brand new video:
       
get all 177 hours of
presentations here.
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Growing Aloe Vera in a Sub Tropical Climate?  RSS feed

 
L. Barry
Posts: 16
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi!

We recently bought some aloe vera pups online. They are only very small. I'm having some real problems knowing how to care for them and information online is limited particularly for my climate. So I'm hearing people stress A LOT about not over-watering, and to only water when soil feels dry. You'd assume that would mean once a week or so, but here, it's difficult to gauge how much and how often. The first time I watered these pups, their colour drained to a sickly green by the end of the day, and they are still this colour a week later. They are in small pots with drainage holes. The only reason I assume they're still alive is because they're not 'mushy' feeling as described by people online. They still feel firm, but as I said, their colour definitely does not look right. The sun outside is very strong here currently, and the soil is now very dry. On the one hand, I'm thinking they must need a drink by now, on the other I'm afraid I'll stunt them again or outright kill them by watering again. Bearing in mind, these babies are very small and don't hold the same volume of moisture for themselves as an adult does to survive the heat.

Is it okay to water more regularly with just a few drops of water? When I watered the usual way they turned sickly, so I'm thinking that amount of water suffocates them. Would they do better with less water more frequently to combat the strong sun here? The intensity of the sun assures any excess the plant doesn't need will evaporate despite the regularity; this is why I'm thinking it might be better? I'm just really pulled both ways about what to do for them. Right now they are in full sun, but for all I know they could be dying of drought. Any input is very much appreciated.
 
Tobias Ber
Posts: 485
Location: Northern Germany (Zone 8a)
15
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
hey barry,

welcome to the forums. i m growing some aloe indoors for years and think, that overwatering is not that much a problem, unless they really drown in a pot without holes... i ve some small transplants in pots that are really wet for months now with no bad sign.

but i think, that the sun is the issue of your plants looking bad. they GET sunburn. aloe needs some time to adapt to full sun. in nature they grow well in the understory, shaded by other plants.
 
L. Barry
Posts: 16
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Tobias. Oh yes, I forgot to mention I was wondering whether it was the sun. The same day I gave them their first watering, I also put them in direct strong Aussie sunlight for most of the day. All I know for sure is that *something* drained their nice green colour that day and they are still recovering from that (assuming they aren't dead). I'm noticing one or two reddish spots today too. Does that also indicate sunburn?

The difficult thing about where I live is getting a happy medium for sunlight. I could put these pups indoors on a sunny windowsill but the sun would remain very strong, barely any different to having them outdoors. The only real difference would be the air temperature from inside and out. It's starting to become flat out hot here as early as 10AM so any milder sunlight wouldn't last long.
 
Marco Banks
Posts: 577
Location: Los Angeles, CA
49
books chicken food preservation forest garden hugelkultur trees urban woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Is your soil a good mix for aloe vera?  A sandy "cactus mix" is best.  It's hard to over-water anything in a mix that drains easily.  But then, you'll need to give them a drink every other day.

No direct sunlight.  People see aloe vera like a cactus, but it isn't and doesn't like to be baked in the direct sunlight.  My most hearty patch of aloe vera is directly beneath a peach tree that completely shades it 9 months of the year.  It thrives there and is sent out roots to propagate all kinds of little pups.  If you can put it somewhere where it gets indirect or defused light, that is best.
 
L. Barry
Posts: 16
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi. Could you clarify what is meant by indirect or defused light, so I can be sure I'm doing the correct thing? I'm using an all round potting mix with a large drainage hole at the bottom of the pots. I noticed one of them seems to have had a growth spurt overnight so I guess they are surviving in this soil. it's all I can get for the time being.
 
Tobias Ber
Posts: 485
Location: Northern Germany (Zone 8a)
15
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
my aloe get more like brown and grey in too much sun. but they ll adapt to more sunlight.

your mix should be ok. it ll hold water well, so just water a bit less. when repotting, you might add some sand to the mix.

could you move your pots under trees or bushes where they are sheltered and mostly shaded?
 
L. Barry
Posts: 16
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Unfortunately our entire garden endures either full sun or full shade. The neighbours tree provides some speckled sunlight but it changes each hour as the sun moves. I tried today to keep the pots in the mixed areas, event though it meant checking them every hour.

Do plants still receive the nutrients they need through full shade, as long as the sun is out? Or does the sun have to be shining on them for that?
 
All of the world's problems can be solved in a garden - Geoff Lawton. Tiny ad:
FT Position Available: Affiliate Manager Who Loves Permaculture & Homesteading
https://permies.com/t/69742/FT-Position-Affiliate-Manager-Loves
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!