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Growing Aloe Vera Plants

aloe vera plant
It is hard to go wrong when growing aloe vera plants, which makes them a good house plant to grow with children ... not even I have managed to kill one of them off yet! They may not be the most exciting of plants, but they are dependable, and wonderfully tactile, especially for toddlers and pre-school children.

A succulent is a plant with fleshy stems and leaves which store water.

The aloe vera plant is a succulent originally from the Africa and Arabia area, and there are about 275 different varieties. The most popular varieties are the aloe variegata with white bands on its leaves and pink to scarlet flowers from late winter onwards, and the hardy aloe aristata which has orange-red flowers in early summer and a crown of globular rosettes.

Caring for Aloes

The good thing about aloes is that even though they have preferences on how to be cared for, they really can take a fair bit of neglect. They are not quick to die off if watered too much, or too little - again, this makes them a good candidate for a house plant for young kids who have not quite mastered the concept of moderation!

Watering: during the growing season and autumn, water the plants freely. During the winter, keep them almost dry.

Feeding: a little general household plant food once a month while the aloe vera plants are growing will be appreciated.

Position: pretty happy just about anywhere, but if you want plenty of flowers, ensure they have at least a few hours of direct sunlight. The plants are pretty tough and will withstand temperatures as low as 5C (40F) but ideally prefer it to stay a few degrees warmer; 8-10C (45-50F) is ideal for them.


Aloes produce offsets, ie little baby plants growing around the base of the parent plant. Once the mature plant has finished flowering, these can be removed and transplanted. Cut the offsets off by using a knife and trying to ensure that some of the root is included, then plant them with the leave base just below soil level in a pot.

Keep the young plants watered but not soaked and they should soon take.


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