Outdoor Lovin’! How to Care for Aloes in the Great Outdoors

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Love the look of an aloe? Have you ever thought about showcasing its beauty outside? You can easily move your aloe from being an indoor to an outdoor plant! But planting aloe outdoors can be a bit trickier. While still a pretty hands-off plant, an outdoor aloe does, however, come with some added responsibilities. There’s always a price to pay for beauty! But don’t let yourself get discouraged by the phrase “added responsibilities.” Remember all the positives of making the change: you can improve your landscape and make all your neighbors jealous!

The Benefits of Outdoor Living

Before we get into some of the drawbacks of planting aloe outside, let’s focus on the good things:

  • Up, Up, and Away! Watch that Aloe Grow

No longer restricted to a pot, your aloe’s roots can spread out far and wide. Say goodbye to the days of trying to figure out when and how to repot your plant! And guess what happens when the plant’s roots have freedom? Your plant also has freedom to grow and grow and grow! Outside, your aloe has a much bigger pot to live in: the Earth. You will therefore probably see a spike in its leaf size and length as well as its pups.  Gonna  get huge!

You can, of course, harness your aloe vera’s growth by planting it outside in a pot. If you don’t want it getting too large and overwhelming the rest of your foliage, keep it in check with an appropriately sized pot.

  • Aloes Can Live Through Droughts

Experiencing a drought? Or just live in a dryer climate? No need to worry about your aloe!  Because aloes are used to the extreme conditions of African (arid, hot and humid), your aloe should do just fine without water for a while. If need be, you can always sneak some water to it from the kitchen faucet. No harm there! But, in all reality, your aloe will probably do better than if you live in a naturally wetter environment. Aloes do not need to be watered often, so keep an eye on your plant during the moister seasons than any dry spells, if anything.

  • Styling

Although you can vary the pot and placement of your aloe when it is in your home, your styling options skyrocket when you move the plant outside! In the front of the house or the backyard?  What kind of arrangement will add to your aloe’s beauty? How can you best incorporate it into your garden, or will you let it stand on its own? Get creative! Put some thought into it! You do not just want to plop your aloe anywhere!

Aloe Vera Care Outdoors: The Extra Demands

An outdoor aloe can give you some extra trouble. Here are a few things you will have to consider when deciding whether to keep your plant indoors or allow it to grow outside:

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  • A Winter Warning

Aloes have difficulty surviving winters even indoors. When the temperatures drop, you need to move them away from windows and cold drafts to ensure their safety. Outside, you need to take even more precautionary measures to make sure you do not end up with a frozen aloe. The best solution? Bring that aloe inside! If bringing your plant inside is not an option for whatever reason, you can always throw a blanket over it and pin down the edges. This will help lock in heat for the plant. While this method of keeping out the cold is not flawless and you still might end up with a sad-looking aloe by the end of the winter, it certainly gives your aloe a better chance at survival!

  • Sacrifice Flowers

No matter where your aloe grows (inside or out), it is difficult to get the darn plant to blossom! However, if your aloe is planted outside, it stands even less of a chance. Although there are ways you can increase the chances of getting your indoor aloe to produce beautiful flowers (you can try them on your outdoor plant as best you can), you might have to kiss that dream goodbye!

Indoors, or outdoors? Choose wisely. You have all the information you need to make the right choice for you!

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  1. natalie says

    i have a aloe tree grown to bout 6ft in a pot, had for 3ys was doing well bout 2 !/2 ft when i got it. Has lost all leaves up to 3ft is still producing new leaves but smaller and dying quicker,end of leaves going orange then starting to die. its looking sorry for its self how do i get it back to its original state someone pls help me ???

    • Danielle Brown says

      Hi Natalie,

      When was the last time you repotted your plant? It sounds like it might have outgrown its pot. With an aloe plant that big, you want to make sure its roots do not get too snug in its container. To get your aloe plant is in the right sized pot, check out the article “Pick the Perfect Pot for Your Aloe Plant.” If your plant hasn’t been repotted in a while, it might also be living in nutrient-depleted soil. Try replacing the soil (see the article “A Beautiful Aloe: It’s All About the Potting Soil” for some tips) and adding some fertilizer when you repot. Get your detailed aloe repotting instructions here.

      In addition, cutting off the with the worst of the orange leaves may help keep your plant alive. Just like you would with a frozen aloe, you want to clip off the dying leaves so your plant won’t waste its energy trying to revive them; with those dead leaves out of the way, your plant can focus on getting itself better (for a cutting tutorial, see the advice given in this frozen aloe article). Since overwatering is the #1 killer of aloes, it wouldn’t hurt to also check how you aloe is doing water-wise. You want to wait until that soil is almost completely dry to give it another splash of water! Keep us updated on your plant’s progress.

      Happy growing!

    • geico caveman says

      if the tips of your aloe are dying off before the base you have a mixture of things going on, one is not enough sun, the other is to much water, and the third is probably not enough nutrients in the soil mix, if you have not ever repotted the plant and giving it fresh soil mix then it has used up all the nutrients, soil goes dormant if its used but never replenished. I would recommend using a blood meal mix, something that replenishes the nutrition in the soil very slowly and consistently its also all natural there is no chemical additive in it. I would also trim back some of the dead leaves to the base of the plant or the stock. move your plant to be underneath a tree that provides a spotted shade all day long. so by giving fresh soil, spotted sun, and reducing the amount of water to 1 or 2 times a week, if your not great with gardening I would dumb the watering system down give your plant 2 gallons a week and start there use a pitcher water on Monday and Thursday to start if the soil is still wet when you go to water again wait 2 more days and reconvene, your plant will you how much water it needs. just remember like a human, water only takes us so far, we need food ( Nutrients ) so do plants. the soild holds there food, if your soil is dormant or stale, then you need a fertilizer.or a new pott and just transplant with fresh potting soil every 8 months

  2. says

    I got my Aloe plant 5 months ago. The nursery guy called it Eric the Red. It is showing a lot of crytalizing of some sticky substance on the leaves at the base of the stem. I’m wondering if this is okay? The crystals are on the surface of the leaves where the come out of the stem.

  3. Mr Green says

    I have outdoor grown aloe in arizona. Since this climate is ideal for aloe I have very robust plants that flower freely in season.The hummingbirds love them. My plants have proliferated for at least 10 years in the yard and in pots on the porch. There are approximately fifty or so plants with baby plants growing around the base.I have used the leaves which I harvest in the early morning as I learned from another source is the best time since the latex is not so plentiful at that time. I generally use 9 to 12 fat leaves at a time once a month. The gel yields about a gallon of pure gel which I blend with crushed ice and store in the fridge.The ice is made with distilled water..I drink 4oz with 8-10 oz water to dilute the taste which is bitter.Sometimes I mix with juice. You have to find a juice that is compatible and the health benefits are profound and the energy boost is immediately noticeable. It has helped me to kick the morning coffee habit and satisfies any hunger . I would guess that it is not only medicine but nourishing food.The amino acids it provides are certainly beneficial as well.

  4. Sheila brice says

    I need help concerning the growth of my aloe Vera plants. I wish to plant them in my yard. Do I plant them in an area by themselves? Please advise.

  5. doris says

    My husband got me to aloe vera plants one is budding little yellow flowers on it the other is a little smaller with no flowers I would love to plant them outside in my window box in the middle of my yard will they survive are Texas winner if I just cover them up with plant covers

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