My aloe vera plant got rotten from the inside after potting it in a soil very rich in vitamins. Can I save the plant and the babes ?

a rotten plant

2 Answers 2


It might be possible. I would suggest you start by re-potting the plant. When you do that trim the roots a bit and add some small rocks into the soil. Go to the nearest pet-smart and buy some fish tank rocks. The idea being we want to encourage new root growth. Aloe, like cactus, enjoys a dry/aerated environment so do not be stingy with the rocks. If it does recover it will be from the roots up. There is nothing you can do to the above ground portion of the plant that will help the plant recover.

  • I just wanted to add. When/if you re-pot the plant, leave it to dry for a few hours and dust the base of it with some rooting powder before you plant it again.
    – Rob
    Aug 2, 2018 at 14:37
  • ok, thank you, i will try this. So do I need to cut off all the leafs ? and re-pot only the root ? For the small aloes i will separate them from the big one and re-pot them as well. Aug 3, 2018 at 9:50
  • @user1931907 Do not cut off the leaves that are completely healthy. How does this smaller aloe look? Could you post a picture. Do not cut off the leaves, only the leaves that are totally compromised. Repot the entire plant. A shallower pot than tall and for that small size of an aloe the pot for the baby should not be larger than 4" in diameter. 3" tall. Clay. Hole in bottom. NO rocks anywhere. Moisten the soil, do not soak. Allow to dry out. Your pot/soil/plant should feel definitely lighter before watering again. After transplanting keep moist, not soggy. Later try to ignore!
    – stormy
    Aug 3, 2018 at 11:26
  • @user1931907 No, the idea was that you wanted to see if you could bring the plant back to health as it is currently right so dont cut off the leaves. You can definitely use rocks just make sure you mix them in equal parts with the soil and make sure that they are small rocks. Bonsai potting soil is roughly 30% small rocks meant for maintaining dry conditions and promoting good drainage. The idea being that you want to mimic the environment that an aloe plant naturally grows in which will be sandy, rocky and somewhat dry.
    – Rob
    Aug 3, 2018 at 15:19

What do you mean 'vitamins'? Plants don't need nor do they uptake 'vitamins'. I see a small aloe right next to this larger aloe plant. THAT you most certainly can repot and save.

Do not use potting soil with any kind of fertilizer or water holding gimmicks; sponges, gels. Find the cheapest potting soil in a bag that is sterilized. It is great if that soil comes with fungi and bacterias.

Purchase a shallower than tall clay pot. That plastic pot holds too much water. leave a 1" space between the surface of the soil and the rim of the pot (6"X4" clay pot). You have way too much space in this pot for proper watering.

As long as your plant looks healthy do not water it on some schedule. When you repot that baby plant, water and feel the heft. How heavy pots with their plants and soil are tells me everything I need to know about watering. You will easily be able to tell if your plants need water.

After transplanting and allowing to acclimate to the new soil and new pot, you will have to add a bit of fertilizer. A balanced fertilizer. I recommend Osmocote 14-14-14 extended release. Reduce the amount by half and only one application PER YEAR. IGNORE your plant as much as possible. Weird, huh? If this plant lives near a window, south facing, not in direct sun, you should be fine.

The larger plant looks like it is a goner. Too much fertilizer, too much water. You could also try cloning using the healthier leaves (tiny pots 3" diameter, 2" depth and cloning powder).

And you do not need rocks, not at all. They do not help with drainage and in some instances actually hamper drainage. Potting soil usually has little to no soil. This plant medium drains very well. You want to be in control of the chemistry, the fertilizer.

Tell us what you used for soil and what that label says that is in that soil. That would help us help you mo betta.

  • thank you for all you advises. In fact im new to gardening and i don't know much about the soil i bought. The seller told me that it is very rich soil. I will follow the tips and try to save the babes. Aug 3, 2018 at 10:05
  • I hope this helps. The most important thing is that you do not get discouraged learning the basics of growing plants. Make sure you lean on us as you become a gardener! We have already done the 'hard' way to learn gardening so that you don't have to. Makes us feel oh so much better to use the mistakes we've made to allow you to be more successful. Rich soil means NOTHING. Other than it is dark. Soil should never be assumed that it comes with the necessary chemistry plants need to do photosynthesis to make their own food, stuff for energy.
    – stormy
    Aug 3, 2018 at 11:32

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