Living in a small apartment can be tough, especially for plant lovers. The challenges of growing plants without ample space or enough sunlight are a few problems they face.
As a result, more Singaporeans now choose easy-to-manage indoor plants for both aesthetics and functionality, hence aloe vera is one of the most popular.
Aloe vera is a plant with a lot of benefits. It’s commonly used as an antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and even for treating burns. It also has a myriad of uses in the cosmetic industry.
Because of all these benefits, it’s no surprise that you can find aloe vera in many products like skin care, supplements and food.
Fortunately, there are several ways that you can grow and enjoy the benefits of aloe vera indoors without having to sacrifice all your space.
This article will take you through everything you need to know about growing aloe vera in an apartment.
What Type of Soil Do You Need to Grow Aloe Vera?
Growing an aloe vera houseplant is simple and doesn’t require much. All you need to do is get some large particle-size soil because it is light and free-flowing.
You can achieve a perfect soil mix using perlite, bark chunks, and lava rocks mixed with solid organic fertiliser to hold it all together.
To mimic aloe vera’s most-desirable desert environment, allow for extra drainage by placing a layer of pebbles underneath the soil’s surface.
The final step is adjusting the pH according to how acidic or alkaline your soil is. Aloe vera tolerates slightly acidic soils (6.0 – 7.5 range)
Requirements For House Aloe Vera
These are a few things you can do to make sure your aloe vera plant thrives in your home:
- Prepare the Area
Before bringing your new aloe plant home, make sure you have a pot ready for it. You want to choose a wide, deep container with a hole for drainage at the bottom. Balconies and other well-lit spaces would be the best locations for the pot.
Don’t use regular potting soil because succulents need their soil to dry out completely between waterings.
- Don’t Water Too Much
Aloe vera, like many succulents, needs plenty of water, but, unlike many succulents, it also needs plenty of drainage. It may feel a bit counterintuitive.
The best way to water aloe vera is with a watering can. The soil should be kept moist depending on the season but not soggy and should drain well.
A good rule of thumb is to water aloe vera when the top 1 inch of soil is dry. This can mean watering as little as once a week in some climates during warmer months and every day in cooler months.
Your aloe typically doesn’t grow as fast from October through February and prefers extended dryness. So, if you go away on holiday during this time, you can be sure your plants will be fine.
- Ideal Temperature
Aloe vera is a tropical plant and can’t tolerate freezing temperatures or sudden temperature changes. Hence, please move them away from places that are blown on by the air conditioner.
While temperatures between 13 and 27 degrees Celsius allow aloe vera to grow fastest, the plant can be damaged by temperatures above 32 degrees, so be careful about leaving them in the direct midday sun in Singapore.
- Fertilise Minimally
Aloe vera doesn’t need a lot of fertiliser to grow, but it will grow faster and taller if you feed it every month or two.
If you want to feed your aloe vera, use a balanced liquid fertiliser diluted to around one-quarter the normal strength.
There are other foods that you can also give your home aloe vera plant to enhance its growth.
Crush eggshells and mix them in the soil of your aloe plant. You can also mix cut-up banana peels in the dirt as it’s an excellent compost.
In addition, you can dissolve some Epsom salt in water and feed it to your aloe vera plant because it’s packed full of nutrients your plant will love!
- Watch Out for Pests and Diseases
All aloe vera plants are susceptible to these pests and diseases: –
- Mealybugs: These pests feed on the sap inside the plant’s leaves. You can identify them by their white, cottony bodies and tendency to congregate on the undersides of leaves.
To get rid of mealybugs, wipe them off the plant and then spray the plant with insecticidal soap.
- Scale: This crawly pest sticks to the plant’s leaves and stems. You can remove the scale by cleaning them away from the plant with a paper towel or a cloth.
- Aphids: These tiny insects feed on the sap inside the leaves. In order to get rid of the pests, simply use a cloth or paper towel to wipe them off the plant.
- Spider mites: These pests are incredibly destructive to houseplants. They reproduce rapidly and can quickly become a problem.
Wipe them off the plant and spray them with insecticidal soap to get rid of them.
- Aloe rust: This fungal infection causes patches of brown and yellow or orange growth on the leaves of your aloe vera plants.
Some cooking, coconut, or neem oil mixed with washing up liquid and water in a spray bottle should eliminate the pests and clean the plant free of them. Spray the whole surface of the plant once or twice per week to treat it.
To summarize, aloe vera is one of the most popular houseplants for its disease resistance and low maintenance requirements.
If you’re looking to grow aloe vera in your apartment, these tips will help you grow aloe that will thrive and flourish.