aloe vera

aka aloe barbadensis

Say “Ola” to this easy to grow succulent. Often touted as a “miracle” plant for its skin soothing gel, but the real miracle is how cute they look. An all-around great plant for rookies and exerts alike. Description: easy to grow succulent / soothes burns and skin irritations / southeast Arabian Peninsula / tropical


Aloe Vera has a whopping 250 varieties. So many wonderful little differences to mix and match.


bright, indirect light

Find a spot with plenty of indirect light, and ideally a few hours of direct light.

water + feeding

allow to mostly dry out between watering

The top inch should be dry before watering again. Don’t overwater! It’s a desert plant. Feed once in spring, and once in summer.


safe on skin post likely toxic to ingest

Aloe gel is safe and soothing on the skin. You can even eat some varieties, but note! Most can cause indigestion, vomiting and airway irritation if eaten. Unless you’re 100% sure, keep away from kids and pets.



Comfy with average indoor temperatures. Prefers things on the warmer side and doesn’t like drafts.


not an issue

Appreciates an occasional misting to control dust. Humidity levels aren’t a concern for this hearty little fella.


small to medium

Usually bought small and can to about 2 feet.

pro tip

water at soil level

Aloe doesn’t like water pooling in the creases between its leaves. That can cause leaf rot.

fun fact

it’s a super soother

Those thick, juicy leaves contain a soothing green gel that can be applied directly to burns (especially sun burns) and bug bites. External use only! It’s toxic to ingest.

beyond the basics

  • soil & potting

    Use a light, well-draining potting soil like Miracle-Gro Cactus, Palm and Succulent Potting Mix. Or, use regular potting soil and add some potting sand or perlite. A layer of sand on the top will help prevent rot. Ensure the pot has good drainage and aloe should never sit in water. Empty drainage trays if you see water collecting.

  • when to repot

    Every 3-4 years in the spring. Especially when they’re small and growing. Increase pot diameter by 2 inches each time, and refresh the top few inches of soil. Growing too fast? You can slow the growth by trimming the roots. 

  • propagation

    Aloe self-propagates. It will make baby offshoots (also called ‘pups’). Leave pups on the main plant or, pot as a separate plant! Wait until the pup is at least 2” tall, then dig under the pup and find the roots at the base. Gently tug or trim the roots, they are key to the pup’s survival. You now have a new plant baby! See Soil + Potting above for planting instructions. 

  • pest control

    Aloe is prone to scale insects on the leaves. See our Pest control section in Plant 101 for how to identify and deal with pests on your plant! 


  • leaves turning brown, red or reddish brown?

    Variety of reasons. It could be too much summer sun, overwatering, or roots damage. 

    First, try moving your plant to a spot with less direct sunlight (but still bright). Reduce watering. If your little aloe buddy doesn’t recover check the roots for damage.  

  • dark spots? brown or mushy leaves?

    Probably overwatering. Caught early, this problem is easily corrected. Water at soil level and avoid spilling water on the leaves, cuz the pooling water can cause rot. Two inches of sand on top of the soil will help with drainage. Reduce watering and allow plant to dry out completely between watering. Ensure your pot has a drainage hole to let excess water out. 

    Other tricks: Poke holes in soil to get oxygen to the roots. Put a damp pot (with drainage holes) in a tray or dry soil, to suck up that extra moisture. Check the roots and remove any that have root rot. Consider repotting with new soil if things are a damp mess. For more information check out our Plant 101 section. 

  • pale or yellowing leaves?

    Overwatering or not enough light. Is the entire plant turning pale or yellow? It needs more light. Move to a brighter spot, watch out for soil dampness and avoid over watering. 


  • shrunken, wrinkled leaves?

    Your plant needs a drink. But don’t overdo it! Give it a small amount and also mist the leaves. Do this three days in a row. The leaves should rebound, getting nice and plump. 

  • aloe not growing?

     Not enough light. If your aloe isn’t growing, or the new growth is pale in colour, it’s crying out for more light. Most houseplants don’t like direct sun, but this desert-born baby likes it! A little direct sun every day is good, especially in darker winter months. Find a brighter spot and get growing. 

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