 percent sand, and 25 percent perlite or vermiculite and mix thoroughly.

Do I need to fertilize?

Feed aloe plants once each year during early spring using a slow-release fertilizer to gradually supply nutrients throughout the growing season. Apply at the rate described by the manufacturer's directions for the best results.

Use Shallow Pots or let Aloe spread out shallow roots

Aloe vera does best in a shallow pot, equipped with drainage holes and wide enough to accommodate the width of its roots. Water in shallow pots drains more readily, which is ideal for aloe plants.

Your aloe vera should be planted in a shallow pot with drainage holes filled with a 1-inch layer of small rocks, followed by a commercial succulent or cactus potting soil. This well-draining soil will keep your aloe vera’s roots from standing in water, which leads to yellowing and eventually root rot.

Propagating Aloe Plants

Aloe Doesn't duplicate for leaves

Aloes won't reproduce from leaf cuttings even if broken at the very bottom of the leaf so it isnt actually leaking any of the juice,gel or sap.

Aloe Vera plant can be grown from seed, propagated from new shoots, or established small plant. Seed and small plant are sold in garden centers and online garden supply sites.

Propagate by cutting stems WITH roots

Aloe Vera plants are propagated by removing the offsets which are produced around the base of mature plants, when they are a couple inches tall (or larger).

Aloes are easily propagated through division, at which time cutting the roots is sometimes necessary for success.

Allow the plant soil to dry out before taking the aloe out of its container. Tap the sides of the pot to remove the plant.

Remove the soil gently, revealing the roots.

Separate the roots with your fingers to divide your aloe plant. The plant will be made up of the mother plant and the smaller offsets to the side, which can be divided. Separate them so each section has some roots still attached.

Cut off the roots with a pair of hand clippers or sharp knife, rather than tearing them, if they’re so intertwined that you can’t separate them with your hands. If any roots are significantly longer than the rest, you can cut them back to the same length as the others. Wait one to two days before replanting and then wait another week before watering.

Propagate the Pups

While aloe plants in general thrive when root bound in pots.

Aloe plants reproduce by sending out small shoots called "pups" from their root systems. These can be cut off from the base of the plant and transplanted to other areas of the garden or into pots to give away or keep in the house.

Potting up aloe pups reduces the competition for water and nutrients in the pot, giving each pup a better chance at success. The pups also make good gifts for others if you don’t have space to keep them. Aloe pups require the same growing conditions you’d give an adult plant: bright, indirect sunlight and minimal water. As long as you don’t expose your aloe pups to freezing temperatures or overwater them, they should thrive in their new pots.

Well rooted or planted Aloe vera plants sprout new growths, called offsets or, more colloquially, "pups," from their roots. If you would like to control the size of your aloe plant or propagate new plants, you can pull off the pups without harming the original roots. If you wish, you can transplant these pups into pots, where they will grow into full-size aloe vera plants.

  • Wait for the pup to grow at least 3 inches long. Remove a 2-to-3-inch shoot from the mother aloe plant. The shoot is a small aloe that peaks out from beneath the mother plant. Be careful not to destroy the roots. It looks like a new, small plant and is called a pup. Be very careful when pulling out the pups. A strong, healthy pup will create a strong plant.

  • Longer leaves will make a stronger plant. If you cut off a leaf, cut it as close to the ground as possible, because the stem will not grow back, even if it is only cut part of the way down. Gently pull the pup away from the original plant. Try to keep the white root and root hairs with it.

  • Try not to get dirt on your aloe vera leaves; leaves exposed to dirt will often turn mushy and brown. Allow the pup to dry for 2 weeks. The offshoot will develop a dry callous where you pulled it off. Set the pup aside for a few days until any damage has hardened off or callused over. This is known as the "healed" side.

  • Put a thin layer of gravel, about ½ to 1 inch, in the bottom of the pot, and fill the rest of the pot with dirt. Fill a flower pot with dry potting soil.

  • Make a little hole in the soil and plant the pup in the soil. Place the pup shallowly in the hole, covering the root with soil. Make sure to plant your offshoot with the healed side down, since it won't grow the other way around. Place the root end of each baby aloe plant into the indentation in the center of each new container. Gently press the soil around the baby aloe plant to keep the aloe plant anchored in the soil. Make sure any leaves of the aloe plant are above the soil if possible. Achieve this by pressing the soil very firmly around the roots.

  • Stick a prop into your soil to straighten a leaning aloe plant. If a young aloe plant leans in one direction, it will often stay that way forever. Place the flower pot in a sunny spot.

