My Aloe Vera Plant isn't doing to well. I bought it approximately a month and a half ago in a very nice state.

Moved it directly to a new pot(unfortunately at the time without a drainage hole) with this soil .

I live in Scotland (UK) so the temperate is around 10-20c degrees inside the house where I have the plant.

It started drooping a week or so ago, as seen in pictures.

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Edit: Updated photos of leaves:

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2 Answers 2


The aloe vera is a succulent which stores water in its leaves. It does better with a freely draining potting mix such as a cactus potting mix, or regular mix amended with perlite.

It's drooping because the roots have now been compromised sitting in both the wrong mix and a pot lacking drainage.

I'd suggest you remove it from the pot, remove any rotted roots, and repot it in the correct mix.

  • Fair enough! Thanks for the info, I'll order some proper cactus mix and let you know if it survives! Does this look ok to you? smile.amazon.co.uk/Cactus-Focus-Repotting-Mix-Litre/dp/…
    – Sib
    Commented Jan 16, 2018 at 22:04
  • looks good to me. Commented Jan 16, 2018 at 22:07
  • So I removed the soil today and you were right, it had rotten roots and generally in a bad state. I wanted to save some of the roots but they were tiny and really slimy so I cut off all the soft slimy parts.. Now I only have the two big leaves without roots. Online I saw that I can leave them in a warm place for a couple of days and plant in proper soil, with a small chance of it actually growing back.
    – Sib
    Commented Jan 18, 2018 at 22:34
  • 1
    Once the rot has been removed dry the plant off, and then plant it. As there are now no roots, don't water it again for a month or until you see growth. It will take at least that long for new roots to develop if you're lucky. Commented Jan 18, 2018 at 23:54
  • Ok cheers. I'll follow your advice and let you know if it survives!
    – Sib
    Commented Jan 19, 2018 at 9:52

What I see the main problem I believe, is your plant needs a bit of fertilizer. Without these chemicals no plant is able to make food for itself and thrive much less survive. Fertilizer does not nor should it come with soil. Just a tiny bit of balanced fertilizer, the one I always recommend even though I do not like the company, this is a great all purpose can't mess it up fertilizer. Extended release Osmocote 14-14-14. Use only half the prescribed application.

Plants have to have fertilizer added to their soil. Everything we humans do is inherently artificial. Crops, ornamentals, vegey gardens, indoor plants, terrariums are all artificial. The plants rely on us for their needs. Doesn't fall from the sky, compost is only for tilth in our of doors soil, adding banana peels, garlic or eggshells is nice but completely wrong.

Potted plants need drainage, water when the plant needs it not before, good soil medium that enhances drainage and air, great light because plants make their own food using the sun as energy and we have to make sure there is just enough, not too much of the chemicals; CO2, N, P, K, Molybdenum, Manganese, Ca, Silica, Fe, S, and at least another dozen chemicals. Without these chemicals plants will not be able to make their own food. They become susceptible to damaging insects and disease.

I hope THIS POT has drainage? No? Yes? I would buy a cheapo clay pot shorter than wide is best. Lift bottom of pot off saucer or surface using pieces of tile, flat rock. Water well and allow to completely dry out before watering again.

For your baby I would use a 6" diameter, 3" high clay pot. Just potting soil. Nothing else. The potting soil should not have fertilizer or water holding gimmicks, gels, sponges added. The cheapest is the best. No rock at the bottom below the soil for 'drainage'...ugh. Worse thing you could do.

Lift your pot and newly potted plant in potting soil after watering deeply. Remember that weight. When your plant needs water that pot and plant will feel very light. Time to water again.

As little water as this plant needs, I'd purchase distilled water to water....a gallon a month? Don't use tap water.

Edit: Checked out the potting soil and it should be fine to use. My only worry is that this is probably a huge percent of coco fiber and absorbs/holds water. Should be fine for your aloe. Your potting soil said it came with nutrients. That means chemicals, fertilizer. I tried to find the ingredients and haven't been able to pull up. Do not add any fertilizer until we can find what is already in that potting mix.

Your aloe looks anemic. Like it needs a bit of fertilizer. Otherwise your plant can not make its own food, do its own repairs, build roots to support itself during times of low light and there is no other way to 'feed' a plant. The plant has to be able to make its own food. Yet, your soil said they added 'nutrients'...chemicals/fertilizer. Which is not registering for me because you plant looks like it could use fertilizer.

Do not add anything, especially fertilizer until we can tell what is in your soil already.

The next issue would be light intensity. What window orientation does this plant have? Drafts? Does it get moved around a lot?

  • Thanks for the reply! Turns out my roots were completely rotten from previously not having a drainage hole and because I was using the wrong type of soil. I'll follow your advice for the new one I'll buy soon.
    – Sib
    Commented Jan 18, 2018 at 22:37
  • More fertilizer is rarely the right answer. Specifically, Aloe Vera survives well in poorish soils.
    – Fred Rocha
    Commented Jan 25, 2022 at 14:53

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