6Aloe vera is one of the world’s most well-known and widely used plants, and understandably so! It’s known for its numerous medicinal properties and the fact it’s easy to grow and maintain in and out of the house. But how fast does aloe vera grow and how to make yours grow faster?
If you want your plant to thrive, there’s a list of things to keep in mind.
Here, we will answer some of the most FAQs about aloe vera and provide you with some tips and tricks for growing your plant faster, bigger and juicier.
Aloe vera is a fast-growing plant, especially when compared to other succulents; however, the speed at which it grows can vary depending on a number of factors, including the quality of your soil, exposure to sunlight, and how frequently the plant is watered.
Also check: How Much Sun Does an Aloe Vera Plant Need?
As a rule of thumb, you can expect it to grow between 1-2 inches per year, although some may grow much faster than others, depending on the conditions and how much love you show it.
9 Tips to Make Aloe Vera Grow Faster and Bigger
If you want your Aloe vera plant to grow faster and bigger, there are several things you can do to help it along.
Here’s a list of helpful tips to get you started:
1. Use the Correct Soil
Aloe prefers well-draining soil that is a bit sandy. If your soil is too heavy or doesn’t drain well, it can lead to root rot and slow growth.
2. Water Correctly
The plant does not need to be watered often, but when you do water it, make sure you give it a thorough soaking. Allow the soil to dry out completely before watering again; check it by poking a finger in and feeling for moisture content.
3. Provide Proper Sunlight
Aloe vera needs plenty of sunlight to grow, so make sure you place it in a location where it will receive at least six hours of direct sunlight per day.
4. Fertilize Regularly
Aloe does not need to be fertilized super frequently, but adding a little bit of fertilizer to the soil every few months can help promote better growth.
5. Prune When Needed
If your aloe vera plant is getting too large or becoming too top-heavy, you can prune it back to encourage new growth.
6. Keep it Warm
Aloe vera prefers warm temperatures, so make sure you keep it in a location where it will not be exposed to cold drafts.
7. Use Humidity Trays
Aloe prefers a slightly humid environment, thus placing a humidity tray beneath the plant can help promote growth or spritzing it regularly with a mister. Alternatively, you can put it in your bathroom.
8. Remove the Dead Leaves
Dead leaves can attract pests and diseases, which can slow down your plant’s growth and lead to bugs infesting the soil.
9. Use a Grow Light
If your plant is not receiving enough sunlight, you can use a grow light to provide it with the light it needs to grow. This is not essential, but can definitely help if the plant is suffering in a low-light area.
The Growing Stages of Aloe Vera
If you’re new to the world of aloe vera, here’s a breakdown of the plant’s growing stages:
The first stage of growth is the seedling stage, which lasts for the first 6-12 months of the plant’s life. During this, the plant is fragile and tiny and may not yet have developed its spiky leaves.
The juvenile stage of aloe vera growth lasts from 1-3 years. During this stage, the plant will start to develop its characteristic sharp, succulent arms. The leaves will be smaller and more compact than they will be in the mature stage.
The mature stage is reached when the plant is between 3-5 years old. During this stage, the plant will have fully developed its leaves, and it may begin to produce offsets or “babies” around the base of the plant.
The reproductive stage occurs when the plant is around 5-6 years old. During this stage, the plant may begin to produce a tall flower, which can reach up to 3 feet in height. The blooms are typically bright red or ochre and grow in a vertical cone shape.
Aloe plants can live a long happy life if they are properly looked after, and they can produce “babies” and flower spikes for years after reaching maturity. The plants thrive in bright, indirect sunlight.
While they can handle some direct light, they should not be placed in full sun, as they can scorch the leaves and do serious damage to the plant.
Where to Place My Aloe Vera?
Ideally, aloe plants should be placed in a location that receives 6-8 hours of bright, indirect sunlight per day. That being said, if the aloe isn’t too close to a window where the light is concentrated, the direct sunlight will be alright, as many of the plants in the wild get 8+ hours of direct light a day.
If you live in an area with very strong sunlight or hot temperatures or thinner ozone, it’s a good idea to provide some shade for your aloe vera plant during the hottest part of the day.
One thing you can do is place the plant in a location with some natural shade or use a shade cloth or other type of covering to filter the sunlight.
The size of your aloe vera plant will depend on several factors, including its growing conditions, genetics, and age. Aloe vera plants can grow to be decently large, with fully matured plants reaching 3 feet high and widths of up to 2 feet.
It’s worth noting that aloe plants are pretty slow-growing, so it may take several years for your plant to reach its full size if that’s what you’re after.
If you’re growing your aloe vera plant in a vessel, its size will also be somewhat limited by the size of the pot or container. As a rule of thumb, you should choose a pot slightly larger than the root ball of the plant. Also, you should re-pot it every 1-2 years to prevent it from becoming root-bound.
By providing your plant with the right growing conditions and regularly repotting it, you can help it reach its full size and thrive in your abode.
