Aloe Vera: Discover the Many Benefits

Discover the many benefits of aloe vera aloe vera

Aloe vera is a succulent plant that has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties. The plant is native to Africa and is widely grown in tropical and subtropical regions around the world. It is known for its thick, fleshy, succulent leaves, which contain a gel-like substance that is rich in nutrients and has a variety of health benefits.

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Benefits and Uses of Aloe Vera

There are many benefits to using aloe vera in your daily routine. One of the main benefits is its ability to soothe and heal any skin irritations like sunburn. The gel from the plant can be applied topically to the skin to treat sunburns, cuts, and other skin irritations. It is also a natural moisturizer and can help to improve the appearance of dry or damaged skin.

Aloe vera plant for sale

In addition to skincare, aloe vera has a number of other incredible health benefits. Studies have shown that it can help to improve digestion, reduce inflammation, and boost the immune system. It is also rich in antioxidants, which can help to protect the body from free radicals and reduce the risk of certain debilitating diseases.

Aloe vera for skincare

There are many ways to incorporate aloe vera into your daily routine. The gel from the fleshy plant can be applied topically to the skin to soothe and heal cuts, burns, and other skin irritations. It can also be consumed orally, either as a juice or in capsule form. When using aloe vera orally, it’s important to follow the recommended dosage and speak with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement.

Medicinal aloe vera plant for sale

How to propagate Aloe vera

Preparing for Aloe Vera Propagation

Before you start the propagation process, make sure you have the following supplies:

  • Sharp, clean scissors or a knife
  • Well-draining potting soil or a cactus/succulent mix
  • Small pots or containers with drainage holes

Step 1: Identify Pups or Offsets

Aloe vera plants naturally produce small, baby plants called “pups” or “offsets” at the base of the main plant. These pups are the perfect candidates for propagation, as they already have their own root systems.


Step 2: Carefully Remove the Pups

Gently dig around the base of the main plant to locate the pups. Using your clean scissors or knife, carefully cut the pups away from the main plant, ensuring that each cutting has its own set of roots.


Step 3: Allow the Pups to Dry

Before planting the pups, allow them to sit in a dry, shaded area for a few days. This will help the aloe cuttings callus over and prevent any potential rotting.

Aloe vera pups for sale

Step 4: Plant the Pups

Fill your small pots or containers with well-draining potting soil or a cactus/succulent mix. Gently place the pups into the soil, making sure the roots are covered but the leaves are above the soil line.

Step 5: Water and Care for the Pups

Water the newly planted cuttings lightly, being careful not to overwater. Place the pots in a bright, warm location and avoid direct sunlight until the pups become established.


Step 6: Monitor and Transplant as Needed

Over the next few weeks, monitor the pups for signs of growth and new root development. Once the pups have become established, you can transplant them into larger pots or directly into the ground.

Best Soil for Aloe Vera

  1. Well-draining: Aloe vera plants are particularly susceptible to root rot, so the soil must have excellent drainage to prevent waterlogging. A soil mixture with a high percentage of inorganic materials, such as sand, perlite, or pumice, is ideal.
  2. Nutrient-rich: Aloe vera plants require a balanced mix of nutrients to thrive. A soil that is rich in organic matter, such as compost or aged bark, will provide the necessary nutrients without being overly dense.
  3. Loose and Airy: The soil should have a loose, airy texture that allows for good air circulation around the roots. Compacted or heavy soils can restrict root growth and lead to problems.
  4. pH-Neutral: Aloe vera plants prefer a slightly acidic to neutral soil pH, typically between 6.0 and 8.0.

Best Soil Mixes for Aloe Vera

  1. Cactus or Succulent Potting Mix: These pre-made mixes are formulated specifically for cacti and succulents, often containing a blend of sand, perlite, and organic matter.
  2. Homemade Aloe Vera Soil Mix: You can create your own soil mix by mixing equal parts of potting soil, sand, and perlite or pumice. Find out more about the way to mix your own soil here.
  3. Coarse, Gritty Substrate: For a more specialized approach, you can use a coarse, gritty substrate composed of materials like crushed granite, decomposed granite, or crushed lava rock.

