Stellalyra
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My Aloe Plant Is Shriveling

Hello- I'm new to this forum! I found it looking for assistance with my aloe.

This plant was given to me from my mother in law and I have had it for several years. It has barely grown and recently it has started to almost go hallow. All of its insides seem to have shriveled up and then it goes limp and brown and dies... I have been cutting those ones off but it seems to just spread to the next one???

And one note about the English Ivy- mine adore being inside and love the Colorado's western sun, they grow completely out of control in that light - I hate to hold them back!

Thanks in advance for any help with my aloe!!!

Rachel :)

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Rachel,

Thanks for the input about the Ivy. With the Aloe, do you think that there is any possibility that you are over-watering? And by that I mean too frequently not too much volume-wise. I always allow succulents to dry out well before I water thoroughly again.

If you can, remove the plant from the pot and examine the roots and soil. Is the soil dense and wet? Are the roots soft/mushy or smelly? If so prune out any rotten roots or stems. I'm not sure about your variety but I usually let fresh cuts on succulents dry for a day or two before I re-plant. If you do get to this point make sure to remove as much of the old soil as possible before you re-pot. If you wish, and there is enough material, you can take this opportunity to divide the plant and have two or more.

I have abandoned conventional potting soil in favor of loose, free draining bonsai type soil and my houseplants have all responded favorably. Succulents in particular seem well suited to this type of medium.

Norm

opabinia51
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Very interesting, do you ever use Akadama for you indoor plants Norm?

As always, ask ten different gardeners the same question and get ten different answers.

I agree that you should investigate the roots. But, my first thoughts were that you were underwatering.

Regardless, either way your plant would not be acquiring the water it needs. If you have overwatered your aloe plants, the roots most likely have succombed to a fungal disease and are unable to acquire water for you aloe plant,

Wash the old soil away from the roots; and prune some of the remaining foliage away before repotting.

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Hi Opa,
But, my first thoughts were that you were under-watering.
I considered that as well but I have found that it is almost impossible to permanently damage succulents by under-watering, they always seem to respond favorably when watered well after a drought. Most people also have a tendency to over-water so that seemed more likely to be the case.
Very interesting, do you ever use Akadama for you indoor plants Norm?
I have never gone to the trouble/expense to investigate imported (Akadama/Kanuma) bonsai soils, preferring to stick with domestic substitutes. When I first moved toward proper bonsai mediums I discovered Turface which is a high fired clay product but I could not locate a local source for it. More recently I have been using Haydite which is derived from shale. I also like lava rock in appropriates sizes. Most of my plants also have some (the amount varies) Pine bark as the organic component.

If you have some of your bonsai mix on hand the next time you are re-potting (succulents in particular) I think you will be pleasantly surprised. That is all I use for Jades, Portulacaria, Aloe and Sansevieria. I was given a small piece of Spider Plant this summer and it has done very well in this type of medium. The only downside I can think of is the more frequent attention that will be required with this type of medium. With succulents though this is not really that big of an issue.

Norm

opabinia51
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Very interesting norm,

I must admit that I have never grown a succulent (other than aloe) indoor before. I've always grown Aloe in my standard potting mix of potting soil, mushroom manure and compost. Seems to work well but, really try Norms ideas out.

always good to try new things out.

aqh88
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It's possible to underwater an aloe plant? The one I got was abandoned in someone's basement for a year with no watering or any other care. It seems to have just lived off the damp air and the soil was completely pulled away from the sides and hard as a rock. The only sunlight it got was a tiny ground level window that got covered over by the bushes outside during the summer. It was even dumped over on it's side and it wasn't even sick looking. The poor thing had actually outgrown it's pot and was very healthy. I took it back to the apartment I was living in at the time which had practically no light and I forgot to water it for weeks on end. Several leaves got broken by the cat. It still grew..... I repotted in a mix of half sandy soil for cactus and half compost and then left it at my mom's house where it got more sun but was again forgotten and rarely watered. Finally I bring it to my new house and after all that the darn thing is not only alive but 3times the size it was 2years ago.

I'd definitely lean towards not watering it as much and probably repotting in a different soil mix.



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