Sickly Looking Aloe - Need Help!

Brights(USDA zone 6)May 11, 2012

I have an aloe vera plant that i've had for quite a long time. I've noticed the last several months the seems to be pretty sad looking:

I wondered if it was not getting enough sun or water. I water it infrequently. I moved it and started watering a little more frequently. upon closer inspection, it appears the roots are mostly gone.

Can it be rescued? What do i need to do? I don't want to loose it! I've had it for years and don't want to give up on it. Any help would be much appreciated.

Thank you!

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I believe that your aloe looks like it is suffering from infrequent watering. It appears that it has literally "sucked out" whatever moisture it had from its leaves in order to survive.

Aloes are succulents (they store water in their leaves). When they do not receive a sufficient amount of water, they will essentially take whatever water they have stored and use it themselves. For some succulents when this occurs, the lower leaves dry up and fall off because the plant has absorbed all the water from those leaves (it's better to sacrifice a couple of leaves than die completely).

As to if your aloe can be saved, I'm not experienced enough on this (I tend to overwater my aloes and kill them off) to give you advice, but I'm sure someone will be able to help you. I hope this has at least helped.


    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 11:32PM
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wantonamara Z8 CenTex

If your soil had peat moss in it and it is old, it might have turned to brick and is not absorbing the water, and the water is just passing through. Peat moss gets hydrophobic when old and dry. Stores use it because it is cheap. Doesn't mean it is good. If the soil is old. I here they also let out a toxin when they break down. Maybe it is time to put it in new soil. This time look into soils that don't contain peat moss. Aloes like a soil with lots of drainage. I am unsure of what type of aloe that you have but they can be very happy in a 30/70 mix of humus/ inorganic. I use native soil, perlite, expanded shale, decomposed granite, pea gravel in my inorganic potion. Not all of them ,but some of some of them. For humus, I use bark fines or coir. I think orchid soil is a good thing to use for the humus part.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 12:11AM
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Brights(USDA zone 6)

Thanks for the advice. It was repotted a year or two ago. I poked around in the soil, and it didn't seem too hard (to me anyway). I think I'll start with watering it more and see if anything improves. I'm thinking it wouldn't be a good idea to repot it while in this state. Correct? Would that put too much stress on it?

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 5:09PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Hi Brights,

Sorry but you say "not too hard"? Is that to say it's hard or it's not? I ask as this matters if it can drink. If it's hard at all to the touch, then likely it's had happen what Wanton suggests (hardened like brick & it can't drink).

I don't think repotting now would be bad, its current conditions are not helping. That pot is too big, the soil is too moisture retentive. If you repot, I'd suggest change to a smaller clay pot & use cactus & succulent mix w/ 50% more perlite. If you HAVE to keep that mix, add lots of perlite to it. I'd remove the dried up leaves too (less decay to invite rot). Good luck.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 6:12PM
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wantonamara Z8 CenTex

Getting it out of the peat moss is always good. If the soil is hard and hydrophobic. Place the pot in a tub of water to force water into the peat and get the soil to soften, then take the soil of the roots. let the aloe dry for a couple of days incase the roots were bruise in the process of taking the soil of. Mix up a soil and pot it. My feelings are that if the soil is causing it stress it will continue to cause it stress. Now is better than later to rectify the situation. It is warm out and there are months of warm weather ahead so now is good.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 8:55PM
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