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Help with my Aloe Vera

Posted by ktd125 z6 WPA (My Page) on
Fri, Jul 29, 05 at 18:54

Can anyone help out a newbie!? I have an aloe vera plant that is growing large, however, the tips of the leaves are, well, deflated (for lack of a better word!) He is planted in a cactus mix and I'm careful to water him gently. Also, he hasn't ever flowerd and I've had him for over a year. Now, I have him in a north-facing window. Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks! ~kristine


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Help with my Aloe Vera

Check out the Aloe FAQ......and definately get him out of the north facing window. Aloe like as bright a light as possible. I have mine in a south window. Slowly get it accustomed to sunlight.

Here is a link that might be useful: Hallo to the Aloe FAQ


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RE: Help with my Aloe Vera

Some Aloe grow with bad tips, the ones that I was really impressed with were growing up against a Western cement wall, in full flower, these were mature plants in situ with deep roots. Quiet purplish in leaf color. It take maturity to flower. Make sure you don't overwater this species of plants especially when inside. Again another African species. Norma


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RE: Help with my Aloe Vera

John is right. An Aloe will never bloom in a north window. They need strong sun, a south window is ideal, right against the glass. Outside in summer, if possible. I've gotten many Aloes to bloom, but never A. vera. Well, maybe a couple of hybrids of A. vera, but never a true A. vera. I always say "grow them for the plant, not the flower" and you'll never be disappointed. If they flower, you'll be ecstatic...

Denise in Omaha


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RE: Help with my Aloe Vera

  • Posted by Baci z10Ca (My Page) on
    Fri, Jul 29, 05 at 23:41

You probably need more heat & sun, Denise. I see it flowering all the time in local gardens that get little care. They are usually potted plants in full sun. As Dufflebag said, they are mature plants. Aloe grows rapidly - it is like a weed.


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RE: Help with my Aloe Vera

Thanks to everyone...I don't have a south window that gets sun...we have lots of large trees at the back of the house. I'm going to put it outside in full sun while it is warm and see if I can get him growing before it starts to cool off.


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RE: Help with my Aloe Vera

ktd - put it outside in the shade first, and then after a week or so move it so that it will get morning sun only. Wait another week and then give it full sun. Even though our PA sun isn't as strong, a quick increase in the light can burn (it's ok if the leaf 'tans', or browns up). However, I should inform you that A. vera is reluctant to bloom until it's fairly large, and has quite a bit of sun for a while up north here. I've not had luck getting mine (about 15" tall, with large leaves) to bloom yet. You'll have more success if you can find some smaller growing Aloes, especially some of the hybrid forms. Also, Aloes' cousins, the Gasterias, may be easier to coax into bloom. Haworthias can bloom, too, but the flowers aren't anything to write home about.


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RE: Help with my Aloe Vera

Just put your aloe's in your brightest window. I live in a townhouse and I grow all kinds of succulents without the greatest winter exposures. I do the best I can in the cold months and make up for it when I can put the plants outside.


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RE: I'll help the Aloe Vera

  • Posted by borrego Z 10 L.A. Cal. (My Page) on
    Tue, Jan 24, 06 at 22:33

I may get hammered for my advice on this aloe vera, but this is what works for me in Southern California. With potted aloe vera, I use very rich soil, Miracle Grow or Supersoil, with perlite added. I am not afraid to repot every year, with new soil. Good soil = good growth. I am fortunate enough to keep mine outside, where low temps get to the high 30s. I would see if you could get the aloe outside earlier, say spring time. If the danger of frost is gone, why not move it outside? The deflated leaf tips are normal, the ends will dry out as moisture is needed by the plant. I do agree only mature aloes with good amount of light will bloom. Too much sun, though, and the leaves have a brown hue to them. Fear not, cut back on the sun and the green comes back. Also, I believe if an aloe offsets (pups), those should be removed when large enough to be potted on their own. Removing one form of reproduction (pups) may force the plant to try and reproduce another way, flowering. Why would the plant spend the energy to flower if it offsets freely? Just my 2 cents worth.


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RE: Help with my Aloe Vera

  • Posted by rjj1 Norman OK Zone7 (My Page) on
    Mon, Jan 30, 06 at 20:44

I won't hammer you, but will disagree on one point only because it seems to be different for me in my climate.

