5 Tips for Taking Care of Aloe Vera

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Earlier this year on our trip to IKEA I noticed this super cute aloe vera plant, hiding all alone between the other succulents and cacti. The dark green color with small white dots charmed me instantly and I knew I had to save that poor bastard before anyone else took it home with them. When I took a closer look at the plant at home, I noticed it already had three babies! A quick Google-search about repotting these tiny vera-babies turned out to be not-so-quick since info about aloe veras was pretty scarce. I gathered the information I found and here you go, 5 best tips on taking care of your aloe vera!

1. Don't overwater!

Aloe veras, like other succulents, are desert plants, so they handle drought and sun perfectly. This also makes them the perfect plants for kinds like me who remember to water their greens once a month! But desert plants don't take huge amounts of water that eagerly: it often turns them soggy and, if continued for a longer period, kills them. Good rule of thumb for watering aloes is once every two weeks. 

2. Wean your babies

Like I told earlier in the post, my aloe vera already had three babies with it the moment I bought it. These guys are extremely quick to reproduce, but it takes its toll. If the suckers get taller than 3 inches, they start sapping all their nutrients and energy from their mother. This makes its leaves grow horizontally, because it no longer has the energy to focus on it's own growth. To save your aloe from becoming a tired single mom with way too many kids, replant the babies before they reach 3 inches. Simply pull them our from the soil and stick to a new pot with wet soil. Don't water for two weeks, and voila, you have a bunch of new aloe veras growing!

Here you can see a tiny baby which I have not yet replanted.

3. Lay back on the fertilizer

Fertilizer can make your plants gloom, but aloes are not so fond of it. In the summer months, fertilizing them once a month is fine, but stop it completely in the winter months. There's not much fertilizers in the desert after all!

4. Sun, sun sun!

I feel like I'm repeating myself telling you that aloe veras are, you guessed it, desert plants. Therefore sun is vital for them. Indoor aloe veras love growing even in direct sunlight, but outdoors the best place for them might be for example under a tree, where some of the rays are blocked. For indoor plant, recommended windows for placement are the ones facing West or East.

5. All about the base

Aloe veras thrive in airy soil, so use cacti or succulent soil when planting them. Or, do like me, and mix normal potting soil with gravel or coarse sand. This will keep it nice and airy so your plant wont drown in all of the water! 

Hopefully this helped you guys out and good luck with your veras! Do you have any tips that you swear by? Please share them in the comments section!
- Heidi

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