How to Care for an Aloe Vera Plant

This succulent has medicinal properties and it's a great addition to any houseplant collection.

<p>Marina Gorevaya/Getty Images</p>

Marina Gorevaya/Getty Images

Aloe Vera is a popular succulent with medicinal properties. Native to Africa, Madagascar, and the Arabian Peninsula, the plant grows in hot, dry climates, but it also makes for a great houseplant when given proper care. Aloe Vera has thick fleshy leaves, which can be cut as needed to access the soothing gel on the inside. In the right conditions,indoor aloe Vera plants can live for up to 12 years. Keep reading for the care requirements to keep your aloe Vera plant happy and healthy.

Related: How to Care for Succulents—and Keep Them Looking Picture-Perfect

Aloe Vera Plant Care Tips

Aloe Vera is commonly considered a great plant for beginners due to its relative low maintenance nature. However, it’s still important to give the succulent the right conditions to make sure it thrives.


Aloe Vera plants prefer bright, indirect light. Just be sure to keep the plant out of direct sun as too much light can burn the leaves. Placing the succulent in south- or west-facing windows is best to ensure it gets the right amount of light.

Soil and Water

Since aloe Vera is a desert plant, it prefers a well-draining, loamy, Sandy soil mix. As with many succulents, aloe Vera plants don’t like too much water. They should be watered deeply but infrequently, letting the soil dry between watering to keep the plant from sitting it water.

Temperature and Humidity

Aloe vera plants prefer a warm environment with temperatures between 65-75 F. The succulents can do fine in average humidity, though it does even better in spaces with humidity on the lower side. (About 40% humidity is a great way to the keep the plant happy.)


For a growing boost, aloe Vera plants can benefit from a liquid or slow release fertilizer applied in the spring. If using a liquid fertilizer, a 10-40-10 mix is ideal to give your plant the right nutrients.

Common Pests and Problems

Mealy bugs and scale are the most common pests to bother aloe Vera plants. These bugs often live on the underside of plant leaves and suck out sap and juices from the plant tissues. To deal with an infestation, you can apply rubbing alcohol or commercial pesticide to the leaves to remove the insects.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you use aloe vera gel straight from the plant?

Yes, you can use aloe vera gel straight from your plant, just as you would use aloe vera gel products sold in stores. To access the gel, cut a leaf off the plant and remove the leaf skin and the layer of latex (the thin layer of yellow liquid between the skin and the gel).

Can you eat aloe vera plant?

Yes, you can eat parts of the aloe vera plant. This includes both the gel inside the plant and the skins of the leaves as well. Just make sure to thoroughly wash the parts before consuming them to get rid of any dirt, debris, or latex.

Is aloe vera poisonous to pets?

While aloe vera can have medicinal properties for humans, it's not so safe for pets. Aloe vera can have mild to moderate toxicity levels for cats and dogs when eaten.

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