Aloe Veras originate from the desert areas and enjoy a warm and dry climate. Coming from such conditions, they don’t like standing on stagnant water. It can deteriorate their health. But can Aloe Veras grow in water? Let’s find out.
Aloe Vera is generally grown in soil, but you can grow it in water if you can provide it with the right sunlight, nutrition, and temperature. To grow aloe vera hydroponically, suspend the plant with roots immersed in water and be prepared to deal with root rot and algae problems.
Today, I will share with you the level of the possibility of Aloe Vera surviving in water and the steps to do it correctly. I will also share some tips to maintain Aloe Vera’s good health in water.
Can aloe grow without soil?
If you want your Aloe Vera to stay alive for a long time, you should grow them in the soil.
In the soil, they will stay alive for the long term because Aloes don’t enjoy damp conditions.
However, that doesn’t mean they cannot grow them in the water.
The water-based growing process helps keep the Aloe Vera alive for a short time.
So, if you want the Aloes for a short time, you can have them in water.
Moreover, rooting in water is very easy, especially for beginners.
You can even try it if you are short on time.
Collect all the supplies and follow the right steps for successful growth.
Even if you have lots of time, perform it as a fun experiment to understand the small-scale hydroponic growing.
Things to remember while growing Aloe Vera in water
While growing Aloe Veras in water, you must know a few things.
Understanding these points and following them will help the Aloe Vera grow in water successfully.
If you have brought a new plant home, you can place it in the water.
For offsets, you should wait until the plant has matured.
Once they are mature, they will start producing pups.
Use those pups to grow in water.
Always go for a healthy plant.
If the plant has recently recovered from illness, wait for some more weeks so that they become healthy again.
Time of division
The best time for growing Aloe Vera for the division is during the spring.
As it is their growing season, Aloe Veras will grow seamlessly, and you can even witness their growth.
Clean, transparent jars
You will require a jar to keep the plant.
A clean jar, vase, or bottle is necessary.
If the container is not clean enough, the bacteria and viruses present in the jar can affect the plant’s health.
Using a transparent jar can help you know how much the root has grown and when the water needs to be changed.
Use distilled or rainwater.
Distilled and rainwater are pure water and free from all chemicals.
Tap water contains many harsh materials which can be harmful to the plant’s health.
That is why you should always use distilled water or rainwater.
You can also buy spring water from the market.
If the above options are not available, you can use tap water but in a different way.
Let the tap water sit overnight for 24 hours.
All harsh chemicals will evaporate into thin air and make the water pure.
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Use broad-mouthed containers
You will have to take the plant out for changing the water every 2-4 days.
If the container has a narrow mouth, it will be risky to take the plant out.
You might have to bring it out by force.
It might hurt the roots and affect the plant’s health.
To avoid such things, you should always use a broad-mouthed container to easily bring the plant out of the container without any hassle.
Must allow forming callous
When you divide the baby plants from the mother plant, the cut portion needs time to heal.
This healing is called callous.
You must allow the plant to form callous for at least 4 to 5 days.
After that, you can put the plant in the water.
Otherwise, the plant may face infections.
Divide the pups
First, know which one is a baby plant.
They are smaller than the mother plant and grow from the base of the mother plant.
They have their roots and leaf set.
Remove the pups that have their root system.
These pups can endure and fight problems to some extent.
Take the main plant out and remove the dirt from the root portion with a brush.
Carefully untangle the roots and separate the babies.
Cut them from the joining of the mother and the child to avoid any tearing.
Remove the damaged roots from both the offsets and the mother.
Now, return the mother plant to its previous place and put the pup either in soil or water.
The next point will give you a step-by-step guide for the water-growing method.
How to grow Aloe Vera in water? – Step-by-step guide
Growing Aloe Veras in water is one of the easiest ways to have them.
You can do it anytime you wish.
If you are a beginner at gardening, you can start it with a water-based growth method.
Let’s start with the steps without further delay.
- Your Aloe plant or the pups
- A sharp knife
- Rubbing alcohol
- A transparent vase
- Pure water
Steps to growing Aloes in water
Take the plant out of the container and remove the soil from the root portions.
Don’t be rough. Since the roots are sensitive, there are chances of tearing.
The roots might stay twisted a lot, so detangle them very slowly.
Divide those babies that have developed roots.
They will grow successfully without any issues.
If the pups act stubborn to get separated from the mother, use a sharp knife to cut it from the place of their joining.
Before using the knife, disinfect it with rubbing alcohol. It will reduce the chances of infection.
Let the cut portion heal for some days.
If you don’t let them form the callous and directly put them in water, it will infect them.
Take a container of your choice. You can use any type you wish.
A bud vase can hold the plant above the water without letting it drown completely.
The roots must stay in the water.
You can even use small plastic glasses or broad-mouthed jars.
Later on, transfer them to a big container.
To hold the plant, you can seal the glass with plastic.
Make a hole so that the roots can enter it.
It will maintain the balance of the plant and prevent it from falling sideways.
Whatever you use, the plant roots should stay in the water and the plant above the water.
