Aloe Vera plant near death

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Aloe Vera plant near death

Post by el.. » Thu, 09 Jul 1998 04:00:00


>I have inherited a sickly (but fairly big) Aloe Vera plant.  A few quick
>questions for bringing it back to life:

>1. how much water do these plants need?  The potting soil is very dry now.

They need VERY LITTLE water. Really. In fact I think the only thing that
can do them in is freezing and overwatering.

>2. How much sun do they need?  It's sitting in direct sun now in a hot room.
>Would it do better inside a normal room?

They can take full sun but, amazingly, can also take bright indirect
light and not-so-bright indirect light. Your light should not be a problem
-- it's really the ideal.

>3. How would it react to some coffee grounds?  I have plenty.

I really wouldn't. They're not big feeders. I fertilize mine once in
a while with a half-strength 1-2-1 African violet fert. And I've got
a Partridge *** Aloe (A. variegata) flowering even as I type, so
that must be enough. Also, I don't know if aloes like acid -- deserts
are usually alkaline, I think -- so that would be another reason I'd
be afraid of coffee grounds.

>4. Any other tips for reviving a neglected plant?

I'd check the potting mix and the drainage since I really suspect that
is the problem. Maybe repot it in a sandy cactus mix in a clay pot with
a nice big drainage hole -- and a pot that's just barely big enough for
the rootball. And don't water it for at least 3 or 4 days after
repotting it -- with all succulents, they're prone to rot and the
wounds one invariably inflicts on the roots when repotting them should
be allowed to heal before they get watered. And of course never let it
stand in water. (I keep all my succulents in a saucer filled with 1/2"
of gravel -- I water till I see some water coming out the bottom but
before it's up to the surface of the gravel, so the pot is never
standing in water.)

Are there any pups? If so, you might want to separate them and pot them
separately, as 'life insurance' IYKWIM. Good luck and keep us posted.


Aloe Vera plant near death

Post by D. Michael McInty » Thu, 09 Jul 1998 04:00:00

> inherited a sick Aloe Vera plant.....  how to revive it.....

Rule #1)  Ignore it.

If it's sick, it's probably due to overwatering.  In the beginning, I
killed dozens, perhaps hundreds of plants.  My aloe vera is still

Give it lots of light, water it every once in a while (once a month or
less) and basically ignore it and it will do fine.

It will eventually start to wilt and leaves will turn brown and get
slimy when it really, really needs watering, but it could also be
brown and slimy from over-watering.

If the soil is bone dry and it's got slimy leaves with others that
have turned hard and brown, then I would try watering it heavily.

When you water, water it really well.  Don't give it a little sip here
and a little sip here.  Go for extremes from bone dry to sopping wet
and back.

This may not be what the horticulturalists among us would recommend,
but I've had one of these things for going on five years now without
killing it.


Aloe Vera plant near death

Post by m& » Thu, 09 Jul 1998 04:00:00

What indications does this aloe give to you that it is sickly?
Explain what the leaves look like, exactly if you can.



>I have inherited a sickly (but fairly big) Aloe Vera plant.  


Aloe Vera plant near death

Post by thinkinito.. » Tue, 14 Jul 1998 04:00:00


We've had aloe for years, and I'm a really kicked back gardner.
Anything that needs special care around here dies.  About once every two
years, I pull the aloe out of its pots, shake the dirt off the roots,
cut about the bottom third of the roots off with a hack saw, fill the
pot back up potting soil, stick the plant back in and soak it good.  We
grow it outside in So. Cal. all year, in the summer on a full sun patio
with a 70% UV shade screen, in the winter full sun. I water it every
time I water every thing else, about once a week during the summer, very
little during the winter.  It likes its roots a little crowded, really
grows better when outer leaves (or are those stems?) are trimmed off,
and we do that a lot, using it for skin problems.  When you know you are
about to repot, cut any partly used leaves down to the base of the plant
a few weeks before and let the cuts dry, then you can bury that part to
keep the plant looking good. The only time I ever saw ours stressed was
after 30 inches of rain last winter-El Nino of course. The only thing I
do different for aloe than other plants-never fertilize. Try getting
yours out of the heat. These plants are so great for anything wrong with
the skin, don't give up!