Aloe vera is an ideal plant for the home, thanks to its countless benefits. However, many people wonder how to water the plant, whether from the top or bottom. Should you find yourself in this dilemma, you are not the first houseplant owner to have this question. Since it is a succulent plant, it does not require a lot of water to survive.
It makes it an ideal plant at home due to its tolerance and low-maintenance ability. Whether you are in need of house plants or have them in the garden, this plant is a perfect addition to your home. Remember not to overwater or underwater the plant as it could kill it. So, how do you water aloe vera?
Should You Water Aloe Vera Plants from Top or Bottom?
Although the aloe vera plant does not require a lot of water, you have to do it in the right manner. You water aloe vera from the bottom by pointing your watering can’s nozzle directly at the earth. Pouring the water slowly until it emerges from the draining holes. It helps in determining if the plant got enough water. Watering from the bottom allows the water to reach the roots slowly but consistently to get the roots damp. It also helps you to water the aloe vera plant without too much disturbance to the soil.
Why Not Water From The Top?
The aloe vera leaves can’t absorb water directly; therefore, pouring water on them wastes your time and water. Watering aloe plants from the top means pouring the water from a greater height causing soil disturbances and making the leaves soaking wet instead of the roots. Some people think that the plant has received enough water just because the leaves are water. However, that is not the case, unlike other plants that transport water to the roots through the leaves; aloe vera plants don’t. Watering from the bottom ensures water reaches the roots continuously without overwatering these succulents.
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Ways of Watering Aloe Vera
The type of water you will use is as important as the watering technique if you want a healthy aloe vera plant. You can either use distilled or rainwater. Avoid tap water as it contains fluoride and chlorine, which will affect how the plant grows in the long run.
If you have been using tap water for a while, don’t be too hard on yourself. It is not late to turn it all around or continue using it if there are limited amounts of chlorine or fluoride in it. These are steps to help you master the watering pouring techniques when watering this plant that grows in arid desert climates:
- Have a pot with pores at the bottom and ensure these drainage holes are not clogged before planting the aloe vera plant.
- Place the pot on a tray to remove excess water, thus making bottom watering efficient.
- Leave it for a while to allow water absorption, and keep adding some more water when the plant dries.
The Amount of Water
The aloe vera plant needs just enough water to flourish in your home. Unlike other plants that might need frequent watering, with this plant, the soil, climate, and the size of the pot are determining factors of the amount of water necessary. If you are cultivating the plant in a small pot, it will not preserve moisture as a big pot would. Therefore, you might have to water the plant more often to ensure it gets enough water.
How to Know If the Aloe Vera Plant Is Overwatered
It is easy to know when you have overwatered the plant if the leaves develop water-soaked spots, making them look soft and soggy. The whole leaf becomes saturated with water, then develops a mushy consistency. If you do not fix the problem immediately, the leaves will eventually fall. Some other signs of an overwatered aloe vera plant include:
Mold in the Soil
Should you see mold or mildew in the moist soil, it is a sign of excess water in your plant. It indicates that the drainage is not working properly, and the root system is sitting on water throughout, which is unhealthy. It results in the roots rotting, which kills the plant. You should constantly inspect the soil for little white specs, which could indicate that you are overwatering the plant.
Sagging and Soft Leaves
Once aloe vera leaves start to sag, it might indicate excessive watering or too much sunlight. Mushy and soft leaves indicate overwatering that leads to the swelling of the leaves, making them waterlogged. This leaves the leaves and the whole plant susceptible to damage.
It is the discoloration of a plant as a result of the roots taking in excessive water than the leaves can transpire. It causes lesions on the leaves, and your aloe vera plant might retain water even on its thick leaves’ undersides. No matter how much time you give for the plant to dry up, it is already oversaturated with water making it hard to clear up properly.
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Rotten Roots and Discolored Leaves
If your aloe vera’s roots turn yellow, black, or brown, it indicates root rotting due to excess water. Having too much moisture in the soil is not healthy for the plant and if you combine that with poor drainage, having the roots sit there for a while leads to roots rotting. That leads to root disintegration, which kills the plant. It is the same with the leaves; if they start to turn yellow or brown that is a serious case of overwatering, which should prompt you to take action.
An Underwatered Aloe Vera Plant
Underwatering your plant might have serious consequences as overwatering it. If you do not give aloe vera enough water, it will lead to a color change to orange, green, or yellow. Underwatering could also lead to leaves curling, making them stiff and rigid. Leaves wilting and drooping is another sign of an underwater plant; therefore, ensure your aloe vera is properly watered.
How Often Should You Water The Aloe Vera Plant?