Unique Features and Uses of Aloe Vera
Is a succulent that belongs to the same family as cacti and other desert flora.
The aloe vera plant is native to Africa, but it is now widely cultivated all over the world and has been used for thousands of years thanks to its medicinal properties.
It was known as the “plant of immortality” to the ancient Egyptians, who used it to treat a variety of ailments. Aloe contains more than 200 active compounds, including amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and enzymes.
Aloe Vera Gel
The gel inside the aloe vera plant is super rich in antioxidants and has been shown to have incredible anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Its gel is commonly used as a natural remedy for sunburn, skin irritations, and nasty insect bites.
Aloe Vera Juice
Aloe juice is a popular health supplement that is believed to have a variety of health benefits, including boosting the immune system and improving digestion. The plants are very easy to care for and can be grown indoors or outdoors in a wide variety of climates.
Aloe vera is sometimes used in cosmetics and personal care products, from lotions to tissues, due to its phenomenal soothing and moisturizing properties.
Overall, it is a versatile and fascinating plant with tons of uses and benefits.
Whether you’re using it for its medicinal properties, growing it for its air-purifying abilities, or simply enjoying its unique beauty, there’s no denying the appeal (and aesthetic) of this remarkable plant.
While aloe vera is generally an easy plant to care for, there are a few common mistakes that people often make when growing it.
6 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Growing Aloe Vera
Here’s a list of common mistakes people make when growing aloe vera:
Aloe vera is a succulent plant that is adapted to survive in dry, arid conditions. As such, it is susceptible to root rot due to overwatered. Make sure to allow the soil to dry out between waterings, and never let the plant sit in standing water, (that’s bad news).
2. Poor Drainage
In addition to overwatering, poor drainage can also lead to root rot in aloe vera plants. Make sure that your plant is in a pot with drainage holes and that the soil is well-draining.
3. Too Much Sun
While aloe vera plants need the bright, indirect sun to thrive, they can be damaged by too much direct sunlight. Make sure to place your plant in a location that receives bright, indirect sunlight for at least 6-8 hours per day, but protect it from the hot midday sun.
4. Not Enough Light
On the other hand, aloe vera plants may not do great if they don’t receive enough sunlight. Make sure to place your plant in a bright location, or consider supplementing with artificial grow lights if you are growing your plant indoors.
5. Using the Wrong Soil
Aloe vera plants require well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. Avoid using heavy, clay soils or soils that retain too much moisture.
6. Not Repotting
Aloe vera plants can become root-bound if they are not repotted periodically. Make sure to repot your plant every 1-2 years, or when the plant has outgrown its current pot. They can be claustrophobic too!
Propagating Aloe Vera: Step-by-Step Guide
Propagating aloe vera is a great way to expand your plant collection or share the plant with friends and family. Here’s how to do it:
Step 1: Look for Offsets
Aloe vera produces offsets, also known as pups or baby plants, from the base of the mother plant. These offsets can be used to propagate new aloe vera plants. Wait until the offsets are at least 2-3 inches tall before attempting to separate them from the mother plant.
Step 2: Prepare the Pots
Get some small pots, preferably with drainage holes, and fill them with a well-draining potting mix. A mixture of sand and cactus soil is ideal.
Step 3: Separate the Offsets
Gently remove the offsets from the mother plant by gently tugging them away from the base of the plant. You can use your hands or a sharp, clean knife to separate the offsets.
Step 4: Let the Offsets Dry
After separating the offsets, allow them to dry for a few days. This will help to prevent the cut area from becoming infected or rotting.
Step 5: Plant the Offsets
Once the offsets have dried, plant them in the prepared pots. Cover the base of the offset with soil and gently firm the soil around it.
Step 6: Water the New Plants
Water the newly potted offsets, but be careful not to overwater. Aloe vera prefers to dry out between waterings, so only water when the soil is dry to the touch.
Step 7: Provide Proper Lighting
Aloe vera prefers bright, indirect light, so place the newly potted offsets in a sunny window or under grow lights.
Extra Tips for Success
- When picking offsets for propagation, choose ones that are healthy and have a sound root system.
- Be sure to use a well-draining potting mix to prevent water from sitting in the soil and causing root rot. You can mix pebbles or small stones in a pinch!
- Avoid watering the new plants too much or too often, as this can lead to root rot. Only water when the soil is dry to the touch.
- Aloe vera prefers bright, indirect light, so be sure to provide adequate lighting for the new plants.
- Don’t fertilize the new plants for at least a few months after propagating, as this can cause fertilizer burn and damage to the delicate new roots.
- Aloe vera is a plant that not only offers many health benefits but is also a sustainable choice for those looking to reduce their environmental impact and carbon footprint.
4 Eco-Benefits of Growing Aloe Vera
Here’s a list of eco-benefits of growing aloe vera:
1. Low Water Usage
Aloe vera is a drought-tolerant plant and requires only a small amount of water to thrive. This makes it an excellent choice for those living in areas with limited water resources.
