Ask a Question forum→Help! Is my aloe vera plant dying???

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California (Zone 10a)
Lilies
Idontknowatall
May 3, 2020 1:01 PM CST
I've had it for about a week now, and it's been getting worse. The leaves are now starting to flatten and droop. This is my first aloe and I don't really have experience, so do you guys know what I'm doing wrong? Will it recover?
A week ago:
Thumb of 2020-05-03/Idontknowatall/7666d8
4 days ago:
Thumb of 2020-05-03/Idontknowatall/d01c04
2 days ago:
Thumb of 2020-05-03/Idontknowatall/c07f0d
Now:
Thumb of 2020-05-03/Idontknowatall/ca8b0f
Name: one-eye-luke US.Vet.
Texas (Zone 8a)
Quitter's never Win
Hummingbirder Birds Organic Gardener Dog Lover Cat Lover
oneeyeluke
May 4, 2020 2:03 AM CST
Too much water and the wrong potting soil, so let the plant dry out almost completely. I only water mine one time a month.
Thumb of 2020-05-04/oneeyeluke/d00f3e

NOT A EXPERT! Just a grow worm! I never met a plant I didn’t love.✌
California (Zone 10a)
Lilies
Idontknowatall
May 4, 2020 11:19 AM CST
Okay, which potting soil should I use? Will giving it more sunlight let it dry out more? Also, how much water should I use when I do water? Thank you!
[Last edited by Idontknowatall - May 4, 2020 11:24 AM (+)]
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Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
Cactus and Succulents Seed Starter Foliage Fan Xeriscape Container Gardener Hummingbirder
Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Region: Mexico Plant Identifier Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator
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Baja_Costero
May 4, 2020 11:51 AM CST
I have no idea how Luke reached those conclusions. You can tell for yourself whether the soil is drying out by poking your finger in there. Is it still wet at the bottom when you water? Soil that shallow should dry out really fast with strong light and good air flow, in days. Watering once a month will not be good for your plant because it will sit in dry soil for at least 3/4 of that time. Time your watering for when the soil goes dry at depth. There is no advantage to allowing the soil to sit bone dry for any extended period. However there is a risk of rot if the soil stays too moist too often. Once a week is the minimum safe frequency I would imagine for your plant during the warmer/brighter months, given good conditions.

Use regular potting soil with an equal volume of perlite/pumice/gritty equivalent mixed in. What you've got right now is pretty good, but I'd add some more rock to the mix whenever you move your plant to a bigger pot. How deep is the one that it's in?

You cannot provide too much sunlight if your plant will be indoors. Find a spot right in front of your sunniest window. The more natural light, the better.

Water well (to completion) when the soil is dry at the bottom. Your container needs to have holes at the bottom so the flow through will exit and not leave a lake at the bottom. Make sure you don't leave the container sitting in water afterwards on the saucer.
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - May 4, 2020 12:01 PM (+)]
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Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
Cactus and Succulents Seed Starter Foliage Fan Xeriscape Container Gardener Hummingbirder
Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Region: Mexico Plant Identifier Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator
Image
Baja_Costero
May 4, 2020 11:57 AM CST
Instead of starting new threads about the same subject, it would be better if you could stick to one thread and provide periodic updates or ask new questions as they arise.

This is the third thread about the same plant. The previous two are here:

https://garden.org/thread/go/1...
https://garden.org/thread/go/1...
California (Zone 10a)
Lilies
Idontknowatall
May 4, 2020 12:49 PM CST
My container has holes at the bottom but I never see a lake of water on the paper plate it's supposed to drip out onto. There's just bits of dry soil that leaks out through the holes. The top layer of the soil is dry but at the bottom, the soil is a little moist. The last time I watered was a week ago. The container is about 1 and 3/4 inches deep.

I move my plant everyday so it can get sunlight. I put it at an east facing window in the mornings (8:30 - 11:00) and a west facing window in the afternoons (4:00 - 6:00). It sometimes falls over when I move it so I've been replanting it often. I tried putting rocks and more soil. I haven't replanted it in two days though since it's finally standing up. I tucked the soil around it and didn't use rocks because I was worried about the weight and root growth. Did I do it too tight? The soil at the bottom isn't as loose as the top layer of soil. Its roots are getting longer.

One more concern: Will there be more and more brown spots? Should I cut off the dying leaf tips or the leaves with brown spots to stop it from spreading?

And of course, I'll stick to this same thread from now on.
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
Cactus and Succulents Seed Starter Foliage Fan Xeriscape Container Gardener Hummingbirder
Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Region: Mexico Plant Identifier Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator
Image
Baja_Costero
May 4, 2020 1:05 PM CST
Thank You!

Try watering more, until water comes out the holes. It should not take a lot of water given the depth of the container.

Stop moving the plant from one place to another if it's falling over, and stop replanting the aloe regularly (that will really stress the roots). Either location sounds like it will have sufficient light. A couple of medium sized rocks on either side will help with stability and will not cause any problems for the roots. If you've seen the roots get longer, that's a very good sign, but try to leave them alone in the future.

I do not ever cut off aloe leaves until they are completely dead and brown. I don't think there's any advantage to doing so. I don't know if the brown spots will spread but my guess is they will not, if you provide strong light and water (in moderation) and stability. The more roots your plant has, the better it will be at reinflating the leaves, the more stable it will be in the pot, and the less likely it will be to have any further complications.
California (Zone 10a)
Lilies
Idontknowatall
May 4, 2020 1:08 PM CST
I'm so glad to hear that! Thank you!
Milpitas, CA
SoulReaver009
May 4, 2020 2:38 PM CST
My aloe Vera was a victim of my cat. She shredded it and it turned brown.

I left it alone anyways.
We had a pretty good rain fall the day after.

A couple of weeks later I noticed the whole plant came back green. So the brown spots can turn back. As long as their not flat and dried out.
California (Zone 10a)
Lilies
Idontknowatall
May 4, 2020 3:02 PM CST
Too bad mine are flat and most of them are dried out, but thanks! Crossing Fingers!
Milpitas, CA
SoulReaver009
May 4, 2020 3:15 PM CST
Don't fret! These things are resilient. And they have everything they need to survive, clean themselves, and root themselves, in their leaves. Just got to find the right potting medium (soil or non soil) and these things will basically repair themselves.

It's not over yet.

Mine was in very bad shape. The leaves were thinning in some spots, it had no roots. I'm pretty sure I had it in the wrong soil, from the get go.
I stuck it in clay soil. And figured, "Whatever..." The next day my cat attacked it, and tore it up. I think she got poked by it. It got a good watering from the rain, and then it came back with green leaves. These plants are amazing. Right soil, some water, and patience.
California (Zone 10a)
Lilies
Idontknowatall
May 4, 2020 3:25 PM CST
Wow!! They are resilient! I guess I was over worried. Smiling

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