The aloe vera is a plant of inside which is cultivated very easily. Decorative, it brightens our interior while playing the role of a true pharmacy. Indeed, its foliage has incredible medicinal virtues.
Zones USDA 10 and 11 are recommended, but Aloes can be cultivated outside in zones USDA 9 provided that they are protected. This is particularly well done in closed yards.
Why Protect Aloe Vera in Winter
Gardeners who plant Aloe outside in mild climates should be prepared to cover them to protect them from frost. Frost protection is vital because Aloe is composed mainly of water and can be very prone to cold shock and frost damage. Northern gardeners or gardeners living in colder climates than Zone 9 should not attempt year-round outdoor planting.
During the fall and winter, Aloe Vera plants that have experienced the bright summer sun should be kept in a relatively bright and warm room. South-facing windows are best, but growers should not be tempted to place the plant just in front of the window. Indoor plants should also be kept away from windows during the winter to avoid damage from the cold.
The trick to growing aloe vera successfully is to find the right balance between too much water and not enough. This is true for all plants, but it is especially difficult for succulent plants. Aloe Vera goes dormant during the winter, so that its growth slows down and its need for water decreases.
Over-watering can cause aloe vera to die at any time of the year, but the risk is greater in winter. Do not use self-watering pots for Aloe Vera. Like many other succulent plants, the soil should dry completely between waterings. Root rot and cold shock are very common problems during the winter.
Winter protection for Aloe Vera
To protect them from the cold, the best solution is to bring them in as soon as winter comes, don’t wait until it’s ten below zero to do so. If they are suspended, find them a bright room, whether it is a garage or a veranda. You will quickly notice a heat increase of 10°C at the very least.
Prefer an East or West orientation, depending on their sunlight needs, placing them close to the windows so they can make the most of it. In winter it’s less hot so they won’t risk much! However, avoid putting them in contact with glass, if the outside temperatures are very low the cold could be transmitted to the plant.
To store them
When you don’t have enough space to put them indoors, place them around your rooms where they will cause the least inconvenience. Use alternative supports, such as a stepladder or on your furniture, it will give you a very original decoration. Avoid the proximity of air ducts, they could dry out or at worst fade.
Watering in winter
We are entering the period of vegetative rest: it is better to slightly reduce watering.
Wait until the soil is dry for a few centimetres before watering again, always with water at room temperature.
Watering can be resumed in the spring when the plant is growing again.
This succulent can be planted outdoors, but only in regions with a mild climate. However, in winter you can protect it by laying mulch at its base which will act as insulation. The better it will keep its heat on the ground and retain moisture, which does not exempt you from covering your plant at night with a protective tarp.
Identify potential problems
Healthy Aloe Vera plants have firm gel-filled leaves. An Aloe suffering from root rot or cold shock has softened, and its leaves have fallen off. They tend to become more yellow. Plants that suffer from root rot lose the lower leaves first. Plants suffering from cold shock lose the leaves closest to the cold source first.
Underwatering can cause leaves to shrink in thickness. These will begin to brown at the tips. Later, as the leaf begins to get thinner, the brown will spread along the entire length of the leaf.
An Aloe Vera has relatively little need for fertilizer and no need at all in winter. Aloe Vera usually needs fertilizer once a year in the spring. A diseased Aloe Vera may need a little fertilizer to cure the disease. Growers should be aware that fertilizing a dormant plant can cause burns and shock.
How to care for winter-damaged Aloe Vera
The plants damaged by the cold must be placed in warmer places. Plants affected by root rot need more time between waterings. Adequate light should be available to the plant throughout the day. Southern exposure provides the best light. Dormant aloe vera plants in winter require some protection, but require less care.
The aloe vera is a succulent plant, known as a fat plant, which requires a warm environment in summer and does not tolerate frost. In the summer, it can be taken outside, when outside temperatures are around 64°F, provided that it is brought inside in the winter.
In winter, only occasional watering is required. Wait until all the moisture has been absorbed, especially under the pot; observe the leaves: if they start to wilt, the substrate may be very dry.