Friday, May 31, 2013

Time to Re-pot the Aloe

There comes a time in one's life when one's aloe becomes uncontrollable.  Wild.  Overgrown.  Crazy. 

Or at least, so top-heavy that every time the wind blows just a little bit, it falls over and loses a chunk of itself. 

This was its state after our last round of storms.  The plastic pot it was in couldn't hold up its girth.  We can all identify with that, can't we, girls?  No judgments here!

First let's get some supplies together.  Some cactus soil, new pot or two, and good gloves.  I really only used the gloves initially, then it just became easier to use my bare hands.  You would probably be fine with just standard thin gardening gloves, but I'm Ms. Cautious so I started with the big kid gloves.  For the soil, you may be smarter than me and know how to mix up soil that is cactus-friendly.  I took the easy route.  Finally I got my little bottle of cactus fertalizer (in that small box) to use at the end.

I took the whole plant out and carefully separated it.  Did you know aloe just multiplies into more aloe plants?  I didn't either!  Then I did my best to trim off the dead stuff.  Do this carefully, kids, as too much force easily breaks the stem.  Not that I know from experience or anything.

I of course didn't take any pictures of the segments all laid out, because that would have made sense.  But you can see in the picture above an example of a trimmed up individual plant... and you can see all of its octopus buddies on the ground around it.

Then it was re-potting time.  I initially thought I'd primarily use the azalea pot in the picture above, but quickly realized that some of my plants were already too tall for that.  I ended up reusing the plastic pot, putting smaller plants in the azalea pot, and reserved some to bring to a friend at work.  She gave me a strawberry plant in that blue pot, so I figured I should put something worthwhile in it when I return it!

Oh, and you see that step-child on the left?  Yeah... it got too much water (was in the way of a sprinkler) a year or so ago, and...

Yeah.  It hasn't spread, hasn't got any worse, and the cactus still seems to be alive.  If anyone has any tips, shout out!

I also tried to plant some of the transplants in a bed that has a few other plants in it and my cat otherwise thinks is her litter box.  We'll see how that one goes, as the soil there is somewhat crappy.  I'll update you on those cactus babies later.

While I was at it, I planted some new herbs.  My recent success with some mint got me all cocky.

Hardy and Foxtail Rosemary
Two basil plants and some sage

Then I dead-headed my roses...

And snapped a picture of one whiney cat, cramming her face through the gate, who did not appreciate being kept in the yard while I worked on the roses.

I'll post an update once I've seen how the aloe fares in its new home(s)!

1 comment:

  1. carpenterinplano@yahoo.comJune 2, 2013 at 6:53 PM

    Saving the planet, one aloe plant at a time...