Aloe Vera is well-known worldwide for its medicinal and agricultural uses. It is a succulent plant, which means it can endure arid climates because of its ability to retain water in its engorged, jelly-like, and plump parts.
Though it is known that aloe is a succulent, one of the most common dilemmas of people who want to grow the plant is knowing how often should you water aloe. It may be because an aloe plant is very easy to take care of, but one simple mistake can also kill this plant easily.
If you’re planning to get aloe as an addition for your indoor plants at home or outdoors in your garden, please continue reading. I hope we can help you take better care of this plant through this article.
How Do You Water Aloe?
Though aloe vera is a succulent, they need water just like any other plants. But, watering an aloe may be tricky and may not be as easy as you think. Research proves that there are different watering needs for this plant.
Take note of the following important factors below to ensure that you are doing the appropriate irrigation for your aloe vera plants:
- Depth – you should water aloe deeply and heavily, as it allows built up salts to seep through the soil. Succulent plants are sensitive to chemicals and minerals in water supplies.
- Frequency – watering this plant needs to be constant enough to develop growth but not too often as it can drown your plant.
- Type of Water – while we’re talking about water supplies, let me tell you that not all kinds of water can be good for aloe vera. Tap water can harm your plant, while filtered water is on the safer side. Some people even use distilled water if their aloe seems to be down and sickly.
- Soil Moisture – irrigating your aloe plants cannot be based on your calendar, rather on its soil moisture. To keep it short, you will only need to water your aloe if the soil is thoroughly dry.
How to Check Soil Moisture?
Soil Moisture is one of the key points you need to remember in growing your aloe plant. So we have listed below some of the ways you can keep track of your plant’s soil moisture.
- Touch Test
You can dig and put your fingers deep into the soil to touch and feel it. Check whether the soil is completely dry or if it still has moisture in it. Again, only water your aloe if the soil is thoroughly dry.
- Soil Moisture Meter
This video shows us how to use a soil moisture meter or sensor. There are a lot of soil moisture meters out in the market, so you don’t need to fret on where to find this item.
I checked out the best moisture meters to make things easier for you, and here are some that I can recommend:
- Deciding by Weight
You basically just need to lift your pot up right after you water it; then, after a few days, you can do the same thing and decide if it feels lighter than the last time you watered your aloe plant. If you want to be meticulous and accurate, you can even use a weighing scale, no one will judge you. But obviously, this method is not suitable for aloe plants that are not in pots.
What Are the Cases When Aloe Needs More Water?
Different conditions cause your aloe vera to require various amounts of water during particular times.
- Pot size – more petite pots are more likely to dry out quicker than the others.
- Weather – aloe plants in brighter/hotter conditions tend to use up more water because the soil definitely dries up more instantaneously. So obviously, you need to water your plants more frequently during summer and even more scarcely in winter.
- Type of pot – terra cotta pots is the most recommended for aloe vera plants as it dries out faster than glazed ceramic, plastic, or anything that is not porous in the material.
What Are the Common Problems in Growing Aloe Vera?
This the top most common mistake an aloe plant owner commits, especially for first-time plant owners. When you start seeing soggy, droopy leaves, that’s the first symptom that your aloe is overwatered.
If left untreated, your plants may not recover, as it will definitely develop a mushy base or root rot that will eventually kill your aloe vera.
Selecting a pot with drainage holes is one of the most important things to remember when preparing to grow an aloe vera, whether indoors or outdoors. Waterlogged condition for your plant is a definite no-no, thus adding a drainage hole in your pot becomes a necessity.
Aloe vera needs lots of light but not direct sunlight. You can grow an aloe plant indoors, but it doesn’t mean that it’s a low light plant. Drooping and discoloration of leaves are usually caused by intense sunlight.
Too Much Fertilizer
This succulent does not really need fertilizing as much as other plants, but you can do so if you see that your plant needs more nourishment. Using fertilizers on aloe plants, especially liquid fertilizers, should only be done once a month.
Make sure to remember that you need to water your plant 12 hours before you administer the fertilizer. By the time you use it, just enough water is left to protect the roots of your plant from the strong chemical contents of your fertilizer.
There is no general answer or exact irrigation scheme for aloe plants. But, you do need to memorize the key component in growing this plant – water. Knowing when, how, and what to water your plant will help greatly in making your aloe vera survive.
Feel free to comment below if you have additional information regarding the topic or if you have a better suggestion on how to take care of Aloe Vera.