I just got an Aloe Vera that was planted on peat, which can't drain the water well so it is making it suffer from overwatering (see my previous post with pics of it).

Re-potting it with more filtering/draining soil like river soil and/or anything different than peat or sea sand, is the recommended action. But I've read it is necessary to wait until the soil is dry to re-pot it.

The issue is that it was just watered 2 days ago and it might take at least 2 weeks before the soil dries, so I guess the damage could be lessened if I accelerate the drying process by something like putting the Aloe outside in the window sill for short periods; this would make it receive direct sunlight which would evaporate the water faster, but it might also burn the Aloe.

Do you think putting it outside for around 90 minutes in the morning and 90 minutes in the evening, avoiding the 12 to 4 pm period when the sun UVA UVB is stronger here in Madrid (this week would be an average of 21 Celsius degrees or 69.8 Fahrenheit), is a good idea or a bad one? Do you think it could be a good/better idea to change the length or periods of time? Do any of you have a better idea of how to dry the soil faster without damaging the plant?

2 Answers 2


Well I wouldn't worry about drying it out first - simply tip it out of its pot, preferably wearing gloves, carefully, and with any luck, most of the wet soil will fall off immediately anyway. The plant appears to be quite small for the size pot its in, so its unlikely to be full of roots. They're quite forgiving of being potted on, but have a pot and your new, sandier or grittier soil ready and, having removed as much wet soil as possible without seriously damaging its roots, pot up into the new container. Water in well, allow to drain freely - the pot should have one large or several small drainage holes in the bottom, and you should not let it stand in any outer tray which has collected water - empty that away.

If you want to move it outdoors, harden it off first to get it acclimatized to the new conditions.

  • 2
    Bamboo is right. I'd do it while it's wet. Peat tends to turn rock hard when it dries out and I'd bet you'd do more damage by pulling hard peat off of the roots, then by washing it away while it's wet.
    – Dalton
    May 3, 2016 at 17:40
  • Thanks Bamboo and @Dalton. I'll have to choose my sources better... I just bought some cactus substrato. Hope it'll do. Will let you all know how it goes after some weeks or months...
    – Martin
    May 3, 2016 at 19:34

Yes, bamboo is right. And my aloe vera turned gray when it got any direct sun, so I'd hesitate about that. The cactus substrate is the perfect growing medium - make sure your pot has good holes, put in some medium, add the aloe vera, add some more medium, water well to settle the soil. Water only slightly from now on - although cactus medium will make it more forgiving than peat, in case it does get more than it ought. This is how we all learn - from experience.

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