Cactus and Succulents forum→Spiral Aloe Question(s)

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Palo Alto, CA
riverofwind
Feb 25, 2021 10:59 PM CST
Hi I have a spiral aloe that's doing pretty well. I think it got too much water however a couple weeks back and some of the bottom leaves turned mushy. Should the mushy leaves be removed? Here https://www.ecotree.net/articl... says to never remove dead leaves since the goo is recycled from the dying leaves until they completely die. Does this apply to mushy leaves as well? Also would Max Sea be a good fertilizer for this guy?
Thanks!
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Feb 26, 2021 10:23 AM CST

Moderator

I do not remove any leaves from my aloes unless/until they are dry and brown and let go of the stem easily. I don't think it helps the plant and it may actually hurt the plant.

The question about how the leaves got mushy is a good one. Was this related to rainfall, maybe? Is there any way you can post a picture?

How long have you had the plant? I would think that fertilizer would be fine. You need to measure carefully and not apply too much. I would recommend 1/4 teaspoon in 1 gallon water for regular use or 1 teaspoon in 1 gallon for occasional use. If you do fertilize it's very important to flush the soil when you water, so that water comes out the bottom of the pot, in order for the salt to not build up in the container.

A comment I wrote for that plant in the database here, in case it is helpful:

https://garden.org/thread/post...
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Feb 26, 2021 10:32 AM (+)]
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Palo Alto, CA
riverofwind
Feb 26, 2021 2:49 PM CST
The mushyness happened after a fair amount of rainfall in The Sea Ranch, California on the coast. The leaves are already removed by my mom and the rest of the plant I think looks fine however I could check about that.
Palo Alto, CA
riverofwind
Feb 28, 2021 1:31 PM CST
Do you think we should keep the mushy leaves though?
Name: Thijs van Soest
Tempe, AZ (Zone 9b)
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mcvansoest
Feb 28, 2021 1:42 PM CST
If they are already removed then there is no reason to keep them. These do not regrow from leaves.
It is what it is!
Palo Alto, CA
riverofwind
Feb 28, 2021 2:53 PM CST
I meant keep them attached in the future if any more pop up...
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
Feb 28, 2021 4:31 PM CST
When I get mushy leaves the plant tends to have rot - rot spreads so I would not leave them attached but in this case I happily defer to someone who has a more similar growing climate to yours with regards to leaving them on or taking them off, like Baja does. Although I'd suspect he is a lot more dry that Sea Ranch is, the only thing I remember from going there is that it rained without pause for five days...

I was going to say that it seemed a rather weird Aloe to get rot from moisture but then I thought of that visit and realized that even for that Aloe it could get too wet out there.
It is what it is!
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
Feb 28, 2021 4:44 PM CST

Moderator

I don't think there's any benefit to removing leaves that have gone soft, as I mentioned before. It's not like you're going to stop rot from getting into the stem (which is where it starts to have life or death consequences) most of the time. All you're doing is injuring the plant (leaving broken leaf bases to heal afterwards) and potentially spreading rot to other places when it was relatively contained in one location. So no benefit, only risk, the way I see the situation. I know some people are leaf pullers and just can't resist the temptation, but my advice is to restrain that instinct or direct it somewhere else.

You have to ask whether you can remove the leaf intact or whether you will inevitably end up breaking it off somewhere. I don't think the spiral aloe gives you much choice in this regard given the tight packing of the leaves along the stem.

For what it's worth, that aloe experiences a lot of fog in habitat, even a bit of snow from time to time, and it should tolerate moisture pretty well if it gets a lot of light (as it must to do well). Dial up the light and the air flow to the maximum extent possible, and the plant should take care of itself in this regard. If you want to be extra careful, go out after it has rained and blow all the water away from the plant, and that will move most of the water out of the picture.
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Feb 28, 2021 4:47 PM (+)]
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Palo Alto, CA
riverofwind
Feb 28, 2021 7:16 PM CST
Perfect thanks guys. Hopefully this guy will live for years to come. Picky but doable.
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
Feb 28, 2021 7:19 PM CST

Moderator

A worthy ambition, especially given your favorable location. Thumbs up

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