You’ve decided you want to keep an aloe vera plant or 12 around “just in case.”
“So how do I take care of it so it doesn’t die on me?”
Best thing to do, is leave the aloe vera plant in the pot you originally purchased it in. Place it in the window that gets the most sun, or if it’s summer months, you can keep your aloe plant outside. During winter months, keep it by a window with the most sun, and as free from any cold, winter air as possible. (ie: old windows that allow a bit of cold air to come in)
Since aloe plants are 95% water, you want to be sure they are well watered. During the summer months, completely soak the soil, but allow the soil to dry before you re-water it.
During winter months your aloe vera plant will not need as much water since it will be somewhat dormant, so it’s very important that you let the soil become completely dry before giving it about 8-16 ounces of water. (depending on size)
If you’re in an apartment without sufficient sunlight, you can try replacing a light bulb with a “plant light”/”gro-light” of sorts, and keep your aloe vera plant near it. Not nearly as good as real sunlight, but it’s better than nothing.
Repotting Your Aloe Vera Plant:
If you wish to repot your aloe vera plant, choose a pot that is more wide, than it is deep, since the roots of aloe vera plants spread out in a shallow fashion. The pot should have a drainage hole, or you could add approximately an inch and a half of gravel inside the bottom of the pot to be sure of proper draining. (marbles are perfectly fine too)
Use a good extra perlite potting mix. (granite grit or coarse sand potting mix is acceptable as well) Cactus soil is also acceptable. Once a year in the spring you should use a fertilizer low in nitrogen and high in phosphorus (10-40-10 is ideal) diluted at half strength before giving it to your aloe vera plant.
You can remove the offsets (those shoots forming laterally at the base) of a mature aloe vera plant to reproduce, or grow from seed as well. If removing offsets, best is when they’re over 3 inches.
Aloe vera plants are basically pretty easy to take of. The main thing you need to be careful of, is over watering, so be sure to let the soil completely dry before your next watering, and you should be set!