Aloe Vera is one of the most popular succulent plants, and that is due to its low-maintenance and tolerant ability. In addition, it has a gorgeous, symmetrical shape, making it an excellent idea to add to your garden or even indoor décor. However, the highest challenge with aloe vera care is the watering rate and routine.
Ensure you don’t overwater aloe vera, as it stores enough water in its leaves ahead of the drought season. But, do you water aloe vera from the top or bottom?
The answer is quite simple! It would be best to water your aloe vera from the bottom to allow water to reach its roots. In other words, you are to pour the water in slowly until it emerges from the drainage holes under the pot.
More details on that later!
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What Is Aloe Vera Plant?
Aloe vera is a trendy succulent plant and an evergreen perennial specie from the Aloe genus. It is native to the Arabian Peninsula, but you can now find it in the wild tropical places worldwide. Aloe vera functions as both an agricultural and herbal plant.
You can also use it as an ornamental specie and sometimes plant it indoors as a potted plant. When processed, aloe vera can be used by consumers as drinks, skin lotions, cosmetics, and burn and sunburn ointments.
Aloe has over 500 species, but the most notable and widely used is the aloe vera. This particular specie has been generally utilized as a traditional medication to cure different illnesses and diseases. For instance, it helps treat dermatological problems like minor burns and cuts and maybe sores caused by cold sores (herpes simplex).
Do You Water Aloe Vera From Top or Bottom?
Generally, if you want your aloe vera to thrive, the best way to water it is from the bottom. However, don’t forget aloe vera originated from the arid desert climates, where it is accustomed to the dry nature of its environment; hence does not require excessive watering or frequent watering.
Furthermore, deep watering is not advisable to avoid root rot since it has shallow root systems.
Also, it would help if you didn’t overwater the aloe vera, as it often uses the water you sprinkled on it for an extended period, mainly during the drought season. All these reasons point to why you have to water your aloe species the proper way.
You must water your aloe vera plant from the bottom to enable water extends to the roots, and you can perfectly achieve this by pouring slowly yet consistently.
If you discover that the water hasn’t come out through its drainage holes, continue watering until it starts to emerge. Meanwhile, it would be best to use a pot with well-drainage holes.
Why Shouldn’t You Water the Aloe Vera from the Top?
Already, we have advised you to water the aloe plants from the bottom to enable the water to get to the roots and make them grow healthy.
Aloe vera, just like several other plants, requires its root to be well-watered, which is not always guaranteed if you water from the top. Again, if you water from the top, it’ll cause its leaves to get wet rather than its roots.
Some plants can transport water from their leaves to other parts of the plant, but not with aloe vera or plants of its kind. Therefore, you may be tempted to think that the plant is receiving sufficient water since the leaves are still nice and wet.
But this condition doesn’t mean the water has reached the root; hence, it shouldn’t be taken for granted.
Again, considering that the aloe vera species tend to grow up to several feet high, you can now understand why you must not think that having wet leaves is enough to give the plants the water they require to thrive without ensuring that it has successfully gotten to the root.
So, starting from the bottom ensures that the water successfully reaches the roots every time you water. Significantly, if you want to start watering from the top, you stand a greater chance of getting the leaves wet without reaching the root area, which is a crucial component of the aloe plants.
How Often Do You Need to Water the Aloe Vera?
It is a critical question because the watering of aloe vera, as with several plants, is one of the trickiest parts of aloe vera care; therefore must be treated with utmost care to avoid hampering its growth. It would be best not to water aloe vera quite often.
It is better to leave it underwatered than to water frequently. Since aloe vera is succulents prone to rot when overwatered, avoiding frequent watering is safer. You can prevent regular watering by using your finger to check if the top half of the soil is completely dried every 2 to 3 weeks between watering.
Aloe vera species don’t require much watering in the winter season as they do in the summer season. So if your aloe plant is outdoors during the summer, it might need weekly watering. But, inversely, growing it indoors might require watering just once a month or even less.
How Much Watering Do Aloe Vera Plants Need?
The watering rate of the aloe vera largely depends on the climate, soil, and the size of its pot. Generally, aloe species require less water than several other indoor plants.
Therefore, if it is being cultivated in a small pot, it will fail to preserve moisture as much as it would when grown in a bigger pot, and vice versa.
How to Water Aloe Vera from the Bottom
We have already explained why you must water your aloe vera from the bottom to ensure it stands a better chance of growing healthy year in and year out.
However, how well you do it and the proper method will determine its best growth. Below are the steps on how to water your aloe vera from the bottom:
- Before you start planting your vera, you must ensure you get a pot with well-drainage holes and check the underside of the container to make sure the holes are not clogged.
- The next step is to keep the pot on a drainage tray to enable it to get excess water and make its bottom watering easier.
- After that, you pour the water into the tray and allow the water to be absorbed, which is done naturally via osmosis.
- Keep adding extra water to the tray whenever it dries up.
- You can stop watering after 15 to 18 minutes, and the water is still in the tray. In this condition, you can ensure that the soil is completely saturated.
- Use any water remnant in the tray to water other plants.
- Stop watering again until you find out that the topsoil has gone dry. The easiest way to ascertain this is by dipping your finger into the soil to check if your aloe needs watering.
How Do I Know If My Aloe Vera Needs Water?
The easiest and best way to determine if your aloe vera needs watering is by checking the soil. And the best way to check the earth is by sticking your finger into the ground and feeling around. If the soil feels dry and lacks moisture, you can now water your plant and vice versa.
What Does an Overwatered Aloe Plant Look Like?
Once you have overwatered aloe vera, it would cause the plant to look soft, floppy, and possess black, mushy roots. Again, it will cause the aloe leaves to look pale and might turn yellow or brown.
It can also cause its root to blacken, and the top of the soil might be wet rather than dying out fast. In severe cases, it might result in the death or rot of the whole plant.
See Also: How to Save a Dying Aloe Vera Plant
What Does an Underwatered Aloe Plant Look Like?
If you under-water aloe vera, it will cause the plant to change color, making it either become pale green or yellow. It could also cause the leaves to start curling to themselves and make them feel almost stiff and rigid to the touch.
Don’t forget that every aloe species turn yellow when they lack water. Some might even change to brown or orange color.