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westes

Trying to Find Ideal Pot and Soil for Aloe Vera Plants

westes Zone 9b California SF Bay
2 years ago
last modified: 2 years ago

After several seasons of growing, I am finding some weird behavior in my aloe vera plants. If I look at the combination of soil type and pot depth, I get the following two by two table, and here are my four results:

1) gritty mix in a shallow pot: the aloe vera stays green in the middle and the leaves turn brown. It does not look healthy

2) gritty mix in a deep pot: the aloe vera usually stays green everywhere and looks fairly healthy

3) well-draining garden soil with lots of sand in a deep pot: the aloe vera turns brown everywhere. it has a complete failure to thrive.

4) well-draining garden soil with lots of sand in a shallow pot: the aloe vera stays green everywhere and looks fairly healthy

I really cannot figure this out. Why would aloe vera do well in a deep pot with gritty mix at the same time that it also does well in the much moister garden soil in a shallow pot? If the results consistently pointed to having more drainage as being the factor that enhanced plant health, I would have understood that outcome. But that is not what I have. A well-draining garden soil is very moist, and in a shallow pot it would have a high perched water table as well.

Can someone talk about how deep the roots grow on this plant, and does it like a deep pot? What kind of soil should be ideal for it? What kind of watering pattern is ideal? It seems to like a lot of water (by succulent standards) to stay in peak condition.

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