please identify this aloe "vera"

scgreenthumb1987(8)July 23, 2013

Got this as a pup from mom. The mother plant has 2ft leaves. Its been in the family for close to 100 years. Its an aloe vera to the best of my knowledge. I do know it helps burns. It has never flowers. And mine has never made pups. I've had it about a year. Is this a true aloe vera?

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cactusmcharris

Likely not, no. You might read the Aloe FAQ for propagation hints - your soil looks OK but the plant is overpotted. It looks like Aloe vera 'chinensis', which blooms orange. The real Aloe vera blooms yellow.

Here is a link that might be useful: Aloe FAQ

This post was edited by cactusmcharris on Tue, Jul 23, 13 at 12:33

    Bookmark   July 23, 2013 at 12:20PM
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scgreenthumb1987(8)

Thanks. Yes I know the pot is too big. The plant was much, much larger. Until a buddy knocked it over and over half the plant died. I didn't think I would be able to save it. It just happened about 2 months ago and It just started growing good again. Really don't feel like it'll survive a transplant right now.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2013 at 5:31PM
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scgreenthumb1987(8)

Also I've been around aloe my whole life and I've NEVER seen one bloom. Until I was reading thru here yesterday I didn't even know they did. Several friends and family have aloe. They didn't know neither. What are we doing wrong?

    Bookmark   July 23, 2013 at 5:40PM
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cactusmcharris

One of the things holding your Aloe back is the size of the pot. The plant also looks planted too deeply, but that's of lesser concern at this time. They flower all of the time, even in Canada, if you follow a few rules, don't overwater, give them plenty of sun, etc. Reading the FAQ (which I'm guessing you haven't had a chance to do yet) will give you opportunities in leaps and bounds to get one to flower. And it most assuredly would survive a transplant now - they're hardy plants and even if your roots have rotted (they stand a good chance of doing so in that soil if you're watering with any frequency), you can regrow the roots, which in turn leads to growing the plant, which will reward you with flowers when mature enough.

Here's my Aloe vera a summer ago

This post was edited by cactusmcharris on Tue, Jul 23, 13 at 22:41

    Bookmark   July 23, 2013 at 10:04PM
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0nametaken0

A big pot is a bad thing? I never imagined a bigger pot would be a bad thing.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2013 at 10:30PM
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0nametaken0

A big pot is a bad thing? I never imagined a bigger pot would be a bad thing.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2013 at 10:31PM
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cactusmcharris

That's not at all what I wrote - a pot proportional to the size of the root ball is best when you're just getting some experience growing Aloes.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2013 at 10:39PM
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0nametaken0

hm, I thought bigger pot is a good thing as it gave future root growth room. Well Im learning.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2013 at 10:41PM
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cactusmcharris

NT,

Then the Aloe FAQ can benefit you, too. Win, Win.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2013 at 10:43PM
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scgreenthumb1987(8)

1) If grown in a pot, allow the root ball plenty of room to grow; aloes are voracious growers, and having space to do so is necessary. When you (re)pot allow a growing area three to five times the size of the root ball.
I read the FAQs as soon as the link was posted. And the pot it's in is roughly 3-5 times the size of the root ball. As I said the plant was much larger before it was knocked over upside down. The leaves were well outside the pot. it stays on it's stand in a window year round. Once a month I use miracle grow spikes.

I was told that humidity may hurt any succulent. And here it basically stays above 70% year round. Right now at 4am it's 76 degrees at 90% humidity.

This post was edited by scgreenthumb1987 on Wed, Jul 24, 13 at 3:42

    Bookmark   July 24, 2013 at 2:10AM
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kataclysm(Pittsburgh, PA (6b))

Miracle Gro spikes might not be the best way of delivering fertilizer to the plant -- generally it's better to feed a diluted fertilizer, since succulents need so much less water than ordinary houseplants. I feed my succulents with liquid cactus/succulent fertilizer diluted to 1/4 the strength it says on the package, and I only do this a few times a year since they are already growing in a mix that contains commercial cacti/succulent soil.

