Is Aloe Vera Indoor Or Outdoor Plant? (+Care Difference)


Aloe Veras are famous worldwide and seen growing in most homes. Aloe Vera is loaded with healing properties and has an aesthetic appeal. Wherever you grow this succulent, it will always amaze you with its beauty and medicinal benefits. But, where should you grow them?

Should they be inside or in your garden yard? Let’s find out.

Aloe Veras can be grown outside in USDA zones 9-11; it’s recommended to grow them indoors for all other areas. You can occasionally move them outdoors if the temperature ranges between 55-80°F. Provide your aloe vera with 5-6 hours of sunlight, warm average temperature, and low humidity. 

Today, we will explore the requirements of Aloe Vera, based on which you should plant them indoors or outdoors.

Is Aloe Vera an indoor plant or an outdoor plant?

One cannot strictly declare Aloe Vera as only an indoor or only an outdoor plant.

Sometimes, Aloe Vera is grown as an indoor plant because it cannot tolerate cold weather.

Sometimes, they are grown outdoors because of the full sun, which boosts their growth.

As long as their requirements are fulfilled, you can grow them indoors and outdoors.

To keep them thriving, you must protect them during extreme conditions whenever required.

If you live in regions having cooler microclimates, early frost, or snowfall in the winter, you should grow Aloe Veras indoors.

But, in zones 9 to 11, regions that get mild winters and warm summers grow them outdoors.

Growing Aloe Veras in pots can make your work a lot easy.

You can shift them from inside to outside for some hours of sunlight.

You can also bring them indoors when the temperature drops too low.

Aloe Vera growing conditions

Before growing them indoors or outdoors, you must know their requirements and growing conditions.

After that, you can determine where to plant them and how to care for them accordingly.

Light

Aloe Vera requires daily 5-6 hours of direct sunlight.

However, you must protect them from the harsh sunlight of the summers. 

If they don’t get enough sunlight, at least 3-4 hours of direct sun is necessary.

You can manage the rest with artificial lights. 

Never keep them under the shade. 

Also read: What Kind Of Light For Aloe Vera Plants? (Full sun, Shade, Or Partial Light?)

Water

Aloe Veras enjoy low moisture levels.

Being desert plants, they thrive best in dry and warm conditions.

Always check the moisture level before watering them. 

Allow the soil to dry out before you water them next.

Check the moisture level before watering.

This is much better than following a routine because routine depends on various factors like the season or plant maturity.

Also read: How To Water Aloe Vera Plant? (How often, Summer, Winter)

Soil

A soil that doesn’t drain the water well can weaken the plant and cause root rot.

Since Aloe Veras like dry conditions, you must use well-drained soil for Aloes.

You must also see that the soil can retain water for some time, too, so that the plant can slowly absorb and store it in them.

Also read: What Type Of Soil For Aloe Vera Plant? (+Ideal Soil Mix)

Pot

Whether you grow Aloe Veras indoors or outdoors, you can always keep them in pots.

Though you can plant them directly to the ground, growing Aloe Veras in pots will make shifting easy.

The planter must have drainage holes.

It must be porous and support good ventilation.

Ceramics and terracotta containers are more of that kind.

Also read: What Pot Is Best For Aloe Vera Plant? (Pot Type, Size & More)

Fertilizer

Aloes are not heavy or frequent feeders, but fertilizer can increase their growth.

Fertilize them during their growing months, i.e., spring.

You can also fertilize slightly in the summers if the temperature stays within 80°F.

Otherwise, avoid it and perform only during the spring.

Don’t fertilize in the winters.

Also read: Does Aloe Vera Need Fertilizer? (How Much, How Often+Best Pick)


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Temperature

aloe vera high temperature

Aloe needs a temperature ranging between 55-80°F.

Though Aloe Veras love warm temperatures, they must be protected when the temperature exceeds 80°F.

Above 80-90°F, Aloe Vera will go dormant.

The Aloes are not frost-tolerant succulents and do not like cold temperatures.

They must be protected when the temperature drops below 40°F. 

However, some cold-hardy Aloe Veras can tolerate temperatures between 20 and 25°F.

Also read: Aloe Vera Temperature Tolerance: Ideal Temperature+Keeping Them Safe

Humidity

Aloes don’t require any high humidity.

They grow best when the humidity ranges between 40%.

However, Aloe Veras won’t mind if the range drops below 30%.

Since they stay in dry conditions in their natural habitat, dry air in the surrounding won’t bother them much.

You must ensure that the humidity doesn’t go too high.

The plant must receive adequate sunlight and airflow so that the humidity stays within the range. 

Also read: Do Aloe Vera Like Humidity? (Ideal Humidity+How To Maintain)

Can I grow Aloe Vera outdoors?

Aloe Veras will thrive if the climate of the particular region is suitable.

