Top Heavy Aloe

cj06eagleJuly 13, 2008

My aloe plant has been doing extremely well for several years. I've recently been having a problem with it being too top heavy. I've tried staking it up, but it continues to fall over. It's not coming up at the roots, which is what I'd expect from a plant with such shallow roots, but it's bending at the stalk. The bottom leaves are shriveling up and turning brown. I'm afraid the stalk is crushed and will kill the entire plant. Can I cut the top part off and re-plant it? What else do you suggest for a top heavy plant?

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Mentha(9 CA)

I'd try the Cactus & Succulent forum for better information.

What I would do is chop the plant right below the bend. It will grow an offset, so don't throw it away. Let the piece you cut off dry for a couple weeks before rooting it in a well drainig soil. Depending on the length of the top part, it might be wise to cut it into a couple pieces and root them that way.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2008 at 12:47PM
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Central_Cali369(Sunset Z9, Fresno, CA)

Don't cut it. You probably have a trunking aloe, or a "climbing" aloe (more like rambling). From personal experience I know Aloe Thraskii, Marlothii, Ferox and Arboresence start off with small leaves, then begin to trunk and become top heavy. Since they are outside in the ground, the trunk developed enough to support the top. Yours, being inside, might have problems doing that. The bottom leaves shriveling is natural for trunking aloes. They lose their bottom leaves once they get too old. Like I said, don't cut it, unless you are SURE your aloe produces suckers. There are many Trunking Aloes that will not produce suckers, and cutting it will definately kill it.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2008 at 12:47PM
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larry_b(Zone5/CO)

I am assuming that you just have the old fashion, regular, common aloe plant. If that is the case then what Mentha th said is OK to do. I would only add that you really don't need to callous the ends of for a couple of weeks. Rule of thumb with cacti and succulents as far as callousing is one week for each inch in diameter of the cut. I would assume that the cut is no more than 1/2 inch in diameter therefore I would let it sit for four days or so.

Larry

    Bookmark   July 29, 2008 at 3:47PM
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