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How Much Sun Does Aloe Need?

Aloe plants are attractive cactus-like indoor plants that thrive in hot and dry climates. These low-maintenance, full-sun houseplants need approximately six hours of bright, indirect sunlight daily.

Can Aloe Get Too Much Sun?

An aloe can get too much sun.

While aloe vera plants are full-sun, they prefer indirect sunlight. They thrive in a brightly lit location where the sun does not shine directly on the plant.

If your aloe plant is getting sunburned, the leaves can turn a light yellow or pinkish-red color, or brown or black spots may appear on the leaves. Too much sun can also cause curling or wilting of the leaves.

Don’t worry if this happens. You can heal an aloe plant with sunburn by taking it out of the direct sun. You may need to prune damaged leaves back to the base, and the plant may need more water while it heals.

Too much direct sun can cause sunburn and brown tips.

Can Aloe Survive In Low Light?

Aloe vera plants are not low-light plants.

Without enough light, aloe plants will not thrive. Signs that your aloe does not have enough light include creased leaves and bending stalks.

Artificial light can be used in place of daylight; however, the plant will need more than double the hours of light to mimic the natural sun.

Can Aloe Grow In Shade?

The plant needs at least 6-8 hours of indirect light each day in order to thrive.

Some types of aloe can do well in partial shade, as long as they also get enough sunlight all morning or all afternoon.

Aloe prefers bright, indirect light.

Can Aloe Grow In Fluorescent Light?

Aloe can grow in fluorescent light.

The fluorescent light should be placed 6 to 12 inches from the plant for optimal results, and the light needs to be on from 14-16 hours each day. If you want to grow aloe under a fluorescent light, consider a hanging fixture so the light is close enough to the plant.

How To Tell If Aloe Vera Needs More Sun

An aloe that needs more sun can get something called “aloe flop.” The normally fleshy leaves will appear to be limp, flat, and elongated. The aloe leaf can bend at the base or the middle.

Adjust the plant’s light conditions by moving it to a sunny spot or simulating bright light with a grow lamp.

Healthy aloe has vibrant, fleshy, upright leaves.

How Does Aloe Grow In The Wild?

When growing in the wild, aloe vera plants thrive in hot, arid climates and are widely found in Africa, India, and South Africa.

Since these plants have a self-contained water storage system, they can withstand a drought. They do not do well in cold weather, so if you move your aloe outside during the summer months, remember to bring it in for the winter months.

Aloe Vera Plant Care Guide

  • Water: Like other succulent plants, aloe needs just the right amount of water. Excess water can result in root rot, and not enough water can cause it to wilt and shrivel. The top 1-2 inches should be dry before watering. Aloe should be watered every three weeks to avoid overwatering, but this will depend on your home’s environment.

  • Humidity: Aloe plants prefer a low relative humidity, around 40%.

  • Temperature: Ideal temperatures for a healthy and happy aloe plant are between 55-80 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Soil: As succulents, aloe vera plants do best in a well-draining potting soil mix specifically made for cacti and succulents. The mix should contain lava rock, pumice, chunks of bark, perlite, or all of them. Terra cotta pots with drainage holes in the bottom of the pot support good drainage.

  • Sun: As mentioned, aloe plants thrive in bright, indirect sunlight. A south-facing window is ideal, but they can also do fine in an east or west-facing windowsill as long as they’re out of harsh, direct light.

  • Propagation: You can use a sharp, clean knife to cut “pups” off of the plant. To separate pups or aloe offsets from the mother plant, look for a small offshoot around the base of an aloe vera plant. Carefully cut the pup away and plant it in a cactus mix. You can also grow new plants through leaf cuttings. Just be sure to let the cut end form a callus before planting it in a new pot.

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