Proper Soil Maintenance

To keep your aloe vera plant thriving, be sure to:

  • Avoid overwatering and allow the soil to dry out between waterings.
  • Repot the plant every 2-3 years to prevent root binding and provide fresh soil.
  • Supplement the soil with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer during the growing season.

Should You Mist Aloe Vera?

As an expert in succulent care, I can tell you that misting your aloe vera plant is generally not a good idea. While many people believe that misting can help keep their plants hydrated, in reality, misting can actually do more harm than good.

Why you shouldn’t mist Aloe Vera?

One of the main reasons that misting is not recommended for aloe vera plants is that it can lead to overwatering. Aloe vera plants are adapted to survive in arid conditions, and they are able to store water in their leaves and roots for extended periods of time. When you mist your succulents, you run the risk of introducing too much moisture to the plant’s leaves, which can cause them to become waterlogged and mushy. This can lead to root rot, a serious condition that can cause your plant to die.

In addition to the risk of overwatering, misting can also create a humid environment that is conducive to fungal growth. Aloe vera plants are susceptible to a number of different fungal diseases, and misting can create the perfect conditions for these diseases to thrive. Over time, this can weaken the plant and make it more susceptible to other types of damage, such as insect infestations.

So what should you do instead of misting?

The best way to keep your plant healthy is to water it deeply but infrequently. Wait until the soil is completely dry before watering, and then give it a good soak, allowing the water to drain out of the pot completely. This will help ensure that your plant is getting the right amount of water without risking overwatering.

With the right care and attention, this plant can be a powerful tool in improving your health and well-being. Explore the many benefits of this miraculous succulent and discover how to incorporate it into your daily routine.

Can Aloe Vera poison cats?

Aloe Vera can be dangerous to cats and other pets. The gel inside the Aloe Vera leaves contains anthraquinones, which are harmful compounds for cats. When eaten, it can cause digestive issues such as vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite. If the situation gets severe, cats might experience tremors, depression, or even death.

Since cats are naturally curious (to say the least!) and might be drawn by the smell and texture, try to keep your Aloe out of their reach. In case you suspect that your cat has consumed Aloe Vera, it is necessary to take it to a vet immediately. Poison Control Centers in the US can be reached 24/7, 365 days a year at 800-222-1222 or online at

Is Aloe vera harmful to dogs?

Aloe vera contains several active compounds, including aloin, which is a laxative, and saponins, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea if ingested in large quantities. These compounds are primarily found in the sap or gel-like substance within the aloe vera plant.

Potential Risks of Aloe Vera for Dogs

  1. Gastrointestinal Upset: If a dog ingests a significant amount of aloe vera, the plant’s active compounds can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal issues. This can result in dehydration and electrolyte imbalances.
  2. Lethargy and Appetite Loss: In some cases, dogs that consume aloe may experience lethargy and a decrease in appetite, which can be concerning.
  3. Skin Irritation: While aloe is often praised for its soothing properties on human skin, it can cause skin irritation or allergic reactions in some dogs.

Does it Need Drainage?

Aloe Vera requires a well-draining soil that mimics their natural desert environment. As they grow in arid conditions, they extract the necessary moisture from the soil quickly without getting waterlogged. This is why it’s essential to make sure that the soil has proper drainage.

When growing Aloe vera in a pot, ensure that the soil is a well-draining mix that allows excess water to flow out of the pot. The container should have drainage holes at the bottom to facilitate drainage and prevent waterlogging.

If it is grown in overly wet soil, the roots can become waterlogged and begin to rot. This can lead to a variety of issues, such as stunted growth, yellowing leaves, and even death.


When Should You Repot Aloe Vera?

These plants require repotting every two to three years based on their size and the size of the container. One of the indications that they need repotting is when you observe that they have outgrown their current container. The roots should become crowded and restricted, which can cause stunted growth and other problems.

Another indication is when the soil is drying out fast, or the plant is wilting despite proper watering. Such indications signal that the plant needs more space to grow, and its current container is too small.

What container size to use

While repotting, choose a slightly larger container that can accommodate the plant but isn’t too big. A larger container can cause waterlogged soil and lead to root rot. It’s essential to use a well-draining soil mix that facilitates excess water flow out of the container.


