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Aloe Vera Light Requirements: Everything You Need to Know

Aloe vera is a sub-tropical plant with many benefits for human beings.

Aloe vera’s light requirements are higher than other plants as a sub-tropical plant. So, you may not have to worry much about other factors if you provide this plant with enough light.

Generally, Aloe vera prefers indirect but bright sunlight for at least six to eight hours a day. It cannot survive in low light conditions. Furthermore, Aloe vera grows best in a south or west-facing window.

Aloe Vera Close Up
Aloe Vera Plant in Light (Source: Public Domain Pictures)

Aloe vera needs sunlight to thrive, though specific plant light requirements may vary depending on location, soil type, and plant age.

Let’s dive deep into this topic to know about the Aloe vera light requirements.

Overview of Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is a must-have houseplant for indoors as they do not require much care and attention.

But, it would be best if you were careful with this plant with pets around your house. Although beneficial to humans, this plant can prove toxic to pets.

Scientific NameAloe barbadensis miller
Common NameAloe vera, Burn plant
OriginArabian peninsula
Family Asphodelaceae
Plant TypeSucculent
Growth Zone USDA hardiness zones 8-11
Growth SizeAverage height: Up to 2 feet
Maximum height: 3 feet
Grown For Beneficial gel in the leaves
Foliage Type Thick succulent leaves with spines on the edge, arranged in a rosette
Blooms Orange blooms in a cluster on a stalk
Blooming SeasonBuds appear in late winter
Plant blooms during spring to late summer
Toxicity Toxic to pets and humans when consumed raw
Care Level Easy
AvailabilityEasily available

How Much Light Does Aloe Vera Need?

Many of us prefer keeping Aloe vera in our homes because of its aesthetic appeal and the advantages they offer.

These plants do well outsides in the USDA zone ranging from 9 to 10. In other USDA zones, people prefer to grow it inside.

Generally, houseplants can survive without light for 5-20 days, depending on their usual light requirement.

Being a light-needy plant, Aloe vera can survive for 10 to 14 days before succumbing to the light deficit.

Aloe Vera Plant
Aloe Vera Plant (Source: Tenor)

Aloe vera cannot survive in the absence of sunlight. Aloe vera is a desert succulent that requires at least 6 hours a day of bright indirect sunlight to survive.

Although the plant’s natural habitat is a desert, it does well in indirect light when grown indoors. Remember, the environment should be bright.

If bright indirect sunlight is present, you shouldn’t seek the help of artificial lights.

You can use grow light, if it receives inadequate natural light. However, you need to ensure it receives at least 14 hours of artificial light daily.

How to Ensure Optimum Light for Aloe Vera?

Succulents like Aloe vera are very picky about the light conditions they get. A fluctuation in light quality, quantity, and type may affect them in the long run.

Being a sub-tropical plant, Aloe vera has distinct light needs. In their natural habitat, i.e., the desert, they almost spend the entirety of their life in the bright sun.

You need to provide them with light according to their needs when indoors. Let’s look below to find out their needs.

1. Light Intensity

Light intensity is the measure of lumens falling on a surface, measured in lux.

Aloe vera does not need intense light as it can only tolerate 5-6 hours of direct sunlight daily.

According to the University of Florida, Aloe vera needs light intensity of 800 Foot Candles (~8600 lux) for good growth.

Photosynthesis Graph
Relation Between Photosynthesis and Light Intensity (Source: Biology-IGCSE)

Remember, it needs at least 400FC (~4300 lux) light intensity to survive.

Although, some varieties of Aloe vera can show no signs of stress even when the intensity is down to 200FC (~2200 lux).

If you plan to grow it in a greenhouse commercially, you need to provide it with a light intensity of at least 5000 FC (~53800 lux).

Research on the effects of light quality and intensity on the growth of Aloe vera found that under 25% light intensity, the number of leaves and plantlets produced, and gel content was found to be lowest.

Maximum leaf production and Aloe gel production occurred at light intensities of 58%.

Similarly, the plants produced the maximum quantity of plantlets and the highest amount of gel when exposed to 100% light intensity.

Aloe Vera slices
Aloe vera gel (Source: Freepik)

As a result, the intensity of the light has a more significant impact on the Aloe vera’s healthy growth and the amount of gel it can produce.