As for the humidity, it obviously isn't ideal for a desert plant. But people have a lot of success growing these plants in humid areas. You have to be vigilant for signs of pests or fungal infections, which thrive in humid conditions. I find that the best way to combat the effects of humid air is to keep the plant in a well-draining soil (at least 50% perlite, small gravel, or other well-draining ingredients), and to keep the plant in a relatively small pot made of unglazed terra cotta. If the plant is in too big a pot, there will be more soil than roots, and the soil will trap humidity and breed fungus. Unglazed terra cotta will also help absorb any excess water, as well as speeding evaporation (i.e. promoting the drying of the soil). Also, unglazed clay will help wick out fertilizer salts that aren't being used by the plant. Too much plant food is just as bad as not enough plant food, as the plant can be burned by excess salt.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2013 at 9:51AM
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scgreenthumb1987(8)

Thanks very much. If I have a day off this week I'll change soil and fertilizer. Is using a plastic pot a problem? I've lost several plants due to my 3 yr old son and my 120lb dog wide open all the time and broke any clay pots I've had. I'm down to a spider plant, aloe, and a neon pothos.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2013 at 11:49PM
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scgreenthumb1987(8)

Just wanted yall to see it now

    Bookmark   November 8, 2013 at 12:33AM
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rina_

It looks much better - looks like it grew few new leaves too (and they look 'fatter'). Is it in same pot? And planted higher (good) than in your original photo. Few months and what a difference.
Rina

    Bookmark   November 8, 2013 at 8:43AM
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scgreenthumb1987(8)

Same pot. Not replanted. Spent some time under the lights and a weekly liquid fertilizer. It's about tripple he size it was when I last posted. Those leaves that are still up are close to 19 inches tall

    Bookmark   November 8, 2013 at 3:19PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Looks better, but I still think that pot is too big for that size plant (which rootball can't be big enough to justify that large a pot).

I'd also cut back on the fertilizer, that's rather a lot. I'd go to maybe once a month if that (I'm someone who doesn't fertilize succulents very much, they just don't seem to need it).

    Bookmark   November 8, 2013 at 3:34PM
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scgreenthumb1987(8)

Now that it's out from under the lights (I had it in with some juvenile pepper plants to boost it's recovery) I've cut back on water and fertilizer. It was a weekly thing because I had light on it 18-20 hours a day.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2013 at 3:59PM
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veggie_girl

Is that a self watering pot?

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 11:05PM
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scgreenthumb1987(8)

Yea it is but I don't use it like that lol

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 11:24PM
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LatinLady(6 New York City)

Hello,

It is Aloe Chinensis, which I think has a much more delicate swagger, due to its spotted fan shape, than Aloe Vera. It is beautiful as an ornamental but does have the same medicinal properties and can be used exactly the same way Aloe Vera is used.

Sharing my experience with this plant, which I've had for five (5) years now - Brief history:

I brought home a tiny offset from my mother's Caribbean garden, where they are growing beautifully in a lightly shaded area around a hedge of Jasmine.

Once home, I slowly inched my Aloe towards a window sill to acclimate it to my lighting conditions but noticed that whenever I placed this particular plant on a window sill, it lost all its color and turned ghostly white. I would move it back to an indoor table and it would again turn green. This phenomenon went on for about 6 months, which I though was crazy...Aloe's need some sun and filtered light on a NY window sill should not be a problem. Another problem...It didn't grow at all in all this time.

Well, I was very patient and really wanted to save this one because it came from mom's garden. One day I placed it on a window sill and viola...it stayed green. I left it there all winter, didn't touch it and hardly looked at it until the Spring. SURPRISE!! It grew AND gave me three offsets. Now we're in business! I recommend a window that provides morning sun, not very hot midday sun. Late afternoon sun is good, too.

I've learned:

- This is one temperamental Aloe! Once established it takes off all on its own so you can't take the credit - Ha!! Likes to be left alone; not touched too much, fussed over too much, moved too much or even watered too much. Do not move this one around...It likes a permanent home.

- Does not like its leaves lying on soil...They'll rot. After much trial and error, I finally got it right: Stones on the bottom of the pot, cover the roots ONLY and a little bit of the stem with quick draining cactus mix, fill in with stones to prop up the plant. This plant has rewarded me with at least 45 offsets, which came up right through the stones.

