It is fascinating to try different methods of growing plants. With the increasing popularity of soil-less gardening, it might be intriguing to know whether you can grow aloe in water.
In short, aloe vera plants can be grown in water. But be prepared to face root rot problems. That being said, with proper care, which includes indirect light, fertilizing, and enough oxygen, you can successfully grow aloe hydroponically.
Aloe vera is a succulent plant, and its roots are designed to absorb nutrients from the soil. To successfully propagate aloe vera in water, you should take utmost care to regularly replace water to avoid root rotting.
As most gardeners already know, succulent plants often die due to overwatering. So, growing them in water won’t be an easy option.
Before you unpot your aloe vera and start immersing it in a glass of water, you should know that well-drained potting soil is the preferred medium to grow this succulent.
However, you can take a few aloe pups to grow in water. The transparent jar with fascinating roots will elevate the beauty of your indoor space.
Does Aloe Vera Grow Roots in Water?
Prominent for its hardy nature, aloe vera can be grown in different growing mediums including water.
Aloe vera plant roots do grow in water. As soil roots are different from water roots, initially, you may see the plant lose its roots, and then new roots pop up.
Provide indirect sunlight and regularly change the water to avoid fungal growth.
To encourage optimal growth, you can use hydroponic fertilizers.
Note: Avoid soaking aloe leaves in water.
Growing Aloe Vera in Water – An Ultimate Guide
First of all, why would anyone want to grow plants in water?
Though there are benefits of growing aloe without soil, I don’t think most people opt for hydroponics for that reason.
The idea of growing plants in a new medium is what makes it fascinating.
On the one hand, growing in water can avoid pests and mold, but without proper care, it can result in root rot and fungal growth.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not against growing plants hydroponically, but I want to show you the other side of the coin.
Now, without further ado, let’s dwell on the core topic.
Also Read: Why Aloe Vera Plant Leaves are Bending?
Step-by-Step Guide to Grow Aloe Vera in Water
Things you’ll need:
- Transparent vase
- Distilled water
- Aloe plant or pups
- Water soluble fertilizer
Step: 1 Prepare the container
Choose a glass jar to grow aloe plants so you can have a glance at the growing roots.
Fill the vase with distilled water in a way that leaves a few inches of vase empty to allow air circulation.
Step: 2 Transplant aloe vera plant
Gently remove the aloe plant from the soil container without damaging the roots.
Remove as much potting soil as possible using your fingers from the roots.
After the majority of the growing medium is removed, rinse it under the faucet to get rid of the remaining soil completely.
Step 3: Place the aloe vera in the glass jar
Submerge the aloe vera roots in a way that the leaves aren’t soaked in water.
The water level must be just above the root level. Else, the leaves can be attacked by fungal growth.
Step 4: Choose the best location
Place the glass vase on the window sill so it gets an ample amount of indirect sunlight.
Light is essential for the plant growth and green foliage.
Avoid direct sunlight, as it can affect aloe vera plant growth.
Step: 5 Refill the water
Leaving aloe plants in the same water for longer days will attract fungal growth and damage plant growth.
How often you should change water while growing aloe in water depends on the size of the jar.
Regularly check the water and change it after every 2-3 days.
Step: 6 Water Soluble Fertilizer
You can get hydroponic fertilizer at the store.
Dilute the fertilizer according to the instructions on the product.
Aloe vera plants aren’t heavy feeders, so fertilize the plant once or twice during the growing season.
In some cases, you might notice root rotting. Just remove the damaged roots in the early stages and change the water. Place the vase indoors where it gets bright light.
Within 2 weeks, you’ll notice new root growth.
Importance of oxygen for growing aloe vera in water
Not providing oxygen to the hydroponic plants may result in poor plant growth and root diseases.
- Oxygen is essential for the photosynthesis process. It helps to convert CO2 to energy.
- The required amount of oxygen allows the aloe plant roots to absorb nutrients from the water efficiently.
- Warmer water has low levels of oxygen when compared to cooler solutions.
- Oxygenating water is one of the efficient ways to increase oxygen levels in the water.
- Allowing air circulation and aeration helps the plant with the required amount of oxygen.
Can You Propagate Aloe Vera in Water?
Yes, aloe vera plants can be propagated in water.
For this, you need to choose aloe pups from the parent plant.
To have a successful growth, choose healthy offsets and separate them from the plant.
Remove the growing medium and rinse under water to remove the remaining soil.
Place the aloe pups in a clean and transparent vase filled with water.
You’ll notice new root growth in 1-2 weeks.
Remove any damaged roots and replace water regularly within 2-3 days to avoid fungal growth.
Propagating aloe in water is a great way to experiment with different growing methods.
Aloe Vera in water Vs. Aloe Vera in Soil: Which is better?
Determining the best method depends on the gardener.
As a nature lover, having a glance at these green plants is a big stress buster.
In that sense, I’d like to place a transparent vase with aloe vera or any other succulent on my office table.
I’m not sure how much this succulent can contribute to purifying air, but it definitely elevates the aesthetic appeal of your space.
Both ways of growing has its advantages and disadvantages.
Aloe Vera in Water
- Growing aloe plants in water is simple and effective, as the roots are in direct contact with water and nutrients that can be absorbed readily.
- Overwatering causes root rotting, which is one of the main causes of indoor plant death. When growing aloe in a vase, you can easily monitor root development and remove damaged roots in the early stages.
- With readily available nutrients, aloe vera grows faster under a controlled environment.
- You can avoid invasive pests and other soil-related fungal growth.
- Growing aloe without soil in water can lead to root rot if you’re not changing the water regularly.
- For the long term, some gardeners prefer growing aloe in the soil. You don’t have to replace water regularly.
Aloe Vera in Soil
- Aloe vera is a succulent that is in the natural habitat of arid regions that have well-draining soil. Growing aloe in soil helps to replicate this natural habitat, which boosts plant growth.
- Soil allows stability and provides nutrients to the soil from various organic sources.
- If you choose well-drain soil, then you can reduce the risk of overwatering.
- Compared to growing in water, propagating in the soil may take time as the roots must grow deep into the soil for nutrients.
- Choosing the wrong soil can result in overwatering or underwatering issues.
Also Read: Is Mulch Good for Succulents?
How Long Can Aloe Vera Survive Without Soil?
Aloe vera plants can survive with soil and water for a few weeks. You can remove this succulent from the ground and place it under shade for a couple of weeks.
But, if you’re talking about growing aloe vera without soil, then you’ve more than two options to grow this succulent.
One method is to use water as a growing medium, the hydroponics way, which I discussed above.
The second choice is aquaponics, which involves growing aloe vera in fish tanks.
Aloe vera is a succulent, so it can even survive without water for weeks.
However, for optimal growth, I prefer growing aloe vera in well-drained soil with adequate moisture.
Aloe vera plant can be grown in water alone. But, you must be prepared to face issues like root rotting.
When the plant is immersed continuously in stagnated water for a long time, root diseases and algae may occur.
To grow a successful aloe plant in water, you must provide indirect sunlight, oxygen, and fertilizer.
Dissolved oxygen is very crucial for a hydroponic system.
Leave a few inches of space in the glass vase for aeration and circulation. This process will help to increase oxygen levels in the water.
You must replace the water regularly after every 2-3 days to avoid any fungal growth.
Khaja Moinuddin, a computer science graduate, finds joy in gardening and homesteading. Join him on this blog as he shares his experiences in homesteading, gardening, and composting