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aloe vera plant problems please help

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by Kimmy on December 04, 2005 08:27 AM
Hi [wavey]
I have an Aloe Vera plant fairly young it has about 4 large leaves and about 5 small leaves sprouting from the center. When I was given the plant about a month ago I re potted it in peat in a larger pot with drainage holes at the bottom I covered the surface of the soil with gravel and started watering it once a week with about half a cup of water. In the last fortnight I have noticed that one of the larger leaves has started to go brown and mushy at the base of the leaf. I'm not sure what to do or what I have done wrong. It hasn't been in the sun and I will sort that out first thing in the morning by moving it in front of a window. Please help
Thank you
by comfrey on December 04, 2005 08:44 AM
You have been giving it too much water, or in other words watering too often, the rocks are not allowing it to dry out enough in between waterings, someone else may be able to tell you how to save the plant.

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by peppereater on December 04, 2005 09:03 AM
Sorry, Comfrey, but I beg to differ about the gravel. I doubt that's the issue. I agree that overwatering, however, is the problem. Aloes are succulents, and most of these prefer steep drainage. There are packaged soils designed for succulents and cacti, which contain a lot of sand. I'm not an expert on this, but I would first let the plant rest, let the soil dry out completely. As soon as it does, I would gently lift it from the soil, mix in 50% sand and a dab of composted soil, and repot. Now,remember, I am not an expert, but I would not water at all until the soil is completely dry...keep in touch, and others will have more advice. By the way, WELCOME!
This is a friendly site. [thumb] [muggs]
by comfrey on December 04, 2005 09:35 AM
Ok..Peppereater, it may have nothing to do with the gravel...My thought is the gravel keeps you from being able to see or feel the soil if it is covered (of course you could rake it back and feel or see it and rake it back in place), therefore not knowing it doesn't need more water...I am one of the worse people when it comes to watering...I grow mainly cactus and succulents on my window sills, and they feel honored if I give them water once a month, usually it's several months in between watering....My poor aloe's (I have 3 different kinds) Its a wonder they don't just die from a lack of water....I love these plants they are very forgiving when I forget to water them for months. So it is better to under water succulent type plants then to over water.

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by peppereater on December 04, 2005 09:40 AM
Comfrey...you're right on track! I neglect my aloes...I've been too chicken to propogate them yet! I read once that aloes like water more than some succulents, but I have better luck neglecting them than sticking with weekly, light watering! [Big Grin] [wavey]
by margaret e. pell on December 04, 2005 08:40 PM
I agree that peat is the wrong soil for aloe. Let it dry out completely, put the gravel at the bottom of the pot if it's coarse enough (I put rinsed lava rock at the bottom of aloe pots and raise them off the saucer on soda bottle tops) and get some Cactus and Succulent soil. Be careful with sand; fine sand holds water and does not promote drainage, like sand castles at the beach. You can throw more gravel into the C&S soil, aloe don't need particularly rich soil, they need excelent drainage. Put it in the sun and let it be. When it gets dry give it some water. Good luck!

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may God bless the WHOLE world!
by JV on December 05, 2005 03:00 AM
Kimmy I put lava sand and green sand as well as small gravel in my aloe pots I water once in a while usually just dash some water out of my Parrot water dish so it seldoms sees water. but it was in my mother wash room a year after she left without water or any care at all until I found it and brought it home. I have given away about 60 starts from it and the tub is still full.
Jimmy

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Meet Clyde my Male Sugar Glider. Clyde says.
Keep it organic
GOD BLESS THE U.S.A.
Pray for our Troops!

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by Kimmy on December 05, 2005 03:16 AM
Hi all thank you so much for you help. As you can tell this is my first plant. Here was me thinking I had done so well to pot it in peat, to be honest i dug some up out of the back garden to start with untill I told a friend who said this was wrong. I removed all the gravel and the soil is quiet wet at the top so I'll leave it untill it's compleatly dry and then repot it. Thank you all once again for your help. I'l be back soon [Embarrassed]
P.s forgot to ask does anyone know whether or not I should remove the damaged leaf it's not brown the whole way across. but it does look pretty dead where the brown patch is [dunno]
by JV on December 05, 2005 03:46 AM
Kimmy myself I would not remove that part of the leaf. Let it dry out good then transplant it in more suitable soil like described above. Also google Aloe at home I have a lot of links on aloe but I am work now can't access it. Will PM you with it when I get home tonight.
Jimmy

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Meet Clyde my Male Sugar Glider. Clyde says.
Keep it organic
GOD BLESS THE U.S.A.
Pray for our Troops!

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