emiwri
Full Member
Posts: 51
Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2007 6:42 pm
Location: Indiana

ALOE PLANT CARE

I inherited this aloe plant a year ago. Since then the new "leaves" have grown so huge that the plant has become top heavy. Also it's been replanted once during that time and the root "ball" was very long, about 9".

I was planning to re-pot it again but I'm having trouble finding a pot big enough. Then I started questioning whether I'm been properly caring for this plant. Could someone take a look and give my a few pointers for caring for this plant at this stage? Also, I could use tips for re-potting. Thanx!


Also, it has a pup. I've yet to decide how to deal with it.

-Emi

Newt
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Posts: 1868
Joined: Wed May 26, 2004 2:44 am
Location: Maryland zone 7

Hi Emi,

Welcome to The Helpful Gardener. I do have some observations about your aloe. I'm thinking that where you took the picture is not where the plant lives. I would have some concerns about what appears to be a heat duct. There also isn't enough sunlight there. The leaves appear to be floppy and the top seems to be a light green compared to the other leaves. I'm not sure if it's because the leaves have recently flopped or because it's not getting enough sunlight. The leaves should be more rigid and upright and grow closer together. That could all be from lack of sun, it's rootbound, or not enough water. Aloe does best in full sun or very bright light. I'm also wondering if the pot is clay or plastic. Aloe does best in very well drained soil and a clay pot.

There are different types of aloe, some stay small and some get quite large. You have one that gets large. They are succulents and need well drained soil and should be watered when the soil gets dry.

Take a look at these aloes in pots and you will see how crowded it is. The leaves also grow closer together.
https://www.massey.ac.nz/~sglasgow/cactus/Aloe%20vera.jpg
https://eatmoreherbs.com/herbjpgs/jpgs/b010aloe_verare.jpg

See how tightly this one is growing with the leaves stacking closly togehter.
https://www.truehealth.org/ahealt02.html

So how do you water? Do you wait until the soil dries out? How much sun is it getting? Is that a clay pot or a plastic one?

Newt

emiwri
Full Member
Posts: 51
Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2007 6:42 pm
Location: Indiana

No, that spot isn't it's permanent spot. But I do need to find it a new home in the household. It's former winter spot was the sewing table next to an east facing window, and before that it stayed outside. I'm thinking about moving it upstairs to a south-west facing window but the room temp is about 50-60 degrees. Otherwise it's to the back porch with the rosemary plant were the temp is around 40. I actually have another aloe plant back there that is younger and doing terribly after I transplanted it. I assumed that I should water it after transplant to prevent shock (as with other, non-succulent, plants) but I was quite wrong, I discovered. I should have looked into how to care for succulent sooner. I'm used to growing herbs and veggies.

In the home from which I adopted the plant, it got very little sunlight and hadn't been watered for 6 months. It was covered in dust. Since then I kept it outside until winter hit.

Anyhow, the one in the picture I considered to be doing rather well, until recently. I was watering it whenever the soil completly dried out, about once every 1-2 weeks, which I just read while browsing the forums, is still too much. It's original pot was clay. This one is plastic. The soil is soil for cacti, donated by a neighbor.

So I gather that I should just let the pup grow in the same pot? I must admit, those aloe plants in your pics look quite good.

Should I go ahead and try to find a larger pot (in clay) to transplant it to? I'm awfuly concerned out the depth of the pot since the roots went almost all the way to the bottom of this pot when I moved it in. I just read that you should have a fair amount of soil between you roots and the edges of the pot. Is it a bad idea to trim the roots?

Thank you!

Newt
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Posts: 1868
Joined: Wed May 26, 2004 2:44 am
Location: Maryland zone 7

I suspect it's elongated because of the low light conditions it lived in before you got it. I wouldn't worry too much about it being rootbound at the moment. That will help it to have more pups. You may even decide at some point to just keep the pups and start over with them. The cactus soil is just fine fot it.

The choices you mentioned for where to grow it aren't the best, but I'd suggest you go with the warmer and sunnier spot upstairs.

Generally when repotting you would use a pot that is 2" larger. Aloe is a fairly tough plant so you could cut off an inch or two of the roots if you really wanted to. Just hold back on watering for a while so the severed roots can heal. I would suggest you wait until spring to repot at this point. Then you could separate the pup if you like.


Newt

emiwri
Full Member
Posts: 51
Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2007 6:42 pm
Location: Indiana

That settles it then. The aloe has been relocated to the upstair window. I propped it back up with some chopsticks and I'll wait 'til spring to re-pot. As I was doing this I was thinking that the lower leaves look pitiful and I began to wonder if and how one should prune an aloe plant. I've taken leave before, for use, but I've never actually pruned it.

Thanks again for all your input!

-Emi

Newt
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Posts: 1868
Joined: Wed May 26, 2004 2:44 am
Location: Maryland zone 7

You are so very welcome! You can remove leaves with a sharp knife. Just keep in mind that once you remove them they won't grow back and you'll have an exposed stem. That's why I suggested you might want to start over with the new pup.

