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Question
Hi, hoping you can help with trouble I keep running into when growing Aloe Vera's.

I've gotten better, but I still kill house plants (almost always after I change the pot for some reason). Not sure what number Aloe Vera I'm on right now but this one won't grow, as usual I follow various online instructions, this time: stones in the bottom, compost + sandy mix for soil, I move it to which ever window the sun shines through (there's no window ledge--it's all slanted windows here), water the saucer infrequently --after the soil is dry and yea:

rather than being full the shoots feel bumpy and flattish towards the end like there's not much gel in there or something.

two of the tips are crispy

and it doesn't grow

Yesterday a few of the shoots felt a bit fatter, (I gave it a serious water a few days previous---just short of drowning it), but then the cat attacked some of the stems and so it's not looking so hot, today I see some new shoots in the middle that I would like to pin my hopes on, but how can I make this plant recover, grow and be healthy.

(In the past I've tried succulent soil and fertilizer with no success)

Answer
Ashe,

Every time you water it you should drown it by watering it from the top but then you should empty the drain tray an hour after watering it and not water it again until it has been very dry for at least 4 days. The pot should feel a lot lighter when you water it again. During the winter you should only be watering it approximately once every 2 weeks, during spring and fall every 10 days and in the summer every 5-7 days.They need wet then dry periods so the roots have a chance to breathe. They need a sandy gravelly soil that has air pockets in it for the roots to breathe. It should sit in an east, west or south facing window to get 4-6 hours of sun on sunny days. If there are no windowsills set it on a table right next to the window.

Many aloes are flattish towards the end there's not much gel in the tips. Many do not get large. There are several hundred types of aloes. You may have a small type. I have a collection of several types that I have accumulated over the years. Most are not huge plants so they do not take up a lot of space and the variations are quite interesting. Good luck with yours!

Darlene

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Darlene K. Kittle

Expertise

I have been an Advanced Master Gardener for 24 years and I raise around 300 houseplants and bonsai trees a year including tropicals, succulents, and cacti. I have also been a professional plant care person for businesses in the Fort Wayne, IN area and currently professionally care for bonsai trees for my customers.

Experience

I am also studying the Japanese art of bonsai with tropical plants and is President of the Fort Wayne, IN Bonsai Club.

Organizations
Fort Wayne, iN Master Gardeners. President of the Fort Wayne Bonsai Club. Allen County Master Gardeners

Education/Credentials
I am not a hortculturist. I am a Purdue University Advanced Master Gardener for 24 years. I have studied plants on a personal level by growing hundreds of plants annually for the last 35 years. I have also studied under several nationally known American Bonsai experts.

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