Growing Aloe Vera outside can be tricky because some conditions are natural, and you can’t control them.

If you plant them directly to the ground, you cannot shift them during the frosty winters.

If you live in regions that receive cold climates, grow them in pots.

You can take them indoors easily during the frosty weather.

If your region has a milder climate the whole year, you can luckily grow them directly in the ground.

However, you should choose those Aloe varieties that can tolerate cold. 

Then you won’t face any problems during the winter.

Below I have shared some guides that can help you to grow Aloe Vera outdoors:

Choose the right location.

While growing outdoors, choosing the right location is very important.

It determines the light, temperature, and soil quality of the plants.

At least 5-6 hours of sunlight is necessary for Aloe Veras every day.

You can either choose a location that gets the direct sun or select a partially shady area.

But I would recommend the former as sufficient light encourages big and fast growth.

Aloes must get enough sunlight in the winter to remain warm.

However, you have to put on shading nets to protect them from the harsh summer sun.

This balance will also maintain an adequate temperature around the Aloe Veras.

Also read: Where Should Aloe Vera Plant Be Kept? (Ideal Spot+Points To Remember)

Amend the soil

aloe vera dry soil

The next important thing is soil.

The planting site must have sandy, gritty and loose soil.

It will help in good drainage and keep the plant’s growing medium dry, just like the plant needs. 

The soil will require amendments while growing Aloe Veras directly in the ground.

For sound drainage, you can use raised beds.

They won’t hold the moisture for a long time and keep your Aloes dry, just like they enjoy.

It will also restrict your plant from spreading too quickly.

If your chosen location has clay soil, amend it by adding compost, perlite, or sand with some pumice.

Aloes do best at a pH level ranging between 7.0 and 8.5.

Aloes can also handle slightly acidic soil.

You can amend too much acidity by adding some amount of wood ash to the soil.

Plant spacing 

If you are growing lots of Aloe Veras in the garden, keep a space of at least 24 inches between each plant.

These plants can grow around 1-2 feet tall, and the foliage spreads up to 40 inches.

So let them have enough space.

Do not plant them too close.

It will restrict the leaf growth and increase the humidity.

The plant should not get any high humidity. Else, they will rot.

24-inch space will allow for good air circulation and reduce humidity.

Also read: Does Aloe Vera Plant Like To Be Root Bound? (Possible Problems+Repot)

Plant depth

Plant the root ball of the Aloe Vera 2-3 inches deep from the soil line.

Do not plant them too deep.

Aloes grow and spread their roots horizontally.

Due to their shallow root growth, you don’t have to plant them too deep. 

Otherwise, they might suffer.

Watering

aloe vera watering

Once you have planted the Aloe vera, do not water it immediately.

Let it stay without water for one week.

Aloes won’t create any issues because they can store water in their leaves. 

After one week or so, water and soak the soil very well.

Water the Aloe next when the top 1-2 inches of the soil feels dry.

It will keep it from overwatering and root rot.

When the plant starts growing, water them once every 2-3 weeks.

The frequency might increase or decrease depending on various aspects.

So, instead of following any routine, always check the soil’s moisture level to understand their watering needs better.

They go dormant if the temperature crosses 80-90°F.

Water the Aloes rarely at that time.

Though most plants recommend no watering in their dormancy, you can water Aloes if the soil has dried up mostly.

Also, keep them almost dry in the winters.

Temperature

Aloes do best outside if the temperature stays within 55°F to 80°F.

If your region belongs to the lower hardiness zones, you should grow them in containers to shift them indoors in the winter.

Remember that shifting will require acclimatization, so gradually change their location.

If they are in the soil, mulch them with stones or pebbles.

It will trap the warmth, avoid evaporation of the moisture and prevent the cold temperature from reaching the roots in winter.

You can use frost clothes to guard the plant.

It will prevent the frost from touching the soil bed or the plant.

The intensity of sunlight they receive can also change the temperature. 

Putting shading nets in the summer and letting them have direct sunlight in the winter can give them their ideal temperature.

Fertilization

They don’t require fertilization if grown in the ground.

However, you can feed the potted Aloes.

Feed them during the spring.

Use a slow-release pellet that has an NPK value of 10-40-10.

Liquid fertilizers are better, easy to use, and work instantly.

Always dilute it to ½ the dose before usage. Apply the fertilizer in moist soil to reduce burning chances.

Can I grow Aloe Vera indoors?

Yes, you can grow Aloe Vera indoors.

Though it might require extra effort, it is not tricky or confusing like the outdoor Aloe Veras.

You can control their surrounding environment to give them what they need.

If you live in regions with zones 4-7, you should grow them as houseplants.

Keep them outdoors only when they need sunlight as light is a problem indoors.

Choose the correct planter.

Select a planter with enough drainage holes to let the extra water flow out.

