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Do You Water Aloe Vera from Top or Bottom? What Experts Say

Aloe Vera plants don’t require very much water. According to the University of Florida, Aloe Vera is native to Africa, which explains why it thrives with little water.

It is therefore important that when you water Aloe Vera, you water it the right way.

Overwatering or underwatering your Aloe Vera plant could lead to withering and browned tips, or could even kill the plant.

When you water Aloe Vera, how do you do it?


Do You Water Aloe Vera from Top or Bottom?

You water Aloe Vera by pointing the nozzle of the watering can directly at the earth at the base of the plant, rather than by showering the leaves with water. Watering the bottom of the plant is the best way to nourish the root system without disturbing the soil too much.

Do You Water Aloe Vera from Top or Bottom?

Do You Water Aloe Vera from Top or Bottom?

The Aloe Vera leaves are not able to absorb water directly, so it doesn’t help to pour water on them.

It just means that you are pouring water onto the soil and roots from a greater height, which disturbs the soil more.

Pouring water over the aloe vera doesn't help the plant as its leaves cannot absorb it

Pouring water over the Aloe Vera doesn’t help the plant as its leaves cannot absorb it

You can also bottom water Aloe Vera by placing the plant in a water-filled tray, immersing the bottom of the plant’s root system. This strengthens the root system and quenches the plant’s thirst at the same time.

Aloe Vera thrives when you water the roots infrequently but thoroughly, either by watering from above at the soil level (not the leaves) or by bottom water (immersing the roots in water so that they can soak it up).


Where to Water Aloe Vera

The best place to water Aloe Vera is directly underneath the leaves.

Since you don’t need to shower the leaves, you are just targeting the roots and emptying the water as directly as possible into the root system.

Since the plant grows directly above the strongest roots, pouring water at the very base of the plant is the best way to nourish it.

The best way of watering your aloe vera plant is by pouring water directly to its base

The best way of watering your Aloe Vera plant is by pouring water directly to its base

There is no need to water every part of the pot since the main roots beneath the plant can absorb all of the water.

Watering from above the root system doesn’t mean watering above the plant, which is generally inefficient and can even disturb the top soil in ways that stress the plant.

When you’re watering Aloe Vera, you can just pour it slowly and steadily into the soil directly beside the base of the plant.


How to Bottom Water an Aloe Plant

The alternative to watering from above the root system is to immerse the bottom of the aloe plant in water, allowing it to drink from below rather than above.

This can be especially effective in strengthening root systems, as they strain to grow downward toward replenishing water.

Bottom watering is a little bit more labor-intensive than watering from the top, but it’s still very easy to do at home.

Besides, Aloe Vera doesn’t need to be watered very often (every 2-3 weeks), so this ritual doesn’t have to be overwhelming.

Fill a bucket or a tray with water to about half the height of the soil in the planter your Aloe Vera is planted in.

Fill a bucket or tray with water about half the height of the soil in the aloe vera's planter

Fill a bucket or tray with water about half the height of the soil in the Aloe Vera’s planter

Now, immerse the Aloe Vera planter in the water. Again, the water line shouldn’t be higher than halfway up the Aloe Vera planter.

Leave it for 10 minutes and check to see if the soil at the top of the planter is moist, or if it is still completely dry.

If the plant looks the same, give it another 10 minutes (20 minutes total) before you take it out of the bath.

This method of watering is very healthy for the plant and can strengthen the root system, but you will still have to water above at least twice a year to remove toxins that can build up in the soil.


Frequently Asked Questions about Watering Aloe Vera from the Top or Bottom


How Will My Aloe Vera Plant Tell Me It Needs Water?

Aloe Vera plants should be watered every 2-3 weeks. If the soil is dry and your Aloe Vera plant has been waiting more than 2 weeks since its last feeding, you can give it a drink.


How Often Should You Bottom Water Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera should be bottom watered the same amount as you would water it from above – every 2-3 weeks. Otherwise, the same risks of overwatering exist with bottom watering. They only differ in that the water is saturated from below rather than above.


What’s the Best Watering Method for Aloe Vera?

Bottom water encourages root growth and doesn’t disturb the surface of the soil. But, the best way to water an aloe plant is whichever way is most convenient for you to do consistently. Aloe Vera will grow best and as long as it is watered regularly and not left thirsty, or oversaturated.


Should I Water My Aloe Plant From Above Or Below?

If you are using your watering can, you should water your Aloe Vera plant directly at the base of the plant, below the leaves, and above the root system and soil.

If you are bottom watering the Aloe Vera plant by immersing the lower half of the root system in water, watering from below will also do a great job.

What’s not as efficient or helpful is spraying or sprinkling the Aloe Vera leaves with water.

Although it’s helpful to clean off any dust that accumulates, Aloe Vera leaves can’t absorb water, so it just falls into the soil where it ends up absorbed by the roots.

Author Bio

Daniel Iseli

Taking care of houseplants and gardening are my greatest passions. I am transforming my apartment into an urban jungle and am growing veggies in my indoor and outdoor garden year-round.