My A.v. receives a lot of sun to the point they are almost grey. I grow them very hard.

The pot is so full of plants, it's hard to water, but it bloomed last spring. I spotted a bloom spike starting on it a few days ago.

I've had A. v. bloom many times over the years here and one thing seems to be consistent in all cases. They only bloom when the pot is full of plants. I've never had just one plant in a pot by itself bloom for me.

randy


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RE: Help with my Aloe Vera

  • Posted by borrego Z 10 L.A. Cal. (My Page) on
    Mon, Jan 30, 06 at 22:57

Randy, my advice in terms of amount of sun and color of the plant assumed normal watering conditions. You make an interesting observation, though. Only a pot full of aloes will bloom for you. Are they potbound? If so, here is the plant mentality: I can't grow out or down in my roots, I guess I should flower when the time is right. I have 3 single potted aloe veras ready to bloom now. All are in 10-14" pots. I may even put them in the ground this year. Also, don't be afraid to repot your overflowing pot of aloes. Set them free!!!!!!!!


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RE: Help with my Aloe Vera

Randy, Sound to me that you are doing everything right, or it wouldn't have flowered. Many plants need to be crowded to flower. In the wild, they grow in-be-tween on hill sides, rocks in soil, out in full sun. But you can't put house plants directly into hot sun. Color on thier leaves show good growing habits. Don't be afrais of color. Green lush leaves does not mean the plants is growing correctly. These are not natural house plants. Do you have any window facing west? If so that would be a good place, but put them back away from the window, bright light is good, but not direct light. Show us all a picture when it flowers for you. They have beautiful flowers. Norma


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RE: Help with my Aloe Vera

  • Posted by rjj1 Norman OK Zone7 (My Page) on
    Tue, Jan 31, 06 at 7:54

borrego

I've had 2 different single Aloe vera pot-bound that never bloomed for me here along side mass plantings that did. All of the plants were offshoots from the same tub of plants.

I actually prefer the mass of plants in a 12" azalea pot :-). They look more interesting to me that way and are also easy to move around in the spring and fall. There are already too many back-breakers around here as it is:-).

This pot will be given to a friend after blooming. I have 2 more azalea pots with younger plants in them that will probably bloom next year.

Norma

I don't really have houseplants, but will winter over my very large plants like palms and bananas in the house every year. Everything else goes to the greenhouse, including all of the Aloes.

Keep in mind my zone 7 sun is nothing like your zone 10. What you have to grow in shade might be able to handle 4-5 hours of morning sun here.

Most of my things are moved out of the house and greenhouse in spring and kept under shadecloth to protect against hail early in the season and the hot sun come July and August.

randy


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RE: Help with my Aloe Vera

Hi everyone! I was pretty surprised to find new posts on this thread considering it was from 6 months ago!! However, I was very pleased to see additional info. I took the little plant out into the yard and left him in shade for a week but he started to look VERY unhappy. I moved him back into the house and put him into a eastern window. It took most of the summer for his color to come back and the blades to recover, but, I'm happy to report that he is doing VERY well now! A new pup started to grow just before Christmas and now is about 6 inches tall. The plant seems to be very happy in the window and some of the blades are 2 inches wide at the base. I know this might not be too impressive to you all, but I am happy to have this baeutiful plant back!! I'll try to post a picture. Thanks again for all of your help!


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RE: Help with my Aloe Vera

  • Posted by borrego Z 10 L.A. Cal. (My Page) on
    Tue, Jan 31, 06 at 10:30

Randy - Sounds to me like you have found what works for you. I once asked why some bloom and others do not, even if they are only a foot away from each other. Only the plant knows for sure, but even pups from a mother plant can have slight differences in their DNA.


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RE: Help with my Aloe Vera

  • Posted by rjj1 Norman OK Zone7 (My Page) on
    Tue, Jan 31, 06 at 18:38

Borrego,

Don't disagree with that at all. Thank God my daughter doesn't look or act just like me:-).

randy


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RE: Help with my Aloe Vera

I was given an aloe by a patient 20 yrs ago. She said to care for it as I do my patients. Well I have and from that one 3" plant I have two 24"+ plants that have been repotted and the pups given out to the point nobody wants any more. But alas, they have NEVER bloomed. In the north window, in the south window, outside when the weather is nice, watered sparingly, fed, talked to, pot so full it won't take water, put in extremely oversized pots. What are you saying, I have bad DNA?


