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aloe plant help...please!

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by jenny21770 on April 02, 2006 04:28 AM
Hi!!! I have an aloe plant that is about 9 months old and just recently the leaves have started to pucker and one has even bent all the way, so the leaf folds over and is limp! I don't want it to die, a very good friend gave it to me as a gift. I don't know what to do. I usually wait until the soil is pretty dry to water it again, and then just water it until the water starts coming through the hole at the bottom of my pot...am i doing something wrong? Help!

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jen
by afgreyparrot on April 02, 2006 04:39 AM
Hi, Jen..... [wavey]
Welcome to the forum!

I deleted your topic with this same question that was up in the Houseplants forum...because more of the "aloe people" will see it here, and I wanted all your answers to be on the same page for you.

Very nice to meet you, and so glad you joined the forum!

Someone will be by that knows about aloe and give you some answers, I'm sure!

Cindy

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Buckle up! It makes it harder for the aliens to suck you out of your car!
by jenny21770 on April 02, 2006 04:49 AM
Ok thanks, yeah sorry about the double post...i put it in there, and then saw this one and thought it would be better down here. I might have over watered so I'm gonna let it get bone dry before I water it again....i just hope it can recover!

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jen
by afgreyparrot on April 02, 2006 04:54 AM
Did you see this yet?

Guide to Growing Aloe Plants

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Buckle up! It makes it harder for the aliens to suck you out of your car!
by jenny21770 on April 02, 2006 04:57 AM
Yeah i have seen it...I thought I was doing everything it says........ but thanks!

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jen
by margaret e. pell on April 02, 2006 06:01 AM
OK. Soil, sun, air, water, and the pot. These are the things you provide for any plant you grow indoors. They are extremely variable depending on your personal situation. Tell us more. What kind of soil do you use? Does it dry quickly (how many days after you water until the top is dry again? is it a cactus mix, potting soil, ?, have fertilizer added or not, ...) About how many hours of direct sun does it get right now, did it get in the winter? How about air circulation and temperature? Cold, wet roots are a killer; cold, dry roots are fine. Is your water from a water-softener (if so, it'll have a salt content) Is it in a plastic, terra cotta, glazed ceramic, ..., pot? Deep or shallow? Have you repotted it lately? How did that change what it had been in? Does it have off-sets? You can save this plant!! Aloe are very forgiving. Tell us what's going on and we'll help you.

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may God bless the WHOLE world!
by jenny21770 on April 02, 2006 07:32 AM
Hi, It is sitting on my window sill at school. It was not getting much sun for a while cause i kept forgetting to open my blinds, but now they are always open. It has been nice out lately so the window has been open. I did re-pot it last week. The pot kind of doubled in size. I don't know what kind of soil it is, but its a mix between what my friend gave it to me in, and what i grabbed from the boiler room of my parents house (where my mum keeps all her plant stuff) but i'm pretty sure its the same stuff. The water comes from the bubbler (lead free) that is in my hall at school. Its in a terra cotta pot. (Not glazed) its not shallow or deep relative to its size. I don't know what off sets are. My window sill is usually not extrememly cold or warm. It doesn't dry very quickly...i'd say it takes about a week and 1/2 for the soil to get bone dry again. I was neglecting it a lot (left it for 2 week spring break only watering it before I left) but I am trying to take better care of it...ummmmm [Smile] In the winter it was in the same place, but again, i didn't open my blinds very often. I haven't put any fertilizer in it...

Thanks for trying to help! I am very new to the house plant thing and heven't inhereted my mum's green thumb!

