Cactus and Tender Succulents forum: What's wrong with my Aloe Vera?

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XoxZipxoX
Feb 3, 2016 5:13 PM CST
Hi everyone,
I've never kept plants before, but over the summer I bought myself a small Aloe Vera plant from a local Garlic Festival. It seemed to be doing great for the first few months, tripled in size since I bought it, however over the last week or so I noticed the tops of it's leave have been thinning out, and are kind of sunken in, almost like they have no gel in them.
Thumb of 2016-02-03/XoxZipxoX/a7c394
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Does anyone know what could be wrong with it? Do you think it can be brought back from this?

I know the pot isn't the best choice, it's what I bought it in, and I plan to upgrade it to a terracotta one the next time I can get to town. No idea what soil it's in, again, it's the same stuff it was in when I bought it, but had no trouble growing in it for the first several months.
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Feb 3, 2016 8:15 PM CST
Either the plant is too overwatered or underwatered that the roots are either rotting or drying out too much below thus no moisture is going into the leaves. I would check the condition of the roots.

But typically most plants slow down a bit during winter especially when indoors so watering has to be lessened. But just the same check the condition of the roots.
[Last edited by tarev - Feb 3, 2016 8:19 PM (+)]
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XoxZipxoX
Feb 18, 2016 10:47 AM CST
Thanks
I was without internet for the past two weeks otherwise I would have responded sooner but right after I read your post I tried checking the roots and found that it didn't really seem to have all that many and a couple of them were flat and dark at the ends. I took those parts off and replanted. I also cut back on watering. The plant seems to be doing worse now. The tops of the leaves are beginning to turn brown, and more of the leaves are starting to go thin.

Do you think it could be related to the cold? I'm in Canada and our house is heated by a fireplace so the temperatures fluctuate quite a bit in certain areas of the house depending on how well the fire is burning, there are also certain times during the day when the house will get pretty cold because there isn't anyone home to maintain the fire. I'm thinking about placing the Aloe Vera on the mantel above the fireplace, it would stay a lot warmer up there, and there is a south facing window directly across the room from the fireplace so it would get a bit of sunlight during the day. Is this a bad idea?

I really want to revive this plant but it just seems to be getting worse :(
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter
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tarev
Feb 18, 2016 12:04 PM CST
Yes, the cold temps would be a factor too, it likes to be in warm conditions like 60F to 80F (15C to 26C). So if you can position it to a warmer area with lots of light. I wonder if you have those root heating mats, that can help too encourage rooting. I usually put aloes and succulents in a gritty cacti mix, so it does not stay soggy for a long time. If it gets too soggy and cold, it will rot the roots.

Name: Alex Junge
MN st paul, (Zone 4a)
Plantsmylove
Feb 18, 2016 7:21 PM CST
Agaves unlike aloes can handle cold if dry I hope it survives

XoxZipxoX
Mar 11, 2016 12:39 AM CST
Thanks for the suggestions everyone. 2 weeks ago I ended up going out a and buying a cactus mix, and a new terracotta pot for it. I repotted it that night. When I dug the plant up it didn't have any roots but it's crown seemed firm so I went ahead and replanted it in the new pot with the new mix. I also moved the plant over to sit on top of my bearded dragons terrarium, a few feet from the heat lamp but underneath the UVB bulb. The past two weeks it was like that it seemed to be getting better, until today. I brought the plant downstairs to water it, a few hours later when I go to shut the Beardies lights off for the night I noticed the Aloe was looking very droopy, upon closer inspection all the bottom of the leaves are gone clear and getting a bit squishy. What's going wrong now? Is it salvageable?

A part of me wants to dig the plant back up and let it dry out some before replanting it again, but I don't want to cause more damage than I already have. I feel like such a bad Aloe owner :(
Name: Thijs van Soest
Mesa, AZ (Zone 9b)
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mcvansoest
Mar 11, 2016 12:41 PM CST
I fear that if all the leaves are squishy and clear then the plant is done for. The fact that you said it had barely any roots means that any water would probably only have made it worse and it sounds like you watered it. If the plant has little or not roots, it is has hard time taking up the water, so it is better to leave those pretty much dry. Wetness around these kind of plants that are in distress usually gets them - as I can attest from my own many Aloe failures. In my case it is usually late night summer heat (90F plus) and too much water, but it kills them nonetheless.
My advice would be to get a new one rather than keep messing with this one, which is done for.
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter
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tarev
Mar 11, 2016 12:52 PM CST
Oh, sad to hear that Xox..you can certainly try and pull the plant to dry up. But in the meantime, get another plant as suggested by Thijs. Sometimes, there is a limit to what we can do to save the plant, so start anew and learn from the previous errors. If old plant revives after dry out time, then that will be fun..if not, at least you have a new one to nurture.

If you get a new plant, don't reuse that mix you have, start with new well draining media.

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