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Help with Aloe Vera Plant Please!

AdrianTAdrianT Posts: 4
Hi there! 

Sorry, it's my first post so I'm not too sure how to write this up properly. 

Anyways I've received several plants from a friend who is moving away and can't take her plants with her. One of them is a quite large Aloe Vera plant that was recently repotted into new soil I believe. The new leaves of the plant as seen on the image look strong and healthy and keep growing, but the lower ones are getting really heavy, bending down and sometimes snapping in half slowly or getting mushy. 

I've never had one of these before so I'm looking for any general directions of why this is happening and how to take the best care of it. As I'm unsure if it's unhealthy or maybe the leaves should have been trimmed a long time ago.

I live in Scotland so the weather isn't the warmest, I can put the plant either directly below a South facing window or on the table as seen in the picture, about a meter away from the south-facing window. I wasn't sure if it needs direct sunlight or a bright space with indirect sunlight.

Thank you for your time and help in advance, looking forward to learning more :) 


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  • StephenSouthwestStephenSouthwest Southwest EnglandPosts: 428
    I'd be concerned that the roots are too wet, I'd be tempted to take it out of the pot to have a look.
  • AdrianTAdrianT Posts: 4
    I'd be concerned that the roots are too wet, I'd be tempted to take it out of the pot to have a look.

    I might have a look over the weekend, if they are what should I do? Most of my other plants are more the "like water" type, I haven't watered this Aloe yet but it came quite moist
  • herbaceousherbaceous OxfordshirePosts: 2,313
    Not too sure why it is staked polishdude ?  If the pot was full of cactus compost (or similar) it should support it's own weight.  I water mine about once a month here in the sunny South and then only a cupful so maybe it is too wet?
    "The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it."  Sir Terry Pratchett
  • AdrianTAdrianT Posts: 4
    Not too sure why it is staked polishdude ?  If the pot was full of cactus compost (or similar) it should support it's own weight.  I water mine about once a month here in the sunny South and then only a cupful so maybe it is too wet?
    It was given to me like this, I think it was in a smaller pot and it was leaning to one side, so the girl who gave it to me staked it to the other once she repotted it into a larger pot, it seems to be doing okay without it but not fully firm support. I've read some guides for overwatered aloe plants, and I think I will check the soil and roots and probably take it out of it and dry the roots and soil before putting it back in, hopefully, that will help - usually, I love getting new plants but this one is stressing me out and ive only had it for a week
  • herbaceousherbaceous OxfordshirePosts: 2,313
    edited April 2021
    That is probably a good idea but try not to get too stressed. If it is too wet that will sort it out but don't expect too much in the way of excitement after that.  They are very slow growing but very handy for burns and skin care  :)
    "The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it."  Sir Terry Pratchett
  • AdrianTAdrianT Posts: 4
    That is probably a good idea but try not to get too stressed. If it is too wet that will sort it out but don't expect too much in the way of excitement after that.  They are very slow growing but very handy for burns and skin care  :)
    It wasn't rotting but I think the soil wasn't the right one as it looks like normal flower soil that stays moist for a long time, I've taken the plant out and it's drying wrapped in paper towels and will mix the soil today with more appropriate sandy/gravel mix for succulents. Should I cut off some of bottom leaves to take off weight off the plant? I'm not sure if I should cut off only one at once or if it's okay to cut off 3 off the bottom?
  • herbaceousherbaceous OxfordshirePosts: 2,313
    edited April 2021
    I am no expert on Aloe Adrian/polishdude but I chop leaves off mine whenever I need them and it causes no problem.  The lower leaves naturally droop down after a while and I don't think that weight is the problem.  If it was potted in ordinary multi purpose compost the soil will be too slack to hold it and will retain too much moisture.

    Your plan to improve the drainage is a good one and loam with sand or some such rather than any organic compost will suit it better. Hope it works out for you  :)
    "The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it."  Sir Terry Pratchett
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,255
    edited April 2021
    Aloe vera grow longer ... the lower leaves decay and fall away, the plant flops to one side and meanders along in a sort of attractive inebriate fashion .., eventually new little ones appear from its roots ... you can either leave it to become an ancient looking venerable gnarled monstrosity like ours or split off the little ones and pot them up and grow them on until they begin to look like their ancestors .... then you can do the same thing again, disposing of the old ones on the compost heap if you prefer the younger plants. 
    We like the ones that look like eccentric old codgers and have several in our studio. 
    Your plant ... your choice. 



    You can see some new ones growing at the base of the old one in the second photo. 

    The one thing they won’t do is stay upright as they grow. 

    We use a mixture of approx 60% ordinary MPC and 40% horticultural grit and water about once a fortnight in the spring and summer, less in the autumn and not at all in the winter. 
    They live in the studio all year round as they need lots of light, but we move them out of the strong sun in the summer as they can
    scorch. 
    Hope that helps 😊 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • herbaceousherbaceous OxfordshirePosts: 2,313
    Wow @Dovefromabove that is venerable indeed  :o 

    Despite decades of care mine has never 'pupped' but I love it just the same.

    "The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it."  Sir Terry Pratchett
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,255
    edited April 2021
    My large one is only ten years old at the most. We’ve potted up loads of pups and now have three more pots full nearly as rampant as the first. 😊 

    I would add that the studio is next to the kitchen so it’s easy to pop next door to slice a leaf off when I burn my hand when baking. 👍 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







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