Cactus and Tender Succulents forum: small aloe plicatilis - leaves rotting away

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ce61agg
Jan 8, 2018 4:08 PM CST
Hello friends

i am trying to grow 2 small aloe plicatilis plants, but they keep losing leaves (see photos)

They've been in the house for about 3 months, and they've lost 3 leaves in total...
They're indoors at the moment as it's wintery outside, getting water about once a week.

any ideas what could be the cause of this small catastrophe?

Thumb of 2018-01-08/ce61agg/f2f95a

Thumb of 2018-01-08/ce61agg/5deb2a




Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Jan 8, 2018 4:50 PM CST

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Under normal growing conditions the tips of older leaves will dry out and turn black. This would be more apparent during hot summer days in the sun. I just let them do their thing and then when they are totally dry I break off the dead part. That's a cosmetic issue more than anything else. Some people get turned off by the fan aloe when they see that process in action. I view it as a natural endpoint for leaf senescence, a basic part of their biology.

That would be different from leaves going soft at the tips, or especially at the base, which I would consider a warning sign that the plant is getting too much water, not enough drainage, too little light, or some combination of the three. Exercise restraint with the water during the dark and cold days of winter. Water less often, like maybe once every 2 weeks, for a while. Ideally time that for when the soil goes dry at depth. And find a nice warm and bright location for your plants.

If they are going strong in the spring you might consider swapping out the soil for something faster draining. Like regular potting soil mixed 50/50 with pumice, perlite, lava rock, or fine gravel. This plant enjoys excellent drainage. But now is definitely the wrong time to monkey with the roots.

What is the situation like there? Does the indoor temperature reach room temperature (say 68°F) during the day? How much light does the plant get? Do you have the heat on (lowering the humidity indoors)?
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Jan 8, 2018 5:02 PM (+)]
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Name: Kristi
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pod
Jan 8, 2018 9:24 PM CST
I agree on the watering/lighting/temperature being the issue.

I had an Aloe that dealt me the same misery. I finally pulled it out of soil and allowed the plant to dry thoroughly. In fact I left it out of soil for an extended time due to my frustration. It was amazing to me how long it existed without soil or moisture. The leaves didn't even shrivel.

It has now been repotted in better soil and I water it rarely in the cooler days of winter.
Be content moving inch by inch because, by days end, the inches, will add up to feet and yards.

Fulfilling ambitious objectives is usually done one step at a time.

ce61agg
Jan 9, 2018 4:36 AM CST
thanks a lot for your replies!

They're not getting a lot of light at the moment. They're next to a window, but it's facing north-west, and the weather is generally cloudy....

Temp is above 66 with the heating on...
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
Jan 9, 2018 10:07 AM CST

Moderator

If there's any other spot that gets more sun, that might help. But this is the dark time of year, so just hold on until things get better and water less often in the meantime.

ce61agg
Jan 9, 2018 3:35 PM CST
thank you, i'll hold on for better days then :)
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
Jan 9, 2018 4:14 PM CST

Moderator

Sorry I can't offer any better advice than that Smiling but sometimes you have to let plants work through things before you know what's up.

For what it's worth, this aloe is kind of sensitive to excess water. They do pretty well here (mild winter rainfall climate a bit drier than their own) outdoors year round, given excellent drainage and strong light. I do wait until the soil is completely dry before watering my container plant (avatar picture). I am struck by its ability to slurp every last drop out of the soil over the course of the time I give it in between waterings.

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