Succulents such as cacti and aloe vera are notoriously slow growers, but aloe vera itself isn’t as slow as some of the other succulents.
Aloe vera plants are very popular for numerous reasons.
Not only do they look good on your kitchen counter, but they also have several medicinal properties.
We’ve all heard about how good aloe vera is for sunburn and other skin problems, so keeping an aloe vera plant in your kitchen or patio is never a bad idea.
As far as its growth rate is concerned, the aloe vera plant typically takes three to four years to fully mature, and when they are fully grown, their leaves get to roughly eight to ten inches in length. Yet another good reason to have an aloe vera plant in your home is the fact that it is a low-maintenance plant.
In Fact: all you have to do to keep it healthy is water it occasionally, but it does not need to be watered every day because this can actually harm the plant.
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What Is an Aloe Vera?
The aloe vera plant is part of the succulent family and consists of roughly 500 species.
It is known as the wonder plant and grows in the wild in tropical, subtropical, and arid climates around the world.
It has numerous health benefits and has short leaves that are filled with a gel-like substance that is known to be antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and great for the skin.
Not only does it help heal a multitude of skin conditions such as cuts and burns, but it helps these wounds heal a lot faster than they ordinarily would.
If you’ve ever wondered, how fast does aloe vera grow, the simple answer is three to four years.
This doesn’t mean that you’ll have to wait for years to notice any growth at all.
Within several months of planting your aloe vera plant, you should be able to see new leaves and a little bit of growth.
Be Patient: While aloe vera plants don’t grow as slowly as cacti and some other succulents, you still have to give them some time if you want to enjoy them to the fullest once they are fully grown.
What Can You Do to Speed up the Growth of an Aloe Vera?
As you can imagine, setting up your aloe vera plant and making sure that it has what it needs to grow properly is the first rule of thumb when growing these plants.
Just because aloe vera is slow-growing doesn’t mean that you can just set it on your countertop and forget about it.
Some of the tips to keep in mind when you want to make sure that your aloe vera will grow right include the following.
Choose a Potting Medium That Is Fast-draining
The roots of the aloe vera have to be in good shape at all times, so over-watering is a huge no-no.
Well-draining soil will help make sure that doesn’t happen, so the last thing you want to do is buy a potting medium that holds water.
In fact, this is a must for all succulents, not just aloe vera plants.
Always Use the Right Type of Pot
For aloe vera, use a clay or terracotta pot and never a plastic one.
Because you’ll need something porous so that excess moisture is absorbed and so the roots don’t rot.
Naturally, you’ll also want a pot that has draining holes at the bottom to release excess water when you water the plant.
Keep the Plant at the Right Temperature
Ideally, you’ll want to keep your aloe vera plant between 55 degrees and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
Anything below 55 degrees and it’s just too cold for the plant to survive; remember, this is a tropical plant.
If you get above 80 degrees Fahrenheit, you might dry out the plant because too much water will be absorbed.
Never Overwater the Plant
This one is crucial because an aloe vera plant needs very little water.
You should water the plant thoroughly every one to two weeks, let it drain, then pour out the excess water from your saucer.
In the winter months, you can cut back to every three to four weeks, but the key here is to always wait until the soil is completely dry before watering again, regardless of how much time has passed since you last gave the plant some water.
Never Give It Too Much or Too Little Direct Sunlight
Ideally, your aloe vera plant will be in partial direct sunlight roughly six to seven hours per day, or maybe less.
If you notice brown spots or scorched leaves, you should reduce those hours because they are getting too much light.
Also, if you rotate the pot occasionally, all sides of the plant will get equal amounts of sunlight.
If you set up your aloe vera plant correctly and take care of it like you’re supposed to, your plant will indeed grow faster.
That being said, don’t expect an aloe vera plant to grow as fast as non-succulent plants do because that will never happen.
Nevertheless: You can speed up the process just a bit by taking proper care of the plant from day one.
Should You Use a Fertilizer for Speedy Growth?
As a general rule, succulents do not need fertilizer, but if your aloe vera looks as if it is growing too slowly, you can use a low-nitrogen fertilizer on it to help it grow faster.
Use the fertilizer only during growing season and only every six to eight weeks.
Also, you should dilute the fertilizer by using it at half strength and no stronger than that.
Finally, only use the fertilizer after you water and drain the plant so that chemical burns don’t form on it.
There are other things that you can do if you want healthy aloe vera plants in the end.
Monitor for bugs and pests, repot the plant once it starts to get too crowded, and use a natural fertilizer occasionally, such as mixing in chopped-up banana peels with the soil.
Some of the methods used to take care of aloe vera plants are the same as those for taking care of other types of plants, so it’s a lot easier than you think.