Cactus and Succulents forum→Aloe dying from unknown cause?

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Arizona (Zone 10a)
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Idontknowwhatimdoing
May 28, 2020 1:19 PM CST
Hi all! I have this small aloe plant that I've had for about 2 and a half years now. Everything had been going fine until recently I noticed the tips of it's older leaves became really shriveled and a pink color. At first I thought it might be getting burned from the sun so I moved it to a less sunny location with no improvement. I hadn't changed the watering schedule in the 2+ years I had it but the shriveling made me think it might be dehydrated so I gave it some extra water. That too did not help. I then found out there was an outbreak of fungus gnats among some of the other plants in my home, so I thought those pests might be the cause of this leaf degeneration, however I have since eradicated the infestation and my aloe only seems to be declining. Could this be a nutrient issue then? Any insight would be greatly appreciated!!!
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Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
May 28, 2020 1:24 PM CST
To me since you mentioned fungus gnats, then your media is staying wet too long than needed. Typically Aloes can easily take direct sun and heat once properly acclimated to outdoors.

Does that container have drain holes? Hopefully there is nothing blocking the drain holes so it is not creating perched water table that makes your media too wet than needed. It is a fun looking glazed container, but always remember too, glazed containers tend to hold water longer.
Arizona (Zone 10a)
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Idontknowwhatimdoing
May 28, 2020 1:33 PM CST
tarev said:To me since you mentioned fungus gnats, then your media is staying wet too long than needed. Typically Aloes can easily take direct sun and heat once properly acclimated to outdoors.

Does that container have drain holes? Hopefully there is nothing blocking the drain holes so it is not creating perched water table that makes your media too wet than needed. It is a fun looking glazed container, but always remember too, glazed containers tend to hold water longer.


Yes it is a cute dinosaur shaped container I got from Target, but it does have drainage holes and I always make sure the water properly drains when I water it. The fungus gnat problem didn't come from my succulents, but from vegetable and flower seedlings I had started that were susceptible since they were so young. I was worried that gnat problem had spread to my succulents but really saw no evidence of it, yet I gave some natural remedies to my succulents anyway including cinnamon and a hydrogen peroxide water mix treatment. If it is a problem of too much water I will try to water it less, however I usually haven't seen shriveling leaves as a symptom of over watering so I am a little confused in that regard.
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
May 28, 2020 1:45 PM CST
Good to know then it has drain holes, then just try and improve the media. Make it grittier.

It is also typical for older leaves to die out first, so those older lower leaves maybe manifesting that too.

What is the orientation of that window? Ideally, it would like as much light to direct sun. The more sun the better. No fertilizers for it is needed, just improve the cultural growing conditions it needs.

When I say grittier, this is how gritty I make my succulents media to be: apart from using cacti mix, I also mix in a good layer of pumice, chicken grit ( insoluble crushed granite), sometimes even finely crushed lava rock.

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And aloes love the sun a lot!
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Name: Thijs van Soest
Tempe, AZ (Zone 9b)
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mcvansoest
May 28, 2020 4:42 PM CST
Sorry to disagree - in Arizona most Aloes in pots are not really capable to take direct full sun for most of the summer months if outdoors, indoors may be a different story but comes with its on set of challenges making long term culture difficult.
A lot of Aloes in the ground have trouble with full sun in the summer months. The rest of the year is different.

Right now: Do not put that plant in full sun, given we are hitting 110+ the next few days you might easily kill the plant by putting it in full sun, especially if it has been grown indoors all this time.

I agree that the soil is probably not ideal. I would suspect that it may have taken the time you have had it to slowly but surely compromise the roots to the point that the plant is having difficulty sustaining itself. Bare root the plant - check what the roots look like - if they are looking pretty healthy, repot in faster draining soil like Tarev suggests and find a nice shady spot on a patio, where it gets little to no sun - the older leaf will still die off, but hopefully you will see the new growth of the plant be more vigorous. If it has to see some sun let it be of the early morning variety. If you cannot provide that outside put it in a bright spot on an inside window sill, but growing these kind of aloes in doors in AZ long term is difficult.

Once the plant is growing more vigorously and the summer is past you might consider acclimatizing it to a somewhat sunny outside position which will certainly help the plant grow.
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Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Stay Home-Save Lives-Wear a Mask!
Cat Lover Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Region: California Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
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tarev
Jun 2, 2020 10:19 AM CST
Yes, the summer sun is always a challenge with many succulents. nodding

Since the plant in question is in a container, it will be easy enough to reposition it in part shade outdoors for the duration of summer, or however long your excessive heat days last. Definitely I will not plant that in ground at this time. It will just get dry roasted.

Yes, summer heat is coming about....another bout of heat wave is here as well for this week ugh!





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