Ask a Question forum: Neglected Aloe PLant

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lynnwood, WA
kaywess
Jul 11, 2017 1:19 PM CST
I have been neglecting this poor aloe, occasionally wiping off whatever this white stuff is that has appeared on it. Can anybody tell me what it is and if there's anything I can do about it?

Or is this the end for my poor aloe?

Thanks!!

Kristen
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Name: tarev
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tarev
Jul 11, 2017 2:06 PM CST
Those white stuff looks like mealy bugs. Quarantine your plant from others you have. Cut off all the dried out, wilted leaves.

While in shade, spray the leaves and its underside with a mix of alcohol, dishwashing liquid and water. Allow to dry in shade, no direct sun.
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Jul 11, 2017 2:25 PM CST
Yes, mealy bugs. Squish one of the big puffs of white between your fingers and you should see/feel an actual insect in there.

If you can, take the plant somewhere and spray it off with water to blast away as many of the white things as possible. Then proceed with the treatment. You can buy insecticidal soap in a spray bottle in your local nursery or make your own, with dilute mild dish soap (like a small spoonful per gallon of water maybe). The alcohol works best at about 70% (which you should be able to buy in your local pharmacy, or dilute if necessary). I would try one and then the other a couple of weeks later to mop up, but by all means mix and match as Tarev suggests, if you like. Visual inspection afterwards is key no matter what you do, so that the result is complete and your plant is cured.

You would probably also benefit from a close inspection of the roots for similar bugs growing underground.

And with all garden pests it's good to consider 2 additional things along with the treatment. First, can you find out the source of the bugs? Are any other plants around you affected? Do you know how they came in? Just as a logical exercise to prevent re-infestation. And second, maybe your plant would be more resistant to bugs if you altered how you care for it... you never know, but healthy plants seem to resist bugs better, so maybe re-evaluate how you water and whether it would be possible to give the plant more light (once the bugs are gone). If it's indoors, find a spot right in front of your sunniest window.
Name: Will Creed
NYC
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WillC
Jul 14, 2017 1:25 PM CST
As Baja stated, plants are much more susceptible to pest infestations when they are under stress due to inadequate light or improper watering. That appears to be the case with your Aloe. The healthy leaves look small and weak, suggesting it has not received very good light. Watering may also be an issue.

When treating the mealybugs, it is not so much what you use to spray, but how thorough you are in applying it. All leaf and stem surfaces must be thoroughly drenched with the spray until they are dripping wet. Pay particular attention to the tiny crevices where the leaves attach to the stems.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
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lynnwood, WA
kaywess
Jul 14, 2017 5:58 PM CST
Thanks to all of the responders! I have cleansed the plant and have moved it to a location with more light.

I have also quarantined it from the other plants (which look fine so far, which underscores everyone's point that the aloe must have been having some trouble to begin with).

We live in a basement apartment in the Northwest and it's hard to get much light. Maybe I need to change the kinds of plants I have in the house!
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Jul 15, 2017 8:46 AM CST
Kaywess - Yes, Aloes will survive in reduced light, but not thrive. There are many low light plants that might be better choices. They include ZZ Plant, Pothos, Philodendron, Aglaonema, Dracaena deremensis and Corn Plants, among others.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Jul 15, 2017 12:55 PM CST
Hello kaywess, yes there are various indoor options you can try. My favorites for indoors/deep shade are Sansevieras, Pothos, ZZ plant, clivia, Aspidistra elatior, Dracaena marginata, Peace lilies. Good luck, hope you can try one of them.
lynnwood, WA
kaywess
Jul 15, 2017 1:55 PM CST
Thanks for the recommendations. I already have a thriving philodendron. I'll look for some of the others!!

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