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very sick aloe

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by rozy221 on February 25, 2006 12:21 PM
I had a post about this earlier this week, but things have taken a severely drastic turn for the worse in the last couple of days.
To recap: I have a large aloe, in a south window behind a shear curtain, in front of a radiator. I have been watering about once a month-ish. About a month or so ago, some bottom leaves started turning brown from the base out. One of the babies that had been growing next to it just fell out of the soil when I touched it. And then I noticed a blood colored liquid in the center of the youngest leaves. I'd blot it up and it would come back the next day. I could tell that it was eating at the youngest leaves, and yesterday, with just a gentle tug, I pulled out the two top leaves-they came out attached to a tap-root-looking thing, which was brownish/red but firm. It was like just plucking a cork out, and now there's just a hole in the center with the icky red stuff at the bottom.
Soooo....I'm thinking disease. I don't do chemicals, so what I was thinking of, along the lines of what Cintas previously suggested, getting rid of all the soil, totally washing the plant and repotting. I'm wondering if anybody has any opinions on this? Or advice for that matter? It WAS a beautiful, thriving plant and it looked great on my front porch for the summer. Any help is greatly appreciated!!!
by GardenGuy_Gardener on February 26, 2006 01:25 AM
It sitting near a radiator. its possible that since the radiators on it redused humidity and doesnt help the problem. could u move it to a place farther from the radiator and if not you could put a humidity tray under it. Hope this helps.

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The good thing about snow is that it makes your yard look just like your neighbors! [Big Grin]
by peppereater on February 26, 2006 02:25 AM
rozy, something wierd is going on there. Aloes normally like to dry thoroughly between waterings, It sounds like you weren't doing anything wrong. It may have a viral or bacterial disease...maybe a bacteria is living in the tissue because some portions suffered tissue damage. I'd say copy your text and post again in Plant Pests and Problems and see if you get some responses.
Alex may have a point about moving it away from the radiator, though, but I'd say it might be a question of heat more than humidity. Could it be burning the plant?

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Dave
Even my growlights are getting restless!
by margaret e. pell on February 26, 2006 08:06 AM
Hi. I grow a lot of aloe species and I've killed my share of plants from overwatering, but nothing like the red juice you describe has ever happened (that's why I didn't answer your first post - no specific info). So, yes, I'd go with some kind of disease, too. Isolate it from any other plants you may have, don't try to bring up the humidity, that'll stress it more as aloe do like it dry and sunny. I'd start looking for good parts to propigate, sound leaves or babies, and try to save what you can. Washing it off and putting it in fresh dirt sounds ok and will give you a chance to carefully examine all parts of the plant and remove anything rotten or dead. If you do this, tell us what the roots look like.

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may God bless the WHOLE world!
by margaret e. pell on February 26, 2006 08:08 AM
Hi. I grow a lot of aloe species and I've killed my share of plants from overwatering, but nothing like the red juice you describe has ever happened (that's why I didn't answer your first post - no specific info). So, yes, I'd go with some kind of disease, too. Isolate it from any other plants you may have, don't try to bring up the humidity, that'll stress it more as aloe do like it dry and sunny. I'd start looking for good parts to propigate, sound leaves or babies, and try to save what you can. Washing it off and putting it in fresh dirt sounds ok and will give you a chance to carefully examine all parts of the plant and remove anything rotten or dead. If you do this, tell us what the roots look like.

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may God bless the WHOLE world!
by rozy221 on February 26, 2006 12:21 PM
Thanks for the replies guys! I'm going to try my luck at the "surgery" tomorrow. Got the soil today, just got sidetracked by the CT Flower Show--that was GREAT!! I'll try to get some before/during/after pics of this poor thing. This is what it used to look like: mid summer
I've just got to get over my fears, find a pair of gloves (now I see fuzzy white stuff in the middle of the hole) and get to it-the worst I can do is kill it, but, from the looks of it, that's going to happen if I do nothing. Wish me luck--I'll keep ya posted!

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