Cactus and Succulents forum→Aloe Rotting?

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J_w232
May 1, 2020 11:45 AM CST
I got this aloe from a friend a little over two months ago. When I repotted it the roots seemed extremely healthy and normal but now they've seemed to have died/gotten damaged. Is there a way I can save it? I'm new to cacti/succulents in general.
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Name: Baja
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Baja_Costero
May 1, 2020 11:58 AM CST

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Those roots look great to me. Pot your plant back up but wait a week to water afterwards.

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Name: Thijs van Soest
Tempe, AZ (Zone 9b)
Region: Arizona Enjoys or suffers hot summers Cactus and Succulents Xeriscape Adeniums Hybridizer
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mcvansoest
May 1, 2020 11:59 AM CST
Welcome!

Is pic one the original plant status and pic two right now?

If so, I am not sure I can see what your problem is - aside from the fact that the plant is bare root again, what gave you the impulse to do that?

Not sure where you are at but if you are in the northern hemisphere it was winter/spring, the plant you planted two months ago may have needed some time to adjust and while spring would be good for that winter, depending on where you are at, may not have been.

Right now unless there are obvious mushy parts on the plant, the best thing you can do is to put it back in a pot with well draining soil and give it as much bright light and direct sunshine as you can unless you live anywhere where it already is 90F+ with full days of sunshine - then you want to be more careful with direct sun exposure. Then a week from now water it and then do not water it again until the soil is almost completely dry at depth.
If you have been growing this inside and it needs to stay inside put it in the brightest spot you have, ideally where it gets a lot of sunlight through a window. If it is growing outside you should try and provide it with sun as well, but keep an eye on it, because too much sun all at once can cause sunburn.
It is what it is!

J_w232
May 1, 2020 12:04 PM CST
mcvansoest said:Welcome!

Is pic one the original plant status and pic two right now?

If so, I am not sure I can see what your problem is - aside from the fact that the plant is bare root again, what gave you the impulse to do that?

Not sure where you are at but if you are in the northern hemisphere it was winter/spring, the plant you planted two months ago may have needed some time to adjust and while spring would be good for that winter, depending on where you are at, may not have been.

Right now unless there are obvious mushy parts on the plant, the best thing you can do is to put it back in a pot with well draining soil and give it as much bright light and direct sunshine as you can unless you live anywhere where it already is 90F+ with full days of sunshine - then you want to be more careful with direct sun exposure. Then a week from now water it and then do not water it again until the soil is almost completely dry at depth.
If you have been growing this inside and it needs to stay inside put it in the brightest spot you have, ideally where it gets a lot of sunlight through a window. If it is growing outside you should try and provide it with sun as well, but keep an eye on it, because too much sun all at once can cause sunburn.


Thank you for replying! I noticed this slightly brown/mushy part at the base and got really worried because I've killed a few succulents by overwatering and thought it might be dying! I'll take your advice though.

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Name: Thijs van Soest
Tempe, AZ (Zone 9b)
Region: Arizona Enjoys or suffers hot summers Cactus and Succulents Xeriscape Adeniums Hybridizer
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mcvansoest
May 1, 2020 12:10 PM CST
Keep an eye on it and for now be on the scarce side of things when watering. If it is indeed a mushy spot you will want to stop it from spreading, most of the time keeping the plant relatively dry will allow it to recover - the spot will dry out and the plant will be fine. If it grows worse you can cut it out, but you are a long ways away from that situation. Put it in a warm a dry place, and see how things develop with limited watering.
It is what it is!

J_w232
May 1, 2020 12:48 PM CST
mcvansoest said:Keep an eye on it and for now be on the scarce side of things when watering. If it is indeed a mushy spot you will want to stop it from spreading, most of the time keeping the plant relatively dry will allow it to recover - the spot will dry out and the plant will be fine. If it grows worse you can cut it out, but you are a long ways away from that situation. Put it in a warm a dry place, and see how things develop with limited watering.

This is just a follow up question that I had. Could the slight mush at the base be due to rocks surrounding it? When I first potted it I had heard to put rocks on top of the soil to keep the plant stable. The places where it's slightly squishy are where the rocks were.
Name: Thijs van Soest
Tempe, AZ (Zone 9b)
Region: Arizona Enjoys or suffers hot summers Cactus and Succulents Xeriscape Adeniums Hybridizer
Plant Identifier Plant and/or Seed Trader Cat Lover Dog Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
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mcvansoest
May 1, 2020 3:16 PM CST
It certainly could be damage from the rocks, either due to bruising or having a spots that because of contact remained wet longer than it likes..
It is what it is!

