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Aloe plant help

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by ericaeeh77 on April 21, 2005 11:34 PM
Hello everyone [wayey] , I just started having problems with my aloe plant. About two days ago it started getting brown around the base and the start of the stems. Today the stems have really turned brown and have a mushy feel to them [dunno] I only water it about once every week and a half to two weeks and it has been fine. I live and Illinois and it has been in the 70's-80's the past couple weeks and have put the aloe outside in the afternoon for the sunshine. That is the only thing that I've done diffently. If anyone has any suggestions on what I can do to save my aloe, it would be greatly appreciated. [kitty]
by Longy on April 22, 2005 08:29 AM
It sounds like a combination of possible problems.
Too much water, not enough sun and possibly insufficient drainage. The base is probably rotting.
Expose the aloe vera plant fully to sunlight.
Keep soil light and well drained, maybe by adding some sand and/or perlite to a compost based potting mix.
I have a big aloe vera planting which had overgrown its pot. I ripped it out and dropped it round the base of a tree which is planted on a mound. I never water it, and didn't even properly bury the root system. Just threw the mix from the pot around it and a few shovel fulls of sand. It looked sad for a month or so but now it's thriving.
My point is, treat it mean, like a cactus. It has similar requirements to a cactus. Plenty of sun, the hotter the better. Water only when its very dry in the growing season and then if you're not sure, don't water it. If it's not in active growth then water requirements are almost nil.
by PAR_Gardener on April 23, 2005 06:28 PM
Erica, I'm an Illinois gardener too [wayey] , and I've got an aloe plant that needs repotting. I've had it for about 5 years now. It started as a tiny little thing from the Home Depot catcus selection. It is now a monster. It has started to propagate from the roots. I'll post pictures later.

I take it out every summer, and bring it in every fall. I think that Longy is right about the water. Aloe is a succulent, so it only needs water when the soil dries out completely. Too much water and it will just rot. Make sure to use soil for cactus and succulents, and don't water to the point that the roots are sitting in water. I use pea gravel at the bottom of my pot to help it drain and give it some balast. The aloe plant is just so big it is top heavy.

First of all, don't move plants that have been indoors all winter into full sun just like that. They will sun scald (burn) just like people will. Introduce them to the sun gradually. Try moring and evening sun for an hour or two, and then start leaving it out longer. It's just like hardening seedlings. Or move it outside in shade for a few days, and then partial shade, then partial sun, then full sun. Trust me, I've burned my banana plant more than once because I moved it into full sun too quickly.

Back to the aloe. My personal experience with full sun has been different. I figured that the aloe was a tropical plant so I should give it full sun, so I did gradually. Once in full sun the leaves started to darken and turn brownish/purple. I thought I had sun scalded it, so I quickly moved it under the shade of a nearby tree. After a few weeks it turned back to a healthy green, and it thrived. Since then, I give it partial Sun. Now I'm sure there are different varieties of aloe with different sun requirements, so this may not apply to all varieties, but I've seen full sun turn my plant purplish/brown more than once.

Over the winter the plant only gets indirect lighting, and again it is thriving. Hope this helps. [thumb]

* * * *
Composting is more than good for your garden. It's a way of life.
by Spider Lady on April 23, 2005 08:53 PM
I posted some time ago for help with my Aloe Plant. I had divided it & one wasn't doing too well. I'm happy to report that both of them are putting out new shoots! Maybe it was a little shocked for a while. When it gets really BIG, I'll figure out how to post a photo.
by ericaeeh77 on April 24, 2005 03:33 AM
I love this forum, thanks for all of your advice! I think I might have given my aloe too much sun. It's gotten cold again and I brought it back inside and it seems to be turning green again. Once again thanks for all your advice.

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