IAmCorbin
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Grow Light Setup + Aloe Help

I am completely new to gardening and need some advice with my current setup.

I’ll just describe my current situation:

Last weekend I was at a friend’s house and they have a pretty large Aloe plant, I decided it would be cool to try and propagate my own plant from the mother. So I split one of the new shoots (the largest of the leaves being about 7 inches, 5 total), I got a very small amount of roots. I decided that keeping it moist would be a good idea (which I now know was a mistake). I wrapped it in wet paper towel around the roots and put it in a ziplock bag. It remained here for over 24 hours until I returned home. After getting home I potted it in regular potting soil with plenty of water (another mistake I now realize). After researching more and learning these mistakes I removed the plant from the pot and let it sit out to dry for 24 hours just sitting on a plate. I then took the plant and repotted it in a mixture 50/50 regular potting soil and sand. It is looking pretty sad now and today I cut off one of the leaves that was getting quite mushy as I didn’t want the (what I assume is) rot to spread.

I live in the Chicago area and don’t have any good areas to place the plant near a window. I decided that I wanted to try an indoor artificial lighting setup. I am also interested in attempting to grow some other plants in the same setup. I don’t have much space to work with as I share a house with 4 other guys and want to have something setup in my room. I found a small shelf that just turned out to be a perfect size at Home Depot. I also found a small 18â€

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Grey
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Your little guy has had a rough time of it, but it might be okay.

I haven't used grow lights much. I grew up in Florida where Aloe plants were everywhere, and you could pretty well stick them in your yard, ignore them, and they grew. So, warm temps, sandy soil (which you have done) not a lot of water (they do need some though!) and lots of light. Be sure to turn the light off at night so it's more like a normal day cycle. ;)

IAmCorbin
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oh yeah, my setup also has a timer I bought today, so the light will turn itself on in the morning and off at night

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Grey
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Should be good! Keep us posted on how your plant does.

IAmCorbin
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since the leaves are drooping and feel a bit mushy in spots should I cut anymore off to prevent spreading of this or will it get better?

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Grey
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No - just leave it be. I've seen them get mushy and recover, and if they turn brown and dead-like you can cut them off then.

IAmCorbin
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What about the bulb I am using:

Plant and Aquarium
Size: 18â€

IAmCorbin
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Can't seem to edit my post....also, if this bulb isn't enough light, would a 2nd identical bulb help, or are there other more powerful bulbs of the same size I could use in this setup?

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Grey
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I really haven't worked with grow lights enough to give you an answer for that. I'd see if the aloe plant lives first, and if it does okay with the amount of light you have now or if it needs more later.

IAmCorbin
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Any idea how long it will before before I should see growth and be able to tell if the light is enough? I'm out of town right now for the weekend and will be back on monday, the timer has the light on for 14 hours a day if it is working correctly.

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Grey
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I'd give it a few weeks. Plants take their time to tell us when something is wrong. :)

IAmCorbin
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Well this is what I just came back from easter vacation to:

[img]https://item.fredk.com/~corbin/aloe2.JPG[/img]

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Grey
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My guess is the root rotted from all the moisture earlier on. Is that one bit of new growth in the middle, or is it dying too?

Joseph
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Grey wrote:My guess is the root rotted from all the moisture earlier on.

I agree. That definitely looks like root rot to me. I had that happen to my aloe about a year ago. I can't help but feel that if I had aerated the soil a little while it was trying to recover it may have saved it...

Aloe do not like waterlogged soil and need a really well draining mix and careful watering. They need loads of oxygen.

IAmCorbin
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Grey wrote:Is that one bit of new growth in the middle, or is it dying too?
The middle one is dying as well. Oh well, at least I have a better idea of what to do at this point and can try again with a new plant.

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