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althrasher
11-28-2007, 09:26 AM
Any suggestions?

Joe270
11-28-2007, 09:27 AM
Isn't aloe supposed to heal stuff? Put some aloe on it.

reigningcatsndogs
11-28-2007, 09:27 AM
too much water is a big problem for them. Also letting water sit in the middle of the plant when you water it. THey like to get dry between waterings

althrasher
11-28-2007, 09:29 AM
too much water is a big problem for them. Also letting water sit in the middle of the plant when you water it. THey like to get dry between waterings

I water it like once a month. Then when it started looking peaking, I watered it again (about two weeks later.) The stalks are getting really limp and brown.

reigningcatsndogs
11-28-2007, 09:31 AM
how old is the soil it's in? and what kind of water do you use?

althrasher
11-28-2007, 09:32 AM
Just tap water. And the soil...I'm not sure it was a housewarming present. Maybe a few months? Maybe a few years?

reigningcatsndogs
11-28-2007, 09:33 AM
They like soil that drains well -- sandy soil so the roots don't rot.
The reason I asked about the water is because if you microwave your water, it can kill the plants. Also, the hardness of the water can be a problem

reigningcatsndogs
11-28-2007, 09:34 AM
It might also want fertilizer if the nutrients in the soil are depleted -- usually use at half-strength for an aloe

reigningcatsndogs
11-28-2007, 09:36 AM
They also like sunshine and cannot tolerate cold temperatures at all

althrasher
11-28-2007, 09:36 AM
The soil is quite damp, and I don't know if it's sandy or not...should I change it out or what?

reigningcatsndogs
11-28-2007, 09:41 AM
When you water it, let it dry out really well and then soak it again. If you aren't sure of the soil, you should use a regular potting mix, but add some sand, perlite etc, to allow for good drainage. When you water the plant, the water should run out the bottom of the pot, and then let the plant sit in the water until its all gone and the soil is dry to the touch. It's better to fertilize in the spring. Bugs and diseases are very rare -- the two biggest challenges are the water and the soil. If you do repot it, if the rootball is tight in the pot, move to a size larger pot and spread the roots out a bit so they don't just grow in a knot.

NeuroFizz
11-28-2007, 06:18 PM
Enjoy the irony.

Soccer Mom
11-28-2007, 06:53 PM
Aloe is a succulent, they retain their own water. I would let it dry and repot it in a very light sandy mixture. Soils that compact too heavily deprive the roots of oxygen and aloe often hates the traditional potting mixes. Check your local nursery or garden supply for "cactus mix". If you can't find a cactus mix, take regular potting soil, add washed sand and perlite to the mix. Let it dry completely between waterings and keep it out of drafts. They hate to get cold.

Meerkat
11-28-2007, 07:23 PM
Rub dry flakes of skin on it!

veinglory
11-29-2007, 02:45 AM
If it looks floppy, water, if it looks mushy blot and dry. If in doubt repot in about 50% potting soil and 50% sand with just another water that you can poke it without getting your finger wet :)

Perks
11-29-2007, 02:53 AM
I'm watching this thread because I just inherited a beautiful aloe and I don't have a great track record with houseplants.

So far, Hector's okay.

Yeah, that's what we named it.

Leva
11-29-2007, 04:02 AM
Aloes can go months without water. In 120 degree weather. In the sun. Seriously. My front yard is pure sand, and the aloe vera did just fine (until the chickens ate it) without ANY water, and we usually don't get rain from April until July, and it's over 100 degrees every day.

You want the soil to be bone dry before you water it. I water potted aloes when the leaves start to significantly shrink. Plant it in very sandy soil, if possible. You don't need potting soil. The plant needs to be in direct sun, in a very warm place. Too much shade (and it needs a LOT of sun) will kill it.

If it's mushy/black in the center, it's probably got root rot. If you can cut the top off, and it's not already black, do so, and replant the top. If the conditions are right, it will root and then send up new shoots. If there's any pups coming off it, pull them up and replant them as well.

When I divide aloe clumbs, I just break them off at ground level, throw out all the older plants, and replant the pups for a new generation. Before the chickens happened, I did this twice yearly -- winter and summer, after a good rain. Aloes are very, very tough, as long as they have enough heat, light, and dry soil. Though you don't want to disturb them for a few months before April and May, because they'll bloom in late spring/early summer. And sometimes again in the fall.

-- Leva
(Who misses her aloes. They were from a line of plants going back several human generations to my great-grandmother. Darn chickens.)

(I didn't know anything would eat aloes until the chickens did. The bunnies and gophers leave it strictly alone.)

althrasher
11-29-2007, 07:59 AM
So I live in a dark apartment in the mountains. I put it where it can get as much sunlight as possible, but that isn't much. I can't put it outside because the cold will kill it...is my poor little aloe doomed?

reigningcatsndogs
11-29-2007, 08:50 AM
So I live in a dark apartment in the mountains. I put it where it can get as much sunlight as possible, but that isn't much. I can't put it outside because the cold will kill it...is my poor little aloe doomed?

No, absolutely not. I lived in the mountains for years. We were lucky to see three hours of sunlight a day for six months of the year, because we were always in shadow. Set him near the window and he should do fine. They're pretty resiliant little guys, as long as you don't overwater, and if you're in a dark place, water less. Or, you could consider getting some lighting for them!! It helps to cheer up the place as well.

althrasher
11-29-2007, 08:51 AM
Good. I think I'll change his soil and leave him alone for awhile.

reigningcatsndogs
11-29-2007, 08:53 AM
Good. I think I'll change his soil and leave him alone for awhile.

That's what I would do. Water him in well when you plant him, and then let his toes dry.

SpookyWriter
11-29-2007, 09:43 AM
Any suggestions?Yeah, I have a boil on my butt that really itches. Send me your friend, and I'll pay the postage.