Mirage
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Overgrown Aloe

I have had this aloe for about 5 years, and it is out of control. Its a very VERY happy plant and is blooming at this time, as you can see in the attached photos. I have transplanted it repeatedly, but now it is too big to lift, too big to move, and I don't know what to do with it! Can someone tell me how to return this plant to its previous "within the pot" beauty?

In my previous transplants, I have taken it out of a smaller pot and put the bared roots deeper into the new larger pot.. now the roots are clear to the bottom of this pot and starting to wind around the bottom of it. Therefore, I can no longer just keep putting it deeper into a pot. How can I actually salvage this plant?

[img]https://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a61/kc-griz/101_0219.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a61/kc-griz/101_0223.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a61/kc-griz/101_0222.jpg[/img]


Thanks,
Mirage

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alaskagold
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mirage, are you sure that is an aloe? My husband looked at your pic and his mother had a cactus that looked like an aloe, and even bloomed the same.

I have to admit, if it is an aloe, that is the biggest aloe I have ever seen in my life!

Mirage
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I'm sure! It was a lovely little aloe when my mother-in-law gave it to me! I have pulled several dozen pups out over the last 4 years, and given them all away to friends.

Mirage

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Kisal
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Aloes root pretty easily. You can cut off the top section of the plant. Just cut through the stem so that the top that you remove is the height you want your new plant to be. Set it aside for 24 to 48 hours -- longer if necessary -- to allow the cut end to dry over ... called "callusing".

When it's dry, just plant it in a clean pot with fresh soil.

I have heard that aloes can be started from leaf sections, but I've never tried it myself. You would just remove a leaf, allow it to callus over, then plant it in its own pot. Plant it deep enough so that it doesn't fall over.

Since you'll have plenty of material at hand, you might want to experiment with planting leaf sections, in addition to leaf tips, just to see what happens. Be sure to let the cut ends callus over, before you plant them. It would probably be a good idea to mark each section on the end that was closest to the main stem of the plant, then make sure to put the marked end in the soil when you plant. :)
"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

Green Mantis
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You could always put it in a huge pot, and get one of those things you can set plants on, that has wheels. Seems a shame to cut it back, it's beautiful! :)

Mirage
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I will have to contemplate what I'm going to do. I know I'm going to have to do something or it will ultimately just break off and I will be heartbroken. This plant and I have been thru a lot together! My mother-in-law gave me this plant almost 5 yrs ago when I was doing chemo for stage 3 breast cancer. The aloe is supposed to be soothing to your intestines, which the chemo is very hard on. So each day I cut off a nice long piece of leaf and scooped out the gel and put it into a protein shake and drank it. I don't know if it helped but I'd like to think so! Anyway... it has been blooming for the last two years, several times a year. Then this last time it bloomed, before the flowers even fell from the first set, it was growing another stalk of blooms! So, I really do not want to kill this plant, I will be crushed if I do something to it that makes it unhappy and it no longer blooms! I will wait until its done blooming this time around and then decide how to handle the situation. Thank you for the suggestions!

Green Mantis
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It could always be staked once it's transplanted too. Seems such a shame to cut it up. Get someone to come help you transplant it, into a big pot, then get a rolling plant stand, stake it and enjoy? There are lots of those rolling plant stands, with wheels under them and they can be quite large. Then keep a few cuttings for yourself too. Hope all goes well for you health wise, and plant wise. Good Luck. :)

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alaskagold
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Oh Mirage, that is awesome you survived! I can see why you do not want this plant to have a problem.

I just found out a friend of mine who had breast cancer and thought she beat it 2 yrs ago, only has 3 months to live. It matastisized in her pancreas :( and the doctors didn't catch it fast enough.

Alicemae
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I know that there are several varieties of aloes, some spilling over to be mistaken for yucca and vice versa. I'm trying to 'save' a couple sickley plants (not overgrown). Will that callousing method work for all varieties?
Thanks ~ Alicemae

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Kisal
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Yes. In fact, it isn't so much a matter of whether it "works", but rather if it isn't done, the cutting simply rots.

If you were to post some pictures of your plants, our members could give you more specific advise. :)
"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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BewilderedGreenyO.o
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Looking at photos of that beauty makes me want a cutting from it LOL Its gorgeous :) I have a pretty large aloe in my back yard but it looks nothing like that... it seems to be growing wider rather that taller...
Confusion at its Finest :D
I'm rooting for you!

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Marto
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How is this Aloe doing now?

Did you cut it down?

Your Aloe is amazing

M
I feel an attack of dumb blonde coming on!

