Are you planting aloe vera for the first time? Did you know that the pot and medium you choose for your aloe vera plant can make a lot of difference?
For example, when containers are inadequate or your plant outgrows them, it’s time to go shopping – here, we take a look at what you need to know about finding the best pot for your aloe vera plant.
What’s the best size pot for an aloe vera plant?
Your pot should be around two inches wider than the size of the aloe vera plant. Generally, you can expect an aloe vera plant to grow up to two feet wide and tall. Ideally, two to three inches of soil in all pot directions surrounding your plant will be adequate. Do keep in mind that larger pots can retain too much moisture! Therefore, you need to be careful to choose a pot that’s adequate for the size.
What are the best aloe vera plant pot materials?
On the whole, most houseplant enthusiasts will advise it’s worth choosing clay, terracotta or ceramic pots over plastics. Some tough plastic pots might suffice, but thinner material is a no-no.
Can I use a plastic plant pot for aloe vera?
If the container is made from a flimsy plastic, it will not last long. Aloe vera can be a strong plant with sturdy roots – they have been known to change the shape of extremely thin plastic pots, too! At some point you will need to rehome them – regardless of material.
Despite thin plastic not being a great idea, firm plastic containers can be a viable solution for repotting an aloe vera plant – especially as your aloe vera grows! These architectural plants can look very statuesque. This means, below the surface of the growth medium, their roots can be extensive. Put simply, they need space.
If you are going to need to move your aloe vera plant to clean an area, lifting heavy pots can cause you strain. Once watered, they can weigh a lot too! If you are buying an aloe vera plant as a gift for an elderly or infirm person, it may be worth considering transferring to a lightweight container to help them look after it as you look after them!
That said, plastic pots are at risk of fading, even melting – meaning you should look for a pot with a little more robustness and stability. It’s worth noting that plastic containers can be at even more risk when strong light and heat are amplified through glass or plastic windows.
Why clay pots are the best for aloe vera
Choosing a clay or terracotta pot means that your plant is likely to be very stable. Terracotta Pots are heavier and can be more stable in strong winds when placed outside – the same applies indoors when pots are likely to wobble and fall!
Clay pots are also great for protecting aloe vera roots – which, of course, are their life support system. Like most plants, overcooking roots in hot temperatures kills them. Clay pots give better protection to roots by remaining cooler than plastic containers.
As mentioned briefly, clay pots do not fade – whereas plastic containers can change colour. You may start with a red container indoors which becomes pink outdoors! Colour changes on one or more sides depending on the direction of the sun affect their visual appearance – though, of course, this may not bother you. Some gardeners accept this as a reasonable trade off for easier handling!
You should also keep in mind that clay pots are great for aloe vera simply because they are more breathable. That means your soil is unlikely to get too waterlogged, and that it has plenty of chance to dry out.
Other things to consider when looking for the best aloe vera pots
Aloe vera are quite needy in some ways – though this is thanks to their sheer size and drainage demands. These big plants need considerable space as they grow. As natives of Africa, they are used to high temperatures and fair better in warmth with regular watering.
It is crucial they are in well draining pots or containers, however, because they do not withstand flooding.
As you might imagine, replicating the living conditions of their natural home is best if you can – aloe vera plants love to be in well lit spots, but not cooked in direct sunlight.
In their native Africa and in some parts of North America, they grow outdoors all year round. However, small aloe vera plants sit happily on a well lit windowsill in a pot – and as they grow, they may need to stand on a larger surface area.
Therefore, just as you’d be careful watering and feeding other plants, just keep in mind that aloe vera is a sunny plant that doesn’t like taking a bath. Simple!
Choosing containers for aloe vera with pets in mind
It may sound weird, but there is an important reason to consider your furry friends if you’re intent on bringing aloe vera into the home. Aloe vera plants are toxic to dogs, cats, lizards and birds. So, don’t put your aloe vera container where your animals are likely to have clear access to them!
Try to choose pots or containers which can be housed above the height of your dog, for example. Alternatively, choose a pot which is taller than your pup. This is easier, perhaps, for aloe vera plants kept in a conservatory or on a balcony.
However, any cat owner knows how agile and curious their pets are. Some of us know that indoor cats can even seek to use your houseplants as their own indoor toilet! To avoid causing damage to your aloe vera and protecting your cat, cut a lemon or orange and place the pieces by the base of the container and/or by the base of the plant on the medium.
Why choosing the right pot matters for your aloe vera plant
Choosing the best pots for aloe vera is great not only from the perspective of your plant thriving, but also to help dress up your space! Many people love aloe as they are great for displays and fairly easy to grow.
Best of all, those growing in pots don’t need fuss or changing to larger vessels too frequently.
What’s more, if your aloe vera plant is truly happy in its pot, it will flower! Believe it or not, aloe vera plants, once mature, can flower annually. They produce beautiful yellow flowers in summer months. These form a decorative, eye-catching pop of colour like little moments of sunshine! They look super in a gloomy room – but make the most of them. It’s an annual event to see an aloe vera plant bloom – take it from us!
Aloe vera plants are quite easy to look after, and in the right pot indoors, have fantastic visual appeal because of their simple structure. Good as standalone or complementary plants, they can be good neighbours for other plants sharing a container or living close by to others. They can take centre stage when they flower and are plants you can rely on year after year. You may also only need to water them once a week when you dust their pot!
The best aloe vera pots may seem to be those that catch your eye – but ultimately, you’ve got to put your plant’s health first. Let’s quickly recap what we’ve learned.
Aloe vera is a tough, tall-growing plant that demands a lot of space – never underestimate them. However, never choose a pot that’s likely to be too big – that’s just going to breed moisture.
Be sure to choose a pot that’s sturdy, robust and resistant against sunlight and regular knocks and scrapes. Above all, however, always ensure that your aloe vera pot has plenty of drainage. Otherwise, you’re at risk of your plant getting waterlogged and – sadly – dying off in the short term.
Take it from us – aloe vera are rewarding plants that deserve a good pot – and looking after well!