The aloe vera plant is an easy, attractive succulent that makes for a great indoor companion. Aloe vera plants are useful, too, as the juice from their leaves can be used to relieve pain from scrapes and burns when applied topically.
Select a container that’s about as wide as it is deep. If your aloe plant has a stem, choose a container that is deep enough for you to plant the entire stem under the soil. A pot made from terra-cotta or a similarly porous material is recommended, as it will allow the soil to dry thoroughly between waterings and will also be heavy enough to keep the plant from tipping over. A plastic or glazed pot may also be used, though these will hold more moisture. When choosing a container, be sure to pick one that has at least one drainage hole in the bottom. This is key, as the hole will allow excess water to drain out. Use a well-draining potting mix, such as those made for cacti and succulents. A good mix should contain perlite, lava rock, coarse sand, or all three. Aloe vera plants are hardy, but a lack of proper drainage can cause rot and wilting, which is easily the most common cause of death for this plant. A layer of gravel, clay balls, or any other “drainage” material in the bottom of the pot is not necessary. This only takes up space that the roots could otherwise be using. A drainage hole is drainage enough! (Optional) To encourage your aloe to put out new roots after planting, dust the stem of the plant with a rooting hormone powder. Rooting hormone can be found at a local garden center or hardware store, or online.