2. Air Purification
Aloe vera is known to absorb harmful toxins from the air, making it an excellent air-purifying plant. This can help improve indoor air quality, which is especially important for those with respiratory issues. Every little bit counts!
3. Natural Pest Control
Aloe vera contains compounds that repel insects and pests, making it a natural pest control option. This means you can avoid using harmful pesticides in your home or garden.
4. Carbon Sequestration
Like all plants, aloe absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and stores it in its tissue. This makes it a natural carbon sequestration tool that can help reduce the amount of carbon in the atmosphere.
You can also use aloe for cuts, burns, and bug bites, which means you’re reducing your plastic intake by not buying those same products from the markets.
Aloe Vera Medicinal Purposes
The use of aloe vera for medicinal purposes dates back at least 6,000 years to ancient Egypt.
The plant was known as the “plant of immortality” and was believed to have incredible healing powers. The Egyptians used it to treat a variety of ailments, including burns, wounds, and skin infections (the same as we do today). They also used it in cosmetics to reduce wrinkles and improve skin tone.
Laxative and Treatment for Wounds
In ancient Greece, especially during the Hellenistic period, aloe vera was also highly prized for its medicinal properties. The Greek physician Dioscorides recommended aloe vera as a laxative, while Aristotle used it to treat wounds. The plant was also used by the Romans, who actually spread its use throughout Europe and the Mediterranean.
Treatment for Burns
During the Middle Ages, aloe vera was employed in Europe as a treatment for burns. It was also used as a purgative and to treat other ailments such as fever and coughs. In the 16th century, the Spanish brought aloe vera to North and South America, where it became an essential medicinal plant. Many associate it with the southwest of the USA and the deserts of Mexico.
Aloe vera has played a significant role in many cultures throughout history. In Egypt, it was considered a symbol of protection and was regularly depicted in hieroglyphics. The Egyptians believed that aloe vera had protective powers and would use it to ward off evil spirits.
The plant is also used in Ayurvedic medicine, a traditional Indian system of healing, to treat a variety of ailments through diet, the body, mind, and spirit. In Hindu mythology, the plant is known as the “silent healer” and is believed to have restorative and regenerative powers.
In Chinese medicine, aloe vera is known as “lu hui” and is used to treat skin conditions. The plant is also used to treat constipation and other eupepsia issues.
In modern times, aloe vera is still highly valued for its medicinal and cosmetic properties. It is used in a variety of products. Aloe vera juice is also popular for its purported health benefits, such as aiding digestion and boosting the immune system. There are even sweet drinks that have morsels of the juicy gel floating about!
Overall, aloe vera has a rich history and cultural significance that spans thousands of years. Its use as a medicinal plant has been recorded in ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome, and it has played an important role in many other cultures around the world.
Tips for Incorporating Aloe Vera Into a Sustainable Lifestyle
You can easily incorporate aloe vera into a sustainable lifestyle. Here’s how:
Grow Your Own
By growing your own aloe vera, you can reduce the carbon footprint associated with transporting and packaging store-bought aloe vera products.
Use it Instead of Synthetic Products
The plant can be used as a fantastic natural alternative to many synthetic products, such as hand sanitizers and moisturizers. This can help reduce the number of synthetic chemicals that end up in the environment.
Compost the Leaves
Aloe vera leaves can be composted, which helps to reduce waste and improve soil health. Composting also helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by diverting organic waste from landfills.
Share it With Friends and Family
Aloe vera offsets can be easily separated from the mother plant and propagated into new plants. Sharing your aloe vera with friends and family can help reduce the demand for commercially grown aloe vera and will make your loved ones happy to receive such a thoughtful gift.
How to Keep Your Pets Safe From Aloe Vera: 3 Tips
Aloe is a popular houseplant, however, it’s important to be aware that the plant can be toxic to pets if ingested. The sap of the aloe plant contains anthraquinone glycosides, which can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal symptoms if eaten by pets.
1. Keep the Plants Out of Reach
Make sure that your pets cannot get up to the aloe vera plant. Place it on a high shelf or in a room your pets cannot access.
2. Train Your Pets
If you have a pet that likes to gnaw on plants, train them not to go near the aloe vera plant. A spray bottle filled with water works wonderfully to discourage them from approaching the plant.
3. Monitor Your Pets
Keep an eye on your pets when they are near the aloe vera plant. If you notice that they are showing signs of illness, such as vomiting, take them to the veterinarian immediately.
While aloe can be a stunning houseplant, it’s important to be aware of its potential toxicity and threat to pets. By understanding the necessary precautions and considering pet-friendly alternatives, you can be sure that your pets are safe, happy, and healthy in your home.
Aloe vera has a long and fascinating history that dates back thousands of years. It has been used for a variety of purposes, including medicinal, cosmetic, and culinary uses, and has played an important role in tons of different cultures around the world.
We hope this article has helped in understanding the significant role that aloe vera plays in society and how you might be able to cultivate it successfully in your own home!