My aloe vera plant tips turning brown and crispy. Why is it happening? What should I do to fix it?

Brown and crispy tips on your aloe vera plant are typically a sign of one or more of the following issues:


Aloe vera plants are succulents and can tolerate drought, but they still need water. If the plant is not receiving enough water, the tips can turn brown and become crispy. To address this issue, water your aloe plant more frequently, ensuring the soil is moist but not soggy. Allow the top 1-2 inches of soil to dry out before watering again.


Direct, intense sunlight can cause the tips of your aloe vera plant to turn brown and crispy. If your plant is exposed to harsh sunlight, consider moving it to a location with bright, indirect light or providing some shade during the hottest part of the day.

Low humidity: 

Aloe vera plants prefer moderate humidity levels. If the air around your plant is too dry, the leaf tips may turn brown and crispy. To increase humidity, you can place your aloe plant on a tray filled with pebbles and water, or use a humidifier near the plant. However, be careful not to create an overly damp environment, as this can lead to other issues such as fungal infections.

Temperature stress: 

These plants prefer temperatures between 55-80°F (13-27°C). Exposure to temperatures outside this range can cause stress and result in brown, crispy leaf tips. Make sure your plant is in a location with stable temperatures and away from drafts or heating/cooling vents.

The Fix:

To fix the brown and crispy tips on your aloe plant, identify the underlying cause and address it accordingly. Trim away the browned tips with clean, sterilized scissors to improve the plant’s appearance and prevent the spread of any potential issues. Regularly monitor your plant’s condition and adjust its care as needed to ensure it remains healthy and thriving.

What does an aloe vera bloom spike look like? Will the plant die after blooming?

An aloe vera bloom spike is cone-shaped and grows directly from the center of the plant’s stem. It can reach up to 2 to 3 feet tall and will produce clusters of tubular flowers. The flowers are typically hues of yellow, orange, or red. The clusters contain many flowers arranged in a spiral shape along the bloom spike.

Bloom Season

Aloe vera plants generally bloom in late winter or early spring, depending on factors like their age and growing conditions. However, blooming will not kill the plant. Aloe vera is polycarpic meaning it can bloom multiple times over its lifespan. Even after blooming, the plant will continue growing and creating new plantlets (pups) from its stem. These pups can then be separated and repotted to multiply the plant.

How to Encourage Blooming

To encourage blooming, provide optimal conditions for aloe vera – plentiful, indirect sunlight, well-draining soil and moderate watering. Occasionally fertilizing during the growing season (spring and summer) with a balanced, diluted fertilizer can also help induce blooms. Still, not all aloe vera plants will flower, especially those kept indoors or in less than ideal conditions.

How often should an Aloe plant be watered?

As a general rule, aloe vera plants should be watered every 3-4 weeks. However, it’s essential to adjust this schedule based on the specific needs of your plant and the factors mentioned above.

Steps for Watering an Aloe Vera Plant

  1. Check the Soil: Before watering, check the soil moisture by inserting your finger about an inch into the soil. If the soil feels dry, it’s time to water. If it feels moist, wait a few more days before checking again.
  2. Water Thoroughly: When watering, ensure that you water the soil thoroughly until water drains out of the bottom of the pot. This helps to ensure that the roots receive adequate moisture.
  3. Allow to Drain: Allow the excess water to drain completely from the pot. Avoid letting the plant sit in standing water, as this can lead to root rot.
  4. Monitor and Adjust: Monitor your plant’s condition and adjust your watering schedule as needed. If the leaves appear wrinkled or shriveled, it may be a sign of underwatering. Conversely, if the leaves are soft and mushy, it may indicate overwatering.

Factors Influencing Watering Frequency

Several factors can influence how often you should water your aloe vera plant, including:

  • Climate: In hot and dry climates, aloe vera plants may need to be watered more frequently than in cooler, more humid environments.
  • Pot Size: Smaller pots tend to dry out faster than larger ones, so plants in smaller pots may need more frequent watering.
  • Soil Type: Well-draining soil is essential for aloe vera plants. Soil that retains too much moisture can lead to root rot.
  • Light Exposure: Plants in bright, indirect sunlight may require more frequent watering than those in lower light conditions.

Do you water Aloe vera from the top or bottom?