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RE: Help with my Aloe Vera

  • Posted by rjj1 Norman OK Zone7 (My Page) on
    Sat, Feb 18, 06 at 21:11

Ladygwen

It's hard to say about your plant. Too much unknown like where you live and how much your plant stays outdoors.

randy


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RE: Help with my Aloe Vera

Gwen,

First, Aloes don't do well in ioversized pots. Second, the changes of venue - it don't do a plant good, as they say. Find the optimum growing spot and keep it there. It could be that you have an Aloe that doesn't flower until quite mature.

Can you post a pic of it? That would help us ID it and, given a name, you can find out what culture it takes to give it a chance to flower.


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RE: Help with my Aloe Vera

  • Posted by rjj1 Norman OK Zone7 (My Page) on
    Wed, Feb 22, 06 at 14:49

My Aloe vera is very hard grown and not the pretty specimen, but it does flower. It would probably look a little better if I watered it a little more often :-).
Image hosting by Photobucket
Image hosting by Photobucket
randy


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RE: Help with my Aloe Vera

I have one single plant growing in a 16" pot. It is quite large and fits the pot well. Oddly, it split at the crown and is now growing from two separate tips. It flowers for me pretty reliably the last couple of years. I keep it outside year-round. It stays fairly warm in Ga, but it has weathered the few frosts this year rather well. It gets fertilized maybe once a year, other than that it takes care of itself. I'm not too computer saavy, else I would post the photo.


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RE: Help with my Aloe Vera

I've got an aloe next to the drive way that appantly never bloomed till I moved in. The only difference is that I occasionly dump grease (not hot) on it and possibly soap from mopping will drain on to it. It has long stalks that have max 3 buds on it. The buds are 4 to 5 inches long with downward facing yellow flowers. The leaves are almost a foot long at the base and are a medium green color. Does anyone know what speices or family of aloe this thing is?


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RE: Help with my Aloe Vera

Dear Alicia,

It could very well be the real Aloe vera - Aloes are in the Lily Family (although some taxonomists have placed it in its own Faily, the Aloeaceae), Aloe is the genus, vera is the species.

If you could post a picture of your Aloe, preferably in flower, that would help us ID it with certainty.


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RE: Help with my Aloe Vera

Yes I agree with the postings! Heat Heat Heat!!, Full sun (in the morning to mid day, shade in afternoon), maturity and you will get it to flower... I live in Northernn California and the local Mexican restaurants have them planted out in the landscaping where we get over 40" rain a year and sure enough they bloom in the spring... Mine are about 3 years old, are in pots and haven't bloomed yet. However I am changing my strategies to the advice of the Hispanics (at the risk of a blanket statement, if anyone can grow a succulent, Hispanics can...) and leave them outside (yes they can tolerate mild frost)...


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RE: Help with my Aloe Vera

I live in Syracuse, NY and I have an aloe that's starting to bloom. Not a ton of sun up here but I put it outside in the summer. Sometimes it gets too much rain though, and the petals turn brown. In the winter, it always comes back though because I bring it indoors, water it once a month - and just a splash of H20, and keep it under plant lights. The more I neglect it, the better it grows. Great plant for people who don't have a green thumb!


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RE: Help with my Aloe Vera

Randy, how do you keep them from "flopping over" as they grow??

Rob


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Aloe Pups

Last summer I bought a young Aloe Vera plant (no more then 6 months old) and it was only about 6 inches tall. This year, the same aloe vera plant is about 12 inches tall and about 8 - 10 inches wide and has produced over 15 pups ( 2 sets this year so far this year). I suspect with my long growing season, this A.V. will produce more pups before this fall. I grew up with aloe vera plants, but I don't remember them reproducing this quickly. Is this normal?


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RE: Help with my Aloe Vera

I have an Aloe plant I bought at Walmart a couple years ago for $1.97. It was in a little 2" pot and was about 4" high. The thing has grown into a monster! I have given away I don't know how many pups, big ones and little ones. I don't take any particular care of it. It's potted in Miracle Grow, it stays outside in the summer, and in the brightest, but coldest room in my house, and not in direct light in winter. I water it very seldom. I have only fed it a couple of times. It bloomed this year, and I was amazed because I didn't even know the darn things bloomed, lol.


