Taniconrad
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Location: carpinteria, ca.

How to save chopped aloe?

I have outdoor aloe that my renters must have used for sunburns. They seem to have chopped 1/2 a leaf at a time, so that many of the plants are just a stalk with 1/2 leaves that are brown at the end. In order for them to recover, should they be left alone or is there a way to prune them that would help in their re-growth?
Tani

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Kisal
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Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2008 5:04 am
Location: Oregon

I have never seen an aloe sprout new leaves to replace those damaged or removed, so your plant will always be as it is now. It will however, sprout new leaves at the top of the stalk, and it will eventually produce offsets (pups) around its base. When the offsets reach about 5" in height, they can be removed and planted separately. They will form roots and become individual plants.

You might be able to salvage the old plant by cutting the stalk a few inches below the lowest set of undamaged leaves. You want to have enough stalk so you can plant it deep enough to hold the top of the plant erect, so if there are only a few leaves on the top, making the plant quite small, you won't need a long stalk to support them. OTOH, if the undamaged part of the plant is large, you'll need a longer stalk so you can plant it deeper.

Let the cut stalk dry for a couple of days out of direct sunlight, then plant it. Water the soil where you intend to plant the aloe, then water again after you plant it. Then just leave it alone. If the weather is hot where you are, though, it might be a good idea to shade the plant from the intense midday sun in some way. Maybe place a little tent of shade cloth over it, or even just set a little table over it to give it a bit of shade. The stalk should sprout new roots and you'll have a new plant.

I would leave the old plant in the ground and provide it with normal care, unless you consider it too unsightly. Removing the top of the plant might force the old root system to send out some offsets for you, and you'll have even more aloes. :)
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