Ask a Question forum→What's wrong with my Aloe Aristata?

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Name: Jazzy
Phelan, California
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Jazzycake
May 28, 2018 3:50 PM CST
I've had my little Aloe Aristata for a little over a year, and it doesn't open to grow more leaves. It also doesn't have roots, even when i bought it. It only sprouted flowers once last year and that's about it. I'm more concerned about why it doesn't have roots or why it doesn't spread open. Can someone help me understand what might be going on or what i can do to help it?

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Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
May 28, 2018 4:13 PM CST
Without roots your plant will continue an inevitable decline. Or to put that another way, your plant needs roots in order to improve in appearance. A couple of questions.

1. When you got the plant and noticed there were no roots, did you see rotten or dead roots in the soil below it (which presumably used to be attached)? Was the stem soft or otherwise affected in some way you could tell?

2. Over the past year, how much light have you given your aloe? How often and how much do you water?

A rootless rosette like yours should be able to grow new roots, given a bright and protected location. It would be good to resolve whether there is something wrong the with rosette itself (the part above the roots), like some ongoing rot in the stem, which might prevent this. Or perhaps those roots are growing and then later rotting out, which would indicate the soil is overly rich, the plant is getting too much water, and/or it's not getting enough light.

This plant is prone to root rot when grown on the wet side. It also is not super tolerant of extended drought in containers. So try to find a rhythm where it gets watered well and then the soil has a chance to dry out afterwards, without sitting for ages bone dry.

The closed posture you're noting is pretty typical for this plant when it is undergoing drought or sun stress. The rosette will not open properly until your aloe has some roots to get it pumped up again.

Welcome!
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - May 28, 2018 4:24 PM (+)]
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