  • Water thoroughly. Allow the new aloe plant time to take root. Fertilizer is also not required for aloe plants to thrive.

  • After the initial watering, do not water the aloe for three weeks. Do not overwater the plant, and be sure there is very good drainage. Rot is common in aloes that do not have proper drainage or have been overwatered, and this kills the plant.

  • Work the mature aloe plant, with attached babies, carefully out of its pot and lay it on a sheet of newspaper. Carefully separate the babies from the parent plant, keeping as much root attached to the babies as possible.

  • Or, If you feel comfortable doing so, you can also carefully dig down around the babies with your fingers (no unpotting the parent plant for this technique) and slide them out of the soil. Try to keep the largest chunk of root possible attached to the baby plant.

Fill a small pot (3 inches in diameter or larger) to within 1/2 inch of its rim with a cactus potting mix. Scoop a depression in the center of the new pot’s soil with your fingers. Place the baby aloe plant in this depression. While having a root system already attached will help the aloe pup grow, even those without any attached roots have a good chance of re-rooting if given the chance. Press the soil down gently around the aloe plant.

Don't load up the soil - roots want to be shallow. Avoid the temptation to pile soil around the plant to stabilize it; instead, just pat the soil down over the roots, then place several small rocks around the plant’s base, if necessary, to keep it upright until roots form.

Place the aloe babies in indirect sunlight and water only when the soil is completely dry; droopiness and shriveling leaves are signs that you’ve watered too much. You’ll be able to tell when a plant is growing roots because, if you tap it with a finger, it will be noticeably more stable than when first potted up.

Trim browning leaves, Harvest the Larger outer leaves to prevent spreading out

Remove dead, damaged or discolored aloe leaves throughout the year as necessary to increase the aesthetic appeal of the plant and conserve nutrients. Remove the entire leaf, as simply severing the affected portion will increase the chance of disease.

Using your aloe's larger leaves can help to control its natural tendency toward legginess. Try picking a larger leaf once in a while.

Dividing a Large Root Bound Aloe Plant

If you have a potted aloe vera plant, it can grow so large that it becomes heavy and root bound. It is possible to break a large aloe vera plant apart and put the pieces into separate pots?

  • Pull your root bound aloe vera plant out of it's current pot. Wear a pair of gardening gloves, since the spines of the aloe vera plant can be a little scratchy or prickly. Then, being as rough as you need to be, just pull the plant out! Hopefully, you'll end up with several usable pieces that still have the root intact.

  • Separate pieces of the aloe vera plant that have a little root attached. Treat the root with root stimulant.

  • You need to treat the roots of the best pieces from your original aloe vera plant with a little root stimulant. There are several brands of root stimulant and it can be purchased in any plant nursery or home improvement store that has a gardening center. I have actually transplanted aloe vera without root stimulant, but the root stimulant will insure a higher likelihood of a successful transplant!

  • Plant the small piece of the aloe vera plant, with the root, into a new pot. Now you simply need to fill your extra pots with potting soil, and plant a few of the small pieces of aloe vera, with the attached roots, into the pots. Depending on the size of the pot, you can plant one to three plants per pot ... more if the pot is really enormous. Remember, if you have too many plants in the pot, you may hasten the time when it becomes root bound and you have to repeat this process all over again!

  • The newly transplanted aloe vera plants may become discolored, or pale when they are first transplanted. Be patient. Within a few weeks your new aloe vera plants should look much healthier! Within a few weeks, you will have a healthy, thriving aloe vera plant. Water it about once a week. Using a water meter will help prevent you from over-watering it. It will grow well indoors, in a sunny area, or outdoors if you live in a mild climate such as Florida or Southern California!

Planting Aloe Outside

With a water content of 95 percent, the aloe plant will wither and die quickly in frosty conditions.

  1. Pick the right zone! In the United States, aloe vera will grow outside in USDA planting zones 9 to 11; all other areas are too cold to support this succulent. Sunnyvale, CA is in Zone 9b.
  2. Check this site out to get your zone for zip code

  3. Fix the soil to be sandy, rocky. Plant your aloe in a rock garden or other dry area and it will require minimal care to look its best. If your soil is heavy, wet or clay-like, mix 4 to 5 shovels of coarse sand into the soil before planting. Choose location - Plant your aloe in an area that gets full sun though out the day.

  4. Dig a hole that is slightly larger then the pot your aloe vera plant is in. Turn the potted aloe on its side and grasp the base of the stem with your thumb and finger. Wear gloves to protect your hands from its sharp spines. Wiggle the aloe plant gently back and forth until it comes free from the pot. You can cut around the edge of the pot with a knife if the plant is reluctant to let go.