Choose a size that is 1/3rd bigger than the plant.

A little extra space will allow the roots to spread more.

A pot that can wick away moisture and ensure good air circulation will be good for Aloes.

If you are a beginner, use terracotta pots.

However, don’t go for a too big or deep container.

That can cause overwatering.

Go for a wide pot rather than a deep one.

Always ensure the height is 2-4 inches.

Right direction indoors for sunlight

Because Aloe Veras love sunlight, you should keep them near a south or west-facing window.

If they are getting harsh sunlight, bring them a few feet backward.

You can also put on sheer curtains to filter the light.

In the winters, let them have the direct sun. It will keep them warm.

Don’t forget to rotate your plant frequently so that all the sides of the plant get adequate sunlight.

You can use grow lights if they are not getting enough sunlight.

But, they must have 3-4 hours of natural light.

The perfect room for temperature and humidity

The room you have chosen for Aloes should have a temperature ranging between 55°F and 80°F.

Try to maintain around 60°F.

Keep them away from air conditions, heaters, and radiators.

Aloe Vera doesn’t like high humidity.

Within 40-50% is enough for them.

Lower than 30% will be fine because they are habituated to staying around dry weather.

Avoid rooms like the bathroom, kitchen, aquarium, and fireplaces.

Watering routine

aloe vera watering

Watering the Aloe Vera is more or less the same for indoors and outdoors. 

However, you might not have to reduce watering during the summer dormancy or winters.

They might not go dormant because they will not get extreme temperatures like outdoors.

In such a moment, you can continue their watering.

Soil mix

Use well-drained soil and moisture-retentive as well.

Ensure the drainage more.

You can use a commercial cactus or succulent potting mix. You can use both with ½ parts each.

You can make the potting mix on your own. Some suggestions are:

  • 50% potting soil and 50% pumice
  • 3 parts potting soil, 2 parts pumice, and 1 part peat
  • 2 parts of coarse sand or perlite and 1 part of coco coir or sphagnum moss. Avoid large chunks.

Fertilizing

As mentioned earlier, Aloe vera doesn’t need much fertilizing.

But, potted Aloes can be fertilized.

Moreover, fertilizing encourages faster growth.

Do it in the spring with water-soluble liquid fertilizer.

Use the one with an NPK value of 0.5-1-1 and make the strength to ½. 

You can also use slow-release pellets. The NPK should be 10-40-10.

Repotting

aloe vera root bound

All the potted Aloes will require repotting.

But houseplants will need more.

Repot the Aloe Veras when you see them rootbound or undergoing root rot.

In general, repot them every 1-2 years.

Choose a pot 1-2 inches bigger than the recent pot.

How to plant?

  • Take the pot of your choice. 
  • Fill half of it with the ideal soil mix and make a hole at the center.
  • Place the plant in it and spread the roots.
  • Cover the surrounding with the remaining soil. Bury only the root ball and not the leaves.
  • Water after a few weeks, not immediately.
  • Expose them to direct sun after a few days. Till then, let them have indirect light or partial shade.
Benefits of growing Aloe Vera indoors Benefits of growing Aloe Vera outdoors
It can brighten and enlighten your interior space.
It can give your house an artistic and refreshing look.
Aloes are good for Xeriscapes and drought areas.
If you live in dry areas, you can seamlessly grow Aloe Veras in your garden.
Aloes remove toxins from the air like formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, and benzene. Aloe Veras will receive more sunlight than indoors.
It can encourage them to grow bigger and faster.
Since it releases more oxygen into the air, keeping Aloe Vera in the bedroom can give you a good sleep. A good amount of sunlight will encourage them to produce vibrant flowers that are not possible indoors.
If you want to witness their blooming, outdoor is best for them.
This table demonstrates the benefits of growing Aloe vera indoors and outdoors.

Final thoughts

It must be clear to you now that Aloe Veras can be grown indoors and outdoors. It depends on the where area you live.

If your region gets a mild climate or belongs to zones 9 to 11, you can grow them in your garden. But if your location gets frosty winters, you should grow them as houseplants. Bring them outside only to let them have direct sunlight.

You can still grow them outdoors if the region gets too cold in winters. Grow them in pots to bring them indoors in the winter.

As long as their requirements are met, you can grow them anywhere. You only need to give them the attention they need.

Their basic needs are sufficient sunlight, scarce watering, well-drained soil, occasional fertilizing, average warm temperature, and low humidity. Maintain these, and you will see Aloe Veras thriving indoors and outdoors.


Reference: NCBINew York Botanical GardenUniversity of New HampshireUniversity of FloridaWikipedia.

Richa

Hello everyone, My name is Richa and I am here to make you a better gardener by creating an in-depth and helpful resource for all the fellow gardeners out there. If I could help even a few people understand their plants better then I call it a success for my efforts.

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