Being the plant enthusiast you are, the aloe vera hasn’t escaped your attention, right? Of course not!
This is just one of those plants that is hard to not come across – especially for someone like you with a little bit of interest in this front. Even if you weren’t remotely looking into plants, you sure might have bumped into it at the office or a friend’s place. It’s only natural for a plant that is not only beautiful but also with a range of benefits. Definitely an asset. What do you say?
Oh, and the beloved aloe can also be eaten. Surprise surprise!
All that gritty about the awesomeness of aloe vera is a few paces down. For now…
Is aloe vera a succulent? To better answer this question, a bit of a refresher (or a primer, it depends) on succulents.
A Recap of Succulents
Succulents are plants with fleshy leaves. These leaves are an adaptation for storing water over long periods of time. In other succulent species, it’s the stem with this adaptation.
And that means succulent plants can survive long periods of drought relying only on the stored water for vital processes. Drier conditions are better for them. So natural habitats are the arid and semiarid areas. A hardy lot this is!
But deserts aren’t the only places you’ll find them nowadays. They’re in homes and offices all around the world! Putting up their bravery in giving these spaces an extra beautiful finishing with their wide range of colors, shapes and sizes.
So, does the aloe vera measure up to this description?
Aloe Vera as a Succulent
Yes, it sure does. Aloe vera is so much a succulent!
From the leaves to its origin, and therefore the best conditions it can thrive in, it checks all the boxes of a succulent plant tendencies. The leaves are thick and fleshy, a perfect possession for a plant native to the largely dry Arabian Peninsula. The same dry conditions are evident in its other native lands in north and south Africa.
So for a houseplant, its care is very much identical to that of a regular succulent houseplant. Nothing demanding. In fact, too much attention, especially with the water, is a quick way to kill an aloe vera. You must be careful watering your succulent and only watering when it’s needed.
Remember, neglect for succulents is actually okay!
To be safe, here’s a quick peak at how to correctly nurture an aloe vera plant to ensure a beautiful and healthy growing life.
With the desert adaptations, too much water is the last thing an aloe vera will need. It already has quite an amount stashed in those leaves.
But a little addition of it at spread out periods is definitely welcome. So you’ll do well (the aloe vera succulent too) if you allow the top of the soil mix to dry out between watering. That’s ideally 2-4 weeks depending on the conditions of your area.
The frequency further reduces when winter kicks in.
Well-Draining Soil Mix
This is all part of trying to steer clear of long term wetness in the roots (say hello to root rot). The potting medium should drain out quick to give those roots their peaches and cream – dryness.
So be sure to grab a commercial cacti and succulent mix that is perfect in drainage. Or create your own well-draining mix by combining measured quantities of regular potting soil, coarse sand and pumice.
Aloe vera plants love the sun served bright every few hours per day. If you’re having it indoors, keep it near a south-facing window to get it’s fix of the sun. Remember to rotate the pot every 6 months to prevent stretching out or etiolated.
Outdoors, give your plant a dose of up to four hours of sunlight daily – under a shade. Please don’t have it under direct sunlight as this can greatly harm your beautiful aloe vera plant.
Room Temperature is Fine
You don’t need to worry about maintaining a particular reading. That temperature inside is just fine. No problemo!
Beware though. Super low readings are a bit of a stretch for aloe vera plants. Make a point of bringing the plant inside when winter hits. It will appreciate it and so will you. Nobody wants to water plants in the freezing winter do they? Let us know if you do, you’re trooper!
Go Ahead and Grow Aloe Vera
Having an aloe plant is far more beneficial than just adding to your decor; although that’s a very nice thing.
Aloe vera possesses a myriad of health benefits making it such a valuable plant. Here’s a few that you can benefit from
- Improves digestion
- Joint and muscle pain reliever
- Plays a role in healing of wounds
- A perfect remedy for nausea
- Cures gum disease
And so on, you name it!
Do you know of any other tips on maintaining an aloe vera plant or want to share photos of your own? Leave us a comment below or share your wisdom with other succulent lovers at our Facebook page, Succulent City Plant Lounge!
Happy planting! ?