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RE: Help with my Aloe Vera

I have a question for you all. I have grown up around aloe vera plants and bought one for myself less than a year ago. I kept it outdoors during the summer but brought it inside when the temp dropped. Last week my son noticed seeds on the base of the plant. I have never seen an aloe vera with seeds. Is this normal? or did I pick up seeds from some stray plant during the summer? Any info would be greatly appreciated.


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RE: Help with my Aloe Vera

I recently repotted my aloe vera. I also separated the 2 that were in one pot. The have not liked the change and are taking a while to recover. Is there anything I can do to help them adjust? One of them has had a number of its leaves sort of wither and fall off. The other is doing better. Should I hold off on watering them for a while? I plan to move them outside soon but when is too soon? Do I only need to wait for the threat of frost to be gone before I put them out or should I wait for the temp to warm above 50 at night before I put them out? Thanks for your help!


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RE: Help with my Aloe Vera

I think that y'all just answered all the aloe questions that were dancing around in my head. I have a pup that I got from a lady at work. Repotted it a few weeks ago and watered it pretty good and moved it outside into the full sun. The leaves started tanning and deflate so I moved into an area of less sunlight. That didn't seem to be helping any so I've moved it back inside and not sure what I want to do to it now.
It seems that less water and moving it back outside into full sun would help, right? It was sitting in a southward window before it was outside.
Any suggestions?
Thx!


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RE: Help with my Aloe Vera

I have two aloes (an A. vera and an A. saponaria) which I acquired when I lived in Arizona, and now have in Minnesota. Both flowered endlessly in Arizona, but have not yet here. They both produce pups fairly freely, but I've been trying to analyze the flowering issue. First, aloes are winter bloomers in the desert. I can't say from experience what they do in native habitat in Africa, but in Phoenix they flower from roughly December to March, when the temperature range is 30s or 40s to 60s or 70s. You might say, if the're inside during the winter in a colder climate, it's in the 60s or 70s, so why don't they flower? It presumably has to do with light levels, which are still high in the desert in winter but really low in zones 6 and colder at that time of year. It may also be that the trajectory of temperatures is necessary for flowering.

Another issue is, as some others have noted, it is tricky to get an aloe used to sun again after being inside during the winter. I have to endlessly move around my winter-growing plants in early summer to get them acclimated without being sunburned. This year we had a late spring up north, and my aloes are still not up to full sun yet. I have the feeling that by the time I get them worked up to sun, there's not enough time left in the summer, or not enough light overall. Maybe some of our southern plains folks can give more information about how they work aloes up to sun again and then flower. My Haworthias and Gasterias bloom no problem, but in three years I haven't had an aloe flower yet.

This is why I think the advice from Californians is not wrong, but not particularly relevant to regions where plants have to go in for the winter. I think they if they are winter growers, they get set waaaaay back by being inside for the winter, even if they are under lights (as mine are). This issue just doesn't exist in the desert, as I have learned moving from AZ to MN.

By the way, Aloe vera produced pups like crazy. It is quite possible that they make so many you can't give them all away; I eventually told myself that I can't keep every baby, and some have to go in the compost pile.


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RE: Help with my Aloe Vera

WOW!!! I always wanted a post that generated such interest! Seriously, though, I have an update on my aloe. As for the deflated leaves, I actually moved my plant to an eastern window and pretty much left him alone. I kept the water pretty steady and the tips eventually came back. I had to move the plant (in the same pot) to a northern window, where it has been sitting for about 18 months, and it will fall over if not against the window!!! I have tried, several times, to put it outside, but never succeeded. I have a mini aloe in the same window, and it bloomed about 2 weeks ago too! I'll remind you that I'm located in Western Pennsylvania. I have left him alone and he continues to produce for me. I'd suggest you put yours in a bright window and leave him alone. Water him steadily, and talk very nicely to him each and every day! As for pasimachus, please don't put your pups in the compost pile...put them in pretty pots and give them to friends and family as gifts! Aloe is easy to grow and very useful for clumsy cooks! :) Happy growing...~k


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