Old Aloe?

by Nate
(OH)

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I aquired this plant and was told it was aloe.

Recently i was told it was agave.

Im kind of confused. It has a longer trunk than any other aloe I have ever seen other than aloe that get a huge trunk and look like a palm tree.

I would really appreciate some help, please. Thank you in advance.:)

Hi Nate, not to worry; these plants are confusing; some look very similar to other species.

Luckily, Aloe have a few distinctive characteristics, and they are pretty easy to distinguish from other similar plants.

One of the traits that many Aloe have are the little evenly space teeth - in some species these are more like thorns, in others so small as to be non-existent.

Agave have a single wicked spine on the ends of each leaf, which Aloe don't have.

This one is an aged plant, and this is the form that they take as the leaves gradually die all up the trunk.

As you've noticed, this is not really strong enough to hold up the head of the plant, and generally they fall over and become very gangly and hard to manage.

Luckily, they are easy to rejuvenate, by simply unscrewing the center of the rosette, which will have some dormant roots ready to go. You can see more about Aloe here and here. Hope that helps unconfuse you!
Jacki

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Apr 30, 2013
Thank you
by: Nate

Thank you very much for your help! I am now unconfused:). I have heard of cutting the stalk a ways below the bottom leaves and then letting the cut callous before planting. Is this a good choice for my aloe?

Hi Nate, that is one way to make new plants, but in some cases the old stem doesn't have the ability to make roots any more; the adventitious buds that are in the rosette itself, behind every leaf that still has life in it, will have the best chance of growing. I like the 'unscrewing the lightbulb' method, just because then you don't have any chance of older wood/plant parts possibly rotting and losing the plant.

Have fun!
Jacki

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