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Sad Aloe Vera w/pic


I received this plant on March 18th of this year. There are no draining holes, but the woman said there are rocks at the bottom. It is a pup from one of her plants.

I know the picture is hard to see but this plant seems to have all kinds of symptoms (from what Iv'e read online) for too much sunlight/not enough, too much water/not enough.
The 2 lower leaves on the left side are bent in the middle and they were upright and healthy a few weeks ago. The plant already had one crisp edge at the very top of one leaf, but that was all that was wrong. The leaves were healthy etc. One of the leaves (#3 from the bottom left going up next to the 2 bottom wilting leaves) is curling upright (like a C almost)
Then the leaf next to that is turning brown (look at the very top-its not the edge of the top, just very close)
Next the direct middle leaf is firm and healthy, the next leaf has a brown spot and is soft and bending in the middle

It was originally in a window with part sun and I would let the soil dry out before watering. That was working fine. All the leaves were upright...this lasted for 3 weeks or so. Then I moved it to my house (across town) and it may have received too much sunlight, and/or someone in my house may have seen the soil dry not knowing it was still damp, therefore giving it too much water.
I have moved it back to the 1st location where it was originally doing well, but I am not sure if I should leave it in the shade for a week or so first...

Greener Thumb
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Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2009 10:01 am
Location: Jacksonville, FLZone 9A

You need to repot it, with excellent drainage and loose soil. And it needs a lot more light.

It looks like too much water, and too little light, but the pic is not all that great for details.

I understand you don't want to lose this one, but aloe typically grows in full sun and desert like conditions. Mine are outdoors, in dappled shade and higher humidity. They are doing okay, probably fantastic compared to any kept as houseplants, but it's still far from ideal.

Since it has had too much water and too little light, you probably won't want to put it in full sun just yet. It would survive, most likely look scalded but throwing off a few pups if the root system is intact. Problem is the roots may be all but gone with the overwatering.

The bent leaves are not a problem. It's not a particular sign of illness, just a longer less strong leaf than would be in desert conditions. As long as they are green they are producing energy for the plant.

Bear in the garden
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your aloe should be in a larger pot, they can get top heavy and fall over, as with all cactus and succulents they need good drainage's I use small rocks with a screen over them to help drain, my aloe sits out side all summer in part shade and gives me lots pups
My Mother is earth, my Father is the sun, My sister is the wind, I'm Bear the keeper of the caves

Greener Thumb
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Location: Austin, TX

Definately overwatered. Make sure any pot it's in, has alot of holes. Cacti definately need more than 2 or 3 holes, they need like 10 or 15, and left dry for a few days. Cacti in the deserts get alot lot less water than humans give them at home.
Home Gardener from Austin, TX; by way of Iowa.

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ok.. From what my research tells me (and you guys)
-Cactus soil would be best or any loose sandy soil would do
-A larger pot that is more on the wider side because of aloe's shallow roots
(correct me if I'm wrong or doesn't matter..I read it somewhere)
Go only a few inches bigger than the pot is in now ...or it doesn't matter if I just place it in a huge pot now?
-Rocks, broken pieces of pottery on the bottom of the pot for good drainage
-Screen to protect roots from rocks
-Let it dry out ( I understand that )
-Part sun is good...or bright indirect light works too? And someone said full sun...but Iv'e read about sunburn..maybe transferring slowly.. my aloe is indoors right now receiving part sun/ALSO bright indirect light. I am going to condition it to the outdoors slowly on hot days.

We have started selling succulents at my work..I am trying to get to know AS MUCH AS I CAN about them (and ALL plants in general..after all I will be doing this my entire life) I love every single bit of information you can give me. I want to be a walking library someday :D
Thank you, you are all wonderful

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I wouldn't recommend a "huge" pot. I think the rim of the pot should be no more than about 2" from the edge of the plant. If you put a succulent in too large of a pot, it just means that the soil will take longer to dry. Unless one is very experienced at growing succulents, having too much soil around the roots is an invitation for root rot to set in.

I do use shallower pots ... specifically azalea pans ... for my succulents, but I don't use rocks or anything else in the bottom. I just fill the pot with a nice gritty, sandy cactus mix. I do put a small piece of non-metal screening in the pot over the drainage hole before I add the soil. If you're going to fill part of the pot with rocks, or anything else, it might be better to use a standard pot.

I also recommend unglazed clay pots for succulents. The porosity enhances the drying of the soil. :)
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

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Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2009 2:47 am
Location: Ohio

I tried keeping mine under a 1000watt metal halide and it got sun burn really bad but havent seen a bit of problems now that its back to natural light in a southern window. I'd say if its in the house consider it full sun but if you put it out it may need shaded some. Sunburn on an aloe plant is brownish/gray discoloration.

Good luck
USDA zone 5b, Sunset zone 35

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