Asked November 16, 2017, 9:11 PM EST

I’m concerned that my aloe shoots are too heavy as they are not growing upward like other aloe plants I’ve seen do. Should I be concerned? Currently, I have sticks holding up the heavy stems as seen in the third pic. Is this harmful or helpful? I know it looks tacky but not sure what: if anything needs to be done. Thank you

Multnomah County Oregon

1 Response

Thank you for attaching the images. The older leaves of aloes sometimes arch outward. But when many are seriously flopped, one of several things has occurred. You’ll need to become a detective to sort through the possibilities. The two factors topping the list are insufficient light and water.

The recent overcast, and downright dark, days here in the northwest provide far too little light for a succulent plant which should be in bright sunlight. If you can’t tolerate the floppy look, you’ll need to add supplemental light during the daylight hours. A specialty garden shop may have exactly what you need.

I doubt the aloe has gone too dry between waterings because the leaves appear firm. If the plant was chronically short on water, the shortage would be revealed as a “wrinkled” surface.

I’m a bit concerned about the folded leaf in the 2nd image. If it is soft and/or off-color, it may be rotting. If so, you should remove it with a clean cut through a firm portion. That damage may have occurred because it was too close to a windowpane recently. Our recent cool temperatures in the mid- to low 40s cause "chilling injury" to subtropical plants such as aloes.

Aloe vera” summarizes how to keep an indoor aloe healthy.