Fan Aloe in New England


I have had an Aloe pilcatus for 2 years and seemed to be happy. It does not like being inside for the winter as much but seems used to fair well. The last few weeks the all of its outer leaves started to turn black from the tips. When it got to the point where ΒΌ of the leaf was looking bad I removed them all the way back. There was a decent amount of water released when I removed them. It kinda smelled too. I never smelled anything when I clean my Quiver tree. I water both Aloes about every 2 weeks, I more or less let them be. My house is heated with forced hot air. My wife cannot stand the cold so as a result my house is warm and dry. Is there a case that my house is too dry and I need to water it more? Again my Quiver trees seems happy and I know they live in a really hot dry environment. Does the Fan Aloe require more or less care?

Marc
www.hillsidenurseries.com

Marc,

Aloe plicatilis is a winter and early spring grower, since they are native to the winter rainfall area of South Africa, so it should get more water during those seasons and be kept drier during summer and fall. It will “pull reserves” from it’s outer, older leaves during these dry times and before putting on a lot of new growth. This can lead to tip and edge browning-blackening and finally drying up, before it aborts the leaf and it dries all the way up and falls off.

Can you email a photo or two, with a close-up? It may just be that your plant is old enough that it is purging old leaves, or it could be a sign of infection. And I find that this aloe has a sort of skunky smelling sap, though nowhere as bad as Aloe vaombe, which smells so bad it turns my stomach! (I dislike the smell of it so much we quit growing it.) Unlike Aloe dichotoma, which barely has a sap scent, but then it is not really a juicy aloe…

If you send some photos I will let you know what I think, but may just be that you need to water a bit more and get use to a seasonal leaf drop.

Take care,
Hap


    
    
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