Thus, you must provide adequate lighting for its growth. 

You can use a light meter to measure the light intensity in your environment and act accordingly.

2. Light Duration

Taking care of the light duration is essential for Aloe vera care.

A plant’s good health depends on how much light it gets and for what duration. Aloe vera is also sensitive in that matter.

Aloe vera needs at least six hours of light per day in the summer to ensure good health. The plant is dormant in winter, so you won’t need much light.

Aloe Vera in Sunlight
Aloe Vera in Direct Sun (Source: Public Domain Pictures)

During the harsh winters, the plant will be happy even if you provide a few hours of sunlight in the daytime.

Furthermore, a plant can withstand intense sunlight for an extended period increases with age.

For instance, freshly propagated Aloe vera won’t be able to tolerate the same intense light levels and duration as older plants.

Remember, exposing your Aloe vera plant to too much sunlight may risk damaging its leaves.

3. Light Quality

Light quality is the spectral composition of light particles at different wavelengths.

It is one of the critical factors that ensure how the plant grows under different lights and what light color they prefer.

Aloe vera prefers the color temperature to be around 6500k for better growth, while you may need the color temperature of 3000k if you want to make your Aloe vera bloom.

Color Temperature Chart
Color Temperature Chart (Source: Illumi)

According to the study on light quality, blue light produced the highest levels of gel and leaf chlorophyll in Aloe vera.

Aloin content appeared higher under white light than under red light, but chlorophyll content was the same under red and white light.

As chlorophyll is essential for keeping plants healthy and green. The stem and leaves of plants that receive a lot of blue light will be strong and healthy.

The development of green leaves and stems in Aloe vera is best supported by blue light with a wavelength range of 400–500 nm.

However, the growth of plants is affected in different ways by various light colors.

Let’s look at the light spectrum types, their wavelengths, and the pros and cons they offer to a plant.

Light ColorsWavelength RangeFeatures
Violet380-430nmPros: Enhances plant fruits and color
Cons: N/A
Blue430-500nmPros: Promotes thick leaves and assists with photosynthesis
Cons: Suppresses extension growth
Green and Cyan500-565nmPros: Helps the plant reach its full potential
Cons: Not absorbed properly by chlorophyll
Yellow565-580nmPros: Helps with photosynthesis
Cons: Seeds with overexposure to yellow light don't produce carbohydrates and thus have limited growth
Orange580-625nmPros: Acts as a catalyst to increase flowering and budding
Cons: Not much importance in plant's growth
Red625-740nmPros: Regulates growth and development
Cons: Makes plant leggy and the leaves elongated
Far-Red740-10,000Pros: Helps with seedling or germination process
Cons: It can discolor the plant and even kill it
UV Ray<380Pros: In safe doses, it enhances plant growth
Cons: Bleaching or scorching of plants

A light spectrum consisting of red and blue light can benefit succulents like Aloe vera. It needs such light for overall growth.

Reading this article may help “What Light Color is Best for the Plant’s Growth?

4. Location for the Plant

The location you place your plant also plays a crucial role in determining how the plant grows.

For succulents like Aloe vera, you must place them where they are not in contact with direct sunlight.

Generally, Aloe vera will flourish if you place them on a bright windowsill or a shelf where the direct sun doesn’t reach.

Aloe Vera Plant smiling
Aloe Vera will Flourish if you Keep Them in Good Location (Source: Tenor)

If you want to be on the safer side, place the plant in a western or southern window inside a bright room.

Aloe vera plants are excellent for growing both indoors and outdoor.

But, sunburn is the primary concern, and direct sunlight might damage the plant.

If you want to grow them outdoors, you can gradually acclimate the plant to the environment by exposing it to sunlight for more extended periods each day for one to two weeks.

Signs your Aloe Vera Requires More or Less Sunlight

Aloe vera light requirements are straightforward. Although it is succulent, it generally can survive in lesser light conditions compared to the other succulents.

Aloe vera may survive in low light conditions, but you will not have the kind of growth you expected from it.

Similarly, the plant may sustain in a sunny spot with too much light, but you will need to water it more frequently or risk killing it.

