The aloe vera is not only an attractive, but also a very medicinal plant. Both reasons why it is often kept as a houseplant. However, it is quite sensitive to unfavorable conditions.

This is what a healthy aloe vera should look like

When the aloe vera feels good and is healthy, it has gray-green or blue-green leaves, the young ones are bright green. They are firm and plump with a smooth and shiny outer skin. In addition, they usually always grow upwards and do not hang down. If the conditions are not appropriate, this leads to stress and the plant suffers. This is first shown by their leaves. If they turn yellow, hang or become soft, mushy and start to rot, this can indicate too much moisture or root rot or frost damage. If the problem is caught early, chances are good that the plant will recover.

cause of overwatering

Aloe vera is one of the succulents that naturally get by with very little water. They can store water in their fleshy, thickened leaves and thus survive longer periods of drought unscathed. If you then water too much, it will quickly lead to overwatering and waterlogging, which can mean the end of these plants. A permanently moist or wet substrate causes the roots of the aloe to rot. Usually, rotting roots are only noticed when the leaves are already soft and glassy and drooping. In order to save them, you should put them in fresh soil as soon as possible.

Repotting as an immediate measure

First, carefully remove the plant from the pot. If it’s too tight, hitting the bottom of the pot against the edge of a table can help loosen the root. Or you can run a knife along the inner edge of the pot and then carefully pull the plant out. Always move the pot and not the plant. For larger specimens, it is best to have a second person help.

  • Check roots for rotten spots after plugging
  • Completely remove rotten and damaged root parts
  • Healthy roots are neither soft and mushy nor black
  • The new pot about three times the size of the root ball
  • drainage holes in the bottom of the pot
  • The bottom layer is drainage made of coarse gravel or expanded clay
  • Cover drainage with fleece
  • Then put some soil and aloe in the middle
  • Fill with soil and press down
  • Only water sparingly after a few days

prevent root rot

  • Pot should not be too big
  • Substrate would remain excessively wet for a long time
  • Same effect as overwatering
  • Repot every two years to aerate roots
  • Do not use normal garden soil
  • Turns into mud when wet in the pot
  • Special soil for succulents
  • Special earth dissipates moisture better
  • Or make your own mix
  • Equal parts of potting soil, coarse sand and gravel or pumice
  • Fine sand would clump and hold more water

Proper watering is the be-all and end-all

The amount of water should be adjusted to the season. As a result, aloe vera needs more water in the summer months than in autumn and winter, especially when it is cool. It should generally be watered as sparingly as possible. If she spends the summer outside, watering twice a week is usually sufficient. On the other hand, if it is indoors, it needs water about every three to four weeks.

In the cold season, it should hardly be watered, only when the soil is really dry. An exception are young aloe vera specimens, they cannot store as much water in their leaves and have to be watered more regularly. But they should not be standing wet either. Waterlogging must be avoided at all costs. In addition, make sure not to water from above, i.e. over the leaves, but always directly onto the substrate. The fleshy leaves must remain dry.

Note: Irrigation water should be able to drain off easily at all times and excess water should be promptly removed from cachepots and coasters.

Soft leaves from frost damage

Another reason why the leaves are soft and drooping can be possible frost damage. Due to its origin, aloe vera does not tolerate frost. In its natural habitat, it also survives longer periods of drought because it can store water in its leaves. Exactly that can be her downfall in winters here. It could have problems even at temperatures below five degrees. It gets really tricky when she gets frost. The water stored in the leaves freezes, destroying the leaf tissue and dying.

emergency aid

Depending on how long the plant was exposed to frost, how severe it was and how severe the damage is, there may still be a chance of saving the aloe vera. However, this requires a quick reaction.

  • Put the aloe in a bright and warm place
  • Avoid direct sunlight
  • Do not water for a few days, possibly even weeks
  • Until affected leaves dry up
  • Later remove the dry parts of the plant
  • Preferably with a sharp knife
  • As a precaution, also check the root
  • Allow to dry or cut off if necessary

If after some time new, healthy leaves grow from the middle, this is an indication that the aloe vera has recovered from the frost damage.

Note: The aloe can also suffer leaf damage of this kind if it is aired in the immediate vicinity of the open window in winter.

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