To start with, Aloe vera is one of the succulents that can tolerate different levels of temperature. However, like other succulent families, aloes have certain needs, especially in winter, and in order to grow them successfully you need to provide for those needs.
So, can aloe vera survive, let alone thrive in winter? A short answer is that it can, but it cannot tolerate frost, and hence if you live in an area where temperatures drop below zero you should take the plant inside for the winter. Let me elaborate on the key points here, making sure that you do not make any mistakes while trying to grow your aloe in winter.
Inside is the answer
In my opinion, the best way to protect the aloe plants during winter is to bring them indoors. The freezing temperature outside during cold months will detrimentally affect the plant. But before bringing the plants inside, make sure that you clean them up from dirt and pests. This is very important to also keep your existing indoor plants safe from insects that could potentially ruin them, insects that they would normally not meet, but you can bring them inside together with your aloe plant. .
Now that the aloe plants are inside, the next thing you need to do is to give them what they need in their new environment.
Provide the aloe with sufficient light source
If you bring outdoor aloes indoors, they will be experiencing new environmental challenges. For aloe vera plants that have been exposed to direct sunlight for quite a long time, something they actually enjoy, you will need bright light indoors.
The first thing you can do is to place the plant near the bright window. This will allow the plant to somehow get their sunlight need, though it isn’t an ideal solution especially if there isn’t much sunlight in winter in your area.
In such a case you can use grow lights (check my recommended grow light on Amazon). Grow lights do a pretty good job of providing light to the indoor plants. Of course, no light can replace the natural light of a sun. But it is the best alternative out there, especially for your aloe plants who are accustomed to getting a lot of sunshine while outdoors.
Appropriate amount of water
Like other succulent families, aloe vera does not like too much water. Over-watering can certainly kill the plant in the long run, and during winter, cold environment slows down the drying process of the soil. This means that aloe plants need much less water as they do during summer, when they are actively growing.
To keep your aloe vera plants safe from over-watering during winter, I suggest you to try the soak and dry watering method. If you are reading this blog for a while, you may already be familiar with the watering strategy, since I recommend it for most succulent plants. The soak and dry method is simple. It means that when watering, make sure to soak the soil and let it dry completely before you water the plants again.
The length of the watering interval will largely depend on the time it takes for the soil to dry. The longer it dries, the less frequent the watering. However, before using this method, make sure that you are using the right soil for your aloe plants, which brings me to the next topic.
Provide the aloe vera with the correct type of soil
Because succulent plants are prone to over-watering, you should plant them in a fast-draining soil (click here to check my recommended succulent soil on Amazon).
This is very important especially during winter. The fast-draining soil does not only provide drainage to the excess water. It also provides aeration. Aloe vera and other succulent plants need soil that allows them to breathe. This is the main reason why compact or regular garden soil is not good for succulents. Soil like this absorbs too much water, and the rooting system of your succulent may start to rot, which is really the beginning of an end.
Avoid fertilizing aloe vera in winter
As I already mentioned, aloe vera and other succulent families do not need extra nutrients during winter, because they are not actively growing. Hence I strongly recommend you to refrain from fertilizing your aloe plant. Doing it will only cause burns and shock to the plant.
Aloe vera plans are some of the most versatile succulent plants. Yes, they can grow in winter as long as they are given the right environment and needs. The best thing to do to keep aloe vera safe during winter is to bring it inside. This is because aloes are not tolerant of frost.
When indoors, aloes should have access to the right light source, water, and right type of soil. These things are essential for the plant to grow well. Also, avoid fertilizing your aloes in winter because they don’t need it. If you do it at all than do it during summer, when they are actively growing.
Q: What temperatures can aloe vera tolerate?
A: Aloe vera plants can tolerate temperatures between 45 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Like other succulent varieties, extreme temperatures can result in them dying.
Q: Can aloe vera live outside in winter?
A: No. Aloe vera plants do not do well outside in winter. This is the reason why I recommend bringing them inside during colder seasons. Of course, if you live in an area with relatively hot winters, areas where even in the night the temperature does not drop much, you can keep them outside all year long.
Q: Will frost kill aloe vera?
A: Frost will certainly kill aloe vera plants in a long run. Compared to other succulent families, it may take a longer time, because aloes can sustain a bit of frost (such as in the morning). But I believe it is better to be safe than sorry. You won’t spoil anything by taking them inside for the winter, even if you aren’t sure whether or not the temperature will drop below the critical level…
Ready to learn more about succulent growing? Check my ultimate guide on succulent growing, and grow your plants like a pro! Thank you, and good luck!