Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links.
How often do you water aloe has been a common question that I receive. Actually, how often do you water ANY plant has been a question that many people ask me just about every day.
Ok, now let’s set the record straight! If you read any advice out there where someone specifically tells you how often to water your aloe or any houseplant, this is NOT correct!
If you’ve landed on this page, I would urge you to keep reading through to the end of the post. Because this is not the simple answer that you were looking for.
But it is the CORRECT answer! Part of my mission is to educate people on proper houseplant care and shatter any myths out there. And there is a lot of misinformation on there!
I will give you the real way to determine when to water your aloe. So steer away from anyone that tells you that [enter specific houseplant here] needs to be watered [enter frequency here].
Rant over. Ok, now let’s talk about why I’m not just going to tell you to water your aloe plant once a week, or once every two weeks.
That being said, in some cases, once a week might work. But you can’t generalize like this. How often you water a plant depends on how quickly the soil dries out.
You should determine WHEN to water by how dry the soil is. Not by your calendar! Let’s go through a couple scenarios and you’ll know what I mean.
If you have an aloe plant that is at least a little pot bound in a small 4 inch terra cotta pot, have average to warm indoor conditions and your plant is sitting in good light, then once a week may work for you!
However, if you have a larger pot of aloe, under cooler conditions, and less light, then you will probably rot out your aloe if you water once a week.
See, I told you it’s complicated (it really isn’t), but I want you to understand proper houseplant care and watering practices.
The short answer is that you should honestly just use your physical senses to tell you when to water.
- Use your finger to feel the soil. Does it feel dry to the touch?
- Pick up the pot. Does it feel much lighter than after you’ve just watered it?
Basically, you want to water your aloe when the soil has completely dried out. You can even wait a little longer than that, but not too long.
So depending on different factors, it might be once a week for my plant. It might once every two weeks for someone else, etc. To determine when to water your aloe, go by how dry the soil is. Don’t let your calendar tell you!
This is the correct answer!
Keep reading though because there is more information to understand. Read it all through, let it soak in, and you will be on your way to becoming a better plant parent.
Factors that cause Aloe to use up more water
So what factors will contribute to your aloe’s soil drying out quickly enough so that you know when to water it?
It is important to understand these factors so that you can change your conditions to make your aloe thrive.
The following factors will help speed up your aloe’s soil to dry more quickly:
- Terra cotta pots will dry out more quickly than plastic, glazed ceramic, or any other material that is not porous.
- Smaller pots tend to dry out much more quickly.
- Warmer temperatures and drier air.
- Brighter conditions. Plants in more direct sun will use up water more quickly and encourage the soil to dry quicker.
- Pot bound or root bound plants will dry out more quickly.
- More airy soils will dry out much more quickly than compacted soils that don’t contain materials to encourage drainage.
To summarize, you want to water when your aloe’s soil is completely dry. Don’t go by your calendar.
Be sure to read more details in a blog post that I wrote on Aloe care which goes into details on proper light, potting mix, pot size, etc. It is well worth understanding so you can best provide for your plant!
The post also contains troubleshooting so that you’ll know if you underwatered, or overwatered, your aloe.
I also wrote an aloe propagation post so you can make more of a good thing 🙂
Do you have any aloe plant? Did you know that there are many different species of aloe and not just the common “aloe vera”?