Newt

LiddleBuddha
Cool Member
Posts: 65
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2007 4:50 pm

Hello there emiwri and Newt,

I am brand new to the forum. I stumbled onto this forum and this thread when doing a search about gardening/house plants. All of Newt's advice is very good. Although I am definitely a novice gardener I hope you won't mind me adding a few thoughts about what has worked well for me.

I have 3 aloe plants of the exact same type in your picture, emiwri. They have completely taken off and are my most prized and healthiest house plants. Here are the things that have worked very well over the past several years:

- Re-potted in larger clay pots using regular soil. First I placed one layer of small/medium stones in the pot bottom (about 1inch) and added some sand to the stones just covering them. Regular sand or river bank sand works just fine.

- I placed the aloe in the pot with new soil.

- My aloe plants live in brightly daylit rooms, but they are placed where they get minimal direct sunlight. I don't know if it's true or not, but I was informed once (when my aloe plants were dying on the porch in the spring/summer sun), that too much direct sunlight can harm aloe plants. Although that was contrary to everything I've heard, I have followed this advice and so far so good.

- I would recommend filling your aloe plant saucer (provided there are holes in the pot's bottom), with about 1/2 to 1 inch of water (about 1 cup) only once/month maximum. I do this for mine and they happily drink the water right up and remain happy.

- I lightly mist the top soil about every other week or once/month. I never add much water directly to the soil because the aloe seems to like dry soil.

- I also spin my aloe plants 90 to 180 degrees every couple months.

A couple of other quick notes... Warmth and humidity are important. A humidifier might not be necessary, but a stone & water filled pan placed under the pot & saucer is good for plants I've heard. I keep my house no hotter than 70 degrees and no cooler than 60 in the winter.

Here is another link with some information:
[url]https://www.thegardenhelper.com/aloe~vera.html[/url]

Have fun and good luck!

Newt
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Posts: 1868
Joined: Wed May 26, 2004 2:44 am
Location: Maryland zone 7

Hi Liddle Buddha,

Welcome to The Helpful Gardener.
I hope you won't mind me adding a few thoughts about what has worked well for me.
Of course we don't mind. That's what these forums are all about - sharing what we know, what works for us and learning new ideas and techniques.
First I placed one layer of small/medium stones in the pot bottom (about 1inch)...
There's some controversy about adding stones and broken shards for drainage. For many folks it doesn't help but can add to problems.
https://www.puyallup.wsu.edu/~Linda%20Chalker-Scott/Horticultural%20Myths_files/Myths/Container%20drainage.pdf
I don't know if it's true or not, but I was informed once (when my aloe plants were dying on the porch in the spring/summer sun), that too much direct sunlight can harm aloe plants. Although that was contrary to everything I've heard, I have followed this advice and so far so good.
I've found that plants that like full sun will have problems with sunburn if moved directly from indoors to full sun outdoors. They need to be shaded and gradually moved into the full sun. Maybe that is what the problem was.


Newt

LiddleBuddha
Cool Member
Posts: 65
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2007 4:50 pm

Hi Newt,

Thanks for your kind words! You could very well be right about moving the plants and them getting sunburnt. We probably did move the plants into direct sun too quickly. :cry:

I will definitely check out that link that you posted. Always interested in learning more. :P

Thanks! :D

Newt
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Posts: 1868
Joined: Wed May 26, 2004 2:44 am
Location: Maryland zone 7

LiddleBuddha, I knew I had a site somewhere about moving plants indoors/outdoors, etc. Here it is.
https://hgic.clemson.edu/factsheets/HGIC1454.htm

Maybe that will help.
Newt

LiddleBuddha
Cool Member
Posts: 65
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2007 4:50 pm

Dear Newt,

Thank you so much for posting that information! I printed a copy to place on my fridge at home for quick reference! :D

My lady and I went to a greenhouse this past weekend and bought some new plants that I'm excited about. A couple of them will definitely spend spring and summer outside! I'm thinking that info will prove very helpful!

Have a good one! :P

Best,
LB

Newt
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Posts: 1868
Joined: Wed May 26, 2004 2:44 am
Location: Maryland zone 7

LB, glad to know my link has a place of honor on the refrig! I too have a fridge with goodies. :)

If you need growing info for any of your new plants just let us know.

Newt

LiddleBuddha
Cool Member
Posts: 65
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2007 4:50 pm

Hi Newt,

Thanks so much! I have taken you up on that offer and I posted a couple of items. :wink: One in the Bonsai forum regarding a Rosemary Bonsai. And one in the Doesn't Fit Elsewhere forum regarding soil moisture metering.

This is a great forum! :P Everyone is very helpful and seems so knowledgeable! :D

Best,
LB

coolercr30
Newly Registered
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Apr 29, 2007 3:08 pm
Location: mansfield

HELP please!

i actually got an aloe plant from Wal-mart (not the best place to get anything living, I know!) but it seemed to be doing ok for a while...however now it seems like theres no water in the leaves (they are very thin and it doesnt seem like any gel would come out if i cut them open). I tried not to water it too much and it sits in a lot of sun so im not sure what wrong. if anyone has any advice it would be very much appreciated...i wanted to save this guy from Wal-mart and right now i don't know if i can! Thanks!

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