Aloe vera is a popular plant in many gardens and landscapes. The succulent is drought-tolerant, beautiful, and relatively easy to grow. Under the right care and conditions, aloe can live for more than 20 years. Repotting is an important part of the plant’s care requirements.
You should repot the aloe vera plant every 2 to 3 years or when it has outgrown its pot. Repotting allows you to refresh the soil’s nutrients and provide more space for better growth. When transplanting aloe, use well-draining soil and a slightly bigger pot that has drainage holes.
In this guide, I’ll explain when and how to repot aloe vera and what you need to do to keep the plant healthy and vibrant.
How to repot aloe vera
It is recommended that you repot your aloe plant every 2 to 3 years for better growth. Without repotting aloe may become rootbound, which means that the roots may get heavily entangled inside the pot thus not able to get oxygen and perform their functions as needed.
You may not easily tell when the succulent has outgrown its pot without doing a thorough inspection. Here are telltale signs that it is time to repot your aloe vera plant.
- The aloe roots are growing out of the drainage holes in the pot.
- The plant is not growing actively as it used to.
- The soil is compacted and no longer draining well.
- When aloe vera potting soil won’t absorb water.
- Leaves turning yellow or having a brown tinge.
If you notice any of these signs, arrange on repotting your aloe plant. The best season to repot aloe vera is in the spring or summer. This is when the plant is actively growing and repotting it during this time will help it to adjust to its new pot and soil more quickly.
- Choose a pot that is one size larger than the current pot. The pot should have drainage holes to prevent the soil from becoming waterlogged.
- Fill the new pot with a cactus potting mix or a regular potting soil mix that has been amended with sand and perlite.
- Carefully remove the aloe vera plant from its current pot. Gently tease the roots apart to loosen them.
- Place the aloe vera plant in the center of the new pot. Fill in around the plant with potting mix, being careful not to bury the crown of the plant.
- Water the plant thoroughly and discard any excess water that drains from the pot.
- Place the plant in a location that receives bright, indirect sunlight.
Tip: If your aloe vera has produced offsets, separate them from the mother plant and repot them individually in their own pots. This is also one way of propagating aloe vera plants.
Repotting an aloe that has developed a long stem
Aloe vera with a long stem is described as leggy. Insufficient sunlight is the main reason for this condition. Aloe vera plants need at least 6 hours of sunlight per day to grow compact and healthy. If the plant is not getting enough sunlight, it will start to grow taller as it tries to reach the sun.
While leggy aloe vera plants are not typically unhealthy, they are not as attractive as plants with shorter stems. Longer aloe stems also make it difficult to repot the plant in standard pots. You’ll need to use a deeper pot that can allow you to completely bury the entire stem.
Make sure the pot has drainage holes where excess water can escape. The soil should be well-draining and the plant must be placed in a location with bright sunlight. However, avoid overexposing aloe to intense direct sunlight as it can cause sunburn.
Post-repotting care for aloe plant
Caring for aloe succulents is relatively easy as long as you obey a few rules. Here are the important requirements for growing aloe plants.
During spring and summer, aloe plants need regular watering. However, allow the soil to dry out completely between waterings. Overwatering can cause root rot and other fungal diseases. Water the plant thoroughly, but make sure the plant is not sitting in any standing water.
Reducing watering in winter, once per for 4 weeks is sufficient. When dormant, aloe vera uses very little water.
Aloe vera thrives in bright, indirect sunlight. So, make sure to place the plant in a location where it can receive at least 6 hours of sunlight per day. While it can tolerate some direct sunlight, especially during the morning hours, the intensive afternoon sunlight can cause its leaves to burn.
If you’re growing aloe indoors, place it near a sunny window but provide some shade when the sun gets too hot. The leaves of a sunburned aloe vera plant may appear brown or crispy. Moving the plant to shade and good care should help it recover from the symptoms of sunburn.
Aloe vera is a warm weather plant and it prefers temperatures between 55-85 degrees Fahrenheit. This plant may get damaged or die when overexposed to cold temperatures. Be sure to bring it indoors during winter but keep it protected from drafts.
Aloe Vera plants don’t like high levels of humidity. This plant is comfortable in drought conditions with an average humidity level of 30-40%. Humid conditions can cause rot and other fungal diseases. Powdery mildew can also attack plants grown in dark humid conditions.
Aloe vera plants don’t require a lot of fertilizer. You can apply a diluted, balanced, liquid fertilizer formulated for succulents during the growing season (spring and summer). Avoid fertilizing during the dormant winter months or immediately after transplanting.
Aloe vera is relatively resistant to most pests and diseases. However, watch out for common succulent pests like mealybugs, scale, and aphids. If you notice any infestations, apply isopropyl alcohol on the affected areas using a piece of cloth or treat them with neem oil or insecticidal soap.
Root rot is also a common problem in overwatered aloe plants. Excess water in the soil deprives roots of oxygen which makes them die and decompose. Aloe vera turning brown and soft is one of the main signs of overwatering. Removal of the damaged parts and repotting may save the plant.
Aloe vera plants can grow quite large over time, both in height and width. Repotting every 2 to 3 years is highly recommended. Make sure to use a spacious planter with drainage holes and fresh soil that drains sharply. Like other succulents, aloe vera prefers less watering.
The light must be sufficient and temperatures warm. The plant should be inspected regularly for pests and treated as needed. If you properly follow the tips in this guide, you should have a healthy and thriving aloe vera plant.
My name is Diane M Lewik, and I am the founder of this website. I am a degree holder in plant biology from the University of California – Berkeley. Over years, I have cultivated a vast collection of succulents and I have learned a great deal about how to grow and care for these unique plants.