Ask a Question forum: Unhappy Aloe :(

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Ontario
KTHammond
Jul 3, 2017 4:20 PM CST
We inherited a massive aloe plant a few years ago. It used to have direct sunlight and thrived, then when we took it home it was placed in indirect sunlight, but still thrived and did wonderful for about a year. It wasn't until we moved again that it started doing poorly even though we tried to mimic it's previous conditions. We've lost a lot of the original plant, part of it doing fairly well in a smaller pot and what is left has separated into two plants in the pot. It was always very bottom heavy and often crushed the bottom leaves against the rim of the pot, killing them off. Now (most of it) is flopping over. Some leaves are thick and juicy, others are thin and seem to have no moisture within them. No matter what we do it doesn't seem to make it happy. Does it night more light? Less water? It is in a clay pot with bottom drainage and cactus potting soil. We give it a good watering about once every 7-10 days or until the top few inches are dry to the touch.
Thumb of 2017-07-03/visitor/ab0555
Thumb of 2017-07-03/visitor/aeb574

Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Cat Lover Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Region: California Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
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tarev
Jul 3, 2017 11:31 PM CST
Hello KTHammond, I am looking at the photos, to me the media seems too wet, it needs a grittier mix. If you have access to pumice, or perlite, try mixing in much more to your current cacti mix. Also the plant seems to be seeking more light, is there a way to position it nearer a window so it can get more light? Or even outdoors, but do it slowly, so it can acclimate and won't burn in direct sunlight. Once it is acclimated, it can actually take more direct sun.

I would also check the condition of the roots below soil level, since you mentioned some of the leaves are thin and seems to have no moisture. At times, when media is just too wet, the roots gets rotted, so there is no way for the plant to get added moisture that it needs.
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Jul 4, 2017 1:16 PM CST
When grown indoors, Aloe Vera needs lots of direct sunlight. Although it will look fine for a long time in reduced light, eventually the lack of light takes over and the results are what you see. In addition, in reduced light, the plant uses less water so it is very easy to over water it, as well.

You might consider taking cuttings and propagating it into a smaller pot with a porous potting mix. But if you cannot provide better light, then that would be an exercise in futility.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
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Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Jul 4, 2017 1:31 PM CST
I agree
My fomula for all poting soil is, equal parts potting soil to washed sand/gravel.
My aloe or cati only get water every 6 weeks, in summer. . I live in desert of San Joaquin valley of calif. As does Tarev.
😎😎😎
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Ontario
KTHammond
Jul 16, 2017 12:45 PM CST
tarev said:Hello KTHammond, I am looking at the photos, to me the media seems too wet, it needs a grittier mix. If you have access to pumice, or perlite, try mixing in much more to your current cacti mix. Also the plant seems to be seeking more light, is there a way to position it nearer a window so it can get more light? Or even outdoors, but do it slowly, so it can acclimate and won't burn in direct sunlight. Once it is acclimated, it can actually take more direct sun.

I would also check the condition of the roots below soil level, since you mentioned some of the leaves are thin and seems to have no moisture. At times, when media is just too wet, the roots gets rotted, so there is no way for the plant to get added moisture that it needs.


I never would have thought to look at the roots Tarev, so I'm glad you mentioned it. They are pretty much non-existent and must have been over-watered. I have a black thumb of death for plants apparently. Outdoors is unfortunately not an option, but we have built some new shelving in a window so it can get more sunlight without the cats getting near it. Not sure what to do about the roots at this point though.
Ontario
KTHammond
Jul 16, 2017 12:48 PM CST
WillC said:When grown indoors, Aloe Vera needs lots of direct sunlight. Although it will look fine for a long time in reduced light, eventually the lack of light takes over and the results are what you see. In addition, in reduced light, the plant uses less water so it is very easy to over water it, as well.

You might consider taking cuttings and propagating it into a smaller pot with a porous potting mix. But if you cannot provide better light, then that would be an exercise in futility.


Thanks for the suggestions. Working on the light situation, and will take your and Philipwonel's advice on using a more porous potting mix. I hope it isn't too late for the poor thing.
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Cat Lover Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Region: California Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
Composter Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder Amaryllis Container Gardener
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tarev
Jul 17, 2017 11:13 AM CST
Hello KTHammond, there is still hope for your plant, I try not to give up easily on succulents, seeing there is still a lot of green left on your plant. You can temporarily lift the plant and let that root section callus a bit. As you do that, improve the soil mix you have, make it grittier. Then return the plant. You may have to put some big rocks or something to help balance it for now, while it grows new roots that will anchor it better. Part sun/shade by your window for now, so it is less stressful for it.

Be mindful of your watering, since it is being grown indoors, it is going to take time for the root section to dry out.

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