  5. Fill the planting hole with water and let it drain through. When all the water is gone fill the hole again and place the root ball of your aloe into the hole.

  6. Fill in the soil around the root ball so that the base of the stem is level with the surrounding soil. Pat down the loose soil and water the area to a depth of 2 inches.

  7. Let soil dry out before watering. Allow your aloe plant to dry out between waterings. Feel the soil, when it is dry to the touch water the area to a depth of 2 inches.

Growing from seed

http://www.wikihow.com/Plant-Aloe-Vera

http://www.thegardenhelper.com/growingseeds.html

If growing from seeds, make sure there are holes at the bottom of the planting pot to aid drainage. Fill pot with well-drained quality sandy potting soil with some fertilizer. Top the soil with granite grit, perlite, or coarse sand. Cacti pot mixes are also good choices. Follow instructions on the seed packet on planting in soil.

Most gardeners begin Aloe vera plants by taking a "pup" or cutting from a mature plant. However, Aloe vera can be cultivated from seed. The process of reaching a mature plant just takes a bit longer when you start an Aloe vera from seed. Aloe vera is one of the most common houseplants and is grown outdoors in warmer climates. It is well known for its medicinal qualities and is commonly used to soothe irritated skin.

Fill the plastic planting tray with a mixture of moist peat and sand.

Sow the Aloe vera seed on top of the peat and sand mixture.

Cover the seed with a sprinkling of compost.

Place the tray in a warm location where temperatures will remain between 70 and 78 degrees.

Ensure the tray in which the Aloe vera seeds are sown can receive light. Light aids in the germination of these seeds.

Make certain the surface of the soil remains moist, but take care not to water it too much.

Watch for germination to begin in one to four months.

When the seedlings are large enough to handle, transplant them to 3-inch pots filled with potting soil.

Growing Indoors for Colder Climates

Winter Dormancy

Aloe Vera is a succulent, and as such, stores a large quantity of water within its leaves and root system. During the winter months, the plant will become somewhat dormant, and utilize very little moisture. During this period watering should be minimal. Allow the soil to become completely dry before giving the plant a cup or two of water.

Growing Indoors in Cold Climates

Here are the different varieties of aloe that can be grown in your home:

A. aristata Lace aloe: The small tight rosette of gray-green leaves is covered in tiny white spikes. Occasionally produces a spike of orange flowers.

A. variegata Partridge-breasted aloe: Overlapping V-shaped leaves form a tight rosette and are banded with white. A spike of orange-pink flowers may develop.

A. vera: This interesting plant is useful and easy to grow. In optimum growing conditions the loose rosette of very fleshy, gray-green, toothed leaves may produce a flower spike bearing dozens of tubular yellow flowers.

Large scale Aloe - out of pots

Aloe Planting In Outside Soil

If you live in a warm, arid climate, plant your aloe outside, if desired. Choose small to medium varieties and install them in rows, with each plant 18 to 24 inches apart. The plantings will expand into attractive large clumps within two to three years. Leave the earth bare around aloes to highlight their striking sculptural quality and regularly groom older clumps to keep offshoots from cluttering up the plant’s inherent neatness and simplicity.

Because aloe plants are accustomed to arid environments, aloe plants need soil that is porous and drains quickly. Plant aloe vera in a mixture of quick-drying soil (found at local garden supply shops) and small rocks. If starting your aloe plant from root stock, the roots should be planted in the same type of soil.

The use of a good quality commercial propagation mix or pre-packaged "cacti and succulent mix" is recommended as they allow good drainage.

Troubleshooting Aloe plants

Diagnosing

Pour water on the aloe vera plant as soon as you see that the soil that you put around the plant has dried out. Never put too much water on your aloe vera plant. During the colder months, aloe vera plants maintain dormancy and there is no need to water them.

Aloe Vera can be grown indoors or outdoors in the pot. However, leaves will turn yellow in hot sunlight or in dry environment, so better to place it in partially shaded area. Aloe Vera planted indoors tend to grow slower than ones that are outdoors. Let soil dry out before watering. Aloe plant is succulent, so it doesn't require large quantity of water. Water the plant less frequent in high humid weather and during wet seasons (e.g. in winter), once or twice a month will do. Fertilize once a year in Spring is sufficient, but not needed.

Here are some signs of poor plant growth:

• Extremely slow growth: Could be either or more of the following cause(s) -- Soil is too damp for too long / insufficient light / excessive use of fertilizer / high alkaline level in soil.

• Leaves are curled and thin: Not enough water.

