Question about aloe vera plants

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by JMeister, Oct 21, 2006.

  1. JMeister

    JMeister Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2006
    Messages:
    933
    Likes Received:
    16
    I have an aloe vera plant that I have never done anything to except water. It's grown to the point where the leaves are too big to be supported by the stem or trunk of the plant.

    Should I have been doing something different to take care of it like pulling off leaves?

    At this point do I just support the trunk with a rod and let it continue to grow taller or is there somehitng else that should be done to care for it?
     
  2. DC_DEEP

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2005
    Messages:
    9,029
    Likes Received:
    12
    Aloe vera sometimes "falls over" when growing in its natural habitat, sometimes it doesn't. It won't hurt it if it does; staking it up won't hurt it either. If it does "lean", leaves touching the soil may eventually fall off, but again, that won't hurt the plant.
     
  3. ThickAZGuy

    Verified Gold Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2006
    Messages:
    266
    Likes Received:
    10
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Orlando (FL, US)
    Verified:
    Photo
    Sounds like you may have overwatered it and it grew a bit too fast. Try repotting the plant with a gravel bottom and cacti mix. Soak and allow to dry before watering again. These plants like and need a well drained soil.
     
  4. DC_DEEP

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2005
    Messages:
    9,029
    Likes Received:
    12
    Thanks, Thick. I forgot to add those little reminders...
     
  5. hypolimnas

    hypolimnas Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2006
    Messages:
    1,219
    Likes Received:
    374
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Penisland
    I have an aloe vera plant that I have never done anything to except water.

    There are several issues to consider.

    1. Your plant will need to be fed, watered, and re-potted.

    2. The leaves will probably be looking a bit unhealthy, and not that decorative. Re-potting will help, but isn't the total answer.

    3. You possibly need to divide up your plant, as it is probably root bound. I think this is what I would do.

    4. Re-plant the small side shoots. Cut them off from the main plant ensuring that you include some part of the stem that is also attached to some roots. Leave these cuttings for a day before you re-pot them, don't leave them in the sun though. The wounds will seal over this period, it will prevent fungus infections from taking hold where the wounds are.

    5. I would use, or throw away the large ugly leaves. They are great for burns, sunburn, small cuts, especially to parts of the body with sensitive skin! They are very good for anyone with sensitive skin, it is a miracle plant from that point of view. Just slice the leaves lengthwise, and apply to the skin.

    6. If the plant has not been getting enough light. This can cause the leaves to etiolate, or stretch up, looking for more light. This is another thing to consider.

    7. I was wondering why you grow it? Most of the people I know grow it to cut the leaves of for its healing properties. To prevent the leaves getting too long, cut them off, and use them.

    8. If you are looking for something decorative then there are 324 other species of Aloe to try, they are a great family.

    9. Finally, my experience is that it doesn't like full, all day sun. Remember if it is on a window sill it may be getting too hot, this can cause a yellowish, pale, unhealthy look, and floppy leaves with no substance.

    10. This species has a branched flowering stem that can grow to 90 cm. The flowers are yellow, and up to 3 cm across. It grows naturally in the Cape Verde Islands, Canary Islands, Mediterranean, Barbados, Jamaica, Mexico, Venezuela, Peru, and Bolivia.
     
  6. JMeister

    JMeister Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2006
    Messages:
    933
    Likes Received:
    16
    Great information. Thanks.

    Why do I have it? I inherited it and just kept watering it. I have moved it to larger pots twice already.

    I think perhaps yes it was overwatered and grew too fast. The leaves all look very healthy. They have a rich green color to them and are very plump to the touch.

    What exactly do you mean when you say divide the plant by replanting the small side shoots? There's a stem and at the top of it are a bunch of green leaves but there are no side stems. (i.e. nothing like branches on a tree)
     
  7. hypolimnas

    hypolimnas Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2006
    Messages:
    1,219
    Likes Received:
    374
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Penisland
    The leaves all look very healthy. Oh great.


    There's a stem and at the top of it are a bunch of green leaves but there are no side stems. (i.e. nothing like branches on a tree)[/quote]
    Ok that sounds good, well it won't be ready to divide then LOL. Atleast you know that when they start to form at the base of the plant, and really start to fill the pot, you will know what to do with them. Staking will work fine to stabilise the plant.
     
  8. joyboytoy79

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2006
    Messages:
    8,557
    Albums:
    4
    Likes Received:
    9
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    DC-ish
    JMeister,

    Perhaps the easiest way to solve your problem is to simply bury the stem. Aloe will naturally grow roots along any part of its stem that is below the soil surface. Instead of placing the plant in a larger pot each time you repot it, simply dig it up, shake the soil free from the roots, and replant it in the same pot with the bottom set of leaves resting just above the soil line. If the plant is too tall to do this, you can air layer it: moisten some sphagnum moss and wrap it loosely around a 2 inch section of the stem, wrap the sphagnum with some cellophane to retain the moisture. Within 4 to six weeks roots should be visible under the cellophane. Cut the stem off and repot your plant.
     
Draft saved Draft deleted