Aloe plants are one of the most common varieties of succulents to keep as house plants. They are beautiful looking plants and, for the most part, are incredibly easy to take care of. But sometimes they tend to go berserk, growing sideways instead of upright.
The reason why aloe plants grow sideways usually has to do with the direction of the sunlight entering the room. Plants that are kept indoors tend to bend towards the sunlight so that they can use it for photosynthesis. There could be other reasons too, but this is the most common reason.
In this article, we will explore this subject in detail and share what you can do to fix an aloe plant that has started growing sideways. We will also be sharing tips on how to properly pot and take care of an aloe plant. Let’s get started.
Reasons Why Your Aloe Plant Could Be Growing Sideways
The most common reason why an Aloe Plant will grow sideways is because of the direction of the light source. If you’re growing your aloe plant indoors and have it placed by the window, eventually the plant will start stretching sideways towards the sunlight, and the plant might even look wobbly.
You might already know that all green plants need sunlight to produce food via a process called photosynthesis. It is no different from an Aloe plant, and if the plant has limited access to sunlight, it will twist and turn to adjust itself so that it gets maximum exposure to the available sunlight.
Rarely, aloe plants will also grow sideways if they’re getting too little water. But this is hardly ever the problem since aloe plants (like all succulents) are incredibly easy to look after.
Also, depending on what species of Aloe Vera you have, some plants naturally tend to grow sideways towards the bottom. This is just how they grow in the wild. If there is an asymmetry of some sort to the sideward growing of your aloe plant, this could be the reason.
But ninety percent of the time, the sideway growing of an indoor aloe plant is because of limited access to sunlight. If your aloe plant is growing sideways, there are a few things you can do to try and get it to grow back straight again. We shall discuss this in the following section.
Fixing an Aloe Plant that is growing sideways
The best way to ensure that your aloe plant doesn’t grow sideways is to rotate the plant regularly so that each part of the plant gets equal exposure to the sunlight. You might also want to regularly trim the bottom leaves and pups of the plant to avoid overcrowding. But how do you fix an aloe plant that has already started growing sideways?
Copyright protected content owner: ReadyToDIY.com and was initially posted on 2020-08-11.
The simplest and the most radical solution would be to get a pup, remove the old plant altogether, and replant the pup. This way, you can restart the whole process from scratch, this time ensuring that you take all the necessary measures to prevent berserk sideward growths. But there are other solutions as well.
Alternatively, a much slower process is to trim out the leaves that have strayed and then turn the pot so that the opposite direction faces the sunlight. This way, in a few months’ time, the plant should straighten back up.
Another technique is to remove the plant from the pot, get a slightly bigger pot and then replant the plant in this new pot, orienting it in such a way that it points upward. Cover the plant up to the stems in soil. This is a method known as air-layering.
Growing Aloe Plants Outdoors
It’s very important to consider when ‘training’ an Aloe plant to grow in a certain way is to figure out what species of Aloe you are growing. While Aloe vera is by far the most popular species of Aloe, there are plenty more in the wild, some of which grow into completely different shapes than what you would be expecting.
The most common variants of the Aloe plant are Aloe vera and Aloe ferox. The former is native to northern Africa, while the latter is indigenous to South Africa. The main distinguishing feature between the two species is that while Aloe vera leaves tend to shoot upwards, Aloe ferox leaves are generally flatter.
Copyright article owner is ReadyToDiy.com for this article. This post was first published on 2020-08-11.
Regardless of the species, the Aloe plant is known for its capacity to store fluid in its thick fleshy leaves. For this reason, it is also colloquially referred to as the camel of the plant kingdom. Since the plant naturally grows in hot and dry climates, it naturally evolved succulent leaves to store the fluid for a long time.
It is, for this reason, that plant owners must resist the urge to water these plants too often. Mimicking the natural conditions of these plants as far as practicable is the best way to ensure you get a proper plant.
This means planting them outdoors where they can get plenty of sunlight and water them sparsely (once every three weeks or so during the warm seasons and even less frequent during the cold seasons).
How to Properly Pot Soil & Take Care of an Aloe Plant
There are a few things you need to be mindful of when you’re potting soil for an aloe plant. We will share them in this section.
- Do not fill the pot entirely with sand. Instead, make a 50-50 mixture of sand and dedicated potting soil. This way, you will ensure that your aloe plant will have all the nutrients it needs. Now all that’s left is planting the pup.
- Once properly potted, there is very little you actually need to do to take care of your Aloe plant. You actually need to ignore the plant altogether for the first week after planting it. Keep it in a warm place with bright but indirect light.
- After a week, when the plant has properly rooted, make sure that it gets proper access to sunlight. Also, make sure to rotate the pot once every month or so. This is the best way to ensure all sides get equal access to the sunlight and don’t start stretching out unevenly.
- Watering the plant must be done infrequently. The rule of thumb is to wait till at least 2 inches of the soil has dried up before you water the plant again. If you water the plant too much, you will risk a rot in its roots.
- Watering the plant once every 3-4 weeks should suffice for spring and summer. During the colder seasons, once every two months should suffice. When watering, make sure you water deeply.
- You should also repot your plant every time its roots get bounded. Replace the old soil with new soil every time you repot.
An aloe plant may start growing sideways for a number of reasons. But the most common reason is the search for sunlight. If you have an Aloe growing plant indoors where the light enters the room from just one direction, the leaves of the aloe plant will start pointing towards that direction to try and get as much sunlight as possible.
ReadyToDIY is the owner of this article. This post was published on 2020-08-11.
The simplest way to fix an Aloe plant that is growing sideways is to remove the pups, replace the soil, and plant a new plant. You could try rotating the pot so that the opposite side points towards the sun. This way, in time, the leaves will all look more even. But this is a much longer process.