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Moving Aloe plicatilis

Posted by wanda Z9 CA (My Page) on
Fri, Mar 5, 10 at 23:30

I have an old(er) Aloe plicatilis that is starting to get to heavy and leans toward the sun. I staked it up (it's about 2-2 1/2' with about a 6-8" trunk and 2 large fans at the top).
I want to move it where it gets a little more sun so it doesn't lean so much.
How hard are they to dig up and move? And does it have a good chance of surviving. Also, when would be the best time to do this.

Thanks for any insight you can give me. I've been growing this thing from a 6" pot for about 7 or 8 years and I don't want to lose it.


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Moving Aloe plicatilis

  • Posted by bahia SF Bay Area (My Page) on
    Sat, Mar 6, 10 at 1:44

I've not had any problems moving similar sized ones this time of year, but it would of course be safer to get as large a root ball as possible. This species is a pretty adaptable plant in our climate. As they are winter growers, I would assume that new root growth would possibly be faster this time of year, but maybe wait until the end of March/first of April and the soils might not be as wet. The worst part of moving one is that they are so full of water that they can be heavy, maybe get some help to lift it, or a pry bar can come in very handy.

RE: Moving Aloe plicatilis

Thanks, Bahia! I will definitely get someone to help me lift and carry it. It was all I could do to push it back to stake it. It was a wrestling match for sure and it almost won!
Do you know how deep it's roots go?

RE: Moving Aloe plicatilis

  • Posted by bahia SF Bay Area (My Page) on
    Sat, Mar 6, 10 at 13:04

Root depth will obviously vary by soil type, but I'd think a root ball the depth of a 5 gallon nursery can would be adequate, and wider than the plant to get the most roots. Be sure to cleanly cut any damaged roots, and maybe let the cut roots air dry for a few days before replanting it.

RE: Moving Aloe plicatilis

And dont worry if some leaves turn black and fall off. This is not a plant to die from being dug up. Just remember they do need a bit more water than your average Aloe when moved.

RE: Moving Aloe plicatilis

Thanks for all the great info! You've really helped me a lot. I think if it's dry, I may tackle it this weekend. Keep your fingers crossed.


RE: Saving Aloe plicatilis

The stems of my aloe plicatillis are getting soft from bottom up. Is there any way of saving the plant?

RE: Moving Aloe plicatilis

  • Posted by hoovb z9 Southern CA (My Page) on
    Sat, Jul 2, 11 at 20:40

Sylvia, how much are you watering it? they will rot from too much water. They need excellent drainage.

If the rot has really taken hold, what you would need to do is cut off the rot and re-root the healthy pieces. Cut, let the cut dry thoroughly in dry full shade, then set the pieces vertically in a pot of pumice and leave them for 6 months or so.

Wanda how did you plicatilis move go?

RE: Moving Aloe plicatilis

I suppose it's possible it may have been overwatered. How long have you had it? Is it in the ground or a pot? I've actually had difficulties with this particular aloe BECAUSE it requires more water than most aloes. The leave and stems on mine (when I had one) would turn black from too little water.

I grow a lot of different aloes but A. plicatilis, along with A. polyphylla, were always the most difficult ones for me.


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