Best Soil For Aloe Vera Plants In Pots

Last Updated on February 26, 2022 by Grow with Bovees

If you are growing Aloe Vera indoors, the best soil for Aloe Vera in pots, is a free draining, sandy type soil, which contains inorganic material, such as fine gravel, or coarse sand particles.

Aloe Vera is a native of the Arabian Peninsula, and naturally grows in an arid desert environment, where the soil is made up of mostly sandy soil and gravel, and does not hold much water.

The pot should also have adequate drainage holes, as Aloes are susceptible to root rot if their roots are sitting in a waterlogged potting mix.

The Aloe Vera plant makes for a great indoor houseplant, but like any indoor plant, keeping an Aloe healthy requires the right kind of care in order to stand tall and grow well.

Using the correct soil is part of proper plant care when growing aloe vera plants.

These days, however, the aloe plant is grown in tropical or warm areas all over the world. It is one of the few plants that not only survives but also thrives when placed in line with direct sunlight.

The bottom line is with the correct type of soil and adequate sunlight, the Aloe Vera plant can bring joy to any plant lover for years to come.

Aloe Soil Requirements and Components

One cannot simply just plant aloe in regular potting soil, it needs special soil. There are a few properties that the potting mix needs to have that are crucial for the survival of your aloe vera plants, and regular potting soil does not have these properties.

The aloe enjoys drought like and nutrient deprived conditions, so naturally it requires a potting mix that consists of well-draining soil and does not contain great amounts of nutrient rich matter.

Water-logged soil will easily cause root rot. Some examples are coarse sand or gravel. These components do not soak up and hold onto water.

There are a few other ingredients that are of great benefit to the aloe and that help to replicate the type of soil that you would find in the aloe’s natural environment. Continue on for a brief overview of the different components of potting mix.

Perlite

This is a natural occurring compound that is of volcanic origin and looks a bit like little styrofoam pieces. If this ingredient is added to a potting mix, it will prevent it from becoming compressed by taking in water and then releasing it back into the soil slowly. Some types of clay pellet, known as LECA, work in the same way.

See also  How To Treat Root Rot and Maintain A Healthy Root System

Perlite also enhances drainage and aerates the soil, providing the aloe’s roots with enough air.

Coconut Coir

Much like perlite, this ingredient will also keep soil compression at bay. Add a bit of coco peat if you find that the potting soil is too sandy. This is not a must. The aloe can do without adding coco peat.

Lava Rocks

As the name already gives away, this rock is also of volcanic origin and, when added to a potting mix, drains well and creates more stability.

Pumice

Another volcanic rock which is great to add to potting mixes. It is lightweight and porous, adding structural integrity to the mix as well as creating well-draining conditions.

Bark

Adding chunks of bark to the potting soil mix is great when wanting to grow Aloe Vera. It is commonly used as a planting base in the cultivation of potted plants.

Fertilizer

If you add some fertilizer to the potting soil blend, you will not have to feed your plant for up to 3 months. Fertilizers are great to use as they encourage and boost the growth of your Aloe Vera.

Peat Moss

Sphagnum peat moss, if used correctly, can be beneficial to the aloe plant. Be careful of using too much of the moss though, as its greatest property is to retain water, which is the complete opposite of what you would like an aloe’s potting soil mix to be.

Ultimately, we advise against adding peat moss to your Aloe Vera’s potting mix at home. The risk of waterlogged soil is too high, and you may cause your aloe to suffer from a variety of root diseases, including root rot. Leave the peat content in the soil to the professionals.

DIY or Store Bought Aloe Vera Potting Mix

Mixing your own potting soil or simply buying the correct potting soil from a store or online platform, is completely up to you. As long as you understand the components and composition of indoor soil mixes for aloe plants, you can’t go wrong.

Just make sure that the soil is sandy, well aerated, well draining and has a neutral pH level and your aloe will thrive for years to come.

Make Your Own Aloe Vera Mix

Using general multipurpose potting soil is not a good idea when wanting to plant Aloe Vera in a pot. It retains too much water and is therefore too dense.

If, however, you already have a bag of the general potting soil stored at home, and you do not want it to go to waste, there is a way to amend it so that it is usable when potting your aloe.

To make this soil mix more suitable for aloe plants, simply add some inorganic material such as, preferably, perlite, gritty sand or gravel.

A good amount of the particles should be around 1/4″ (6 mm) or so, a similar size that you would find on a pea gravel patio. You want to try and replicate the conditions of its native habitat. This will help it become more aerated and better draining.

See also  Philodendron Gloriosum Care

A suitable ratio when amending all-purpose houseplant soil to becoming potting soil suitable for aloe plants is an equal mixture of one part sand or gravel and one part of the all-purpose mix.

If the ratio of the additives is higher to that of the all-purpose potting mix, it does not matter. It is, in fact, better. More additives are better than more potting mix.

