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2 Ways I Made My Aloe Vera A Whole Lot Happier

My Aloe Vera wasn't looking good. See what caused this & how I made it a whole lot happier by repotting & moving it.

an aloe vera plant in a painted purple & green pot sits at the base of front porch steps

Spoiler alert: I repotted & moved it out of the strong sun

I love my Aloe vera and use it almost every day. It’s truly a plant with purpose! It was in a warm, sunny spot my front garden and both the plant and pot were looking looking a wee bit sad. It was time to take action and make my beloved plant a whole lot happier. By the way, the pot will get a facelift one of these days.

Here’s the Aloe vera & the pot before the re-do. You can see all the dried & discolored leaves as well as the roots growing out of the bottom. The painted had  almost completely peeled off the pot. Not a pretty sight.

A couple of Winters ago we had a 4 day cold (around 35 degrees…brrrrr) and rainy spell, not too common for us here in Santa Barbara. The succulents were saying: “what’s up with this?”. That in addition to the fact that my poor Aloe was getting too much direct sun and needed repotting had caused the leaves to turn pale and orangish. Here’s something you need to know: the leaves of the Aloe Vera will turn orange if they get sunburned. I’m sure the environmental stress of that cold rain didn’t help either.

Here’s the baby, or Aloe pup, which I removed off the mother plant.

The baby in it’s new pot. It lives under a Coprosma & next to a bromeliad so it’s mostly shaded. It’s starting to green up a bit too.

If you want to watch me repotting this Aloe, see what potting mix I used and learn how to remove the baby, then be sure to watch the VIDEO below. Lucy had to help me pull it out of the pot and quite a few of the roots were lost but no worries, this is a tough plant. Almost 3 months later, it’s firmly rooted in and greening back up like crazy.

Here are their fat, fibrous roots. They store a lot of water in those roots & leaves so don’t overwater them.

Here are a few things to know when repotting Aloe vera:

* They’re succulents so use a fast draining mix. Again, refer to the video to see the recipe I used.

* They root deep so don’t use a shallow pot, they need room for their roots to grow down.

* Wait until the babies are a good size to remove them.

* Don’t place in hot sun after repotting. Sun is fine as long as it’s not hot & there’s not too much of it.

* Don’t water frequently. I water the baby every 3 weeks because it’s in a small pot. The mother gets watered thoroughly about every 2 months.


Here’s the new digs for my Aloe vera. It’s a tricked out, painted plain terra cotta pot. I love to use glass chips as adornments. My plants so deserve an artistic home!


This pic was taken 3 months after the making of the video & the plant now lives at the base of the stairs leading up to my front porch. It gets nice bright light with a bit of filtered sun & has greened up already. I can easily snip a leaf when I need it.

Coming up very soon: a video and blog post on How I Care For And Use My Aloe Vera. Hint: I have many uses for my Aloe!

If you’re interested on how to care for Aloe vera a a houseplant, check out my book Keep Your Houseplants Alive.

Thanks for reading,

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  1. Pingback: 2 Very Easy Ways to Propagate Succulents - |

  2. sometimes the sound is not consistent and you are hard for me to understand. But…..having said that I love the fact that you can grow just about anything and love how you share with us ways to propagate plants. Keep up the good work.

  3. Hi Melva – Thank you – I have lots to share! Yes, the sound could be better because I don’t have an external mic. Youtube is not my full time business (it’s just a support to my online business so a new camera is not in the budget right now. Glad you got something out of the video regardless! Nell

  4. Pingback: 2 Very Easy Ways to Propagate Succulents - Tus dientes sanos - Salud y Vida

  5. Pingback: 2 Very Easy Ways to Propagate Succulents | Woman Worlds

  6. XLNT video and blog — to the point, concise & most informative. No difficulties with sound in my corner. Thanks much. Pat

  7. You’re very welcome & thank you so much Pat! Nell

  8. Tried to sign up for your newsletter as I’d definitely appreciate tips on how to look after my aloe Vera but it came up with this

    ERROR: Sorry, there was an error. Please be sure JavaScript and Cookies are enabled in your browser and try again.

    You’ve still been added to my bookmarks. I’ve still got a lot to learn as I repotted my aloe Vera to a much bigger pot but I put it in a greenhouse (since I live in the UK and temperature is usually 10 to 14 degrees….) I then went on a three week holiday only to find out the temperature has been at least 30 degrees Celsius! My poor plants were burnt but after chopping off the burnt parts I’m determined to look after it right!

