re-rooting large aloe?

ange2006November 29, 2013

I have an aloe growing inside a good size pot. I like the size of the aloe in proportion to the size of the pot and I don't want it to get any bigger. I am thinking of cutting off some of the bottom leaves and the roots then put it in the same pot. My questions are:

1. Will it re-root?
2. How long will it take to re-root in cold weather?
3. Do I need to let it dry (for how long) before re-potting?
4. Once re-potted, how often should I water?

Thank you for your advise.


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Crenda SWFL 10A

What kind of Aloe do you have and how big is the pot? Is it root bound? That may make a difference in advice you get from our experts on the forum (I am NOT an expert!) And of course, a picture will always help.

I have trimmed back roots on an Aloe, but if I understand you correctly, you want to remove all the roots and start again? That I have never done, so obviously cannot advise you.

On trimming the roots - sometimes it was my choice and sometimes I had no choice because they were severely rootbound. Either way, I let the roots callus over for several days to a week before replanting the Aloe in a gritty mix. I waited another week before watering. It all worked out for me, but as I said I am not an expert.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2013 at 10:32PM
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My aloe had developed a long stalk after the lower leaves dried up through the years. I cut off the top and potted it up about 1 1/2 months, ago. It took about 2 weeks for the roots to develop.

You would probably need to keep it somewhere warm. Temps were in the 60's when I did this.

I let the top callus for a few days before I potted it up.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2013 at 10:40PM
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wantonamara Z8 CenTex

Do not water it while there are no roots. It needs roots to absorb the water otherwise it will rot. Misting is good. I have some of my aloe where the roots rot and then it will form new roots, but I need to let it dry out first.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2013 at 12:06AM
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Thank you for all your advise.. Photo was taken in Spring of 2012.

The pot is about 14" diameter. I want to do exactly what Camellia1 did. Although the lower leaves have not died off, some of them are damaged from frost. It's also gotten too big for me to take inside for the winter. This is why I am thinking of cutting it down now.

Is it a bad idea to do it now when it's so cold?

    Bookmark   November 30, 2013 at 12:33AM
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I am unclear why you want to remove some roots. Can't you just remove the lower leaves and leave the plant where it is? Aloe veras don't get a whole lot bigger than than... they just start to sucker (you can remove those as they come out). Unless there is simply no soil left in the pot (all roots) I don't see any reason not to just leave it in the pot, or set it back in the pot as is. It will be OK for years to come (until there is very little soil left). Then it would be best to remove some of the root ball and put in some new soil. You can always put it in a deeper pot if you don't want the pot diameter to change. I have had large aloes in the same size pot for years and years... to the point where there simply is little soil left.. as long as you water them frequently and give some diluted liquid fertilizer periodically, it does not seem to hurt the plant much, if any, to stay in that situation.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2013 at 4:11AM
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Crenda SWFL 10A

That's a nice plant! I hope my small aloe vera does as well. lzrddr has some good suggestions for you.

Is the plant too large and heavy for you to move? I saw some nice redwood plant dollies at HD that may help your predicament. They had nice sized wheels to move easily.

If it won't fit into your home, I suggest building an addition. (Priorities, right? LOL)

    Bookmark   November 30, 2013 at 8:43AM
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The plant has been in the pot for 4 or 5 years. I cannot tell if it's root bound but the soil level has gone down below the half way point. Besides, it off centered (but being off centered does make it easy to take out the pups) and it was knocked down recently and now it's also crooked. The main reason, still, is because it's too heavy to move. But, i'm 50% convinced not to re-root it this winter. Thanks for all your suggestions.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2013 at 11:37AM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

What sort of mix is it potted in?

My experience with aloes is minimal -- so take this for what it's worth -- but it seems to me that there are possibilities to deal with the weight issue. When and if you re-pot it, you could put it in a mix which is mostly perlite; that would be much lighter, and of course would drain well.

You could also consider using a lighter-weight pot (perhaps drill a few holes in the bottom of a plastic cachepot -- though they're not cheap, and plastic becomes brittle with UV exposure).

    Bookmark   December 1, 2013 at 6:09PM
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