Ask a Question forum: Is my Aristaloe (Lace Aloe, Aloe Aristata) dying?

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Name: Sabi
Nothern California (Zone 9a)
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sabigrows
Jun 1, 2018 9:19 AM CST
Happy Friday, everyone!

My friend gave me this Aloe a while ago and it had brown, dry leaves and some pups that weren't looking so good also. I, without doing my research first, of course removed the pups and plucked the dry leaves off. I now know that was a no-no.

My question here though, is: Why are the base of the leaves a pinkish color? They are also soft where the pink is, and most of the outer leaves are also browning on the tips. I've looked for AGES it seems like but I can't ever find anything about Aristaloe with pinkish leaves. Only Aloe Vera and such. The web provides very little on this plant.

This plant is outside on my porch along with most of my other ones. It gets a small window of cool early morning sunshine, then shade for a good few hours, then the last bit of full evening sun. Maybe it's just in too much direct sunlight? I read these do better as houseplants.

Thanks for any input :p
- Sabi



Thumb of 2018-06-01/sabigrows/f4ae4e
Thumb of 2018-06-01/sabigrows/1654bb
Thumb of 2018-06-01/sabigrows/69afde
Thumb of 2018-06-01/sabigrows/d9bcce

The last picture was taken in in different light, just because.

[Last edited by sabigrows - Jun 1, 2018 9:20 AM (+)]
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Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Jun 1, 2018 9:50 AM CST
Hello Sabi, no, the plant is not dying..it is just manifesting some level of stress. Looking at your set-up is not bad, so I would then consider the outdoor temperatures from night to daytime. Maybe it has turned colder than usual in the past few days, so the plant is showing stress. But give it time to adjust, try to top dress your plant with some pumice or chicken grit. It will keep the base drier and at the same time protect the roots later from too much of our dry heat.

Pinkish leaves may also indicate the media is staying too wet than usual. So got to allow good dry out time. It is okay if the outer leaves slowly dry off later, new growth always comes from the center.
Name: Sabi
Nothern California (Zone 9a)
Image
sabigrows
Jun 1, 2018 10:10 AM CST
tarev said:Hello Sabi, no, the plant is not dying..it is just manifesting some level of stress. Looking at your set-up is not bad, so I would then consider the outdoor temperatures from night to daytime. Maybe it has turned colder than usual in the past few days, so the plant is showing stress. But give it time to adjust, try to top dress your plant with some pumice or chicken grit. It will keep the base drier and at the same time protect the roots later from too much of our dry heat.

Pinkish leaves may also indicate the media is staying too wet than usual. So got to allow good dry out time. It is okay if the outer leaves slowly dry off later, new growth always comes from the center.


Should I allow the soil to dry a little before adding small pebbles? I combed the roots out, gave it new soil, and watered it, the root ball was compacted real badly. I dont want to trap too much moisture in there? Sticking tongue out

And yes, lately the past few nights have been weirdly chilly.
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Stay Home-Save Lives-Wear a Mask!
Cat Lover Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Region: California Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
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tarev
Jun 1, 2018 10:22 AM CST
You are growing it outdoors, so its okay to add the top dressing. Lots of airflow around. Typically if I have distrubed the roots, I would not water right away, got to give chance for the roots to recover too.

Yes, our weather has been really chilly huh? And this weekend will be a heat wave ugh! Crazy weather!

Anyways, the position of your plant is okay, just give it time to adjust. Some succulents also manifest that closing up of its rosettes, as it gets too heated, to conserve transpiration, then open up a bit at night time to do its gas exchange.
So do not be tempted to overwater.
Name: Sabi
Nothern California (Zone 9a)
Image
sabigrows
Jun 1, 2018 10:36 AM CST
tarev said:You are growing it outdoors, so its okay to add the top dressing. Lots of airflow around. Typically if I have distrubed the roots, I would not water right away, got to give chance for the roots to recover too.

Yes, our weather has been really chilly huh? And this weekend will be a heat wave ugh! Crazy weather!

Anyways, the position of your plant is okay, just give it time to adjust. Some succulents also manifest that closing up of its rosettes, as it gets too heated, to conserve transpiration, then open up a bit at night time to do its gas exchange.
So do not be tempted to overwater.


Ah, I knew I shouldn't of watered it. I will keep from watering it for a couple weeks. I added some gritty rocks to the surface and put it back in full sun so hopefully it recovers well, especially if this weather would figure out what it wants to do Hilarious! Glare When I combed the roots out, some of the root ends were green so that made me feel better! Thank you for your help.
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Jun 1, 2018 1:35 PM CST
Does your plant have roots? Can it be lifted from the soil if you tug on it (gently)?
Name: Sabi
Nothern California (Zone 9a)
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sabigrows
Jun 1, 2018 1:51 PM CST
Baja_Costero said:Does your plant have roots? Can it be lifted from the soil if you tug on it (gently)?


Yes it has a bunch of good roots. A couple od thick ones too. When I lifted it from its old pot it was completely compacted and the roots hadn't spread out in any way. I combed them out and shook out the old soil stuck in there, then repotted.
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
Jun 1, 2018 2:14 PM CST
You waited to water after opening up the roots, right? It sounds like you did the right thing if they were not growing beyond the original ball.

I have killed this plant by underwatering and I have killed it by overwatering. Both are entirely possible in the hands of an average gardener. Maybe if I relate my experience, you may find it helpful in some way. When I first got this plant, it was a cluster of one central rosette and 4 or 5 good sized offsets. So I separated them and treated the individual plants different ways, to try to learn something about their limits.

The underwatering came about because I decided to try out a mesh pot, like some kind of thick fabric, that a friend gave me. I don't remember the name or brand but the idea was that it would help protect against overwatering by allowing the water to evaporate through the sides of the container, much like an unglazed clay pot would. As it turns out the soil would never stay wet for more than a very brief period right after I watered, and the aloe shriveled up, closed in on itself, and winked out. In retrospect I realize the reason the container dried out so fast was because of the tremendously greater surface area compared to a clay pot equivalent.

The overwatering came about because I had one plant in a lower light location where the sun would not actually hit it for a few months out of the year. It was not drying out enough in between watering because it was in the shade, and I was not compensating by watering less often, so the roots turned to mush and that eventually made it into the stem.

So the moral of the story is pay attention to water, and pay attention to light. If you are reasonably disciplined with the watering can, you can keep one of these plants growing for years and years, and it will proliferate and give you more plants to play with. Water well when the soil is dry, not much sooner or a whole lot later. I have good results when my plants get hours of daily sun year round, but less than half a day. They look worse in lots of sun during the summer, especially with our annual summer drought, and sort of spring open in the winter when the light is kinder.
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Jun 1, 2018 2:16 PM (+)]
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Name: Sabi
Nothern California (Zone 9a)
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sabigrows
Jun 1, 2018 2:28 PM CST
Yes. I mean, I only watered it once after I got it, which was about a few weeks ago, but I watered it about 1-2 weeks ago. Then just yesterday I did water it after helping the roots breathe.

If I cut the roots I know I'd have to wait until they calloused or dried out a bit to plant/water them again, in case of rotting them. nodding

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
Jun 1, 2018 3:34 PM CST
I would chalk up its current appearance to moodiness and being in a new home. No great cause for alarm.

For comparison, here is what my plant looks like right now as we approach the longest days and strongest light of the year. In the fall I will probably separate it and do some grooming.

Thumb of 2018-06-01/Baja_Costero/bb2239 Thumb of 2018-06-01/Baja_Costero/fd0065

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