Aloe Vera is not only a stunning plant, but also works as a medicine – it has clear gel in leaves full of both antioxidants and vitamins, and it can be even used for feeding other succulents.
Even if you don’t have a green thumb, you will easily grow aloe vera, as it can stand harsher growing conditions.
When it comes to feeding, it is necessary, so this time I would like to focus on fertilizers you can use on your growing aloe vera plant.
I have done the research and found the top five fertilizers which will suit fresh aloe vera.
Without further ado, let’s dive in!
Fertilizer for Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera fertilizer – top picks for Aloe Vera plant
For starters, let’s discuss a bit of aloe vera care, as, without proper one, your fresh aloe vera won’t stay fresh for a long time.
When it comes to feeding and the proper way to do it, you will find many myths online, so I would like to debunk some of them.
Firstly, it is not true that aloe vera doesn’t require fertilizer. This plant has adapted to living in some harsh, dry conditions, in which it cannot absorb a lot of minerals, however, even though its demand for feeding is not high, it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t need any!
Use half of the potting soil, full of minerals, and half of the sand that will promote the drainage.
The growing season starts in March, so till the beginning of spring, till early fall, occasionally feed your succulent.
From my experience, the compost with 10-40-10 NPK is the best – you can use any that is specifically designed for succulents, as most of them have this formulation.
Liquid ones are good, and in the case of slow-release compost, use the one in form of pellets and check the instructions to see whether it can be diluted to half strength or not.
When feeding, never add the minerals close to the stems or leaves – I always add them to the base to prevent the burns.
QUICK OVERVIEW: Fertilizer for Aloe Vera
Miracle-Gro Indoor Fertilizer
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Jobe's Succulent Spikes
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Miracle-Gro Succulent Fertilizer
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1. Miracle-Gro Succulent Fertilizer
As mentioned already, aloe vera prefers fertilizer made for succulents, so the first one I would like to talk about is Miracle-Gro Succulent Plant Food, 8 OZ (3 Pack).
You will notice that Miracle-Gro products are the most popular among indoor gardeners, and most of their articles have high marks and a bunch of reviews.
I trust this brand with all my plants and use different composts to get the best results.
For my succulents, I chose this one, as it has the proper NPK ratio, and 3 packs last throughout the entire growing period, thus saving me a few bucks.
My garden, especially aloe vera grown indoors, is thriving with it, so it had to be included on this list.
Let’s check out the specs before I move on to key features.
- Manufacturer: Scotts – Mixing Warehouse
- Item weight: 1.94 pounds
- Package dimensions: 8.15 x 6.57 x 2.44 inches
Aloe vera plants do not respond well to all-purpose fertilizers.
NPK in this type of compost is typically either 10-10-10 or 20-20-20, which can cause big damage on a succulent, not just aloe vera.
Thus, it is better to use fertilizers that are made to promote blooming, as NPK is slightly different – in this type, the level of nitrogen and potassium is the same, while it contains significantly more phosphorus, responsible for blossoming.
This Miracle-Gro one has the right formulation, suitable for aloe vera, but also cacti and jade, so you can feed other plants in your garden using the same compost.
Also, it is a liquid fertilizer, the type aloe vera plants prefer the most.
Dosing is easy with a pump on top of the bottle.
However, I wouldn’t recommend following the instructions blindly.
Feeding once a week is recommended on the packaging, but this could be too much for an aloe vera plant.
Instead, stick to the monthly feedings.
It is in form of foam, so it can be added directly into the pot.
Still, I found that my plants preferred diluted food over direct use.
Two pumps were enough for a gallon of water.
Before adding the compost, I watered the plant generously. Aloe likes to grow in a pot with drainage holes, so I would water the plant until I see it leaving the pot through those holes.
Then let it sit overnight, add the compost to the base, and water it again.
If this method makes you worried about root rot, don’t sweat it!
As long as you are using regular potting soil, mixed with a bit of coarse sand, and there is a plate for excess water, your aloe vera will be just fine.