Let’s look at the effect of excess and less light in detail below.

Signs of Light Deprived Aloe Vera

If you do not provide your Aloe Vera plant enough sunlight, it will show the following signs.

  • The fleshy leaves of Aloe vera will lose their composure and droop down if the light is not enough.
  • Leaves of the Aloe vera plant will turn pale. The sunlight provides the plant with chlorophyll which is reduced when the light is insufficient.
  • The plant will grow leggy and appear elongated as it searches for more light and stretches towards the light source.
Mature Aloe Plant
Leggy Aloe vera
  • Your Aloe vera will grow considerably slower than usual if the light is insufficient.
  • There is a significant reduction in the size of the leaves without adequate light to energize them.
  • Aloe vera spreads out and grows downward instead of growing upwards.

Signs of Light Saturated Aloe Vera

Sometimes the plant receives more light than it should in the position you’ve kept it in.

In distressful situations like that, the plant will show the following symptoms.

  • The leaf tips of the Aloe vera plant will turn brown due to excessive sunlight.
  • Leaves will lose their natural color and fade to a pale green color.
Sunburnt vs Healthy Aloe Vera
Sunburnt vs. Healthy Aloe Vera (Source: Reddit)
  • Brown spots called ‘sunspots’ will appear on the leaves.
  • You will see the results of too much sunlight on the plants as the foliage will have sunburns.
  • Sometimes the plant may even turn gloomy gray.
  • The leaves start to wrinkle.

Solution and Preventive Measures

So your Aloe vera is showing symptoms of distress. Fret not; we have got you covered.

Look below for the solutions and preventive measures to maintain optimum lighting and temperature for the plant.

  • If your plant exhibits the signs of lack of sunlight, move them to a location where it will get bright and indirect sunlight.
  • You can move the sunburnt Aloe vera to a cooler place, probably somewhere with enough shade. Water it enough to bring it back to normal.
Infected Aloe Leaf
Infected Aloe Leaf
  • Place your Aloe vera plant near a window where it will get at least 6 hours of sunlight daily.
  • The University of New Hampshire says a south-facing window is perfect for Aloe vera, but east or west-facing window will work.
  • You can calibrate the light needs of your plant with other care factors like the amount of water, temperature, humidity, soil, etc.

Does Aloe Vera Grow in Artificial Light?

Artificial lights have played an essential role in the better growth of plants for a long time.

They date to almost 150 years before today’s date, when electric lamps were used to fulfill the plant’s light needs.

According to NYBG, you can use artificial lights in a combination with natural lights by placing it 6 to 12 inches above the plant.

Remember, artificial lights do not act as natural lights, so you must keep Aloe vera in artificial lights for 14 to 16 hours daily.

Keeping the plant only under the natural lights will not help. It would be best if you kept other care factors like watering, temperature, etc., in check.

Grow light for succulent
Grow light for succulent (Source: Amazon)

It would also be best to provide your plant with a few hours of morning and evening direct sun and keep them in artificial lights for the rest of the day.

Keep the following things in mind for choosing artificial lights for your Aloe vera.

  • Light output: At least 300 to 800 lumens per square foot.
  • Color: Full spectrum provides the best growing conditions.
  • Color temperature: Somewhere between 3000K to 6000K.
  • Wattage: Higher the wattage, the better the efficiency.

Let’s look at the best artificial lights for Aloe vera on Amazon.

Grow LightsFeatures
Grow Light, LORDEM Full Spectrum LED1. Adjustable height
2. Provides a wavelength of 380 to 800nm.
Grow Lights for Indoor Plants with Stand, AMBOR1. Excellent heat dissipation
2. Provides full spectrum light
Grow Light for Indoor Plants - 20W1. Comes with 5 dimmable levels
2. Provides full spectrum
GooingTop LED Grow Light,6000K Full Spectrum1. Provides 6000K white light
2. Highly efficient LED

Conclusion

Aloe vera is a hardy plant to have in the household. Aloe vera light requirements are not difficult to meet, despite how needy they are.

A few hours of sunlight and a few extended hours of indoor artificial lights can do the trick for the Aloe vera plant.

Good luck showering your Aloe with love.

Read more about Aloe vera in Plants Craze.

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