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Name: Der Thomaskantor
Massachusetts (Zone 6b)
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bwv998
Jul 20, 2016 10:21 AM CST
Hi everyone,

I've been having problems with my succulent. First, as you can see, it's tilted to one side. It's right next to a window, and even though I rotate it periodically, it insists in facing that direction. Second, the bottom leaves are drying up. Should I pluck them off?

I've had this succulent for years, and it has tripled in size, so losing it will be a pain. Sad

Thanks!
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Name: Tara
NE, Florida (Zone 9a)
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terrafirma
Jul 20, 2016 10:33 AM CST
My guess would be that it's calling out for brighter light/sun. Maybe even to be outdoors.
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Jul 20, 2016 10:45 AM CST
Hello bwv998! Yes, you can remove those dried up leaves. It is normal for the older, lower leaves to dry up.

You can also cut off the top section, allow to callus, and repot cut off part in a gritty media. Position in some shade then move to more sun outdoors, it likes lots of light and warmth. It is growing etiolated like that, getting too leggy, since it is seeking more light. Sometimes, it is just not the best to have them indoors, they really like outdoor growing, then just have to move them back indoors when the seasons go cold again.
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
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plantladylin
Jul 20, 2016 11:02 AM CST
Lovely plant! It reminds me of the Climbing Aloe and I agree, it's orienting towards the brightest light location because they do prefer very bright sunlight.
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Name: Der Thomaskantor
Massachusetts (Zone 6b)
Dog Lover Region: Massachusetts Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Cat Lover Garden Photography Region: Northeast US
Cactus and Succulents Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Houseplants
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bwv998
Jul 20, 2016 11:21 AM CST
terrafirma said:My guess would be that it's calling out for brighter light/sun. Maybe even to be outdoors.


Thanks for the tip, @terrafirma! Acorn
The aim and final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul.

— J.S. Bach
Name: Tara
NE, Florida (Zone 9a)
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terrafirma
Jul 20, 2016 11:28 AM CST
I've had many plants do that on me, and I felt like I was spinning them almost daily! Finally relented and move them out to my covered deck. They're much happier, and I'm not constantly turning pots!

Hope it works for you!
Name: Der Thomaskantor
Massachusetts (Zone 6b)
Dog Lover Region: Massachusetts Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Cat Lover Garden Photography Region: Northeast US
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bwv998
Jul 20, 2016 11:29 AM CST
tarev said:Hello bwv998! Yes, you can remove those dried up leaves. It is normal for the older, lower leaves to dry up.

You can also cut off the top section, allow to callus, and repot cut off part in a gritty media. Position in some shade then move to more sun outdoors, it likes lots of light and warmth. It is growing etiolated like that, getting too leggy, since it is seeking more light. Sometimes, it is just not the best to have them indoors, they really like outdoor growing, then just have to move them back indoors when the seasons go cold again.


Thank you, @tarev. How should I remove those leaves because I just realized that they're pretty hard to pull out, and their spines are also very sharp (may even poke through some gloves). As for the top section, how much should I cut off? Also, what is a gritty media? (Sorry, I don't know! D'Oh! )

I will try to move it outdoors for the summer once I bring it back to health. Do you know what the coldest temperature it can take?

Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!



The aim and final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul.

— J.S. Bach
Name: Der Thomaskantor
Massachusetts (Zone 6b)
Dog Lover Region: Massachusetts Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Cat Lover Garden Photography Region: Northeast US
Cactus and Succulents Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Houseplants
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bwv998
Jul 20, 2016 11:35 AM CST
[quote="plantladylin"]Lovely plant! It reminds me of the Climbing Aloe and I agree, it's orienting towards the brightest light location because they do prefer very bright sunlight.


Thanks, @plantladylin! I think you're right — it's an aloe. BTW, I really like your new profile picture! What are those beauties? Smiling
The aim and final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul.

