Ask a Question forum: Bending Aloe Leaves

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Minnesota
TRoland333
Jun 3, 2017 8:56 PM CST
I've had this aloe plant for a little over a year. It's grown significantly in the last 6 months, but it's leaves are bending and is starting to tip over. I water probably once a week, and I recently moved it outside to a covered porch on hotter days. It gets a lot of indirect sunlight. Not much direct sunlight. I have it in a draining pot, with cactus soil and a layover of rock on top. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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Name: Carol
Santa Ana, ca
Sunset zone 22, USDA zone 10 A.
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Orchids Region: California Plant Identifier
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ctcarol
Jun 3, 2017 8:57 PM CST
Aloe need full sun.
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Jun 4, 2017 9:26 AM CST
Your Aloe vera looks healthy and happy. Aloe leaves bend and crease easily. Once creased they will not uncrease or unbend. Those are good candidates to cut off to use for burns. Lower leaves also slowly yellow and die back as they age.

This is a plant that grows upward and inevitably will start to lean in one direction or another as it gets taller. You can support it at the base with a small stake or pebbles to keep it upright. If you keep it potbound, baby plants called offsets, will emerge at the base. If you leave these offsets in place they will help support the main plant.

Indoors, Aloes require maximum sunlight. However, when kept indoors, they must be protected from direct sunlight when moved outdoors or they will overheat and burn. Light outdoor shade is best unless you are keeping it outdoors year-round, which you cannot do in colder climates.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
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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
Jun 4, 2017 9:52 AM CST
Rotate the plant to prevent it from leaning and falling over. You might want to consider a new bigger pot in the near future. An aloe vera plant can easily fill a 3 gallon (10 inch) pot once it's old enough to start offsetting. Try to avoid too thick a layer of top dressing (the rocks on top of the soil) to avoid problems with moisture retention... aim for a layer 1-2 rocks thick, if that's not what you already have. Otherwise your setup sounds good.

ctcarol said:Aloe need full sun.


Full sun is not necessary for this aloe to prosper, or for most aloes to prosper. A few hours a day of direct sun should be enough, with lots of reflected light otherwise. I speak from experience growing dozens of aloes including the one pictured. Just be careful making abrupt changes in outdoor exposure this time of year because too much sun all of a sudden can be quite stressful for the plant. The key is stepwise gradual increases over the course of weeks/months.
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Jun 4, 2017 10:03 AM (+)]
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Minnesota
TRoland333
Jun 4, 2017 10:30 AM CST
Thanks for the replies! It's only my second aloe plant so I'm still working on figuring it out. I'm glad it isn't dying, which was my concern. It's moved from D.C. to MN with me, and I've grown to really like this one :). I water about once a week, a little more right now as it's very warm and seems to dry quickly. Is that too much?
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
Jun 4, 2017 10:43 AM CST
I water my aloes about once a week. Our climate is mild and they are growing in a mix of half pumice, so your mileage may vary. Ideally you want to monitor the moisture in the soil and time the watering cycle so you water when the soil is starting to go dry. Just be aware that the surface layer of soil dries out very fast compared to the soil at depth (which is what counts) so you might need to push in a chopstick or use a moisture meter to get an accurate sense of what's going on. You will find it helpful to water more often in hot, dry, windy weather -- or less often in overcast, humid, cool weather.
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Jun 4, 2017 10:44 AM (+)]
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