Ask a Question forum: Aloe plant has no roots

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Buffalo, ny
Lmb1122
Jan 22, 2017 4:49 PM CST
I have had this Aloe plant for about six months. It has grown significantly, but I went to water it and I noticed it was very wobbly. I then noticed that it had absolutely no roots and I could pick it up out of the soil. Can it grow new roots or is it just going to die ?
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Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
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Xeramtheum
Jan 22, 2017 5:29 PM CST
Not to worry .. it should grow more roots at the base .. just keep the soil a bit on the dry side of moist - that will encourage it to make roots.
"The Universe speaks in many languages, but only one voice. It speaks in the language of hope; It speaks in the language of trust; It speaks in the language of strength, and the language of compassion. It is the language of the heart and the language of the soul. But always, it is the same voice. It is the voice of our ancestors, speaking through us, And the voice of our inheritors, waiting to be born. It is the small, still voice that says: We are one. No matter the blood; No matter the skin; No matter the world; No matter the star; We are one. No matter the pain; No matter the darkness; No matter the loss; No matter the fear; We are one. Here, gathered together in common cause. we agree to recognize this singular truth, and this singular rule: That we must be kind to one another, because each voice enriches us and ennobles us, and each voice lost diminishes us. We are the voice of the Universe, the soul of creation, the fire that will light the way to a better future. We are one."

G'Kar
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Jan 22, 2017 5:48 PM CST
Yes it will still grow roots. Helps to put a heat mat below if you want, to encourage root development. And do keep it warm and dry, it has enough moisture in its leaves, so it should ably endure as it slowly attempts to make new roots.
Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
Only dead fish go with the flow!
Plant and/or Seed Trader Birds Cat Lover Greenhouse Tropicals Bulbs
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Xeramtheum
Jan 23, 2017 6:12 AM CST
Oh! Forgot to add ... Welcome to NGA Lmb!
"The Universe speaks in many languages, but only one voice. It speaks in the language of hope; It speaks in the language of trust; It speaks in the language of strength, and the language of compassion. It is the language of the heart and the language of the soul. But always, it is the same voice. It is the voice of our ancestors, speaking through us, And the voice of our inheritors, waiting to be born. It is the small, still voice that says: We are one. No matter the blood; No matter the skin; No matter the world; No matter the star; We are one. No matter the pain; No matter the darkness; No matter the loss; No matter the fear; We are one. Here, gathered together in common cause. we agree to recognize this singular truth, and this singular rule: That we must be kind to one another, because each voice enriches us and ennobles us, and each voice lost diminishes us. We are the voice of the Universe, the soul of creation, the fire that will light the way to a better future. We are one."

G'Kar
California, San Joaquin valley (Zone 9b)
RenaeC
Jan 23, 2017 6:44 AM CST
Welcome! When I bought mine it was very tiny and barely living and the roots weren't there. I transferred it over to a bigger pot, kept it out of direct sun light, but still in a well lit room and now its roots are very long. It has gotten so big that I just transferred it to its 3rd pot last night. I haven't used hormones or anything special just filtered water.

I just bought plant food last night to give to it, so perhaps you can try that as well? Just be sure to keep yours in its soil and keep an eye on it. Try not to mess with it too much unless it's getting re-potted. Remember these things take time. Oh and don't over water it! maybe once or twice a week should do it. Remember they are succulents not cacti, so they don't take well to direct sunlight like cati do either. Keep it in a well lit room and just tend to it when needed. Good luck and keep us updated on it! :)
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Jan 23, 2017 11:27 AM CST
Welcome!

Getting the plant to grow new roots should be pretty straightforward, given time and patience. The issue you have to face at some point is why the plant lost its roots in first place. Without making any changes to care, you are very likely to see this happen again. It most likely has to do with water (too much) and/or light (too little). If you can explain a little about how you are taking care of the plant, we can help you figure this out.

Try to let the bottom of the plant dry and heal well before putting it back down in moist soil, or there will be a risk of rot. There's no harm whatsoever in allowing the rootless plant to sit in a warm, protected place for a few days so the bottom can heal completely.

Plant food is a bad idea without roots. It serves no purpose when there is no uptake. Watering once or twice a week is almost certainly too often in a protected indoor environment. You want to wait until the soil is drying out before watering. Maybe every 2-3 weeks this time of year, given good light and mild temps. Maintaining a regular cycle of wet-dry will help keep the plant in its groove, once it has roots again. And there is no way you can provide too much sunlight indoors... indoor sun is not direct because regular window glass cuts most of the UV. The more natural light, the better in an indoor environment this time of year (in the northern hemisphere).