The waxy, thick coating on the aloe vera plant is one feature that allows the plant to retain water and moisture longer than other plants. There is no accurate answer regarding how long the aloe vera plant holds onto the water. However, the rule is to water it once in about three to four weeks. Other factors can affect how often you water the plant, including the season.
You will need to water your succulent plant more often during the summer season than during winter. Conducting a finger test lets you know if the plants still have enough water or if it is the right time to water them once more. Put your fingers into the pot to determine the moisture level. If you can feel it more than two or three inches deep, do not attempt to water the plant. Wait a few days before redoing the test, and only water it if the moisture reduces and it is up to one inch deep.
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How to Identify a Healthy Aloe Vera Plant
There are a couple of things to let you know when your aloe vera plant is healthy. The leaves should be thick and green since if they are yellow or pale, it indicates less sunlight. Here are other signs of a healthy plant:
When the plant has consistent green color throughout, it should be in a uniform shade of green, light green, neon, maroon, or neon pink, based on the type of aloe vera you are cultivating. These are other signs to look out for to determine if your aloe vera plant is healthy or not:
- It has its leaves pointing upwards: Unless you have a spiral aloe vera, your aloe vera leaves should be straight. Sometimes they might sag, especially as the plant grows, but they should not look like they are about to fall.
- White roots: It is vital to remove your aloe vera plant at least once a year while changing pots and conducting a physical examination. The roots should be all white with no unpleasant smell. It indicates fresh and healthy roots that you have properly watered, preventing rot. If the roots are extending in different ways, trimming is essential and helps you to cultivate a healthy plant.
- Leaves with firm texture: Your aloe vera leaves should be firm when you touch them and should not have soft spots. If the leaves feel firm and thick during one of your assessments, skip watering for a while before reassessing them to avoid overwatering.
Benefits of Aloe Vera Plant
You might wonder why many people struggle to keep this plant suitable for a completely dry climate in the house. It is a popular medicinal plant that people have had for centuries. It is suitable for treating skin injuries, minor burns, and wounds but has other health benefits, as listed below.
- It has antibacterial and antioxidant properties.
- Aloe vera plant accelerates the healing of wounds.
- It treats canker sores.
- It is a powerful skin ointment used in skin lotions to prevent wrinkles and improve the skin.
- It lowers blood sugar.
After reading this article, you now understand why it is crucial to water the aloe plant from the bottom. It allows the plants to absorb the water properly. Ensure you use distilled water or tap water if it does not have a lot of chlorine. Only water your plant once every three to four times a week after the soil dries out while watching out for overwatering or underwatering. You should also wait a while before watering it since it is a succulent plant that does not need constant watering. Since these plants do not require much maintenance, having them in the house or your compound is pretty easy without needing extra help.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best way to water an aloe vera plant?
The best way to water an aloe vera plant is from the bottom. You should want this plant deeply but infrequently to avoid root rot, which kills the plant. It is also vital to allow the water to dry up to one inch deep between your watering sessions.
Never allow your plant to sit in water for too long. Also, water it once every three weeks but this duration changes during winter. Using your fingers to test the dryness ensures that you do not overwater or underwater your plants.
How do you water aloe vera from the bottom?
Bottom watering is an ideal way of ensuring you do not wash away the salts from the plants, which are vital for their growth. Fill in your plant’s tray with water and ensure the soil is in contact with the water on the tray.
Wait about eight to ten minutes to determine if the soil has absorbed enough water. If there is enough moisture in the soil, remove the excess water from the tray. However if not, continue adding more water while monitoring the amount to avoid overwatering.
Can you water an aloe from the top?
No, you cannot water an aloe from the top. The plant thrives when watered from the bottom so that the plant gets enough water. The aloe plant stores most of its water in the leaves, so the roots should get the water first.
It offers the plant a chance to distribute moisture to all parts of the plant, ensuring that there will be no damage to the leaves. It keeps the plant healthy throughout the year. Allowing you to reap all the benefits should you need the plant for your skin or other associated medicinal purposes.
How do I know if my aloe plant needs water?
There are many signs to watch out for and determine if the plant needs more water. Although aloe vera can go longer without water, unlike other plants, you can still tell if the plant is dehydrated. An underwatered aloe plant has drooping leaves.
The leaves also turn yellow and start drying out at the tips. The leaves might also have wrinkles, indicating that little water has begun to stress the plant. If you notice any of these signs, inspect the plant noting down all the changes then:
- Water the plant
- Remove the damaged parts
- Put the aloe plant in indirect sunlight, then support the weak leaves using a makeshift fence to hold them upright and strengthen them.