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Aloe, palms and more

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2004
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by plantgirl on October 25, 2004 09:47 AM
I have two questions and I've searched the archives and haven't found answers to these yet so please help me.

My aloe is in a smallish pot and has three aloe plants in it. Instead of growing out like they usually do, mine is growing up. As it grows up it's knocking off some of the other leaves. In addition, I watered it a bit too much and don't have it in a good cacuts soil mix. Today, the base of one of the plants became mushy and fell over. The top half of that shoot looks healthy. Should I just dig it up and put the healthy part in the soil or will it come back if I just leave it alone?

Also my palm, that from my plant book appears to be a Cocos weddeliana, is not producing new shoots. Some come out OK but then dry up. It has many dry fronds. Am I underwatering it?

Also, I am having trouble with the water coming out of some of my pots not being clear. Should it be? Should I leach them if it is not?

Thank you for answering my questions,
by Bill on October 31, 2004 11:20 PM
Hi Plantgirl,
You actually answered both of your questions. You overwatered your Aloe and before you even realized it it was probably too late to save your root system. You can however save the plant itself (as long as it isn't toooooo far gone.
Remove all damaged (rotted) parts of your aloe (freeze any leaves you remove in a baggie!) and cut the stem back (with a very sharp, sterile knife) to a point where you find no rot or discoloration. Let the plant air dry for 24-48 hours to allow the cut to callous over. Set the base of the plant in some fresh, sandy potting soil. Wait a few days longer before watering the soil, and then water it occassionally, but be very careful to let the soil dry before watering again. A new root system should be developing within a week or two and then you will need to be more conciencious about watering, but always let the soil dry completely before you water again!

For future reference, let your Aloe (or any cacti or succulent) dry thoroughly before you water, wait a day or three, then water thoroughly so that the soil is soaked! Never allow succulents to stand in water!

Your palm needs to have a thorough watering before drying as well, but with most palms you should water as soon as their soil becomes completely dry rather than waiting a few days.

More houseplants are lost because of too much love than from neglect. Overwatering is the main killer of houseplants, followed by underwatering and over feeding.
When it comes to feeding house plants, I normally use half of the recommended strength fertilizer and only apply it half as often. Overfeeding (following the recommended manufacturer portions) will promote very nice new growth but when the seasons change your plant's root system will suddenly not be able to support the "robust" plant itself. Never feed a house plant that isn't actively growing!

* * * *
by Will Creed on November 01, 2004 05:15 AM
Cocos weddeliana is used as a terrarium plant because of its need for moist air and warm temps. In dry air the fronds dry up as you described. Misting will not help.
by plantgirl on November 02, 2004 07:53 AM
Thank you two for all your help, on these questions and my worm questions from before. I'm glad some super gardners are out there to help out the gardners who are trying like myself.

I did have one followup question on the palm though. I live in So Cal so keeping a humid environment is kinda tough. I keep my palm in the living room for now which is the only room with a heater. No it's not that it's so warm here that more heat isn't needed just that my house is too old to have it.

So should I put the palm in the bathroom where it would be humid a few times a day or in the bedroom where I run a humidifier at night?

Thanks again.
by Jiffymouse on November 03, 2004 04:13 AM
if you set a pan of water, with rocks or pebbles in it underneath your plant, making sure the bottom of the plant's pot isn't in the water, the evaporation of the water in the pan will increase the humidity around the plant. this should help some.

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