Aloe vera, commonly known as Medicinal Aloe or Barbados Aloe, has become incredibly popular. Traditionally, it is known for its topical benefits, including wound healing and its use to keep skin moisturized and protected. In addition, Aloe vera is used in numerous beauty products as an additive for its vitamin and acemannan content. However, its nutritional properties also make this plant a living superfood.
It is a very easy plant to care for, making it a staple in many homes. This succulent plant is known for its ability to thrive under virtually any condition as it grows equally well indoors and outdoors with minimal care. However, it cannot tolerate winter chill and only grows outdoors year-round in dry USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 9 and 11. Too much water causes the roots to suffocate and eventually rot and is a primary cause of wilting. Recognizing wilt signs promptly and pinpointing the causes allows you to save a distressed Aloe vera.
Insert your finger into the soil and check the soil moisture. If the soil feels wet, overwatering is the likely cause of wilting.
Lift Aloe vera from its pot. Brush the soil gently from the roots so you can view as much of the root system as possible. Do not rinse the roots with water.
Examine the crown of Aloe vera, where the leaves emerge from the root system. If the crown feels soft and appears rotten, and if there is a foul odor in the region, the plant suffers from extreme rot and may not survive. However, if the crown still looks healthy, it is possible to save it.
Trim any soft, rotten roots from the root ball with clean shears. Avoid cutting into healthy roots.
Fill a clean pot with potting soil. If reusing the original pot, first rinse it in a one-part bleach solution and nine parts water to kill any pathogens.
Repot Aloe vera into the fresh soil at the same depth it was growing previously. Water the potting soil lightly, but do not use enough water that it drips from the bottom drainage holes in the pot.
Resume regular watering once the plant recovers. Water healthy Aloe vera when the soil dries, throughout the depth of the pot, and empty any standing water from the drip tray promptly.
Temperatures below 50 °F (10 °C) can damage Aloe vera and cause wilt. Before the temperatures drop in the fall, bring outdoor pots inside and avoid placing indoor plants in cold rooms or near drafty windows.
Aloe vera may sometimes wilt because it needs water. If the soil is completely dry and the plant shows no rot symptoms, water it immediately. The foliage usually perks up in a day or two.
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