Aloe Vera with heavy leaves

hawks1282September 5, 2007

Hello everyone,

I have had an Aloe Vera plan in my office for the past few months. The room gets sun in the morning and lots of indirect sun reflected off of the white building next door all day long. The aloe seems mostly healthy and has been putting out a new leaf every two or three weeks.

What I'm concerned about is that the leaves (especially the older ones) are not standing up straight, after growing for a few weeks they begin to sag under their own weight and eventually kink at the base. None of the leaves are dying but from everything I've read about Aloe Vera and the pictures I've seen, it seems that normally the leaves can support themselves and don't fall over like this.

I thought about bringing it home and putting it outside to get more sun, but the last time I tried that with a plant some animals dug it up in the night.

Does anyone else have this problem or know how to fix it?

(I can post pictures if they would help)

Thanks, Brendan

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Sounds like not enough sun. Putting it outside in Direct sun will burn it as it's not used to it. If you take it home and put it out in Bright sun, like under a tree or bush, it should be ok and not burn... eventually you'd be able to move it out into direct sun... They do like direct sun!

    Bookmark   September 5, 2007 at 10:56AM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Well I must disagree w/ the above. On some Aloes (I have abt 8 diff. kinds), sometimes the older leaves start hanging down. I think it's a weight/age thing, but I consider it quite normal.

I'd ignore it unless the leaves get soft & mushy (that would be a sign of rot).

    Bookmark   September 5, 2007 at 3:34PM
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Pirate Girl can Disagree all she wants... Maybe HER 8 different types of Aloes need more light Too! Lack of Light WOULD cause the leaves to "normally" hang down. Because All your plants do this doesn't mean it's normal. If you grow a bunch of plants in a closet and one outside, The Norm of the plants would be to grow etiolate. That doesn't make them healthy!
I've never seen an aloe in the Caribbean, the American South-west, Mediterranean, Here in Florida or even at an aloe plantation in Curacao that had ANY leaves that were droopy unless they were dying. Leaves a "few weeks" old SHOULD NOT sag. As I stated before, Aloes like Direct Sun and WILL become etiolated from the lack of sun! This is the leaves growing too long and weak, with a lack of chlorophyll. Do an image search for Aloe and compare your pics to those you find.
Here's an image of an OLD Aloe. NOTE The lowest leaves are the only ones drooping and they're dried out! The next leaves up are on the reddish side and are STILL Firm and NOT drooping. The Next Picture is an aloe that was grown in someones kitchen - With Not enough Sunlight.
Trust me! Your Aloe needs More Light!

    Bookmark   September 5, 2007 at 4:20PM
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shrubs_n_bulbs(z8/9 UK)

I agree. Aloe vera leaves grown in bright light, which means full sun here in England, grow stiff and upright. Too little light means the leaves become larger and more horizontal. Too much water helps them to become overly large and eventually they can bend over completely.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2007 at 7:25PM
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dufflebag2002(Calif. 91607)

Karen it was stated that it is an Aloe Vera, they grow in Africa in hot dry climates, storing water in their leaves. They wait for the yearly rainfall to store water again. If they live in a fog belt they will benefit from the CAM theory. taking in moisture at night. With New Yorks humidity it should be kept very dry and grown in a clay pot with fast draining coarse soil. NO PEAT MOSS. Karen sorry I don't agree with you. They still come from Africa and not from Wal Mart. Came originally from No. Africa and Arabia, but now are bing grown in other countries that have warm winters. Must not have Temps below 32% or live under protection of other trees and shrubs. Go with the directions of more light. They are accurate. If the drooping leaves bother you cut them off as soon as it warms up where you live. Not now, those dead leaves will protect the plant from the cold. Now if you lived here, I would trim all the leaves off that were going down. Get a new pot with proper soil, cut off the head of the plant let dry and just set on top of the soil to reroot. During the begining of the hot summer. Norma

    Bookmark   September 5, 2007 at 7:51PM
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Hi, I am starting an aloe garden in Kenya (perfect conditions!) and read the comments re the aloe vera. Could paulzie please identify the "old aloe" in the picture. I am having an awful time trying to identify my aloes. The vegetation seems right, then the flower doesnt etc!

    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 8:31AM
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I think it may be that you are watering too often, more than not getting enough light. This makes sense because as you water it, the plant stores water in its leaves, and they can get too heavy if they get too much water (leverage). I have several plants that live in an east-facing window through the winter, and they do just fine. I only water them 1-2 times per month in the winter. When there is no more danger for frost they go outside; first in a shady area, and then in a sunny location. They also get more water in the summer.

Pictures would definitely help.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 1:57PM
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I am somewhat new to gardening but I do have a very happy aloe. (I usually post on the garden Junk forum.)

If the pot is too small the lower leaves will get chocked and bend like that around the perimeter of the pot. My aloe is fat and full and needs repotted because the lower leaves are doing that.

Could it be something as simple as that?

    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 6:33PM
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Hi know I have always found that if you ask 10 people a question you get 10 different answers...having said the plant world I have found that what works for one may not work for another...but its always worth trying the different things that others just might work..and for me I love hearing about others plants and how and what they do ....I love plants and plant people..bye all linda..Oh almost forgot, I have a aloe vera and its leaves and getting alittle white at the base and the leaves are starting to droop alittle, so today I moved it to more sun, and I water it very little in winter..

    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 8:49PM
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I agree. Absolutely!

Here is a link that might be useful: Aloe Vera

    Bookmark   January 14, 2009 at 8:14PM
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