Remember to give your plant a break from feeding in the fall.
- Easy to use
- Can be added directly or diluted
- Suitable for aloe vera, cacti, and other succulents
- Price could be an issue, compared to the amount of product
2. Opulent Iron
This one is not designed for aloe vera or any succulent, but because it does promote greenness and richer foliage, I had to include it.
Opulent Iron | 16 oz. | Liquid Iron Fertilizer | 7.315% Iron | for Plants or Lawns | Fast Acting | Dark Green Lawn | Foliar Application is the fertilizer you can use both indoors and outdoors.
Typically, this compost is used for lawns – it promotes the green color of grass, thus improves the overall look of your lawn.
However, due to its formulation, it can be used on any plant with big leaves.
After a few usages, you will notice a big change in aloe vera leaves – their appearance and health will significantly improve.
- Manufacturer: Opulent blends
- Item weight: 1.53 pounds
- Package dimensions: 4.5 x 1.88 x 6.25 inches
When I talk about compost, I always like to mention the NPK ratio.
The proper formulation is the most important for the health of a plant. In case you own a blooming plant, it will require compost with a higher level of phosphorus, while non-flowering plants need more nitrogen.
However, for this food, I cannot talk about NPK, as these nutrients are not the most important part of its formulation.
As you may or may not know, this element plays a significant role in chlorophyll synthesis, thus participates in the overall metabolism of a plant.
By supplementing iron, you can promote the function of this pigment and enzymes related to it.
The iron makes almost eight percent of the entire formulation, so if you provide enough bright light, your aloe vera will thrive even indoors.
Furthermore, the fertilizer comes in a bottle of 16 oz.
This large packaging should last you through the growing season, and suits most plants, thus makes gardening easier.
Because of the high iron level, even when used diluted, the amount of the mineral remains high.
Thus, durability is ensured!
For fertilizing aloe plants, use only two fl. oz. for one gallon.
I would recommend pouring it into a spray bottle since it works the best when it is misted onto the plant. After misting, water the plant and repeat the feeding in a month.
You could also use it as any fertilizer, but the results won’t be as good. Instead of adding it to the soil, use a proper potting mix, which will provide common nutrients, and building sand for drainage. This will boost the health of the aloe plant, while iron will ensure the proper function of the pigment in the leaf.
- Cover 1000 square feet
- Promotes synthesis of chlorophyll and greenness
- Does not contain main nutrients
3. Miracle-Gro Indoor Fertilizer
If you have been following this blog for some, then you may have already heard about Miracle-Gro Indoor Plant Food, 8-Ounce (Plant Fertilizer) (2 Pack).
This is one of my favorite fertilizers, because of its versatility.
I can use it to boost the growth of smaller plants, as well as on different species since it works for most of them.
Thus with one compost, I can cover all plants in my indoor garden, including plant aloe.
The formulation is amazing, it is practical to use, and you already know how much I trust the brand.
If you want a high-quality fertilizer, that won’t cost you a fortune, I would suggest this one.
- Manufacturer: Miracle-Gro
- Item weight: 10.6 ounces
- Package dimensions: 7.68 x 5.75 x 1.85 inches
This is an all-purpose plant fertilizer.
As you may recall, this type of fertilizer doesn’t suit plant aloe the best.
The amount of nitrogen present could cause burns on plant leaves, and damage the plant’s health.
Since aloe vera gel present in the leaf has a medicinal use, you want to keep them intact and thriving.
With a bit of extra care, this compost will make aloe plants thrive.
I have a few recommendations on how to use it.
Firstly, let’s begin with its main feature – NPK formulation.
As well-balanced compost, the NPK is 1-1-1, so main nutrients are present in the same percentage.
If you choose to get this one, then I would suggest planting aloe vera plant in the soil with not as many nutrients. The amount of soil compared to the amount of coarse sand can be 40-60, not strictly half and half.