Adding horticultural sand or gravel does not only aid in the soil’s drainage but adds weight to the soil. This weight is great for anchoring the plants roots, keeping especially the bigger aloe vera sturdy and upright.

Seeing as an aloe can reach a height of two feet tall, without good anchoring, its heavy gel-filled leaves may cause it to fall over.

Ready Made Potting Mixes For Aloe Vera Plants

If you decide against making your own potting mix, you can easily buy some online or at a store. There are a few different ones available. Continue on as we help you find the potting soil that is most suitable for you.

Miracle-Gro Potting Mix

This type of potting soil is filled with fertilizer which will provide your aloe or indoor cactus plant with premium nutrition. It is an excellent soil type to use for succulent plants.

This type of potting mix is specifically designed for your aloe and mimics its dry and sandy condition perfectly. This blend is well aerated and has a perfectly neutral pH balance which is great for the Aloe Vera to grow in.

The components that you will find in the Miracle-Gro Soil are perlite, sand, peat moss and other organic material or forest products. The perfect ratio of these ingredients is able to control the moisture, help with air capacity and prevent soil compaction, making it a fast-draining potting soil mixture.

Another great thing about this mix is that it comes at quite an attractive price.

Aloe Vera Soil 4 Quarts

This hand-made soil blend is specifically made for aloe vera plants. It has a perfect ratio of premium ingredients such as lime, perlite, peat moss and sand.

This nutrient rich soil mixture is designed to promote the development and growth of the aloe’s roots.

This premium potting soil has great drainage properties, thanks to the sand and perlite that work together to enhance the quick drainage of excess water. The lime that is present in this blend keeps the perfect pH balance and adds nutrients to it.

Succulent Soil

Another great, high-quality suitable soil mix to use for growing your aloe vera plant is Succulent Soil by Perfect Plants. It has amazing drainage properties, offering an excellent balance of air and moisture.

This arid-type soil also offers your aloe a great balance of pH and nutrients, giving your aloe vera the best growing condition.

See also  How To Keep Cats Out of Plants

The properties of this premium soil mixture are thanks to the perfect balance of several components, which include composted pine bark, organic peat moss, lime and a few other essential ingredients.

We should warn you, that this is quite expensive soil.

Other Popular Store Bought Soil Mixes For the Aloe Vera Plant

A few other already blended potting mixes for aloe plants include:

  • All-Purpose Premium Succulent Soil
  • Aloe Vera Soil Blend All Natural
  • Hoffman 10404 Organic Soil Mix
  • Premium Succulent & Cactus Soil by Superfly Bonsai
  • Aloe Vera Soil Mix by Rio Hamza Trading
  • XGarden 8 Quarts xGarden
  • Bonsai Jack Succulent and Cactus Soil – Jacks Gritty Mix
  • rePotme Cactus and Succulent Potting Soil Mix – Imperial Blend

Orchid Soil

Avoid using orchid soil to plant these succulent plants. This type of soil is not great when it comes to drainage of excess moisture and, unlike soil types for succulents, will retain too much water.

Planting an Aloe Plant In a Pot

Now that you have your choice of aloe potting soil, let us briefly go through how to prepare that soil when planting aloe vera in a container or planter.

Choose a container that has one or multiple drainage holes and that will fit your aloe vera root ball — a terracotta or clay pot with drain holes is great to use, as they are great at absorbing excess water.

Add some gravel to the bottom of your pot. About an inch will help with drainage.

Then add a couple of inches of fresh soil mix that you selected to use onto the gravel. Place the aloe’s root ball on the soil and carefully add more of the potting mix over and around the entire root system, making sure to just cover the root ball with soil mix.

Place the pot in a sunny window, water it occasionally, but be mindful of overwatering. The soil should dry out between bouts of watering.

Final Words On Soil For Your Aloe Vera Houseplant

This brings me to the end of this article about the perfect potting soil for Aloe Vera plants. They are the perfect plants to grow indoors.

To sum it up, you should not make use of ordinary potting soil for your aloe vera as it is too dense and easily retains water.

Rather, purchase a mix that is either specifically made for aloes or which is appropriate for the cultivation of succulent plants, for example, cacti soil.

Another option is to amend regular or cactus potting soil by adding some gravel, gritty soils, sand or perlite making it resemble the native soil of the aloe vera. Dry and sandy are, as mentioned above, the preferred soil conditions for aloe vera.

Keep the soil pH neutral, as aloe vera is not fond of too acidic soil.

Using the best soil for aloe vera, and good amounts of direct sunlight, you will keep your Aloe Vera plant healthy, happy and thriving.

References:

https://blogs.biomedcentral.com/bmcseriesblog/2015/02/26/history-aloe-vera-arabian-desert-cream-use-hands/#:~:text=Based%20on%20strongly%20supported%20evolutionary,are%20extremely%20hot%20and%20dry.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2763764/