Using a transparent jar can let you see the condition of the water and the roots.
Now, fill the container with water.
Use distilled water or rainwater.
If unavailable, let the tap water site overnight and then use it.
You can fill it in half because you have to immerse a half portion of the roots.
The rest should be out of water.
Now, place the plant in it.
Submerge half of the roots in water and let the other half be exposed to the air.
It will allow them to take up enough oxygen.
Choose an ideal location for them.
Change the water every 2 to 3 days, or whenever it looks cloudy.
It will refresh the nutrients Aloes need and prevent the development of algae.
Note: You should know that Aloe Veras will only grow in the water with the pups or if you bought a new plant home.
You cannot grow them from any cuttings.
How to encourage the fast growth of Aloe vera in water?
If you want your Aloe Veras to remain healthy and grow faster in water, they must receive adequate light, oxygen, and fertilizer.
Aloe Veras enjoys bright light, but that should not be too intense.
While growing them indoors, keep them a few feet back from the sunny window.
It will let them have enough light, but not harsh to burn the leaves.
The more light they get, the faster and bigger they will grow.
You should submerge the roots partially.
Allow the rest portion of them to stay outside the water.
It will give them enough air and oxygen. The cell tissues will need oxygen for good functioning.
This oxygen will be used by the green portions in the plant as a byproduct of photosynthesis.
As the roots cannot behave like this, they must be exposed to the air partially.
It will encourage good and faster growth.
Though Aloes are not heavy-feeders, you can still fertilize them to boost their growth.
Apply a little amount of liquid fertilizer to encourage their growth speed.
Use a hydroponic fertilizer.
Mix a few drops of it into the water your Aloe roots are submerged in.
Always dilute it to make the dose to half the recommended amount.
It prevents nitrogen burns.
Pros and cons of growing Aloe Vera in water
Growing Aloe vera in water comes with merits and demerits. Let’s go through them.
- Aloes will never suffer from excessive or prolonged dryness. They will always remain hydrated.
- Aloes will never suffer overwatering. Being already in the water, you cannot overwater them.
- While growing Aloe Veras in soil, it takes a lot of time to prepare the container and the soil. You need to buy the right type of container and use the right soil mix. You only need a jar, water, and plant while growing Aloe Vera in water.
- It is very easy for beginners. If you are one of them, you can easily try it without extra effort.
- In water, there are low chances of pest infestation.
Since Aloes enjoy dry conditions, growing them in water has more cons.
Leaves turn yellow or brown.
You must keep the Aloes at a location that gets enough light, neither too much nor too little.
Keep the Aloes in front of the south or west-facing window, but a few feet back.
It will give them perfect light conditions.
However, it could also happen due to temperature issues.
Make sure not to keep the plant close to the heaters or air conditioners, close to the open windows, and in a drafty room.
Remove the discolored leaves and let them have indirect light for some days.
Development of algae
While growing in water, there are high chances of algae build-up, mainly when you don’t change the water.
You must change the water regularly.
To fix this:
- Throw away the bad water.
- Clean the container with soapy water.
- Fill it with new distilled or rainwater.
- Place the plant and keep the container away from the direct sun.
- See for a room that got cool temperatures ranging between 55 to 80°F.
It happens when you completely submerge the roots in the water.
They must be partially exposed to the air for enough oxygen.
If not, they will turn black and mushy, thus starting to rot.
If you see the rotting signs early, you can remove them and bring the plant back to normal health.
You must always partially expose the roots to air for sufficient oxygen.
You have to change the water regularly.
It can lead to the wastage of too much water.
Not for the outdoor Aloe Veras
You can perform the water growing method only for the indoor Aloe Veras.
If you try it with the outdoor ones, they will show negative results. The roots will begin to rot.
Since they have been growing outdoors, they are habituated to having a different growing conditions.
It doesn’t last long
Aloe Veras will not last for a long time in the water.
In general, they can stay alive for 14 days. If you follow the tips to keep them healthy and let them grow faster, you can keep them alive for at least 1 or 1.5 months.
Tips for maintaining good health of Aloe Veras in water
Though they don’t last long in the water, you can use some tips to maintain their good health in water.
It can make them last a little longer. Let’s have a look at the tips:
- Always use filtered or distilled water. If you are using tap water, don’t use it directly. Let it sit overnight, and then use it.
- Don’t forget to change the water.
- Fertilizers can keep them healthy. But don’t use it too much. If you are confused, use very less. Ignore if you are completely unaware. Less is good.
- As mentioned before, allow the roots to have oxygen. Do not ever immerse them in water. Leave one inch of space between the waterline and the base of the stem, from where the roots grow.
- Do not expose them to direct sunlight. Let them have enough sun but filtered sun. It will save them from sunburns. But do not keep them in a dim area.
Aloes are quite hardy and durable plants with lots of health benefits. Growing them in water is a fun experiment. You can know many things from this method and understand how to give the plant its best requirements in this process. You can even get an experience of the process.
To keep the plant healthy in water, all you need to give the plant is light, fertilizer, and oxygen. You only need a jar, water, and your plant. It is very easy and simple.