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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    6

    Help needed for aloe vera plant please

    Hi there

    I've just aquired an aloe vera plant that is about 10 inches high and totally potbound. It has about 8 'pups' surrounding it. I have tried to separate these from the mother plant but it doesnt seem possible, they look to be actually coming from the base of the mother instead of just being joined by the root system. (I have actually broke off one of the babies whilst trying to ease them all apart, is there any way of saving this one, it broke off cleanly with no root im afraid)

    So I wonder if some one could advise me on the best course of action now? It was all in a tiny pot, so would my best option be to just pot the whole thing into a bigger pot? Im just worried as ive heard that pups will kill the mother if left to grow with her.

    Thankyou for any advice, the whole plant is sat drying on paper at the moment

    Im in the UK so it is an indoor plant!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Maryland zone 7
    Posts
    3,042
    Hi Leonie,

    Glad you have it sitting out of the pot for now, and the broken off pup should remain so for at least a couple of days so it can form a callous. These sites will explain how to care for your aloe and it's pups.

    http://faq.gardenweb.com/faq/lists/c...249017614.html

    Scroll to the bottom here for more links as well.

    http://www.ourgardengang.com/houseplants.htm

    Newt

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    6
    Hi Newt, thanks for your reply.

    The websites you mention are excellent, thankyou! Maybe I can save the pup after all, I was gutted when I broke it, im into aloe vera's in a big way right now lol!

    Anyway, do you mind if I ask another question? Well another one of my newly bought aloe vera's has really thin outer leaves and im wondering if it has been underwatered. I am considering re-potting it and giving it a good drink, however as its now winter here, I dont want to cause it too much stress, would I be better to just change a bit of the soil as it looks pretty old.

    Sorry for all the questions, but im a real plant newbie!!

    Thanks again

    Leonie

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Maryland zone 7
    Posts
    3,042
    Hi Leonie,

    I'm so glad you found those sites helpful. I don't mind more questions at all. :D It's usually best not to repot a new plant for a couple of weeks unless it is rootbound. If the lower leaves are thin, it could be that they are old and will dry up and need to be removed. Aloes tend to do that. You may just want to take a sharp scissors and cut them close to the stem. If that seems too drastic for you, then wait a bit.

    If the soil seems really dry, give it a good watering in the sink and let it drain completely. Then see what it does in a week or so. When the soil is mostly dry, water again. The soil could be old and that would be ok, but it may be rootbound or just needs a good water. It's fall in the US as well and the biggest thing for houseplants is not to fertilize too much during that time. Best to wait for spring for that unless the plant is stressed because it's been neglected. Then you could either use fertilizer at half strength or even less just to give it a little extra boost.

    Don't worry about all the questions, that's how we all learn and I don't mind at all. :D

    Newt

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    6
    Thanks again Newt, you are very kind! :D

    Well i've read the sites and done quite a bit of research on different sites. Ask me a question on aloes now ha ha ha!! 8)

    Anyway, i've decided to keep the pups with the mother as im pretty sure that i'll end up snapping them all as they seem to becoming from the mother stem rather than just the roots. I have other aloe vera's where you can see that the pups are actually an individual little plant, so my guess is that this potbound plant simply didnt have room so the pups just grew directly off the mother!

    Its a pity as i would have liked to separate them, I just hope they dont suck the life from the mother. It is rather an odd plant though, the mother is only a little taller (approx 9 to 10inch) than some of the pups and she is completely surrounded by them. All the plants i've seen have been somewhat larger before they've sent off shoots.

    Oh well, thats enough of me rambling on :D

    Actually it is autumn here, rather than winter as I said before, but its just soooo cold!!

    Thanks again

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    6

    Hi Newt

    Well just an update and a thankyou really!

    The pup that I broke off has little roots now and it still looks healthy enough. This has given me the confidence to take off some of the other pups that are around the mother. I dont expect to get much in the way of roots as im going to have to snap them off, as I explained before, they seem to be actually coming from the stalk of the mother, rather than being independent plants as are normally found on aloe veras. But at least now I know how to care for them and encourage new roots.

    So just a quick thankyou!
    :D

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Maryland zone 7
    Posts
    3,042
    Hi Leonie,
    What wonderful news!!!! I've been out of town and just got back today. You gave me a giggle when you said "Ask me a question on aloes now ha ha ha!!"

    You say that you're really in to aloes. I wish you could see them here where I'm visiting my son in Peru. They grow like weeds here. :shock:

    Thanks for letting me know how things are going as some poeple don't, and I often wonder if they find the info helpful.

    Take care,
    Newt

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