Do You Water Aloe Vera from Top or Bottom?

Aloe Vera is among the most commonly grown succulents on the planet, which is known for its drought tolerance and air purification properties. Since you’ll rarely water the plant, you must do it properly to ensure the plant’s survival. So, do you water aloe vera from top or bottom?

Ideally, the best method for watering aloe vera is from the bottom, which allows as much water as possible to reach the roots to be stored. This way, the plant will maintain a higher level of moisture and healthier leaves.

Keep on reading if you want to know how to care for your aloe vera plant and keep them in the best shape!

What Is the Proper Way to Water Aloe Vera Plants?

Aleo vera

As a succulent, aloe vera is capable of holding on to the water it absorbs for a very long time to sustain its moisture needs, so it’s important to make sure that you do it properly. Here’s a simple guide that walks you through the proper method to water your aloe vera plants:

1. Check the Pot’s Drainage

When it’s time to water your Aloe Vera, make sure that you start by checking the drainage holes in the pot.

Luckily, since you’ll usually be watering the plant once every several weeks, this shouldn’t be a tedious step. Overlooking that step may put the plant at risk of overwatering, which can be fatal for your plant.

2. Use a Suitable Watering Can and Proper Pouring Cup

While choosing a water can for watering aloe vera, you need to go for a water can that pours out slowly.

This doesn’t only give you better control of the amount of water you pour, but it also helps you spread the moisture evenly all across the deep layers of the soil without oversaturating the top ones.

Read more: Do Houseplants Need Drainage: How to Get Rid Of the Extra Moisture

While watering the Aloe Vera plant, you should always pour the water from the bottom rather than from the top.

3. Water the Aloe Vera from the Bottom Rather Than the Top

In other words, rather than watering the plant itself, you should focus on pouring the water evenly all across the soil, including the edges of the pot if you’re growing aloe vera indoors.

This is because aloe vera has a relatively shallow but very wide root system that spreads out in all directions looking for water in the soil. So, even if the plant is in the center of the pot, its roots will probably reach all across the soil.

4. Stop Watering When the Water Drains Out

Continue with your slow trickling all over the soil until the soil is moist but not soaking with water. An expert tip here is to stop watering as soon as you see water coming out of the drainage holes, which is a sign that the soil is saturated with moisture throughout its layers.

What Happens When You Water Aloe Vera from the Top?

Watering aloe vera

When you water the plant from the top, the leaves might look healthy and shiny for a while, but that isn’t a sign of good nourishment.

This is because aloe vera, like most plants, gets its water requirements through the roots, which are embedded deep into the soil.

By watering the plant from the top, the thick leaves make it difficult for the water to penetrate the soil and reach the roots.

As a result, the plant ends up getting much less water than it needs, which can cause malnourishment and even cause the plant to wilt and die in the long run.

How Much Does Aloe Vera Need?

As a succulent that belongs to the Aloe genus, it’s no surprise that you don’t need to water the plant frequently in order to survive.

Aloe vera is capable of storing moisture between rounds of watering. However, the exact amount of water that the plant needs still heavily depends on where you live as well as the size of your plant and how extensive its root system is.

Ideally, most aloe vera plants will store enough water to sustain themselves for anywhere between 2 to 3 weeks. Luckily, you can easily figure out whether it’s time to water the aloe vera plant using only your fingers.

To do that, simply dip your finger into the plant’s soil, then take it out. If you find the topmost 1.5 to 2 inches of the soil damp, you should wait a little longer before watering, but if your finger comes out dry, it’s time to water the soil.

What’s great about this method is that it eliminates other variables, such as climate and size of the plant, so you’ll only focus on keeping the soil relatively moist.

This method also has the extra advantage of gauging how well draining the soil is. For instance, if your finger comes out dry once a week, it’s a sign that your soil drains moisture a little too fast (the normal watering frequency is around 2 to 3 weeks).

Can I Use Tap Water While Watering Aloe Vera?

Aloe Vera is a very resilient succulent and is capable of surviving hot and dry climates by utilizing any little moisture that it gets.

As a result, you can use tap water in order to provide the plant with moisture, although not for a long time.

This is because tap water contains various salts that can build up over time in the soil, which can dry out the roots and cause various health problems to the plant as a whole. This also goes for all the chemicals added to tap water, such as chlorine.

Instead, you can use distilled or filtered water as well as rainwater while replenishing the moisture of the soil, and avoid tap water whenever you have a better alternative, especially if you want to keep the plant healthy for a long time.

Can I Save Aloe Vera from Overwatering?

loe Vera overwatering

As a succulent, Aloe Vera is a drought-tolerant plant, so it’s more likely to suffer from overwatering than underwatering.

Too much water can easily suffocate the plant’s roots and cause some serious plant conditions, such as root rot, which might lead to the plant’s death!

Luckily, you can still save the aloe vera plant from overwatering before root rot sets in. here are some early symptoms that indicate an overwatered succulent, which applies to Aloe Vera:

  • Extra swelling of the plant in the form of plump and wet leaves
  • Softened and/or sagging leaves due to the added weight of water
  • Discoloration of the leaves, especially if the leaves become brown or yellow
  • White spots of mold forming on the soil or around the plants, which is a major sign that root rot is about to set in

If you notice any of the previous symptoms on your aloe vera plant, you’ll need to act as quickly as possible in order to save it.

The faster you act, the higher the chance of the plant’s survival. Here’s what you need to do in order to save the plant:

  1. Take the plant out of the surrounding soil, which should be quite soggy without removing the wet soil clumps around the root system.
  2. Carefully examine the roots and look for any dark brown or black ones, and remove them using your sterilized shears (use isopropyl alcohol or a higher percentage of rubbing alcohol before and after every cut)
  3. Allow the soil clump to dry out for some time
  4. Re-pot the aloe vera plant into some fresh soil
  5. Check the leaves of the plant and cut all the yellow or brown ones to redirect the food supply to healthy leaves only.

Related: Do Mice Eat Houseplants?

Wrap Up

In addition to its beauty, aloe vera is an excellent houseplant that purifies your house air all day long. They’re also low-maintenance plants that you don’t have to water frequently.

As you can see, you should always water your aloe vera from the bottom to help the roots store as much moisture as possible.