• Droopy, limp or overly-flat leaves: This is usually due insufficient light. Move the plant to where sunlight is abundant.

• Leaves are yellow and brown: Sunlight is burning the plant. Relocate plant to indirect sunlight area.

  • Aloe Vera will freeze to death. Remember to bring the plant indoors to protect it during cold weather.

  • Aloes planted in garden don't grow well in wet or cold climate. They die of too much water, low temperature that cause freeze and rot. Long rainy season is a threat to the plants. It is better to grow them in pots so you can move them indoors as needed.

Bugs & Weeds

A regular inspection of aloe vera will ensure the proper growth of the plant. If you find any white colored material growing on it, dust it off immediately and spray with insecticide immediately.

If you have grown aloe vera on the ground, you will have to make sure that there are no weeds growing around it. If you find any weeds growing around it, uproot them immediately and ensure that no trace is left.

Caring for Aloe that is turning Yellow - watering is cause

With aloe plants, you want to only water when the soil is completely dry to the touch.
If your aloe vera pant has turned yellow, it is telling you that it is being watered improperly. Treat the problem by following a strict watering schedule to avoid over- or under-watering your aloe vera. Once irrigated properly, the color will return to your aloe vera's leaves.

Most likely water is NOT draining out. This well-draining soil will keep your aloe vera’s roots from standing in water, which leads to yellowing and eventually root rot.

Measure the water that you give your potted aloe vera. In general, it should be watered once every few weeks with two cups of water. But you should test the moisture level of the soil every week to gauge when to water. If the top few inches of the soil is moist, hold off on watering the plant for another week and then check again.

If it is dry before your scheduled watering--which may happen if the aloe is set outside in high temperatures--do not wait to water it.

Reviving near dead Brown Aloe plants

Is your thriving green Aloe plant now a mangled brown clump of tendrils?

  1. Try to give it direct sunlight and a little water. Aloe plants often cheat death because they store water and nutrients in their roots and stems. Your plant may look terrible but direct sunlight and some water might revive it.

  2. Let it soak the summer sun. Dust off the aloe plant with a damp paper towel to improve its ability to absorb sunlight.

  3. If PALE or spongy - stop watering. If the plant feels spongy or looks very pale, stop watering it for a few weeks and let it recover.

  4. Protect it from freezing in winter months. Bring it back in for the winter months and place it in a sunny window and water it every two weeks or so in the colder months. Aloe has its own growing cycle, and it tends to go sort of "dormant" in the winter so it needs less water.

  5. Repot the dying aloe plant. Houseplants need to be repotted at least twice a year to maintain healthy growth. If you've never repotted your aloe plant, this may be why it doesn't look healthy anymore.

Repot Leggy Aloe

It is common for aloe plants to grow wide, or “leggy,” as they get older.

Transplant your aloe only when it is actively growing, such as in the spring. Do not attempt to transplant it during its dormant period. If you do so, you will run the risk of shocking your sleeping plant.

Squeeze the sides of the pot your aloe is currently in, if it is flexible. If it is not, lightly but firmly run your trowel around the outside, loosening the entire block of soil your aloe is occupying. If you can, dig the trowel underneath the root ball. You want to loosen the soil and the root ball in the pot, but you want to try to avoid nicking or cutting your aloe’s roots.

Check for signs of rot, fungus, and infestation when you remove the aloe plant from its old pot. Treat these conditions in the new pot with pesticides and anti-fungals after it's had enough time to get used to it's new home.

  1. Prune the aloe plant leaves as much as necessary. You can trim back the stems as much as you want to, and in fact it's a good idea to do so often.

  2. Trimming the root system is the best way to get rid of rotten or dead parts, but also leaves the roots very prone to rotting further as soon as you replant it. But if you do need to remove part of the root system, trim the roots and then place the plant on a paper towel in a sunny location for a few days and let the roots "callus" before you replant to give it the best chance at surviving. If you don't do that, plant could rot, with even a little water.

Prepare the wider new pot for your aloe, using the right kind of soil (see above). Buy a terra cotta pot with drainage holes in the bottom. Pick a shape that is wide but not particularly deep to best accommodate the aloe's root system. Also pick up a bag of potting soil made specifically for aloe plants or a mix used for cactus plants. Or, create your own blend by layering gravel, sand, and regular potting soil. Leave a hole in the new soil that is about the size of your aloe’s root ball. Slightly deeper is also OK.

Plant the aloe in the hole and completely cover the root ball with soil.

Leave it in direct sunlight for at least a week before you start watering it again. With aloe plants, you want to only water when the soil is completely dry to the touch.


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