The Best Soil For Potting Aloe Vera Plants
It is no secret that we are avid lovers of Aloe Vera plants amongst other flora and fauna that mother nature has blessed us with. Aloe Vera is a native plant to North Africa and is well suited to desert, arid-like conditions. Have you ever considered growing your own Aloe Vera plant? Learn what the best kind of soil is for Aloe Vera Plants.
If that is a yes or no, you will certainly find this article an interesting read and will hopefully inspire you to grow your own Aloe Vera plants. The first step is understanding the base needs of successfully growing aloe and how to pick the best Aloe Vera soil for potting.
The majority of us live in climates where these plants would need to be grown inside. If we fail to do so then we run the risk of damaging our plants with unpredicted or unsuitable weather conditions. None of us can guarantee lots of sunlight each day and no freezing conditions where we live.
If temperatures drop below zero in harsh climates then you are giving the plant the exact opposite of what it needs to flourish and survive. Your soil needs to mimic the natural habitat of where you would find Aloe Vera in the wild so we have also taken the time to explain other factors that will play a role in the success of growing your plants.
Check Out This Awesome Aloe Vera Potting And Plant Care Video
What Type Of Soil Do Succulent Plants Need?
Before we look at what soil your plant needs, it is wise to understand what type of plant Aloe Vera is. We figured that the more you know about the plant, the better chances you have of becoming a great plant grower.
Aloe Vera plants are known as succulent plant, this basically means that they store water in their leaves and this helps them to survive for long periods. The plant has evolved to survive drought and extended periods of no rainfall.
Although Aloe plants survive well in drier climates they are not very good at surviving in high humidity. With thick, fleshy leaves they do bloom when they grow into a fully matured plant. Succulent plant roots cannot be placed in too much water as they will begin to rot and the plant will die.
Of course, all Aloe plants need water to survive but giving them the right amount is essential.
What Nutrition Do Aloe Vera Plants Need?
Although Aloe Vera is a natural-born survivor that can survive in places with very little nutrition in the soil, this doesn’t mean you should starve your plant. You won’t regret going the extra mile to make your Aloe Vera plant well-nourished instead of just giving it the bare minimum.
If you want a plant that lives long and will provide you with high-quality fresh Aloe gel. Using a decent fertilizer will help your plant grow but it is not entirely the same procedure one would use for native plants that can be grown outdoors in temperate climates.
Benefits Of Using Fertilizing Soil For Aloe Vera
- Promote and support the growth of your plant
- Reduce the risk of environmental damage to the plant
- Ensure your plant will fully blossom
- Enhance the quality of your Aloe Vera gel
How Do I Choose the Best Soil For My Aloe Vera Plant?
Fertilizing soil bags in the US come with a standard 10.10.10 ratio of soil components and the 3 ingredients are nitrogen, potassium, and phosphate.
As we mentioned earlier Aloe Vera needs a bit of extra care and a different formula so we recommend using a soil fertilizer with a 10:40:10 ratio
Why Is High Potassium Intake So Important For Aloe Vera Plants?
Potassium plays an important role in photosynthesis, one of those roles is to help regulate CO2 uptake from the sun to feed. Potassium also activates some enzymes and is required for energy to be produced by the plant.
Potassium regulates how water is used in an Aloe Vera plant, in arid conditions this is a matter of life and death for the plant, but because your plant will be in an environment where it is well looked after there is no reason to not give the plant everything it needs- inside its natural means.
The uptake of water is affected by potassium and also how much is lost through the stomata. Although your plants will not be in drought conditions they still thrive with little water. Potash improves the overall health of the plant by being able to store water and keep it more readily available.
The plant needs protein just like humans, they also need starch for energy and both are synthesized through potassium. Both are needed for your plant to grow into a fully blossomed Aloe Vera plant.
What Should I Mix My Fertilizer With?
The first question to consider is what would your Aloe plant grow in successfully in the wild? How could you mimic that? The Aloe genus of plants requires sandy soil with some gravel.
We suggest using a bag of soil with our suggested ratios along with sand and gravel, one-third of each component should suffice and you must plant the aloe with good drainage to prevent nutritional deficiencies.
If you don’t want to risk this then you can try buying a standard cactus potting soil and this should work equally as well.
Growing Your Aloe Plant Inside Or Outside?
- If you are going to plant your Aloe outside then be sure to give it adequate shelter if you are in a wetter climate. The soil needs to be able to dry out and this may not happen if the soil is constantly taking in water, this will also cut off the oxygen supply to the roots.
- Avoid using too much organic material or compost as this can also keep the plant habitat from moisture.
- Make sure the plants get direct sunlight but not too much, they do not want to be in direct sunlight all day long. This is why potting plants is much easier as they can be moved wherever you need them to be.
Mulching Guide Facts
- Mulching is a tactic you can use if you wish to plant your aloe outside but it has to be done carefully, using quality black polyethylene as this will not harm the plants.
- You should never mulch your aloe in the winter, as crazy as that might sound the plastic will make the plants lose more heat.
- In cooler periods use blankets or thermal cloth that will retain heat instead.
- The best time to mulch plants is in the early springtime.
Can The Right Soil Make An Aloe Plant Survive By Itself?
The basic answer is no but that will not help you get longevity out of your plants if we don’t explain why! Aloe plants will thrive in the soil mix we have suggested but the right amount of water and heat is essential too.
Keeping the temperature between 60-80F is the sweet spot during the day time and at night time should be anywhere in the 50F range. Temperatures below 40 F will damage the soil and also could possibly kill your plant!
Your plant will not need much water as the correct soil mix will allow the plants to absorb water efficiently and store it like an aloe plant is supposed to. Younger plants need to be watered lightly about once a week but mature plants can survive of being watered once every 2 weeks.
You can identify when water is needed by testing your soil mixture. If the soil is very dry then you should water it until moist but not drenched.
Aloe Potting Tips
- Potting plants and growing indoors will make the plant grow much faster if you use artificial lighting.
- For plant pots, repotting at least every 2 months for larger plants should be enough to help your plant grow quickly and without damaging the natural process.
- Use a wide plant pot with plenty of room for growth.
- When you notice more roots or bulbs this is usually a sign that the aloe plant needs to be re-potted into something larger, if you don’t remove the bulbs they will steal some of the nutrition in the soil and impede plant growth.
- Use the same soil mixture for plant pot use as you would when planting outside.
Caring for your own aloe Vera plants is a very rewarding hobby and whether you do it for relaxation or plan to harvest your own Aloe Vera gel, practice makes perfect.
You can reap many rewards from all of the nutritional and beauty benefits that are given to us by True Aloe.
Don’t be disheartened if your first plant fails and put it down to the experience and what to look out for next time. Check back with us soon for more cutting-edge tips and news from the wonderful world of Aloe Vera.