Cactus and Tender Succulents forum: Help with aloe, please!!!

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Name: Stel Venetoulis
Baltimore, MD
Stelios369
Jul 20, 2017 10:07 AM CST
I've had this aloe-type plant for 7 years. Does anyone recognize what type of aloe it is?
You'll notice in the photo that the plant is healthy and growing up top, however, the bottoms are drying out and leaving nothing but the "stem". The plants are ridiculously top-heavy! I need to use bamboo sticks to prop them up. There are a few (two) healthy new sprouts that are healthy top to bottom. Any tips to prevent them from drying out at their base?
Should I consider replanting the top-heavy portions in 12" deep soil, and separate the newer growths?
Thank you for your help! I'm all ears!
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Name: Thijs van Soest
Mesa, AZ (Zone 9b)
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mcvansoest
Jul 20, 2017 10:20 AM CST
Hi, not sure what species it is. I suspect it is a hybrid of one or more of the climbing/sprawling Aloes.

The plant looks a little light starved, but otherwise very healthy. It is doing what it is meant to, I do not think you will be able to train this plant out of this behavior. It might be that under perfect conditions the leaves stay healthy and on the stem longer, but it may be hard to achieve those perfect conditions, especially if you do not know what the species is. You can clip off some of the heavy tops and replant them, but they will only show the same behavior again, you will just have more plants doing the same thing.

Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Jul 20, 2017 12:20 PM CST

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Yes, that is how the plant grows. Restart it from a cutting if you like a more compact look, then be prepared to do it again in a few years. Smiling
Name: Laurie b
Western Washington (Zone 7b)
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lauriebasler
Jul 20, 2017 10:15 PM CST
Yes, it is Climbing Aloe. I agree with Baja. I would expect this 7 yr old Aloe specie to look just as yours does, if well cared for, in good light. I have had 6 of these around here a couple of years now, outside or under grow lights, always being very adaptable and healthy. I love the wonky way they grow. But I know there will come a time their growth habit will require topping them, so they don't break. Dracaena, marginata are cursed with eventually having a trunk that looks off too.

If they were in the landscape, they would flop over onto the ground and wander thru their bed, giving a nice accent to every plant they come near. This is where they really shine.


[Last edited by lauriebasler - Jul 20, 2017 10:17 PM (+)]
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