The Aloe Vera plant has a lot of character, it will brighten up the room while cleaning the air in your house or apartment. The best thing is Aloe’s easy to grow and difficult to kill which means they are quite low maintenance. In fact, with the right care and attention you will be able to enjoy the benefits of Aloe Vera in your home indefinitely.
You may have seen Aloe Vera extract on many cosmetic products, this is because the juice found in Aloe Vera leaves has healing properties that have been used in skincare for centuries.
It’s most commonly known to help sooth sunburn and it’s also been proven to treat cuts and wounds. In recent years Aloe Vera has been a vital ingredient in many health food products as well as shampoo, and shower gels.
If you have an Aloe Vera plant indoors, you may be wondering “how big do aloe plants get?” In this article you’ll find all you need to know about the size of Aloe Vera plants, along with tips and tricks on how you can either grow them tall or keep them small.
What does Aloe Vera Look Like?
The aloe plant has a short but sturdy stem, with thick dark green leaves that grow from a large thick central stem. The leaves are juicy and sharp, with small jagged teeth growing along the outer edges.
Aloe vera plants can come in all shapes and sizes. They can be tiny enough to fit in a terrarium or so big they can fill giant pots on your patio.
How Big Do Aloe Plants Get?
Indoor Aloe vera plants can grow anywhere between 12 to 24-inches (30-61cm) and if they’re well nurtured in a healthy environment an adult plant can grow as high as 3-feet (91cm).
How Fast Do Aloe Plants Grow?
Usually succulents grow very slowly but aloe vera grows faster than most which means new leaves will appear within months and the plant itself can get really big.
Ideal Growing Conditions to Promote Growth
To grow great plants you need perfect conditions. Here’s a list of things you’re plant will need to thrive…
Watering Your Aloe
During the warmer months like autumn, summer and spring you should water your aloe vera plant every two weeks and during winter more like every three to four weeks. This is because when the cold sets in the plant hits a latent stage and growth rapidly slows down, during the winter months you won’t need to water it as much
Whatever you do don’t overwater your aloe. The secret to good aloe vera care is little and often. You’ll need to water it consistently because if you apply too much water at once then the root will rot and the plant will eventually die.
One of the most important things to remember is that you must never let the plant sit in water. In fact the best thing to do is to lay a small carpet of gravel rocks where the water can collects instead of allowing the roots to be saturated.
Aloe plants love sunshine and they’ll grow better if they have plenty of light. If your plant’s deprived of sunlight it will grow to be tall and skinny, rather than full and thick with juicy leaves.
If it’s an indoor plant use a window sill that faces south or west. This way your plant will get sunlight for about 6 or 7 hours a day. Try and make sure it’s placed in indirect sunlight though to keep it moist. Direct sunlight will damage the plant and dry it out.
It’s best to grow your Aloe in warm temperatures between 55 and 80°F (13 and 27°C). Sunlight gives the plant the warmth it needs to thrive but if you have no natural sun spots in your home you can use artificial lights instead.
The Right Pot and Soil
Choose a pot that will drain well with holes on the bottom. Personally I like the terracotta or clay pots because they add a nice colourful vibe to your house.
Soil mix is really important, it’ll need to drain well and have plenty of nutrients. You can pick up soil mixes specifically catered for succulents at your local garden shop. Alternatively, make your own by using regular potting soil and some sand.
Plant the aloe about a third of the way into the pot, leaving approximately a half-inch of space between the top layer of soil and the upper lip of the pot.
If you keep the plant in one pot for too long then the roots will grow too big for the pot and the aloe plant will become root bound. Be sure to re-pot the plant to a bigger pot every 3-6 months so this doesn’t happen.
Believe it or not it’s important not to over fertilize your aloe vera plant. In fact it should only actually be fertilized every six to eight weeks.
The good news is that with the right amount of water and a well-draining soil, this robust little plant will have all the nutrients is needs to flourish.
Over fertilizing can cause “leaf burn,” where the tips of the leaves start to turn brown. To avoid this happening choose a liquid fertilizer that’s high in phosphorus.
How to Keep Your Aloe Vera Small
If you’re looking after you aloe vera plant well then it’s going to keep growing big and tall, this isn’t always ideal particularly if you want it to stay cute and small so it’ll fit in a terrarium.
To stop the plant from growing too big you can plant the baby plants into small 4-inch pots. These small plants are called “pups”. The bigger your plant, the more little pups you’ll have.
It’s important to wait till the pups are about 3-inches tall before you clip them off from the main plant so they’re strong enough to thrive on their own.
When removing the pups form the mamma plant you’ll need to carefully take the adult plant out of its pot. Baby plants have their own roots that are intertwined with the mother plant. To remove a pup gently pull it away from the rest making sure it still has its roots because the pup won’t survive if the roots are severed.
If it’s proving tough to separate the pup then use a pair of pruning scissors to assist. Once separated you can repot these tiny plants. You’ll have more pups than you know what to do with so gift to friends and family, you can put them in eggcups or tea cups to make them look even cuter!
Now that you know all there is to know about how to grow an aloe plant, how big aloe plants get and how to stop them from growing get down to your local garden shop and pick one up. Have fun watching it grow and later reproduce. Soon you’ll have so many you won’t know what to do with them all!