Cactus and Tender Succulents forum: Aloe vera pups aren't surviving, need help

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UK
nath1405
Jan 17, 2017 3:56 PM CST
Hello just wondering if someone can help please,

I have a fairly big aloe vera plant that I have separated 10 pups from. When I took the pups off I replanted them straight away without leaving them to callus but they had all their own roots. Over the past few days since I planted them however I've noticed the leaves are thinning and seem to be emptying of gel and a few have gone brown. I am aware of root rot and so took them out and inspected all the roots and they are all in a good condition.

Really lost on what to do.

Thanks
Name: Baja
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Baja_Costero
Jan 17, 2017 4:12 PM CST

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A picture or two would probably be helpful, but based on your description it sounds like the pups are experiencing some kind of transplant shock. Probably at this point best left undisturbed. Over time there is a natural process of leaf renewal where older leaves are consumed (eventually left on the plant as dry husks), and whenever a plant is experiencing drought stress, it will draw on those lower leaves for water. As long as there is new growth and the plants are free of rot, then you just have to get them back in their groove and all will be well.

Two things to emphasize in passing.

The best way to avoid root rot (other than not overwatering, of course) is to avoid watering plants (like young offsets with just a little bit of root) immediately after you have potted them up. I generally assume that in the process of separating these plants, I have probably damaged the roots at least a little. Which calls for a mandatory waiting period for them to heal before I water. Maybe a couple days, maybe a week. The soil I use is a bit moist (not bone dry anyway) and that seems to be enough for a few days until they can get a proper drink.

This time of year (in the northern hemisphere) light is going to be a real issue for an indoor aloe. Try to provide as much light as possible indoors, which means right by a sunny south-facing window, ideally. Hours of daily sun. The situation will improve in the spring, but in the meantime try to use the light you have to your advantage.
UK
nath1405
Jan 17, 2017 4:25 PM CST
Okay that sounds about right, I'll leave them as they are and see if they improve, what should I do if they really deteriorate?

Also the sun is a bit of a problem being Winter here in the UK as well as temperature so they may be a little cold!

Thanks
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Jan 17, 2017 5:27 PM CST

Moderator

If you lose these pups then you'll have more in the future, provided mom remains alive and well.

If it's really cold (and doesn't get near room temperature for some of the day) then you want to watch the water... cold and wet is a bad combination.

Name: Kristi
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pod
Jan 17, 2017 10:02 PM CST
Good advice. I will also agree with cold & wet being a bad combination. My Aloes overwinter in a greenhouse where the temps drop into the high 30s and they rarely require water during winter.
Be content moving inch by inch because, by days end, the inches, will add up to feet and yards.

Fulfilling ambitious objectives is usually done one step at a time.
UK
nath1405
Jan 18, 2017 7:36 AM CST
Okay thank you both that is really helpful, I've taken five out and recut the stem and leaving them to callus for 2 days and then leaving the other 5 in their pots just to see which do better. Il keep them unwatered for a week or two and as much sun as I can but can't really help the temperature!
Name: Agavegirl1
South Sonoran Desert (Zone 9b)
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AgaveGirl1
Jan 18, 2017 10:25 AM CST
Hi Nath,


My suggestions are a 'for what it's worth' thing. Shrug!

I have an overabundance of Aloe veras growing in my yard. They grow fast and exponentially. Some of mine get full sun, partial sun and mostly shade as I have them in various spots in the yard.

When it comes to pups Rolling my eyes. there's never a shortage. I found, just my personal experience and opinion, that what works best for me, is to wait until the pup/s are about half the size of mom before separating.

The other thing I've done is wait until 2 or 3 of the pups are actually mom's size and then separated those from her and transplanted. They make tons of pups quickly at that size so the more pup producing plants you have the more you can 'experiment' with watering, sun, fertilizing, cold tolerance, etc. until you strike the balance and still not lose mom.


(OR....if your growing experiment is successful you can then experiment with trying to pawning pups off to every friend, relative and neighbor you know under the guise of 'thoughtful gifts.' Whistling )

Based on all of the A.V.s I tried to transplant the small/smallish one's don't do as well. For some reason the larger ones do.

With your climate I would also cover or bring them inside if possible. As for the outdoor ones, covering may not keep the ground dry but it will help deflect a lot of water off the plant itself. Any broken umbrellas lying around?


Thumb of 2017-01-18/AgaveGirl1/10da9b

This one I transplanted and put into the ground. Does fine but not the biggest fan of cool/cold weather. I cover it sometimes. (different variety of A.V.)
Thumb of 2017-01-18/AgaveGirl1/51cc49

Uh...the my puppy mill. They didn't look like this a few months ago. Doubled in size and mass due to pups.


Thumb of 2017-01-18/AgaveGirl1/5d6932


Thumb of 2017-01-18/AgaveGirl1/c0c8a0

UK
nath1405
Jan 18, 2017 10:58 AM CST
Thank you that is really good advice, they aren't too small but will leave them to get bigger before separating them in the future! you have really nice plants there they look good!

Yeah luckily my plant is an indoor plant so the UK rain won't get it, although the cold might haha

Thanks
Name: Agavegirl1
South Sonoran Desert (Zone 9b)
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AgaveGirl1
Jan 18, 2017 1:11 PM CST
Glad you found some of that useful.
Every contribution helps us all learn something new.

Can't guarantee you 100% success with this method but I've seem to have had luck with it and not run out of pups, midsized plants or 'mommies' Rolling my eyes.

Thank you for the nice compliments on my plants. Been at it for 2 years now. We don't discuss or show the plant casualties. D'Oh! Still learning, still experimenting and having both good and bad results. Always having tons of fun in the yard and learning from everyone here.

Weather here has been below normal at 59-64 F daytime. Our norm is 65-70. At night it is the 38-45 F range but should be in the upper 40s-mid 50 F range.. Lots of rain now too. Rain is good. Lots, and lots and lots on plants that like to dry out in between is not. As for summer....uh, try 110+ everyday. Want some heat/sun? I'd love to send it your way. We're crying for a patch of shade. So goes the unpredictable weather everywhere. Shrug! (Nah...no hole in that ozone, right?)

Hope your days get a little warmer and some sunshine pours through the windows. Let us know how your A.V.s fare. Show us some pics. Thumbs up

Have a great day.
AG
[Last edited by AgaveGirl1 - Jan 18, 2017 1:15 PM (+)]
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Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Jan 18, 2017 1:14 PM CST
Hello nath1405, for future reference, it helps to delay pup removal or repotting into late Spring. I always try to avoid doing anything to my existing rooted succulents in winter. Encouraging them to have roots or grow more roots requires consistent warmth at root zone, and that is really hard to provide at the height of winter indoors. You can try using some heating pads maybe, to help the little pups. Winter is slow down time for most succulents, so got to be patient and when newly disturbed like that, water is the least of their needs. Got to heal the roots and allow it to acclimate to new set-up and feel warmth and light.

Good luck, hopefully they will adjust slowly..they will take their time, so patience will be your friend. The plant will redirect its energies, so it will be normal for older leaves to shrink as it tries to spread moisture to what it can truly sustain while unable to drink water properly at its root zone.

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