  9. Hi Jake – Thank you, I’ll pass your message on to our web person. Aloes are full of water so they’ll burn in strong sun. I keep mine outdoors year round here in the AZ desert but it’s in bright shade. Yours will eventually come back from their burn, just be patient! Nell

  10. Thanks for all the helpful info I thought that maybe aloe could get too much sun and it’s true ha!! Happy holidays all

  11. Laura – Oh yes, many of the Aloe Veras growing in full sun here in Tucson are brownish-red. In the heat their leaves get very thin too. Happy holidays! Nell

  12. Hi, im in the uk , we are in our winter months, i used perlite , building sand and top soil for repotting, the soil is dry, they are placed next to a heater indoor, do get some sunlight in the morning being next to the french doors, temperature 21’c – 26’c all day long, 3 months down the line, the leaves look pale or dull green, the growth is very slow, pls advise.

  13. Hi Scot – Aloe vera leaves turning pale green is generally due to lower than optimum light levels. Also, they don’t need to be next to a heater at this time of year. You won’t see much, if any growth during the winter because the plant is resting. The mix you’re using sounds too heavy with the building sand & topsoil – succulents need a really light & fast draining mix. Hope that helps, Nell

  14. I have a lot of aloe vera in 1 large pot. My roommate has one huge aloe in a small pot. How do you grow one single aloe in 1 pot. Is it because hers is a different variety? The ones in my large pot are making babies all the time. In fact, I believe one of my babies is now in her pot. She had this plant for 2 or so years before I moved in, and she never had a baby in her pot before. I learned about the partial sunlight thing from my mom who had a beautiful deep green aloe that was outside on the patio where the back of the house and the attached outside utility room met (L-shape) where the direct sunlight didn’t quite reach.

  15. Hi Leslie – Yes, there are different species & varieties of aloe. Some pup (produce babies) much more readily than others. Nell

  16. Hi Nell, I’m in Sydney AUST -it’s summer! I have a large Aloe Vera plant in a largish plastic pot. I water it daily. It doesn’t have any pups and I’ve had it six years! Am I watering it too often?

  17. Hi Wynn from Sydney – it’s pretty warm these days here in the Arizona desert too! Some aloes don’t readily produce pups so you may not have an aloe vera. Aloe veras should produce pups readily; especially if practically ignored. They like bright, bright light (out of direct pm sun) & to thoroughly dry out in between watering. Don’t drown it with liquid love! Nell

  18. Pingback: A Plant with Purpose: How To Care For Aloe Vera – Brilliant Feed

  19. I bought a couple plants and one was Aloe Vera. We have city water and it’s real bad. It started killing my plants. I now have replanted all and am watering with better water. Every plant is alot better except for my Aloe. (I don’t water a bunch and it’s in I direct sunlight.) It’s brown…Will it turn green again? Or is there no chance?

  20. Oh, and I replanted it in Cactus soil. It only had 3 roots but they were huge.

  21. Hi Helen – It depends. If it’s brown & mushy, it’s too much water. It’s hard for an aloe to recover from that. If it’s brownish yet firm, it’s stressed in some way. Plants turn color due to environmental stress. They will revert back to green once the stress is gone. The aloe veras growing outdoors here in Tucson in full sun are brownish orange. The ones which aren’t, are more green. Nell

  22. That’s fine Helen. The 3 roots, if they’re large, should be enough. Nell

  23. Our aloe has sprouted a long stem with some buds at the top of it. Is this normal?

  24. Yes it is Leo, Aloe veras do flower. You can see a mature one in bloom towards the end of this post: Nell

  25. I have brown limp leaves at the bottom of my plant. Should I cut them off?

  26. Hi there,
    I recently put my aloe vera plant outside in direct sunlight with the intention to bring it back inside a few hours later but forgot about it for a day and a half. I am assuming it’s sunburned or just very stressed out as the leaves on the bottom of the plant are all very purple and drooping (the newer growth stayed green though). Will those go green again once it’s no longer stressed or should I cut them off?

  27. Yes you can Roseann. Pull or cut any brown leaves off. Limp, brown leaves on an aloe vera can be due to over watering. Nell

  28. Hi Kay – If they’re not too badly damaged, they’ll most likely turn green again. Mine turn orangey-brown in the winter because of cold temps but return to green when the weather warms. The drooping leaves may not recover. Nell

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