Keeping plants alive is an ongoing process.
In an effort to find direction the last couple of weeks, I neglected to look at my outdoor plants. I can’t blame it all on the soul searching. The truth is, I can’t stand to be outside during the winter months. I don’t even like going into the garage to do my laundry.
So when I decided to rescue my Aloe Vera plant from the confined space it was living in, I really thought it would be a good idea to put it in a larger container where the roots could spread out. I imagined the Aloe plant would breathe a sigh of relief much like I did when I left my toxic office environment.
I placed the plant with the roots wrapped around each other, stuck in it’s original compacted pile of dirt, in a big container right before the rain storms hit. I didn’t cover it up much because I thought the roots would get a chance to unravel while it rained.
This is what I noticed when I looked at my plant last week. I didn’t really know what to do. I took some time to figure out what I was going to do about it, fighting a cold that I felt coming on, and not wanting to go out in the breezy cold weather. I live in California – it could be worse, but let’s just say I am not going outside unless I need to. I covered more dry dirt on the top of the plant in hopes that it would help in the drying out process.
As the days moved on, the leaves on my Aloe Vera plant drooped even further into the soil.
I started thinking as my plant is dieing, that perhaps the Aloe plant is much like a cactus. Cactus can get freezer burn and die – yes, I have even killed a few cacti in my lifetime. Perhaps if I sat the plant in the sun, it could dry out to revive itself. Oh, my plant is not doing so well. I don’t want to look up info on the web. I am feeling quite lazy. But today I decide to confirm my theory on drying the plant out.
What I found was that Aloe is not from the cactus family but from the succulent family. Really. . . is there a difference? I am not doing so well with the succulents either. Cactus need good drainage. I had used the same dirt from my tomato plant – perhaps there was still some roots and other blockages in the pot. Remembering, also, that there is too much shade in my back yard. I emptied the pot of dead Aloe to start my growing process all over again.
The roots hadn’t really spread out. They were still in a ball from the previous living environment. The dirt all around the plant was very moist. I found a few critters which I believe is good for the soil; however, if they are able to move around, the soil is probably not dry enough for the Aloe plant.
I decided to separate all the roots, cutting each drooping leaf, to see what I could salvage. I thought I would put it all back in the big pot, but it looks like putting each individual rooted plant in its own pot might work better <crossing fingers>.
And then there is the beast in all his glory who appears when I least expect him.
What I have salvaged should do it for now. I brought some in the house and left two outside in different locations on the porch. I can, hopefully, monitor what I have without getting wet.
Earlier this week, I started feeling like a failure again – but only for a short time. I need to push through this, doing the best I can, reminding myself that it is learning process. Keep trudging along. Each day is a new day. Hope