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An aloe plant I have on my table now has leaves with yellowish ends and I'd like to somehow address it. I Googled for a while and found that in case of aloe this may be a sign of either underwatering or overwatering.

The plant is about 120 millimeters tall with diameter about 250 millimeters, the pot is about 120 millimeters tall with diameter about 100 millimeters filled with ground almost to the edges. I water it once a week pouring about maybe 20-40 milliliters of water.

How do I know if I water aloe right? How do I know if I'm underwatering or overwatering it?

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Can you post some pictures, of the plant, the yellowing and the soil right before you water? – wax eagle Oct 25 '11 at 12:43
@sharptooth Have a read of these: Can aloe grow be grown indoors with artificial light? & Can I save my damaged Aloe-Vera plant -- as they contain helpful information that directly relate to your situation (IMHO)... – Mike Perry Oct 25 '11 at 14:54
up vote 7 down vote accepted

Water only when it's dry. But don't wait beyond then.

How dry is dry? The soil should be dry to the touch. Depending on the soil, it will usually be a lighter color than when it's moist. If you poke into the soil, say 5-10 mm, you won't find moist or darker soil just underneath the surface.

Water thoroughly. If the pot doesn't have drainage, err on the side of too little.

I suspect you're watering too little, too frequently. Watering just a little at frequent intervals creates a deficient, shallow root system. The bottom of the pot never gets wet, so roots don't go there.

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+1 For not enough water... If the pot doesn't have drainage holes, add some or better still get a new pot (of appropriate size) with drainage holes in the bottom... – Mike Perry Oct 25 '11 at 14:57

Aloes are drought tolerant (a much larger one did very well in our Texas summers outside without much water) but 20-40ml does sound very low. Does the pot have drainage holes and free-draining soil? If so, I'd give it more, but don't water log the soil. If it doesn't, then consider changing the pot and the soil - it will make it easier to water correctly and suit the plant a bit better.

Also, is it pot-bound? It seems like it might be a small pot for the plant?

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+1 For not enough water & pot being too small... – Mike Perry Oct 25 '11 at 14:55

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