— J.S. Bach
Name: Der Thomaskantor
Massachusetts (Zone 6b)
Dog Lover Region: Massachusetts Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Cat Lover Garden Photography Region: Northeast US
Cactus and Succulents Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Houseplants
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bwv998
Jul 20, 2016 11:36 AM CST
terrafirma said:I've had many plants do that on me, and I felt like I was spinning them almost daily! Finally relented and move them out to my covered deck. They're much happier, and I'm not constantly turning pots!

Hope it works for you!


Thank You!

I'll probably move it outside!
The aim and final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul.

— J.S. Bach
Name: Tara
NE, Florida (Zone 9a)
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terrafirma
Jul 20, 2016 11:38 AM CST
Hi! Do so gradually, especially if your thinking of more sun...Don't want to shock it with a bad sunburn all at once!
Name: Der Thomaskantor
Massachusetts (Zone 6b)
Dog Lover Region: Massachusetts Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Cat Lover Garden Photography Region: Northeast US
Cactus and Succulents Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Houseplants
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bwv998
Jul 20, 2016 11:40 AM CST
terrafirma said:Hi! Do so gradually, especially if your thinking of more sun...Don't want to shock it with a bad sunburn all at once!


Of course. Smiling Even plants don't like too much sun.
The aim and final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul.

— J.S. Bach
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Jul 20, 2016 12:36 PM CST
bwv998 said: BTW, I really like your new profile picture! What are those beauties? Smiling

Thanks, it's Plumbago (Plumbago auriculata)
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Jul 20, 2016 12:50 PM CST
The past couple years, I've let more plants get 1-sided, especially some group/combo plantings. I theorize that the plants spend zero extra energy re-orienting themselves that way, it gives me a new area in which to experiment (pots with a distinct front & back,) and they way they cram into the house for winter, it's just not possible to turn some at all, especially at the pace required to stop a lean, and the puzzle doesn't fit any other way in some spots. I went heavily in that direction this past winter & it was my best winter ever for keeping everything alive while in the not-as-comfortable conditions inside (vs. outside for summer where it's warmer, brighter, more humid, more moist more of the time.)

Older Aloes are always leaning if they have to spend winters or more time inside. IDK why they aren't more common in hanging baskets where the inevitable lean would look more normal (and pose no risk of tipping the pot over.)
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Name: Der Thomaskantor
Massachusetts (Zone 6b)
Dog Lover Region: Massachusetts Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Cat Lover Garden Photography Region: Northeast US
Cactus and Succulents Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Houseplants
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bwv998
Jul 20, 2016 1:18 PM CST
purpleinopp said:The past couple years, I've let more plants get 1-sided, especially some group/combo plantings. I theorize that the plants spend zero extra energy re-orienting themselves that way, it gives me a new area in which to experiment (pots with a distinct front & back,) and they way they cram into the house for winter, it's just not possible to turn some at all, especially at the pace required to stop a lean, and the puzzle doesn't fit any other way in some spots. I went heavily in that direction this past winter & it was my best winter ever for keeping everything alive while in the not-as-comfortable conditions inside (vs. outside for summer where it's warmer, brighter, more humid, more moist more of the time.)

Older Aloes are always leaning if they have to spend winters or more time inside. IDK why they aren't more common in hanging baskets where the inevitable lean would look more normal (and pose no risk of tipping the pot over.)


Thanks for all that info, @purpleinopp! Maybe I should just leave it to lean. After all, the Leaning Tower of Pisa is 644 years old and hasn't tipped over Rolling on the floor laughing
The aim and final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul.

— J.S. Bach
Name: Der Thomaskantor
Massachusetts (Zone 6b)
Dog Lover Region: Massachusetts Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Cat Lover Garden Photography Region: Northeast US
Cactus and Succulents Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Houseplants
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bwv998
Jul 20, 2016 1:19 PM CST
[quote="plantladylin"]
Thanks, it's Plumbago (Plumbago auriculata)

Thank you! I just love that blue …

The aim and final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul.

— J.S. Bach
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
Jul 20, 2016 2:23 PM CST
Hello bwv998, wear gloves to protect your hands, and use shears/pruners/scissors to cut the old leaf as close to the stem, so you can remove it.

