People who have aloe vera plants often hear that they are hard to take care of, but that isn’t really the case.
Just as with any other plant, you just have to know what to do to keep it healthy, but the good news is that an aloe vera needs very little watering, so you won’t have much to do when it comes to keeping it well watered.
That being said, it’s also important for you to learn how to water it, and by this we mean, do you water aloe vera plants from top or bottom?
The answer is very simple.
When you’re watering an aloe vera plant, always water it from the bottom. Aloe vera plants do not need to be watered very often, but when it is time to water them, the job has to be done right. This means pouring the water in slowly until it starts to emerge from the drainage holes under the pot.
The reason why you water aloe vera from the bottom is because you want the roots to be nice and damp when you get done, but not soaking wet.
By concentrating on aiming the water near the bottom of the pot, you’ll get the roots done first and that’s what you want.
The Basics of Watering Aloe Vera Plants
One of the things that you should consider doing for aloe vera plants is using either distilled water or rainwater.
You can use tap water for a while, but the chlorine and fluoride in tap water is not good for aloe vera plants over time.
An occasional watering with tap water is fine, but it’s much healthier for the plant to use distilled or filtered water, or even rainwater when you can.
In addition, if you pour the water in slowly and concentrate on aiming at the bottom of the pot, you’ll end up wasting a lot less precious water and the water you do use will be used more efficiently.
Also, when pouring the water, don’t pour it too fast but instead, use a steady and consistent flow of water.
Keep pouring until you see the water drain out of the bottom of the pot, then stop.
You can pour the water on the outside walls of the pot if you like, but just aim towards the bottom where the roots are instead of aiming at the top part of the plant.
Pouring slowly is a must because this is the only way to ensure you won’t use too much water in the end.
Go Easy: A slow, consistent stream of water aimed at the bottom of the pot should be your goal.
Why Is It so Important to Water This Plant from the Bottom?
Because aloe vera plants, just the same as most other plants, need their roots watered well, and this doesn’t usually happen when you water from the top.
In fact, with most plants, watering from the top only gets their leaves wet and not their roots.
Some plants can transfer the water from their leaves to the rest of the plant, but this isn’t true for most plants, including the aloe vera plant.
It’s easy to assume that the plant is getting enough water since the leaves are nice and wet, but just because the leaves are nice and damp doesn’t mean that the roots are.
And when you consider that aloe vera plants can grow to several feet in height, it’s easy to understand why just getting the leaves wet is not going to give the plant the water it needs to survive.
This is yet another reason why watering your aloe vera plant should always be done from the bottom up instead of the other way around.
If you aim for the bottom of the plant, you’ll make sure that you get the roots every time.
Remember This: Aiming for the top of the plant means you might get the leaves and the top part of the soil damp enough, but the water won’t necessarily reach the roots themselves.
How Much Watering Does an Aloe Vera Need?
Aloe vera plants are succulents, so they retain water in their leaves for a very long time.
As such, they do not need to be watered very often.
How often should you water your aloe vera plant?
Much of the answer depends on where you live and the size of the plant, but most people find that watering their aloe vera every two to three weeks is more than enough to keep it healthy.
Instead of going by a specific time frame, it’s best just to test the soil in the plant to determine how wet it is:
To do this, simply stick your finger in the soil about two to three inches, and if it is damp or moist, there’s no need for more water.
If you reach two to three inches into the soil and it is completely dry, you can go ahead and give it some more water.
While many people water their aloe vera plant every two to three weeks, some people find that it needs once-a-week watering instead.
Nevertheless, testing the soil to make that determination is still the most reliable way to make sure that you aren’t over-watering or even under-watering your plant.
And while most people will over-water an aloe vera plant before under-watering it, it is still possible for you to not give it enough water.
If you look at your aloe vera plant one day and notice the leaves aren’t tall but are starting to wilt or sag, this is a sign that it needs water.
Still, you’ll want to be careful not to go overboard with the watering; in other words, just give the plant the right amount and water from the bottom like you usually do so that it gets just what it needs and no more.
Pay Attention: And if the plant has been overwatered, it will have symptoms such as edema (swelling), discolored leaves, leaves that are too soft, mold in the soil, and leaves that sag.
Watering your aloe vera plant from the bottom up and waiting until it needs to be watered will keep your plant around for a very long time.
Aloe vera plants are really easy to take care of and don’t require much maintenance, but you still have to make sure that you take care of it properly for it to survive.