Mirage
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Results of the overgrown aloe

The outcome of the overgrown aloe pictured above....

Once the flowers were done blooming, I got brave and dared to chop up my beloved aloe plant. I cut off a large healthy chunk of the top, this literally took a hack-saw as the core was very woody... I was surprised how hard and tree-like it seemed. The center core was at least 2" across. Then I peeled off several of the lowest leaves so I had some base to stick into the soil. Its amazing when you really love a plant, just how hard it can be to peel off these leaves and throw them away!! Because the center core was so dry and wood-like, I did not even leave it exposed to air so it could scab over, I just immediately put it down into its new pot I had bought it, and watered it. Then I returned it to its same favorite corner that it loves.
I then cut out a large section (probably 8-10") of the plant below the top that was left in the old pot, and discarded it. I threw it in the compost pile, to which my husband later told me it looked like an octopus laying out there, with all the leaves spread out. I should have taken a picture!
Then, because I was afraid the top section was going to die, I kept the bottom portion in the original pot.. just a stump sticking up. I figured the roots were down in that soil, maybe it would grow something! Below are the pictures of what I ended up with. First, the original pot where you can see the stem/stump and the one growing off the side of it. Then, my newly planted top, which has seemed to fare quite well, all things considered. And then finally, what made me realize this was truly a success was when I saw my new top start making pups in the pot!!! Yeah... it has survived!!!

[img]https://i1116.photobucket.com/albums/k574/MzzGriz/101_0828.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i1116.photobucket.com/albums/k574/MzzGriz/101_0829.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i1116.photobucket.com/albums/k574/MzzGriz/101_0831.jpg[/img][/img]

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Kisal
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Congratulations! Very nice! :clap: :clap:
"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

Mirage
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I wasn't planning on posting any more to this thread, as I thought it was complete, but.....
When doing the cutting of my beloved aloe, I was going to be thrilled if it just survived, and since I have heard that aloe only blooms when its really happy, I thought if it ever bloomed again, it would probably be years. But, as my remarkable plant seems to do, it has thrilled me once again! First picture is from about three weeks ago, you can see the tiny little bloom buds starting.. last picture is from today.

[img]https://i1116.photobucket.com/albums/k574/MzzGriz/011.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i1116.photobucket.com/albums/k574/MzzGriz/016.jpg[/img][/img]

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PunkRotten
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I have an aloe almost the size of your 1st pic. Mine is outdoors in the ground though. And it is sending up that flower stalk too.

Ergolad
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Re: Overgrown Aloe

Simply Googling for a solution to my overgrown aloe, I stumble across this post. I was surprisingly moved. Not to mention, informed and reassured that my special plant could stand some transplanting and trimming. Thanks for sharing. And I hope you keep updating about the progress of your plant.

imafan26
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Re: Overgrown Aloe

I don't have aloe in a pot but I did move my clump because it was hard to weed around it. I have had to thin it a couple of times. They can get pretty big and heavy. I pull out the off sets and some of the bigger ones. I keep a minimum of three but usually there are more than that.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

baileysup
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Re: Overgrown Aloe

I have a few different species of aloe, yet none of mine are as big as yours. I was wondering if you could tell me the name of the largest aloe. I thought it was Barbadensis, but I have one of those, and it's nowhere near as big as yours. Your's is a s big as the leaves I see in the Supermarket. I've included a picture of my two "normal" aloes. They are basically the same, except one grows bigger than the other. Where can I find one that gets as big as yours, and what's the species name? Thanks:

Image

baileysup
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Re: Overgrown Aloe

I meant variety name, not species name. Just clarifying that.

JDSteinmetz
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Re: Overgrown Aloe

Thank you for this post. I too have a very large happy aloe that has gotten to big to move anymore and didn't know what to do with it. Now I am going to try to cut off the top and replant too. (o:

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DDMcKenna
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Re: Overgrown Aloe

I didn't look to see where you lived but is there an option for planting it outdoors?

We have had a battle that has lasted at least fifteen years with these aloe plants that have tried to take over our yard. They started out as two plants, one along the fence on the wests side of the house, and another along the wall of the house on the east side. We gave up on the wall on the east. the aloe have just taken over and killed everything else as they have multiplies and grew up along the side of the house.

The one along the west fence multiplied and my wife got so tired of constantly having to trim them, I think she most of them dug out. But I think the occasion plant still seems to pop up now and then. Here along the coast, it a lot cooler and breezier than you might think. I guess they are pretty salt tolerant. But it sounds like you are trying to deal with a plant as big as ours now.

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