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jen
by margaret e. pell on April 02, 2006 10:50 PM
Sounds good. Aloe like a lot of sun, so that may have been a problem for it. Not fertilizing is good. Fertilizer is much overrated. If it's got new soil, it's got about 6 months of fresh nutrients which will take it into fall when it wants to settle down and rest anyway, so don't bother. Unglazed terracotta is excellent. When you say bone dry, do you mean the whole pot or the top 2 inches? Though aloe will survive extremely harsh conditions, they look better if treated a bit more gently. Try watering it when the top 2 inches are dry. Nothing will happen very quickly with any plant. Plants teach us patience. Aloe vera come in 2 forms, one grows into a large, single plant with very thick dark green leaves, the other stays shorter, offsets heavily (offsets=suckers=little plants that come up from the roots of the first plant and fill up the pot), and has lighter green spotted leaves. They both like sun. Which kind is it? This makes no difference to its care.

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may God bless the WHOLE world!
by jenny21770 on April 03, 2006 12:12 AM
I think it myst be the second. There was an offset that i clipped and gave to a friend of mine. I moved it away from the window because the terra cotta was cool...we'll see. I can have patience as long as i think i can save it! [Smile] I may try putting it on the window sill again with some insulation around the pot so it still gets sun, but not so cold. When its bone dry, I'm not sure, i usually just kind of poke the top. I am going to let it dry out for a bit. I am just concerned cause its seeming deterioration has happened very quickly (within a week)

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jen
by jenny21770 on April 03, 2006 12:44 AM
I think I may have made a break through. You can tell me if this sounds rediculous. I took it away from the window sill for a few hours and it seems to be doing a bit better. Is there any chance that it was getting cold, so it was trying to protect itself (like a rhododendron curls its leaves?)

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jen
by margaret e. pell on April 03, 2006 04:26 AM
My aloe certainly don't react within a few hours, but I don't know everything!!! Cold doesn't matter much until it gets below 40F for this species, then expect damage, ~45 could stress it, though. Cold and wet is a killer for any succulent. Yes, it'll prefer warmth, but not at the expence of sunlight. Offsetting is a sign of happiness. I just reread your first description, and puckering and curling (from side to side, I'm asuming, so the leaf is like a long trough - cut in cross section it would look like the letter 'u'or even curled in a bit more at the top - and then bending down at the stem. Is this right?) sounds like it's too dry. Any chance when you water it that the soil isn't absorbing the water, that its just running out the bottom hole without dampening the dirt? If that's the case, soak the whole pot in a bowl of water for an hour or so, until the dirt is quite saturated, then let it drain and don't water again for a week. Make sure it doesn't stand in any continuing to drain water. Then just let it be in the sun for a week or more to see what it does. Sometimes they loose a bottom leaf. If it offsets again, leave the offsets with it until you've got 3, 4, 5 plants in the pot. I don't know what to say, but you can't try many things in a few days and know which the plant is reacting to.

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may God bless the WHOLE world!
by jenny21770 on April 03, 2006 05:11 AM
Ok, thanks a lot. I'm going to try watering it more and keeping it away from the window. I know it sounds crazy that its perking up...even i think its nuts, but it is! I went to the library for 2 hours and came back and it was even better than it was before! you were right about the curling and puckering. It was like all the gel like stuff inside just got sucked out. i'll keep you posted, thanks for your help!

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jen
by margaret e. pell on April 03, 2006 09:00 AM
Sunlight! Don't forget it wants/needs lots of direct sunlight!

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may God bless the WHOLE world!
by jenny21770 on April 03, 2006 09:30 AM
Should I cut off the leaf that is completely bent down?

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jen
by margaret e. pell on April 03, 2006 07:28 PM
That would be up to you. As long as it's green the plant is still using it.

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may God bless the WHOLE world!
by jenny21770 on April 04, 2006 05:51 AM
Well, thank you very much for your help. I bought new soil today as the other stuff I was using was very old. I re-potted it, and have watered it nicely. It is sitting on my window sill, but at night I wrap it up with old t-shirts so it doesn't get too cold. Hopefully it will pull through. I have a Fuchsia, a spider plant, a Swedish ivy, and some kind of cactus also on that window and they're all doing fine.

Again, thanks for your help!

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jen

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