Watering an Aloe plant

Plant Parent

How do I help my aloe be happier? It keeps putting out new growth – pretty quickly, too! – but the older leaves have been wilting faster than I expect them to.

It’s in the window seat of a south facing window, sitting a little lower than the actual window, and I’ve got it in a mixture of cactus/succulent potting soil mixed with some inorganic potting mix for added drainage. I’ve been wondering if the pot is too big to begin with, but maybe I don’t have enough nutrients in the soil, or I need to give it more light, or maybe it’s just still getting acclimated? I’ve had it for about six months, and it was pretty sad when I brought it home – the new leaves are much, much fuller than the old ones were.

Darryl

What’s your thought process on watering? What cue are you using to water? How exactly do you water?

Plant Parent

I water when the top inch or so of soil feels dry. I don’t think I water very “deeply” – a few months ago, I was worried I’d been overwatering, and maybe course corrected too much?

Darryl

Your light situation looks okay – right beside your window is the best you can do. “Watering whenever the top inch of soil is dry” is too often for Aloe (and other succulents). The strategy to use for aloe is “water whenever the soil is COMPLETELY dry”. I even wait until the leaves are slightly less plump/firm. When I water, I evenly soak the soil, letting the excess drain away.

That leaf will gradually become more yellow and you’ll be able to pull it off easily. Nothing to worry about – adjust your watering strategy and the plant will grow as well as it can.

Tired of your houseplants dying on you?

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