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I’ve had an aloe plant for 11 years. It’s always been healthy and a lot of new plants sprouted from the original. So, 2 1/2 weeks ago, I decided to repot them as they were all getting too big to share a pot. They all seemed pretty healthy and I planted them using a potting mix for succulents. I watered them once a couple of days after replanting them and then, last week, I went away for a few days. When I came back, their leaves were all very thin and droopy, and some of them had started to turn brown. My housemate told me she’d been watering them while I was away, so I took them out to examine them as I feared they’d been overwatered and, unfortunately, I was right.

All of their roots were rotten - absolutely black and very soft. It had travelled almost all the way up the stem. Do you think there’s any chance of salvaging them? I know some people would think they’re just plants and I can get a new one, but I’ve had my original aloe for 11 years and she has a lot of sentimental value.

  • What about drying the roots and the pots and waiting to see if they recover? – Ignacio Soler Garcia Apr 8 '18 at 20:37
  • I never liked succulent potting mix. Keeps things too wet. Often if you put the poor wilted thing outside in a not too sunny location, and neglect it, it will recover, or grow new sprouts over the course of the summer. – Wayfaring Stranger Jun 15 '18 at 13:52
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If the only live parts left are leaves, it's done. Leaves of Aloe don't root well at all, and if they do, they don't usually form a plantlet.

What you can do, if there are any live parts in the plant stem:

  1. Cut away all rotted areas cleanly with a sharp blade, and was the remaining parts lightly with disinfectant (you can also dip the cuts in cinnamon powder then, to speed the healing)

  2. Place them in a warm, dry (low humidity), well ventilated area out of direct sunlight. Let the cut areas callous over for a few days.

  3. Plant them (a couple inches in) in a mineral based mix that drains rapidly. I use about 40% topsoil or potting soil, and 60% crushed pumice. The pumice is superior to perlite for Aloe culture. With a rapidly draining mix, yo can water without fear of root rot.

  4. Place in a warm, bright, well ventilated area out of direct sun, and water them in. Keep the mix slightly moist until you see not growth in a couple weeks.

  5. Grow them on as you would a mature plant. (Full sun, less water, avoid frost)

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