By incorporating a bit more sand, you are promoting the drainage and preventing the nutrient build-up in the pot which can later damage the plant.
This article should be used diluted.
I prefer to water the plant the night before feeding, provide enough moisture, and let the excess water leave the pot.
Then I dilute one pump of fertilizer in a gallon of water and pour this mixture into a watering can.
To avoid nitrogen burns and leaf damage, I pour the fertilizer directly onto the base.
After that, I water the aloe plant once again and repeat the steps in a month.
You will notice that this liquid fertilizer can be added directly into the potting soil (instructions on the container). As long as you provide enough moisture for your aloe plants after feeding, it is not necessary to dilute them.
- Easy to use
- Suitable for almost all indoor plants
- Liquid fertilizer
- Weaker compared to compost with similar formulation
4. CACTUS and SUCCULENTS Fertilizer
All of the articles mentioned on this list will make aloe vera plants thrive, so picking one and naming it the best is difficult.
If you want something that will improve the overall health of your plant aloe, I would suggest CACTUS and SUCCULENTS Fertilizer for Plants NPK 5-5-7 COMPO Premium.
As said aloe vera is a medicinal plant, as aloe vera gel is full of vitamins and amino acids and it can be even used in gardening as a compost.
However, if you are not taking care of your aloe vera properly, there won’t be much gel to harvest and it won’t be of good quality.
Thanks to its formulation, this compost will promote plant growth, while also improving its health, so you can get the most of that gel building up in the leaf.
- Manufacturer: COMPO
- Item weight: 250 Grams
So, what makes this compost stand out among others?
Well, it seems that COMPO has found the formulation that suits aloe barbadensis the most, as well as cacti, and other similar herbs you may have in your garden.
The NPK is 5-5-7.
When I mentioned this ratio before, I stated that nitrogen levels should be lower, and this compost follows this rule, thus burns on leaves’ tips are prevented.
One nutrient that they increased is potassium, so you may wonder why.
Well, this mineral plays a major role in proper cellular function. As aloe vera has thick leaves, this element will promote its function.
Furthermore, the compost contains Bio Simulator PAA and many other elements in traces.
COMPO wanted a formulation that will promote the plants’ health and growth – different elements that will improve the function of roots, as well as leaves, resulting in an overall healthy aloe vera plant.
Dosing this aloe vera fertilizer is quite easy. You can find more information on the article, but I will quickly go over the application.
When you open the bottle, you find three levels on the cap.
If you pour fertilizer up to the first level, you have to dilute it in two liters of water.
For each additional level on the cap, you just have to add two more liters of water.
Then just add the compost into the pot.
Keep in mind that the aloe vera fertilizer cannot keep the herb healthy on its own. This means that you still have to ensure proper growing conditions, such as enough growing mix and sand, frequent watering, and enough light.
Only then your aloe vera can thrive!
- The formulation that improves the plants health
- Easy to use
- NPK: 5-5-7
- Pricy compared to other articles
5. Jobe’s Succulent Spikes
The last product I wanted to talk about is Jobe’s 06703 Succulent Fertilizer Spikes, 12, Natural.
Jobe’s is creating different organic gardening products, so if you are all about sustainability, I advise you to check them out.
In their store, you can find composts suitable for citrus trees, blooming herbs, as well as different soil mixtures, and a bunch of things for your garden.
The best part is that most of their articles are organic, so you will be sure that whatever you are using, you are not contributing to environmental pollution.
As far as aloe vera fertilizer goes, I suggest these spikes.
- Manufacturer: JOBE’S COMPANY
- Item weight: 0.634 ounces
- Package dimensions: 0.92 x 5 x 6 inches
Generally, the aloe vera prefers continuous feeding, over liquid fertilizer you have to add every two weeks or once a month.
Thus, these spikes are a great option!
They have multiple advantages over liquid fertilizers.
Firstly, they are more practical.
Instead of diluting the compost every time before feeding, all you have to do is take one spike from the packaging and put it into the soil.