Someone mentioned a root ball. This Aloe has no root ball. It, in fact, has a small amount of roots...It's major root and small feeders coming off that.

The pot you have it in IS too large. The principle of a pot double/triple the size of the root ball applies to trees. That does not even apply to the everyday houseplant. Here's the problem with large pots - They stay wet far too much longer than the particular plant needs. This Aloe loves being tight in its pot. Also, you asked about clay pot vs. plastic. Clay is always better because they breathe, which allows air circulation, which allows the plant to remain drier.

I would go with a pot about 1/3 the width of what you currently have, that doesn't taper outward but comes up straight. See above for my recommendations for planting. Don't worry about the offsets looking cramped in the pot when they do come in...They will be fine. Every Spring, I uproot my large Aloes that are full of offsets in order to remove them and check the plant for overall health. All the offset will have their own roots and can be planted separately.

Since a picture is worth a thousand words, I have taken a photo for you. As you can see, I've removed some offsets from another plant and put them all together in a small pot for now. This is fine because they have small root systems and are just as happy as pie all together like that. The photo also shows one of my mature plants (actually, there are two in the pot) full of offsets.

By the way, stones in the bottom will also help make the plant heavy, so it'll be less likely to be knocked over. I know people who customarily place a brick in there for this purpose!

Well, I sincerely hope your plant does well. Please feel free to reach out if you need help in the future.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 8:38AM
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scgreenthumb1987(8)

Slowing being turned into a succulent bowl. Baby jade in with it now for about 2 months. Keep having to persuade them to grow how I want lol.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 9:20AM
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scgreenthumb1987(8)

I did change my soil mixture. Much more perlite and rock. The root system was actually all the way to the bottom of the pot taking quit some time to remove without breaking anything. It's hard to tell from photos but the leaves that have laid down are about 2.5 inches wide at the base and between 12-18 inches long. I added the baby jade about two months ago simply because I like the way a succulent bowl looks and figuring I had plenty of room. So far both the aloe and jade are growing at an alarming rate. The jade didnt even suffered transplant shock. I've also acquired a grafted cactus 2 weeks ago. Cool looking 6in tall cactus with a pinkish red top. :-)

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 9:30AM
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LatinLady(6 New York City)

Looks really nice and it has progressed beautifully...You're doing something right, so just keep up the great work. Your Aloe (and Jade) are loving it.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 11:56AM
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scgreenthumb1987(8)

Thank you. I appreciate all the adice. I'm going to get several more succulents probably later this year. I love them. I'll be looking for suggestions as well. Right now since spring is here my attention has been turned to the garden and flower beds.So far I've got 300 chili plants ,40 tomato plants, 8 squash, 8 zucchini, 4 watermelon,2 cantaloupe, and a few rows of corn and beans. Plus 2 weeping willows I just planted, 2 plumb trees, 1 white willow...lime tree started.....and still have another 100 or more plants to go in the garden. So my succulents will have to wait until the fall.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 8:51PM
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bws1955

I have this Aloe and it's nasty looking. Mine is 8 years old and huge but it's developed brown all over it. I've checked for mites, never over water and it sat at the same window all winter and the same spot on the front porch as always spring. I'm at a loss as to what I need to do. My Mom was always my green thumb and since she died I have trouble with my plants. Thank any and all for advice! Butch

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 3:37PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Perhaps you could post a pic or give some details as to what you mean 'nasty looking', which is rather vague as to specific symptoms. Otherwise, it's hard to guess what help it needs.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 3:48PM
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bws1955

This is the picture of the "nasty" looking plant. Thanks pirate_girl!

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 5:39PM
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jojosplants(9/ Tucson, Az.)

Has it always been in that pot? When was the last time soil was changed? It looks crowded, kinda hard to tell from the pic though.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 6:11PM
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bws1955

Its been in that pot for about 4 years. The top looks crowded but its a huge pot with more than enough root room. I changed the soil summer before last so it's almost 2 years old now.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 8:25PM
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