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Are you wondering about the best soil for Aloe Vera plants? This popular houseplant can be very particular, so in order to make this succulent plant happy in your home, you need the right type of soil. Keep reading so you can learn all the important details.
BEST SOIL FOR ALOE VERA PLANTS
Regular potting soil won’t cut it in many cases for Aloe barbadensis (commonly called Aloe Vera). They require excellent drainage and potting mixes that dry out in a reasonable amount of time.
Many commercial mixes on their own (without amending them) will not suffice. Of course this depends on your growing conditions, but it can be too risky.
In this post, I will recommend 3 amazing potting mixes that any plants in the Aloe genus will love. I will also talk about important considerations when it comes to Aloe vera plant care.
1. DESERT SUCCULENT SOIL BLEND
The Desert Succulent Soil Blend from Oh Happy Plants is amazing and can be used straight out of the bag.
All the guess work has been taken out, and it has been formulated to have excellent soil drainage, while holding enough moisture for the plant at the same time.
It you don’t want to worry about making your own blends, this is the best potting soil that you can use.
This mix can be used for any Aloe, but also for Echeveria, Pachyveria, Haworthia, desert cacti, desert Euphorbias, or ANY plant whose natural habitat is the desert. Here is why you will love using the Desert Succulent Soil Blend:
- It contains ingredients that mimic the organic matter found naturally in the desert.
- Oh Happy Plants mixes are sustainable. Peat moss is not used. Instead, they use coco coir and coco chips.
- If you don’t like perlite, none of their mixes use it. It tends to float to the top when you water, and potentially contains fluoride which many plants don’t like.
- Charcoal and humates are added in order to keep your plant’s roots healthy.
- All of their mixes use a Mycorrhizal inoculant which is really beneficial for your plant’s health.
- Various seed meals and rock dust are used in order to slowly release essential nutrients to your Aloe plants.
- Even the packaging (the bag and the label) are compostable!
As a bonus, if you use my links, you will receive 10% off automatically at checkout! I’ve achieved wonderful results with their mixes, and I’m confident that you will love them too!
2. DIY MIX #1 FOR HIGH LIGHT
If you want to make your own soil, here is a very simple mix that you can make if you have your Aloe plant growing in at least half a day sun, to full sun indoors.
Simply mix 2 parts Miracle-Gro Succulent Potting Mix (link to Amazon) and 1 part 1/4″ pumice. There is a mix for lower light that I describe in the next section that has more pumice, and I will explain why in a bit.
Pumice is a mined, volcanic rock. It is created when super-heated, pressurized rock is ejected from a volcano. When the magma cools and depressurizes, it creates the porous structure found in pumice.
I would not recommend using any succulent or cactus soil mix on their own (like those from Miracle-Gro or Espoma, etc.) unless you amend them with materials like pumice.
Using these mixes on their own is not ideal because they simply take too long to dry out in many cases.
You can also use perlite, but I really prefer pumice vs. perlite for many reasons. One reason is that perlite tends to float to the top when you water, and pumice does not.
3. DIY MIX #2 FOR LOWER LIGHT
If you have your Aloe plant growing in lower light conditions (either complete indirect light with NO direct sun at all, or maybe just 1-2 hours of sun), then this mix will be better than the previous one.
Less light means that your potting mix will take longer to dry out.
The rate of photosynthesis decreases with less light, and so your plant will use less water. By increasing the percentage of pumice, the mix will dry out faster.
TIPS FOR REPOTTING ALOE VERA
Just because you have the right potting soil doesn’t mean that your plant will thrive. Here are more tips that are necessary for best results:
When you repot, assuming your plant is actually root-bound, only go up ONE pot size. The size of the pot is a really important consideration.
For example, if your Aloe is growing in a 4-inch diameter pot, only go up to a 6-inch diameter pot. If your new pot is much bigger, the excess volume of soil will take much too long to dry out, and your Aloe won’t like this.
ALWAYS have drainage holes at the bottom of the pot. Good drainage is essential so it is important to let the excess water drain away. Otherwise, poor drainage can easily lead to root rot.
Terra cotta pots are very porous and are great for Aloe plants because they will dry out your soil more quickly. If your plant is growing in a window with no direct sun, you may want to consider terra cotta for this reason.
Heavy pots like ceramic pots or terra cotta pots are great choices because they are heavier and will keep your top-heavy Aloe plant more stable.
LIGHT AND TEMPERATURE
Growing your plant in a brighter spot with warmer temperatures will cause your potting mix to dry out more quickly. Never stick with a watering schedule for your plants.
Water when your plant needs to be watered. Allow at least the top inch or two of your Aloe’s soil to dry out before watering. You can even let all of the soil dry out completely, but then give it a good watering.
Don’t use a moisture meter. They are notoriously unreliable and many give false readings. The best way to judge soil moisture is by using your finger. You can also pick up your pot to judge the weight of the pot. If your potting mix has dried out completely, it should feel much lighter.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post on best soil for Aloe vera plants. So remember, choosing the best soil mix will only take you so far, but it is essential for a healthy plant.
You must also have sufficient light and overall good growing conditions to round out your Aloe plant care.