Aloe vera plants are one of the top choices for a home garden as they require very little water to thrive. Like succulents, aloe vera plants are low maintenance.
However, if you want your aloe plant to be healthy, thriving, and look good, you must know a few tips about maintaining them, focusing on the watering regime.
So, do you water aloe vera from the top or bottom? You may think, that it doesn’t matter, but sadly that is not the case here.
One of the important aspects of watering aloe vera plants is that one should start from the bottom and go to the top while watering. If we don’t do it this way, then the roots may absorb too much mineral and salt, and affect the overall growth of the plant itself.
We will discuss the reason in depth in this article.
Do you water aloe vera from the top or bottom?
You must water aloe vera from the bottom all the time. That way roots will stay moist in proper balance, and the plant will grow nicely with time.
Aloe vera plants do not require much water since they are native to Africa. However, when you water your aloe vera plants, you must make sure you are doing it correctly.
Overwatering or underwatering your aloe vera plant can brown the leaf tips, wither the plant, and kill it. It’s advisable to water the aloe vera plant by pointing the nozzle at the base of the plant. This way, you nourish the plants and their roots.
Why Water Aloe Vera from the Bottom?
Aloe vera plants are like succulents and thus hold most moisture in their leaves. The plant holds the moisture in its leaves and then spreads it across the rest of the plant.
Watering from the bottom ensures that the roots are not absorbing too much mineral or salt. Unlike orchids, aloe veras do not thrive well in high-mineral soil. With only moist roots the plant will get a better balance of nutrients.
Why Not to Water Aloe Vera Plants from the Top?
Though watering the roots of your aleo vera plant is recommended, many people water from the top down. This might be an awkward thing to do since the plant grows up to 2-3 feet. Though some plants can absorb moisture through the leaves, aloe vera plants don’t possess this.
By watering the plant top down, you will simply be wetting the leaves. Besides, the tall, fleshy leaves will not allow the water to reach the plant roots. Though the plant stores water in its leaves and it’s difficult to starve such a plant, continued underwatering periods will cause the leaves to be brown, a common sign with the top-down watering method.
Which Water to Use for Aloe Vera Plants?
Aloe vera are drought-resistant plants, but they like well-aerated soil, which is difficult to achieve with hard water. If your area has hard water that is unsafe for drinking, it’s best to use distilled water to keep your vera plant safe and thriving.
Many growers have noticed that regular watering with tap water leads to discoloration of the plant leaves. This is because tap water often contains chlorine and fluoride. This problem can be avoided by using filtered or distilled water.
You can buy distilled water from the store or boil regular hard water to remove the impurities. However, cool down the boiling water before watering the plants with it.
How to Water Aloe Vera Plants Correctly?
Aloe vera plants are pretty strong, and thus the plant can survive the incorrect watering regime for a long. However, to ensure better health for the plant, you need to rectify your watering methods.
Determine when it’s time to water the also plants
Aloe vera plants do not require regular watering; if you haven’t watered it in a while, it’s not necessarily a bad sign.
Fill in the watering can
Once you see the soil is devoid of moisture and the leaves look a bit slack, you can start filling your watering to water your plant. It’s advisable to use distilled water for your aloe plants as regular tap water may contain harmful chemicals.
Water top down
Once your can is filled with distilled water, aim the nozzle toward the soil and pour the water. Make sure you are focusing the water stream around the edge of the pot so that the water runs around the inside wall of the pot, keeping it moist.
This is far more effective than watering the plant leaves, which cannot absorb the water. Make sure you monitor the amount of water coming out of the can. Ideally, a heavy water spray must be avoided.
Make sure water comes out of the drainage holes
Keep watering the plant until you see water coming out of the plant’s drainage holes. It is a sign that you have watered your plant all through the base of the soil, and it should be nice and moist for a while.
How Much Watering is Needed for Aloe Vera Plants?
It’s advisable to water aloe vera plants deeply but infrequently. Ideally, the soil should dry 1-2 inches deep between watering. If the roots sit in water for a long, it will lead to rot.
Your aloe vera plant should thrive with watering every three weeks and lesser during winter months. Check the wetness of the soil with your fingers. If the potting mix is still wet after two weeks, rot may be setting in.
Cons of Overwatering Aloe Vera Plants with Possible Solutions
Caring for aloe vera plants is easy, but overwatering is a common problem. Below are a few risks of overwatering your aloe plant.
- Droopy and soft leaves: If your aloe plant has leggy and droopy leaves it’s one of the major risks of overwatering. Besides, the leaves become wrinkly and start to wither.
- Brown and yellow leaves: Suppose you see brown and yellow spots on the leaves that indicate too much water in the soil, especially around the roots. This eventually leads to root rot.
- The stem becomes soft and brown: If the plant stems are turning mushy and brown, it is holding too much water.
- Blistered leaves: Aloe vera leaves develop blisters if there is excessive moisture. These blisters are like small bumps and grow bigger with more water content.
- Root turning soft: Rotting roots are a strong sign of overwatering. As the excess water doesn’t go out, the roots sit in soggy soil, which leads to the growth of fungus and pathogens.
- Mold on soil: Mold appears due to excessive moisture and humidity. White and gray spores grow on such soil and lead to fungal infection.
If your aloe vera plants are under such risks, you must devise some quick solutions to salvage your plant. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to revive your plant.
- Remove the waterlogged plant from the pot. Be careful with the healthy parts of the plant.
- Check the roots for decay. You can identify that with black or brown spots.
- If there is any decay, cut out those parts of the plant to keep the healthy parts safe.
- Treat the remaining parts of the plant with some fungicide to prevent infection.
- Replant in a new pot that has better drainage holes. Opt for a wider container as aloe roots grow horizontally.
- Prepare a fresh potting mix that is well-drained. It’s advisable to opt for mixtures that have perlite, sand, and gravel.
- Repot the plant in the new environment and wait for a few days before you first water the plant. Make sure that water is draining out properly.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What Does an Overwatered Aloe Plant Look Like?
There are many tell-tale signs of an overwatered aloe vera plant. Often such plants develop soggy droopy leaves, soft roots, and stems. In many cases, the leaves also turn brown and yellow covered in blisters.
What Does an Underwatered Aloe Plant Look Like?
An underwatered aloe vera plant with brown leaf tips. In some cases, the leaves may become wrinkled, yellow, and droop. If the leaves start curl inwards, it shows the plant is severely dehydrated.
How to know when aloe needs water?
The tell-tale signs of underwatering aloe vera plants come much later. It’s important to identify if the plant is underwatered right away and the best way to do that is by inserting your finger two knuckles deep into the soil. Suppose it’s dry; water the plant.
How long can aloe vera go without water?
Most aloe vera plants can go without water for 2-3 months. However, it’s not advisable to keep them unwatered for that long.
Aloe vera plants have multiple benefits, making them popular and not very high maintenance. They make the perfect house plant if you know how to water them correctly. In this article, we have covered all that you need to know to keep your aloe vera plant healthy.