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Aloe vera var. chinensis clean up

Came home from visiting family in Oklahoma with four unruly pots of an indoor chinensis plant…cleaned them up and repotted most of them this morning. I kept a few pieces out to repot separately and experiment with in different growing conditions. I’d like to bring one indoors once cleaned up and repotted in my gritty mix (because I kinda do like the way they are growing), but gotta find a good spot the cats can’t get to. I have limited places for plants indoors lol..I don’t usually keep houseplants, but this house has some good spots for them.

Here are some before photos…long, twisted stems, thin, deflated leaves, juvenile distichous form, lots of old dead leaves and very little roots. They’d been growing a long time like this, but were surviving anyway. This is the growth habit a lot of indoor growers are familiar with, at least with this variety. “True” vera will form a rosette quicker, not fill the pot so fast with pups, but tends to have thin, droopy leaves and poor roots too. But these conditions are where a lot of the common (but mostly wrong) advice you see out there for Aloes comes from…it’s based on unhealthy indoor vera plants. They aren’t supposed to be droopy, twisted messes with little to no roots.

I pulled them all out of their pots, cleaned up the dead leaves, shortened some stems if they were too curled or had dead parts, dumped the soil they were in and repotted them all in my turface/expanded shale/potting soil mix. The soil they were in was old and too dense, and I didn’t want to reuse any of it. I didn’t let them callous or anything and the soil mix is kinda damp because it rained and I wasn’t home to cover my soil bucket, but most of them should be fine (and they’ll shoot out more pups to fill in for the ones that don’t make it in no time!) It’s still hot enough the soil won’t stay damp long. I’ll leave them on the front porch out of direct sun for a while to acclimate, eventually moving some of them around elsewhere to get more sun and take photos of their progress along the way.

Update – 5/20/22. I’ll post pics below. Some spent the winter indoors (being terrorized by my cats, who are fine btw), some in the greenhouse. Most are doing well…I lost a few and some still are stressed (or stressed again with the heat), but there’s lots of new growth now that it’s warmed up (or staying warm, we had a warm-ish winter too) and they are getting more regular water.

Group shot.
Lots of new pups. There’s even one sticking out the side of the pot where it has a broken spot lol…This one still looks the roughest as far as the original pieces go, but it spent the winter in the greenhouse and I kept it too dry. I also did not acclimate this one as slowly to the increase in light it got.
This one spent the winter inside in the window, being continuously knocked over by cats (I also brought home three kittens from this relatives house when I brought these plants home lol)…it’s been out in a shady spot in the greenhouse about a week or so. It’ll bounce back.
June 2022 after a good drench
This one spent the winter mostly in a shadier spot in the greenhouse than the first pot did. I just moved it back out to a higher shelf, so some are a little stressed again (plus it’s so hot 🥵)…but I think this one is filling in the nicest so far.
April 2022
I attempted to keep this one inside, but gave up. It spent the winter in my smaller glass greenhouse and now it’s in the larger one.
December 2021, with a couple pups from my larger full sun/yard grown chinensis plant behind it.
May 2022
Found another pot lol…May 2022.
June 2022
June 2022
September 2022. Moved it out of the greenhouse into full sun.
June 2022
June 2022…the largest is starting to form a rosette already! I’ll have to repot these again soon lol…
October…temp changes bringing the nice stress color back
October 2022 (it’s hard to hold these things without my hand looking weird when I look at the photos later lol)
About to bust out of this pot (Oct.)

Check out my other posts for care advice. Avoid the Facebook group “Aloe help and varieties (and succulents)” because you’ll just get bad advice there. Check out my other posts for care guides and info on this variety.


Published by AloeHoarder

I live in Houston, Texas and have been interested in and collecting Aloe plants since 2008, my first Aloe was the “chinensis” variety that I got from my mom in 2006. I am autistic and an English major. Aloes are my “special interest”.

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