Plant Health Handbook The Best Soil Mix for Aloe Veras

Plant Health Handbook: The Best Soil Mix for Aloe Veras

Aloe veras, like most succulents, do best in sandy, well-draining, and well-aerated soil with a few nutrients. The soil should also be within the 7.0 to 8.5 pH range for aloe veras to grow healthily.

In this guide, we’ll discuss the things you should consider when choosing soil for your aloe vera and the ingredients you should look for. We’ll also recommend some recipes to help you make a suitable growing medium for it.

Things to Consider When Choosing Soil for Aloe Vera



Aloe vera plants are succulent plants and are native to arid and semi-arid regions, so they naturally prefer their soil to be well-draining. Their roots are not adapted to sitting in consistently moist soil.

They have thin and shallow roots, so exposing them to waterlogged soil for a long time can be fatal to them. 

Look for a soil mix that mimics their natural habitat, such as those that are sandy. Soil mixes like this are well-draining and help prevent overwatering, which is a common mistake for aloe vera plant owners.

pH Level

pH Level

Aloe vera, like all plants, requires various nutrients to grow healthily. Soil pH directly affects the availability of these nutrients, so it’s important to pick the right mix for your aloe vera.

A pH of 7.0 to 8.0 is ideal for aloe veras since they can take up nutrients, like nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, best in this range. A pH of 6.8 to 8.5 won’t do much damage to the plants, but it’s best not to expose them to this range for a long time.

If the soil gets too acidic, add ground clamshells and limestones to neutralize the acidity. Wood ashes and baking soda, on the other hand, will help raise the pH when the soil gets too alkaline.



For aloe veras, it’s important to avoid soil mixes that aren’t porous and get compacted easily. In poorly aerated soil, the roots can become suffocated. 

Once this happens, the plant can suffer from root rot, decreased nutrient uptake, and overall plant stress. 

Heavily compacted soil will also make it hard for the roots to spread and develop, leading to stunted growth. Hence, it’s important to choose soil mixes that have perlite or bark since they help prevent compaction.

Nutrient Content

Nutrient Content

While nutrients are essential for plant growth, aloe vera plants don’t typically need heavily fertilized soil. In fact, too many nutrients in the soil can be more harmful than beneficial to aloe veras.

They prefer lean or relatively nutrient-poor soil. They’re used to arid environments with limited nutrient availability, so providing them with nutrient-rich soil can shock and stress them.

That said, the soil should still be able to provide essential nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Adding a bit of organic matter or fertilizing the soil every now and then should be good enough for the plant.

Components of an Aloe Vera Soil

Succulent Soil

Succulent soil is a type of soil that’s very similar to the natural growing condition of succulent plants. Hence, it’s the perfect potting mix base for an aloe vera.

It’s designed to let water flow quickly and not let it pool around the roots. This is an essential characteristic of a soil mix for aloe vera plants, which are susceptible to root rot and overwatering.

Succulent soil also contains little to no nutrients, helping replicate the nutrient-poor conditions that aloe vera plants thrive in.


Perlite is a crucial component if you want to make your soil mix well-aerated and well-draining. It’s also pH neutral, so it won’t cause a significant change in the soil’s pH.

It helps prevent soil compaction by keeping the soil mix loose and friable (easy to crumble). This allows oxygen to penetrate the soil easily and water to drain quickly, creating a favorable environment for aloe veras.

It’s also lightweight, so adding it to a potting mix won’t make much of a difference to its weight. This is especially beneficial once the aloe vera gets too big and you have to use heavier pots.

Coco Coir

While it’s true that aloe vera plants prefer well-draining soil, they still need moisture to survive. Coco coir’s impressive water-holding capacity can be beneficial to aloe veras, as it can provide a constant supply of moisture while still maintaining good drainage.

Coco coir’s fibrous structure also prevents the soil from compacting, providing good aeration for the aloe vera. This, in turn, helps the root grow and develop healthily.

If you don’t have access to coco coir, you can use peat moss as an alternative since the two provide the same benefits. Just monitor the soil’s pH since peat moss is acidic.

Pine Bark Chips

Pine bark chips are well-known for their excellent drainage properties and can be added alongside perlite and coco coir to make a suitable growing medium for aloe vera plants.

Their coarse texture also helps create bigger air pockets in the soil, allowing air to reach the root zone faster. These air pockets also help prevent water from pooling around the roots, reducing the risk of overwatering.

Coarse Sand

Aloe vera soils thrive in sandy, well-draining soil mix. Adding coarse sand to the potting mix can make it a more appropriate growing medium for your aloe vera.

Coarse sand’s larger particles help maintain a loose structure in the soil, giving the roots more space to grow and preventing root suffocation. 

Additionally, the presence of coarse sand in the soil mix can lower the risk of fungal growth. Since it helps improve the soil’s draining capacity, the soil dries out in between waterings, making it unattractive to fungi and other bacteria.

Soil Mix Recipes for Aloe Vera

Soil Mix Recipes for Aloe Vera

Recipe 1

  • 1 part succulent soil
  • 1 part perlite
  • 1 part coarse sand 
  • 1 part coco coir

This soil mix recipe will provide your aloe vera plant with a well-draining and well-aerated growing medium that has all the necessary nutrients it needs to grow. 

Succulent soil mixed with coarse sand and perlite will serve as a well-draining base for the mix. Adding coco coir to the mix helps the aloe vera have a consistent supply of moisture in between waterings.

Recipe 2

  • 1 part loam soil
  • 2 part perlite
  • 1 part coco coir
  • 1 part pine bark

This is another recipe that can help your aloe vera plant grow healthily. Loam soil provides a base with natural nutrients and organic matter, which can be a great alternative if you don’t have succulent soil available.

This mix will require more perlite than the first one since loam soil isn’t as well-draining as succulent soil. Adding one part of pine bark will also help improve the soil mix’s porosity and drainage.

Signs That Aloe Vera Is in the Wrong Soil

Stunted Growth 

Aloe vera plants are considered fast-growing among succulent plants, so if you’ve had experience growing other succulents, it can be easy to identify stunted growth in aloe veras.

If the soil doesn’t provide adequate drainage, excess water can accumulate near the root zone and suffocate the plant. This can damage the roots and stress the plant, forcing it to focus all its energy on recovery instead of growth.

Drooping Leaves

Heavily compacted soil can make it difficult for the aloe vera roots to develop. If the roots don’t have enough space to grow, they may not be able to effectively absorb nutrients, resulting in drooping leaves.

Additionally, water won’t be able to drain quickly when the soil gets too compact. This can drown the roots of your aloe vera and weaken the plant, causing the leaves to start wilting.

Yellowing Leaves

One of the main causes of yellowing in aloe vera leaves is nutrient imbalance in the soil. If the plant isn’t receiving enough nitrogen or iron, it’s unable to produce chlorophyll, leading to a lack of green color in the leaves.

Additionally, if the soil’s pH is too acidic or alkaline, it can affect the roots’ ability to uptake nutrients. Hence, even if you provide the soil with a lot of fertilizer, the plant still won’t be able to produce chlorophyll, and the leaves will start turning yellow.

Mold Growth

If the soil of your aloe vera remains consistently wet, it can lead to mold growth. Hence, it’s important that you choose a well-draining mix and you repot your aloe vera once the soil is too compacted.

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