rooting Aloe plicatilis
Reposted this from an older inactive thread:
Posted by loolie So Cal, z10 (My Page) on Sun, Sep 9, 12 at 15:27
I'd like to get this thread started again--have an A. plicatilis that was in the ground growing pretty well for 7-8 years, though it has been looking a bit scraggly the past six months or so. I thought it was mealybug infestation, which is a constant problem here with aloes, and have been trying to control those (and the ants that herd them around).
Plant was about 2 feet tall with four main stems, each of them divided into two or three smaller stems (10 fans of leaves altogether). My gardener knocked it over when trying to remove old leaves, which was actually a lucky thing because then I was able to see that the roots are black and soft and the whole plant was loose in the ground. So I have cut off the branches, which seem very firm and free of rot, and am just leaving them outside on a table in the shade to root. My question is, should I cut each individual branch with its fan of leaves into a separate cutting, or is it okay to root a bigger branch that includes 2-3 smaller branches?
And one more question--should I not water this aloe at all in the summer (once it's rooted and in a pot or the ground again)? Is summer watering always a bad idea for this species? I have tended to water it deeply once a month or so when the weather is dry. It was planted in rather heavy soil. Other areas of the garden have much better draining soil.
Thanks a lot for any guidance!