roiyka
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Collapsing and thinning leaves on Aloe Vera

Hi everyone! I've just joined the forum as I'm desperately seeking help with saving my aloe vera plant. I've had it for over a year now and it was doing great until last month when I came back home after being away for three weeks and found it in a paddle of water. My roommate overwatered it (not sure how many times though) because she was convinced I'm not looking after it properly (!). I quickly took it out and checked the roots and there were only few short roots for some reason (I haven't repotted the plant since I got it so I'm not sure if it had more roots before). They didn't rot however so I dried the plant straight away and put it in a fresh pot of universal soil (I didn't have any soil for succulents at that time). I didn't water it for about a week after repotting and then started watering it very sparingly once a week like I used to do it before. The plant hasn't been doing well despite my efforts and it's looking worse and worse every day :( The bottom leaves went limp, they're very thin close to the trunk, but the top leaves look well. I cut some of the leaves that collapsed as the plant was falling over. What really worries me though is that my aloe vera hasn't sprouted any new babies at all since it was overwatered. I keep my aloe vera indoors on a window sill, it doesn't get any direct sunlight as there is another building just outside my window. I have suspicions that it might be too cold for it there since it's about -10 C degrees outside and I noticed today that my window doesn't close as tight as it probably should. I bought some soil for succulents and repotted the plant yesterday. Checked the remaining little roots for rot, nothing again. The trunk is white and hard but the bottom leaves look almost like I've ironed them :( Not sure what to do. Less light or more light? Less or more water? I'd be grateful for some advice, it's my first ever plant!

roiyka
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Re: Collapsing and thinning leaves on Aloe Vera

54087f37-46c6-4918-91cf-30050219cf01.jpg
Here's a photo of my plant

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applestar
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Re: Collapsing and thinning leaves on Aloe Vera

Welcome the forum!

Your aloe looks like same kind as mine:
image.jpg
I have several thoughts about what might be the matter.
First, the lack of roots when you lifted it -- it may have lost older roots due to overwatering/root rot early on while you were away. This may explain the lowest/oldest leaves collapsing because the roots that supplied them are gone.

But it's not s huge problem to worry about since aloe can and should be buried deeper when they get leggy. I use 1/2 potting mix and 1/2 sand. This will keep it from flopping over and the sandy mix will encourage new roots to grow along the stem and allow pups to form.

It looks like your aloe is not getting quite enough light -- the leaves should tighter along the central rosette which appears to be elongated.

Mine are both on SE facing windowsills, but on the right end, which means they only get sunlight as it rises directly facing the windows at this time of the year, and only until the right sight windowframe/wll starts casting a shadow. But as the sun rises further east, they will get more, until by spring, the sun rises north of east and wont even hit these windows at sunrise.

While -10°C is cold, they should be OK if acclimated even with drafty window. My double hung windows will even get frost along edges and bottom on the INSIDE glass when it's that cold outside, but I have never moved them. Maybe a bit of frost damage if pressed against the window.

The upstair's windowsill, which is warmer and brighter, has the better/larger/HAPPIER plant. I use these clay pots and saucers with about 25% sand and gravel in the potting mix, which weighs them down even when soil is dry and I can keep the plant with most of the leaves growing inward without tipping over. I fill the shallow saucer with de-chlorinated water once a week or so. (That amount of water is WAY less than would normally be adequate for an average plant other than succulents and cacti.) I don't water from the top very often -- maybe once a month or so.

The downstairs windowsill has these extra pups that were "temporarily" planted in an ice cream carton. They are often dried out because I neglect to water them, then sometimes I overwater them because it's hard to tell -- hence the dried up lower leaves. (I need to clip them off and clean them up one of these days, but probably not until closer to spring)

Both of them are subject to scale insects that ants bring in -- they can be a culprit for flattened, leaves that are eventually sucked dry. But my Lady Patrol (Ladybug Indoor Garden Patrol) are often scurrying around on them so they are adequately controlled, and when I notice ants, I set out home made bait/poison to keep them in check.

I do mist the aloe along with all my other plants, with filtered water in a spray bottle First thing in the morning to simulate morning dew -- at least about three times a week right now, but more like every day initially when they first came inside in autumn and later as it gets colder and the heated house gets drier. Mist until water is dripping from the leaves.
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roiyka
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Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 2:10 pm

Re: Collapsing and thinning leaves on Aloe Vera

Thank you so much! I'll head down to the store for some sand right away and then repot the plant. What kind of sand would be best to keep the plant firmly in the ground? I might cut the bottom leaves and bury the plant deeper just like you said as well. I'll also try to find it a better spot where there's more light and spray it with water every few days - it does sound like a great idea and is probably much better than normal watering. I'm really glad there's still hope to save my aloe vera. Yours look amazing, I hope mine will look just as good! :)

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