The Aloe vera plant grows on kitchen windowsills across the United States. Hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 9 through 11, Aloe vera is grown outdoors in mild winter locations along the West Coast, the Southwest and the South. A native of Africa, it thrives in warm, mild climates outdoors or as a houseplant in brightly lit windows and sunrooms. With sufficient light, water and fertilizer, a mature Aloe vera may produce a spike, up to 3 foot (90 cm) tall with yellow flowers in late winter. The real Aloe vera has yellow flowers, but many of the clones available have orange flowers.
- Remove the babies, or pups, from your Aloe vera plant. Cut the connection between the mother plant and babies with a sharp knife if necessary. Allow the cut edges to dry for 24 hours before planting the babies in fresh potting soil. The baby plants take energy that the mother plant will now put into blooming.
- Repot your mature Aloe vera in the fall. Select a new flowerpot three to four times the width of the old flowerpot. Remove the Aloe vera from the flowerpot and nestle it into a new planting mix of 1 part perlite and 2 parts potting soil. Tamp the soil gently around the roots and water thoroughly.
- Place the Aloe vera in a brightly lit, south-facing window. Your Aloe vera requires as much light as possible to bloom.
- Soak the soil with water when the top inch of soil is dry. Avoid overwatering; allow the soil to dry out between waterings. Aloe vera are succulents and require sufficient water to bloom.
- Fertilize in December or January with a diluted 10-40-10 liquid fertilizer. Mix the fertilizer with double the recommended amount of water. Water the plant as usual, then drench the soil with the fertilizer solution. Fertilize after watering rather than during watering to avoid damaging the plant's root system.
- Maintain a daytime temperature of 70 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit (20 to 30 degrees Celsius). Aloe vera are subtropical plants, blooming in the summer in their native habitat. They require warmth to produce flower stalks.
- Fill a tray with pebbles and water. Place the Aloe vera's flowerpot onto the tray to maintain the humidity around the plant. If your home is dry due to central heating, run a warm steam humidifier to raise the humidity in the room.
- Place a small fan in the room to keep the air circulating. Good air circulation discourages mold, mildew and some pests, such as spider mites, from infesting your houseplants.
A mature Aloe vera plant is 4 or more years old. A cactus potting mix is a suitable substitute for the perlite and potting soil mixture. If the fleshy leaves begin to shrivel, water thoroughly and monitor the plant to ensure it's receiving enough water.
Aloe vera have spines on the ends of their fleshy leaves. Work cautiously when repotting to avoid puncture wounds. Never allow your Aloe vera to stand in water; the roots will rot and the plant will die.
Subscribe to Receive News and Updates from World of Succulents: