Cactus and Tender Succulents forum: How can I save this Aloe?

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Name: Gene Staver
Portage WI 53901 (Zone 5a)
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gasrocks
Nov 8, 2016 8:03 AM CST
Old, neglected, growing sideways. Other than the obvious clean it up, remove old leaves. Should I prop it up so its head is point up? Part of me is tempted to say off with its head. Any suggestions please. I hate to give up on such an old plant. Gene
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Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Nov 8, 2016 12:09 PM CST
Depends!you want him proped up?
Can you even prop him up ??? Or.
Cut stem where you want. Harden off. And repot him.
EZ # HUH !!!
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Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
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plantmanager
Nov 8, 2016 12:50 PM CST
I'd cut off the head and replant, and propagate the stem. That must be a real oldie!
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Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Nov 8, 2016 1:03 PM CST
I had a similar situation with my Echeveria 'Paul Bunyan', got overgrown and growing sideways, can't prop the stem since too stiff and thick. I chose to cut, callus and replant. I just delay it to Spring though. Not at this time.
Name: Thijs van Soest
Mesa, AZ (Zone 9b)
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mcvansoest
Nov 8, 2016 1:22 PM CST
I agree with Tarev, given that you are in Wisconsin I would wait till the spring before cutting anything off.
Looks like a sprawler though, so cutting and rerooting might not solve it long term - it may just be how it wants to grow.

Name: Gene Staver
Portage WI 53901 (Zone 5a)
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gasrocks
Nov 8, 2016 1:57 PM CST
Thanks all. Yes, it is now in a cold room where it will be dormant until Spring. I think then I will cut the head off and see what happens. Gene
Name: 'CareBear'

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Stush2019
Nov 9, 2016 8:29 AM CST
Gene, Your plant is diseased and in major need of help. I would cut off and remove all dead leaves, coat with rootone and replant is a very porous soil. Mostly pumice or grit. Water with sulfur added water. Maybe spray with 'Captan' to help with fungus. It just might make it to spring. I had to do this to my Aloe variegata and so far it worked. Base fully rotted away shortly after removing head. I had this plant for many years also.
Name: Steve Claggett
Portland Orygun (Zone 8a)
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madcratebuilder
Nov 9, 2016 9:32 AM CST
Off with it's head!

Start the head and I bet you could get new pups from the remaining stem.
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Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Nov 9, 2016 12:57 PM CST
Yep !😎 thats the way they grow. Lay down on ground and make babies unless they got something to grow up on. After you cut stem off. Leave part of stem in pot. Lay the rest of stem on some barly damp soil. And watch em GROW 🙊🙉🙈😄#!#!
😎😎😎
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Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Nov 9, 2016 1:23 PM CST

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It's interesting and informative how different people see different things in the same pictures. Especially Stush's comments about the health of the plant. If I might weigh in on the subject...

Restarting the terminal rosette from a cutting is the best solution, and best delayed until spring. But two things to consider above and beyond that.

One, I agree with Thijs that the form of the plant may just reflect how it naturally wants to grow. In other words, cutting and restarting will only delay the resumption of a stemmy sideways growing form. The stem is not necessarily a problem in its own right.

As for the health of the plant, it's not looking great. Maybe the roots aren't working right or the plant is tired of being in the same container with the same soil for so long. In my own container garden, I am constantly on the lookout for plants that are looking marginal, buggy, losing life force, or hopelessly constrained by the size of their container. By constantly weeding them out (or taking action to reverse the course) I think the garden improves in vigor over time. It's not like there aren't plenty of baby plants sprouting all over the place here. Smiling Anyway, if that was my plant, I'd just chuck it and move on unless the flower was particularly good. I realize that wasn't the question, just sharing my point of view.
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Nov 9, 2016 1:24 PM (+)]
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Name: Gene Staver
Portage WI 53901 (Zone 5a)
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gasrocks
Nov 9, 2016 1:43 PM CST
Thanks. Yes, I was laughing over the variety of responses. I'll wait until Spring and cut its head off. Gene
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Nov 11, 2016 1:22 PM CST
It is interesting how people see and have differing ideas an view points.
It leads to ideals,and better prognosis,etc. Thats what i like about this site ! No ones wrong !
I got a aloe thats 2 1/2 foot tall. Its staked of course.
😎😎😎
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Name: Greg Colucci
Seattle WA (Zone 8b)
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gg5
Nov 11, 2016 1:56 PM CST
I think it is important to remember there are tree aloes, as well as the normal clumping types, and if yours is a tree aloe, it will more likely flop over (I think someone stated this in a post above) but wanted to clarify. You could however keep lopping it off as it got more leaned. Or you could allow it to do its thing, if the stem isn't rotting. Thumbs up

Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Nov 11, 2016 2:13 PM CST
@gg5
Mine isn't a tree aloe. Its a wide leaf variety. Wants to grow on ground. But one branch grew up a dead lilac. And I've staked him since. The whole patch (on ground) is about 2x4 feet.
The one started growing up. So i though it would be fun to let him keep going up. He has hundeds of babies !
Cant send pics right now.but will soon. " Phones stupid # "
😎😎😎
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Name: Greg Colucci
Seattle WA (Zone 8b)
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gg5
Nov 11, 2016 8:11 PM CST
Philip that sounds really cool! Thumbs up Yes to photos when you are able, that is always fun!

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