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Aloe is too tall and now leaning requiring support

February 16, 2019
last modified: February 16, 2019


I've had this aloe for a few years and it was always a bit 'leany' so I put chopsticks into support it.

Last spring I repotted into a pot that was too large (so says my dad) and the lean has gotten worse.

Basically it can't support itself, so I guess now I have to cut it down to size and repot it into a much smaller pot.

Any advice as to how to best do this? The bottom leaves are pretty much done/leathery. But the top 4-5 sections are fine.


Comments (15)

  • Rob Blomquist

    No picture? Its tough to say anything without a picture.

  • Crenda 10A SW FL

    Yes, please post a picture, or several of them, in the comments. It depends on what type of Aloe you have and what the conditions are. Roughly where are you located and what is your growing zone? Aloe plants like a lot of direct sun - which may be difficult in the winter. But we are here to help!

  • Dana

    Apologies I tried attaching a photo with no luck it seems. I'm in Vancouver BC so it's not ideal for sunlight hours alas.


  • Rob Blomquist
    • I understand, I live in North Seattle and keep only small plants. I am not a wizard of Aloes but I get the feeling its reaching for light and getting streched out. Aloes like the blazing sun. Your potting soil looks too rich. I use a mix of 50% potting soil- 50% pumice or perlite. The richer soil may lead to root rot and the plant not staying upright.
  • Dana

    It's actually just a straight up cactus/succulent mix I bought at home depot, but maybe that's not ideal? Anyway, should I just sever the top and repot it?

  • cactusmcharris, interior BC Z4/5

    Dana, commercially-produced C&S mixes, unless they're pretty specialized (there are some, but the bad outweigh the good) often need (1) removal of large chunks of bark (unless you're growing something tropical, like Disocactus) (2) improvement in porosity. That improvement is most easily achieved via the add of 50% perlite, which is the most common drainage material available. DON'T USE SAND. If you have access to pumice, that's so much better than perlite, but the former will do for this plant. Yes, severing the top would give you another plant to start, but you should wait a month or so, if you can. If you feel you need to cut it now, though, you can do that, and let the cut head callus for the next month or so.

  • Dana

    Thanks for clarifying about the mix, I can wait another month, it's not an emergency situation.

    Thanks again everyone for your advice!

  • Dana

    Oh I guess the second question is, would grow lamps help the plant root better?

  • cactusmcharris, interior BC Z4/5

    Bottom heat would help the rooting - lighting wouldn't hurt, but the warmth for rooting is more useful.

  • Dana

    How does one heat the bottom of a plant pot?

  • Polypompholyx


    I'm not recommending any specific brand of heat mat but there are some examples of how you heat the bottom of a plant.

    Are we sure that's a pure Aloe? The speckles on the leaves make me think of Gasteria. Maybe the plant is a intergeneric hybrid.

    Edit: aww.. cactusmcharris posted faster.

  • Rob Blomquist

    Good point, Poly. I thought.It was really leafy looking for an Aloe the way the leaves are nestled down by the roots,it doesn't look succulent.

    Dana thanked Rob Blomquist
  • Dana

    Ah yes I believe you are right, I thought it was an aloe plant because of the water-filled leaves. But the leaf speckles are rough and bumpy to the touch. Does this change anything in how I should cut off the top to repot it?

  • cactusmcharris, interior BC Z4/5

    The cheapest heat mat is, of course, an expanse of concrete sun-warmed for a number of hours, but most of us in the northern hemisphere don't have that right now.

    Dana thanked cactusmcharris, interior BC Z4/5

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