The elements stored in the spike will be slowly released over time, with each watering.
Furthermore, there is no need to worry about the dosage.
As this herb is quite sensitive to overfertilization, when you switch to spikes, you won’t have to worry about soil getting saturated with elements and slowly killing the aloe vera.
One spike contains enough micronutrients to feed the herb throughout the growing period. This means that instead of feeding aloe monthly, you will do it annually.
Also, there is less odor, and the formulation is pet-friendly.
So what exactly does it have?
Well, the amount of nitrogen is lower compared to phosphorus and potassium – only 2% is nitrogen, while there is 8% of the other two elements.
The source of all elements is mostly feather and bone meal.
Besides these, it contains trace elements whose main role is to promote the health and function of roots.
When this part of the plant is developing properly, the rest of the plant thrives as well!
- Continuous release
- Lasts for a year
- NPK: 2-8-8
- If placed too close, it can damage the herb
What to look for when buying fertilizer for Aloe Vera?
The articles mentioned above are entirely safe for aloe vera, but in case you would like to try something else, I have prepared a small shopping guide as well.
Before you start scrolling through online stores and click on that “Add to cart” button, check out whether the fertilizer you have chosen fulfills the following criteria:
Aloe vera will thrive on both liquid fertilizer and slow-release one.
In case you decide to get a fertilizer with the continuous release, make sure it is in form of pellets.
The continuous release will make sure the plant is receiving all of the necessary micro and macronutrients, over an extended period, so you don’t have to worry about over-fertilizing.
Also, since you do not have to apply it frequently, one package will most likely last throughout the entire growing period, thus saving you a few bucks.
When it comes to liquid fertilizer, they are good as well and the results can be seen instantly, which is why many gardeners go for this option. Application is a bit trickier, but you will get a hang of it over time.
For aloe vera, choose a fertilizer with 10-40-10.
This is a formulation of most fertilizers for blooming plants, so it will work for aloe vera and most of the succulents.
3. Water solubility
Another thing I would suggest is to use fertilizer soluble in water. This is especially important for liquid fertilizers, as direct use can damage the plant.
Plant food should be diluted in water, to half-strength and then added to the pot.
Many gardeners wonder whether aloe vera prefers organic over synthetic plant food.
Well, you can use both, but you should be aware of a few things.
If you want to grow organic aloe vera, then you have to get organic fertilizer. It is made of natural materials, thus it doesn’t pollute the environment.
However, this type is not as effective.
If you want instant results, switch to synthetic fertilizer. They will be slightly more concentrated and give faster results.
Do I need to fertilize my aloe plant?
Yes and no! New aloe vera, after planting, does not have a high demand for fertilizer. They do just fine without one if the right growing medium is used. This means slightly alkaline soil, so avoid coffee as coffee grounds are creating an acidic environment. Also, make sure to mix soil and sand – one will provide elements that improve development, while another promotes drainage. Make sure the aloe vera is receiving enough sunlight, but if you cannot find a spot with bright light, partial shade is okay too. In the following year, you can start with feedings. The herb demands monthly feeding, in the period from March to September. If you choose one of the slow-release fertilizers, then most likely you will feed the herb only a few times during that growing period.
How do you make aloe vera fertilizer?
This type of feeding is called foliar feeding, and all vitamins are absorbed directly through the stomata. As said, the gel has numerous amino acids and vitamins, and it can be quite beneficial for your garden. From aloe vera, you can make a fertilizer, which will suit your indoor plants. Here is what you need to do:
1. Cut one of the leaves, and take the gel;
2. Add the gel into the water
3. Transfer the mixture into a spray bottle, and apply it to the leaves.
This type of feeding is called foliar feeding, and all vitamins are absorbed directly through the stomata.
That is it all! I hope you have found this blog helpful and that you have already ordered your aloe vera fertilizer.
Also, do not forget about the planting tips mentioned throughout the post, as your herb won’t thrive without the proper care.
Best of luck!