Now as to cutting top part, just chop off top part, maybe up to a reasonable height you want to keep it in. You can dab some cinnamon on the cut off exposed parts, it will act as natural fungicide. Set aside the top part you have cut and allow to callus/dry up the cut end. Then you can stick it in your new media.

What I meant by gritty media, using a very well draining soil, so I usually use cacti mix and I further mix in more pumice or perlite, so the media is very well draining and porous.

Name: Der Thomaskantor
Massachusetts (Zone 6b)
Dog Lover Region: Massachusetts Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Cat Lover Garden Photography Region: Northeast US
Cactus and Succulents Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Houseplants
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bwv998
Jul 20, 2016 4:40 PM CST
tarev said:Hello bwv998, wear gloves to protect your hands, and use shears/pruners/scissors to cut the old leaf as close to the stem, so you can remove it.

Now as to cutting top part, just chop off top part, maybe up to a reasonable height you want to keep it in. You can dab some cinnamon on the cut off exposed parts, it will act as natural fungicide. Set aside the top part you have cut and allow to callus/dry up the cut end. Then you can stick it in your new media.

What I meant by gritty media, using a very well draining soil, so I usually use cacti mix and I further mix in more pumice or perlite, so the media is very well draining and porous.



Thank you, @tarev. I managed to get most of the dried leaves out. However, upon pulling out those leaves, I noticed that the plant tilts from the stem (the part right above the soil). Therefore, it may not be caused by the sun. Shrug! So I lowered the plant's position in the pot and put moisture retaining soil on top. (That's the only soil I have available.) But the plant still tilts to one side Glare Now I have three questions:

1. How can I make the plant stand up straight? Even if I cut off the top the plant will still tilt quite a bit.

2. Will putting moisture retaining soil on top kill the plant? I've heard that succulents hate that type of soil.

3. When I repot the part that I cut out, how do I keep it from dying?

Thank you SO SO much!

Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!

The aim and final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul.

— J.S. Bach
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
Jul 20, 2016 7:09 PM CST
Hello bwv998,

1)it still is the lack of sun. Typically, it should be more upright and firm and the leaves wide open, and leaf colors not too deep green. You can try and stake the plant, to help it.

2) Succulent roots do not like to be in too soggy soil, as with its stems and leaves, staying too wet, will invite fungal rotting. You may want to mix in pumice or perlite, and top dress with pumice or chicken grit to make it porous.

3) the cut-off top part will not die, callus the end and then stick it in barely moist media, wait patiently for about 4 to 6 weeks to form roots. It has enough sugar in its remaining stem and leaves to sustain the plant. Position them in part shade so it does not dry out too fast. It is summer time, so it is active growing time for it. Patience is your friend while you wait for it to root.
Name: Der Thomaskantor
Massachusetts (Zone 6b)
Dog Lover Region: Massachusetts Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Cat Lover Garden Photography Region: Northeast US
Cactus and Succulents Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Houseplants
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bwv998
Jul 20, 2016 8:44 PM CST
Thank you again, @tarev! I'll try staking the plant tomorrow and putting it in a sunnier position. My porch is very small so I'll see whether if I can fit it out there. If I leave it out in the open, I fear it will get damaged by rain or some silly animal. (Raccoons, opposums, skunks, rabbits, squirrels, and chipmunks are a common sight around here.) I will also try to buy some pumice/perlite and possibly chicken grit this weekend. I shouldn't cut off the top part until I get the proper soil mix right? Hopefully I'll have another succulent plant! Thank you!
The aim and final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul.

— J.S. Bach
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Jul 20, 2016 9:45 PM CST
The so-called "rambling" aloes do not grow straight up for long, inevitably going sideways unless firmly staked. This is completely normal though often inconvenient.

When in doubt with an indoor succulent (or an outside one that gets light from only one direction) that leans one direction, point it away from the light and the plant will eventually correct (if it's not rambling like your aloe). I like to rotate my indoor plants when I water them if there's no compelling reason to keep them pointed one way.

I hope this helps. Smiling
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Jul 20, 2016 9:47 PM (+)]
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