Aloe dying
June 13, 2007 12:52 PM   Subscribe

Help! OfficePlantFilter: My aloe is dying!

I have two aloe plants, that were potted in those little plastic brown pots. I had place the whole thing in a ceramic IKEA planter. The other day I took them out of the cheap plastic and directly into the ceramic pot, but now the plants are droopy and sad.

I don't get it, the plant seems to have plenty of water (the soil is not super moist/damp, but not dry either)...
posted by omidius to Home & Garden (12 answers total)
 
Let the soil dry out and make sure it's getting lots of sun.
posted by thirteenkiller at 12:56 PM on June 13, 2007


Repotting plants can sometimes cause shock, especially if the repotter isn't very careful about maintaining root structures. How long was "the other day"? I'd wait a few more and see if they recover.
posted by muddgirl at 12:57 PM on June 13, 2007


Aloe are succulents and requires at least 4 hours of direct unfiltered sunlight. Floppy aloe usually means too much water (and if you add even more water, it will burst the skin as succulents are incredibly efficient at storing water and not very good at shedding it) and not enough sunlight.

It's not the best choice for an office plant. It can be grown in a sunny windowsill but its growth will not be as robust as if it were outside. I'd put it outside and go buy a Spathiphyllum (such as a Peace Lilly) for your desk.
posted by jamaro at 1:07 PM on June 13, 2007


Aloe is definitely not picky about watering. I'd agree with letting the earth dry a bit and get plenty of sun.
posted by Lady Li at 1:14 PM on June 13, 2007


Does the ceramic pot that you planted him in have drain holes? Aloe plants need decent drainage, or the roots will effectively drown.
posted by toxic at 1:17 PM on June 13, 2007


Does the new ceramic pot have drainage? If it doesn't, the aloe roots are probably sitting in water and slowly rotting. You'll have to create some drainage - take all the soil and the plants out, tap or bore a couple of small holes in the bottom of the pot, put half an inch of pebbles, cocoa mat, straw, etc. in, and then some potting soil, and then the plants, and then more soil. On preview - what toxic said.

When you first transplant you have to make absolutely sure there are no air pockets, by very gently tamping down the soil around the plants, and then by some judicious watering to further fill in any air spaces. Can you take a photo? And seconding everyone's advice to give plenty of sun.
posted by iconomy at 1:18 PM on June 13, 2007


Nth the advice about not over-watering a succulent like aloe. Think desert with occasional rain.
Could it be the pot itself? I have a handsome pot with adequate drainage and its own saucer that killed every live thing planted in it. It is now the home of a silk ficus.
posted by Cranberry at 1:29 PM on June 13, 2007


Yeah, definitely stop watering it. Once a month when you think of it is plenty.
posted by bink at 2:35 PM on June 13, 2007


My Aloe was dying. In fact, I thought it was dead. So I ignored it. It got no water (drought here) and a fair bit of sun and it perked up amazingly.

So let it dry out and ignore it for a while.
posted by pompomtom at 5:24 PM on June 13, 2007


Aloe are succulents and requires at least 4 hours of direct unfiltered sunlight.

My aloe handles dark, high-latitude winters in a window with blinds. It does most of its growing in the summer but it doesn't get sickly in the winter. It's all about not over-watering.
posted by D.C. at 7:44 PM on June 13, 2007


Oh, and re: soil, I mixed a bit of sand in with the regular potting soil to improve drainage. I've treated my Christmas cactus the same way; it tolerates the winter and is growing like crazy during these long summer days.
posted by D.C. at 8:00 PM on June 13, 2007


I have a freak-aloe that needs to be kept indoors or under thick foliage outside, or it will burn. No seriously, my desert plant can't take direct sunlight.

I got it as a tiny 2" miniplant, and it fills one of those big 14" pots now - it does just fine IF I keep it out of direct sunlight. Though the "don't over water" advice holds true for franken-plant as well.
posted by yggdrasil at 12:03 PM on June 14, 2007


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