Typically, I water Aloe vera from the top since I just have too many succulents to water each one by hand, but there are some caveats:

  1. Avoid watering the leaves: Direct your water flow to the base of the Aloe to avoid getting water on the leaves. If water gets trapped, it can lead to rot.
  2. Ensure good drainage: Aloe vera plants need a succulent soil mix and pot that drain well. After watering, check to ensure that water isn’t sitting in the bottom of the pot. If it is, you may need to improve your drainage. My best and biggest plant is planted in mostly pumice and year after year it produces at least 10-15 pups that I cut off and give to friends in the spring.
  3. Let the soil dry out between waterings: Aloe vera plants are resilient, drought-tolerant and can suffer from overwatering. Let the top 1-2 inches of soil dry out before watering again. This is one of those succulents that I can completely neglect to water for weeks on weeks and it will survive like a champ. Don’t baby it at all.

Bottom watering, where you fill the saucer or tray under the plant and let the plant soak up water through the drainage hole, is not something I recommend. This method can lead to water being absorbed unevenly and might promote root rot if the plant sits in water for too long. It’s generally better to water from the top, directing water at the base of the plant, and ensuring good drainage.

Why is my Aloe vera turning purple?

There are a few reasons why your Aloe vera might be turning purple. Read on to find out why.

  • Sunburn – Too much direct sun leads to purple sun-stressed leaves. Provide shade and acclimate the plant slowly to more sun exposure.
  • Cold damage – Exposure to frost or freezing temperatures can turn leaves purple-gray. Bring plants indoors or give winter protection.
  • Overwatering – Excess moisture stresses the plant, causing anthocyanin pigment accumulation and purple leaves. Allow soil to dry out between waterings.
  • Underwatering – Drought stress and dehydration can also cause leaves to turn purple. Resume regular watering schedule.
  • Age – Natural pigment changes may lead to some purple color in older leaves as the plant matures over years.
  • Variety – Some Aloe cultivars are prone to purple coloration in leaves/tips as part of normal growth.

Is Aloe vera safe for cats?

Aloe vera contains compounds known as anthraquinones, which can be toxic to cats if ingested. These compounds can cause vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and even more serious gastrointestinal issues. Additionally, the sharp leaves of the aloe vera plant pose a risk of injury if a cat tries to chew or play with the plant.

While aloe vera should generally be kept away from cats, there are a few exceptions. The gel from the plant, which is the clear, gooey substance found inside the leaves, is considered safe for cats in small amounts. This gel can be used topically to soothe minor skin irritations or burns, but it should never be ingested by cats.

Why is my Aloe vera plant drooping?

Potential Reasons for Drooping Aloe Vera Plants

  1. Overwatering: One of the most common causes of drooping aloe vera plants is overwatering. Aloe vera plants are succulents and require well-draining soil and infrequent watering. When the soil stays too moist for too long, the roots can become waterlogged and the plant will start to droop.
  2. Underwatering: On the flip side, underwatering can also lead to drooping aloe vera plants. If the soil becomes too dry, the plant will begin to wilt and the leaves will start to sag.
  3. Inadequate Sunlight: Aloe vera plants thrive in bright, direct sunlight. If your plant is not getting enough light, it may start to droop and stretch towards the nearest light source.
  4. Transplant Shock: If you’ve recently transplanted your aloe vera plant, it may go through a period of transplant shock, causing the leaves to droop temporarily.
  5. Pests or Disease: In some cases, drooping aloe vera plants can be a sign of pests or disease, such as mealybugs or fungal infections.

How to Revive a Drooping Aloe Vera Plant

  1. Check the Soil Moisture: Stick your finger into the soil to determine if the plant needs water or if the soil is staying too wet. Adjust your watering routine accordingly.
  2. Provide Ample Sunlight: Move your aloe vera plant to a spot that receives at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day, or consider supplementing with a grow light.
  3. Transplant if Needed: If your plant is rootbound or the soil is poor quality, consider transplanting it into a larger pot with well-draining cactus or succulent soil.
  4. Inspect for Pests or Disease: Carefully inspect your plant for any signs of pests or disease and take appropriate action if needed.
Closeup picture of green aloe vera leaves
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