J_w232
May 4, 2020 7:09 PM CST
mcvansoest said:Keep an eye on it and for now be on the scarce side of things when watering. If it is indeed a mushy spot you will want to stop it from spreading, most of the time keeping the plant relatively dry will allow it to recover - the spot will dry out and the plant will be fine. If it grows worse you can cut it out, but you are a long ways away from that situation. Put it in a warm a dry place, and see how things develop with limited watering.

This is just a follow up question that I had. Could the slight mush at the base be due to rocks surrounding it? When I first potted it I had heard to put rocks on top of the soil to keep the plant stable. The places where it's slightly squishy are where the rocks were.
Name: Thijs van Soest
Tempe, AZ (Zone 9b)
Region: Arizona Enjoys or suffers hot summers Cactus and Succulents Xeriscape Adeniums Hybridizer
Plant Identifier Plant and/or Seed Trader Cat Lover Dog Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
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mcvansoest
May 4, 2020 8:22 PM CST
Yes, I answered your question see above.
It is what it is!
Name: Jo
San Gabriel, CA
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joPHoria
May 6, 2020 10:37 PM CST
Hello! I'm new to this forum, i was hoping you could help me?

I've had my aloe plant for 2 years & about 2 weeks ago I transferred it to a different pot but yesterday I noticed one of the leaves was rotting. Today I removed the dead leaf & noticed the root of plant was mushy & black. I think I killed it, I'm terribly sad & want to know if there's anything I can do to keep it alive? Please help! :(
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Name: Thijs van Soest
Tempe, AZ (Zone 9b)
Region: Arizona Enjoys or suffers hot summers Cactus and Succulents Xeriscape Adeniums Hybridizer
Plant Identifier Plant and/or Seed Trader Cat Lover Dog Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
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mcvansoest
May 6, 2020 11:40 PM CST
Hi Jo,

welcome to the forum.
It does not look great, but there is some reason for hope. One is that many Aloes if caught with something like this can frequently be brought through this in some way or form.

First things first: I would take your plant and wash all the remaining soil from the roots, try to get the roots as clean as possible, but without doing to much damage.
That way you can really inspect them and determine their health. From the pictures it looks like some of the root mass may be OK.

Now, like I said in my response to your tree mail, my main worry is the dented looking spot on the plant in the first picture right above where the dark/blank root stalk starts. If that is just dry then it is probably OK, but if it is mushy feeling in that area, then I feel you will loose the roots as you will probably have to cut that away and given how narrow the dark root stalk right below it is, that would probably mean cutting it all off.

Now even without its roots there is a chance to save the plant, but things become a lot harder. The main thing is that if it is mushy that will have the tendency to spread upwards to the rest of the leaves of the plant and saving it becomes really hard unless you prune very rigorously. Unfortunately if you have to prune very high near where the main leaf attachment is, you run the risk of destroying the plants integrity. However, if it is mushy that high up, it was probably a lost cause anyway.

So clean the roots - inspect get rid of any squishy roots, inspect the black root stalk - the side in the first picture look a little worrisome - but as long as it is generally solid and nothing else bad is happening leaving the plant to dry out for a good while may solve any issues there. Then inspect the dented spot thoroughly if it is squishy you will have to start cutting tissue away till you get to solid healthy tissue, if after doing that the plant is still intact you can let the cut callous over and try to reroot the plant. If it is dry you will want to keep the plant bare root in a warm bright but without direct sunlight place for say a week or so, till all the roots and everything leading up to the leaves is dry and no more squishy areas have developed.

Then you want to get some fast draining soil say a bag of cactus soil and if you can find it near you some pumice (if pumice is not available some coarse gravel can be used as well) which you will mix on the order of 50:50 or 67:33 soil to pumice/gravel. You will want to find a relatively wide shallow pot and plant the Aloe in the new soil in that pot, let it sit for a few more days before watering thorough. You will want to keep the plant in a warm dry place with lots of light, ideally with a good number of hours of direct sunlight. Do not water until the pot is pretty much completely dry at depth - you can test by sticking a wooden chop stick or if necessary your finger down there.

If you had to cut the roots away, you would also wait for the cut the callous over then get the same soil set up and pot, but do not water until you can determine that the plant has made roots, either by seeing new growth or tugging on the plant and finding solid resistance.

In my experience if you caught this early enough there is a good chance for the plant's survival. If rot has progressed too far you tend to find out in the drying out time - when despite the plant being dry and all the obvious rotting spots having been cut away leaves keep going mushy progressively higher up the plant... then it was probably a lot cause to begin with, but I am hopeful that you have a good shot at saving this plant.

Good luck!
It is what it is!

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