These plants thrive outside in the sun, so you might consider moving it out when things warm up and it has grown new roots. Just be careful to gradually ramp up the light over the course of weeks, starting with bright shade, so the plant doesn't get shocked.
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Jan 23, 2017 12:04 PM (+)]
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California, San Joaquin valley (Zone 9b)
RenaeC
Jan 23, 2017 2:34 PM CST
That's actually wrong. I've had other aloe plants indoors protected by a closed blind in my kitchen and they still received too much sun light and died. If you also look up the information on succulents, 'the more sun the better', is not good for these plants since they aren't cactus's. Sun is good, yes, but too much sun can kill them. They need shade as well. I've had some outdoor aloe's in the sun too and they didn't make it because the sun was too much, so with that being said it also depends on where the plants are located in the home and what zone the op is in and how are they currently taking care of the plants.
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Jan 23, 2017 2:53 PM CST
I can assure you that your aloes indoors behind the blinds did not receive too much sunlight. There must have been something else going on. How did you discover the problem?

There are shade aloes and there are sun aloes, but when it comes to indoor cultivation, they're all sun aloes. To some degree or another. I speak from experience. Normally indoor light is limited by what's outside blocking the window, or what direction it faces, so that the best you can hope for is a few hours a day.

Provided there's not an issue with heat or airflow, indoor sun is very kind to your plants. Especially compared to outdoor sun, which is a different beast entirely. And that's not something you can test by sticking a shade-grown plant outside in full sun straight away... the key is gradual adjustment when any plant is undergoing the transition from indoor life to outdoor sun.

My own garden is built around the principle of trying to provide my plants as much light as possible (as much as they will tolerate in many cases). In the process of losing scores of plants to sunburn, I have gradually learned to be much more cautious in how I ramp up the light. But I speak from experience when I describe the behavior of these plants, and how much light they will enjoy and tolerate, indoors and outdoors in our mild climate.
California, San Joaquin valley (Zone 9b)
RenaeC
Jan 23, 2017 3:10 PM CST
I speak from experience as well. The way I discovered my plants were dying from too much sun is because I had got some white leaves developing on the ones indoors and the ones out doors were turning white and brown. They were given the right care to them, but the incident just happened. I manage to save what ones I could. But, I live in a very unpredictable place so one minute it's really hot and the next it's really cold and wet. Last year we reached 109 F and the air was so thick just going outside made you sweat and pant. My plants that are inside are still in the same room they're just not directly in front of the window anymore. They're very healthy. But, each plant differs I suppose.
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Jan 23, 2017 3:24 PM CST
That kind of weather can be really hard on these plants. In my own mind I try to separate the effects of light and heat (which obviously tend to come together, in the real world). In the absence of extreme heat (our annual high temp is around 90F/32C) I get to see the effects of light without the confounding factor of temperature. In a climate-controlled setting with moderate humidity (like some people's living rooms) you get the same opportunity. We have neither heating nor cooling, so our indoors is a lot like our outdoors.

I did not mean to imply that aloes can't survive indoors without any sun, or that they can't do well given plenty of reflected/diffused light. The point has to do with tolerance. Which is something I have a particular interest in because almost all my plants will end up in a full sun situation when they are full grown. I tip my hat to you.
Buffalo, ny
Lmb1122
Jan 23, 2017 8:36 PM CST
Thanks for the messages everyone. I'm not sure what went wrong with this one, as I have a very healthy and strong ~3 year Aloe that I treat similarly. I think it was overwatered and developed some root rot. I didn't adjust my watering schedule enough during these cold months and I think it grew weak. I will take your advice and hopefully bring this little guy back to life!
Kentucky
Kskid
Nov 22, 2017 10:46 PM CST
Hey everyone, I'm new here, so I'm not exactly sure where to post my question. I have a similar problem with my aloe vera having no roots, but I think it's also due to rot. I was transplanting some things today and when I came to this little guy I realized it wasn't connected to roots at all. It's almost like it detached itself, because the root cluster is still there in the dirt. The base of the plant is discolored and a little soft. I also noticed some discoloration at the base of some of the leaves. Is there anything I can do to save the plant? Any suggestions would be very very helpful!
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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
Nov 22, 2017 11:07 PM CST
I will direct my answer to this thread you started...

The thread "Aloe vera no roots/rotten?" in Ask a Question forum

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