My friend moved into a new house where the previous owners had left this aloe. She didn’t want it, so it was given to me, but I don’t know how to save it. Because of the droopy leaves (and somewhat squishy leaves) I’m guessing it has root rot (I have never had an aloe plant so that is a guess) but the leaves are full of gel and there’s a miniature one growing off of the base. I read somewhere that a terra cotta pot and succulent or cactus soil is best for aloe, so I’m planning on getting that this weekend for this plant. My question is, is this plant salvageable? I don’t want to go buy stuff and put in the effort of reporting if it’s going to die anyways. Second, what do I do with the little plant growing off the base? And finally, some of the leaves broke in transport today, do I cut the whole leaf off or will it heal? Thank you for you help!
To check for root rot, get it out of the pot and look. (If you are new to looking after house plants, hold the pot upside down resting on your hand, with the stem of the plant going between your fingers, and give the base of the pot a hard whack with your other hand. That should dislodge the ball of soil from the pot while keeping it in one piece, and you can then lift the pot off and uncover some of the roots working from the bottom of the ball of soil, not from soil level.)
The roots should be firm and light coloured. If some are brown and squishy, cut those off, and water less in future.
If all the roots are brown and squishy (or you can't find any roots at all) your best option would be to cut off the top of the plant keeping about 6 leaves at the top, and replant it in new compost, so it doesn't pick up any pests and diseases that were living on the rotten roots in the old compost. Make the compost damp (but not waterlogged) when you plant it, and don't water it again until it looks like it has started to grow, which should happened within a few weeks.
The "baby" looks big enough to pull it gently off the old stalk (don't cut, just pull and twist with your fingers) and grow as a new plant.
Cut off any broken leaves cleanly with a sterilized knife. They won't "heal" in the sense of re-growing a new tip that hides the cut, but half a leaf is better than none (oops, bad pun...)