As African natives, aloe plants are used to desert-like conditions: the dry air, the boiling temperatures as well as the sandy, nutrient-deficient soil. Doesn’t seem like too much of a hospitable environment to me, but aloes love it. Since the aloe is so used to these extreme conditions, you might think you can shave some pennies off your plant shopping list by the foregoing the fertilizer. Pot? Check. Watering can? Necessary. Fertilizer? Why bother buying a product that will give you aloe more nutrients than it was ever used to having? It doesn’t need it! But aloe plants don’t know what they’ve been missing! Just because an aloe doesn’t need fertilizer to grow doesn’t mean it cannot benefit from it: the right fertilizer can help your aloe grow bigger and more beautiful than ever!
What to Do With a Frozen Aloe
Inside the leaves of your aloe plant is a clear, gel-like substance made almost entirely of water. Although this aloe gel contains other things such as glycoproteins and polysaccharides, approximately 99% is made up of that stuff that runs out of your kitchen faucet. Water, water, and more water! Although this is an interesting fact all on its own, knowing the chemical content of your aloe vera plant also comes in handy when the winter months approach. Caring for your aloe during the summer might have seemed like a piece of cake (its flowers were blooming left and right!), but it’s a whole new ball game when the freezing temperatures and frost hits–especially if your aloe is outside. Left outside when temperatures dip, your aloe can suffer from something like frostbite. Remember all that water your aloe contains? Well, what happens to water when it is in the extreme cold? It freezes. Therefore, you could end up with a frozen aloe if you do not take the proper precautions to keep your plant warm, its insides a gel-like consistency. If you aloe has already taken a winter beating, the question changes: is your frozen aloe dead, or can it be revived? ‘Tis the season to hope for a winter miracle!
Grow, Baby, Grow! When to Repot an Aloe Plant
Grow, baby, grow! Whether you like it or not, your baby aloe vera plant will get bigger, eventually outgrowing the pot you brought it home in. Moving your plant into a larger pot is your next step! But you have to be careful: repotting your aloe vera before it is ready for the big move could have disastrous effects. If you plant ends up swimming in its new pot because it is two sizes too big for it, it will also likely be swimming in water. An overwatered aloe vera can easily die. To keep your aloe happy and healthy, don’t rush the upgrade. Your aloe vera will blossom beautifully and need a larger living space soon enough. So, when do you know it’s time to repot? Let’s take a look at how you know the time has come.
Pick the Perfect Pot for Your Aloe Plant!
Oh, sweet succulents! What is the secret, you ask, to raising these desert-dwelling plants in your home? By no means are you expected to bring the sandy terrain and hot, dry air of the desert inside! A much simpler solution is at hand! A beautiful aloe vera plant starts with the pot you put it in. Forget the soil, the amount of water and light, and the room temperature your aloe vera plant will need for now. When bringing a new aloe vera plant into your home, picking the perfect pot to raise is in all that should be on your mind. Find the perfect pot, and you will get your aloe plant started on the right foot! Let’s take a look at all the pots for aloe vera plants you have to choose from!
Where are the Aloe Flowers? Tricks for Getting your Indoor Aloe Plant to Bloom
If you are fighting your aloe vera plant for aloe flowers, you are not alone. Most people struggle to get their aloe vera plants to bloom when growing them indoors. But their usual yellow or orange tubular flowers, grown high on long, elegant stems, are a rare sighting in households due to the inadequate sunlight they receive.
Aloe vera plants are built for the desert climate of Africa, where they receive large amounts of direct sunlight for a majority of the day. This large dose of bright light that aloe veras are accustomed to does not translate smoothly to a household setting, where the location of the house and the plant may limit the amount of sunlight that reaches the plant.
Adjusting the Indoor Placement of Your Aloe Vera Plant
Due to the natural environment of the aloe vera, the main trick is to give your houseplant as much light as possible. Indoor placement is key. Typically sitting on kitchen windowsills, the aloe vera plant does not receive the sunlight it is used to or needs when raised indoors. You want to place your plant on a windowsill that receives a lot of direct sunlight, with nothing obstructing the plant’s line of sunlight or keeping it in the shade. At certain points in the day, some areas of your house also receive more light than others. Therefore, it is best to change the location of your plant throughout the day, allowing for it to follow the sun. The more exposure to sunlight, the better. During the summer months, you can also move your aloe vera plant outside, as it is no longer in danger of freezing and an outdoor environment nicely mimics the high-sunlight desert conditions it needs to bloom.
Other Tricks for Getting Your Resistant Aloe to Bloom:
1. Wait for your Aloe Plant to Mature
You may be expecting too much from your newborn aloe vera plant. Aloe veras tend to bloom only once they have reached maturity–a stage in their life that takes approximately 4 years to reach. If you have just begun caring for your aloe plant, it is simply not ready. Have patience, and while you are waiting, take proper care of your aloe vera by giving it the sunlight, water, and soil it needs to reach old age and bloom.
2. Know When To Expect Aloe Vera Flowers
Aloe vera plants do not have flowers year-round. They usually bloom annually in the early springtime, so time your expectations correctly. If you are concerned why your plant has no signs of buds in the winter, that is just because the timing is not yet right.
2. Fertilize or Repot Your Plant
A healthy aloe vera plant is more likely to produce the bright flowers you are looking for. To be healthy, an aloe vera needs soil that can provides it with adequate nutrients. By either giving your aloe vera fertilizer to replenish the old soil’s vitamins and minerals or repotting it to give it new soil and a new supply of nutrients, you can keep your plant healthy and watch it grow.
3. Separate Your Aloe Vera Bulbs
Another way to encourage aloe vera plants to bloom is by propagating them. The aloe vera plant has bulbs that grow off of the main plant; you can and should remove them if you want a flowering aloe vera. By taking away the additional bulbs, you give the main plant more energy to put into producing those tall, beautiful flowers.
If you succeed in getting your aloe plant to bloom indoors, congratulations! Enjoy the rare beauty.