17 January 2015

aloe redo

My big Aloe is collapsing. It's either out in the open getting knocked around by the kids (accidentally) or crammed into this space between my desk and tank support that isn't large enough. Falling over and crushing the pups, so I knocked it out of its pot today to see if I could separate them. I'm not sure if this was a good idea (probably too soon) but I am glad I did it anyway. I found stuff in there that might be harming my plant!
A big fat earthworm (not a red wiggler)
and even worse- these grubs. They're japanese beetle grubs. Really creepy to see how after a few minutes dumped on the table- I sifted them out of the potting soil- they uncurled and started crawling towards shelter- one to the dirt pile, the other to hide under the pot near it. Needless to say, I disposed of them and gave the mother plant new soil.
The roots look healthy enough. But it's too damp. I've been overwatering. (I'm not so good with succulents. Cacti- forget it!)
I tried to separate the pups, they're all over an inch high, but none came away with roots. So I'm not sure if they'll make it.
Then I made the mistake of watering them and putting in the windowsill to admire the bright tanslucent young green among older plants:
I should have read more articles on separating aloe pups, first. You're supposed to let them sit out a day or two to heal the cut before potting up, and then wait another few days before watering. I moved them into sheltered spot, other window that gets very indirect light, hope they recover but I might have condemned them to rot and death... I pulled three back out of the soil and set them to dry- crossing fingers.
Incidentally, I used the vermicompost that's been sitting in a bag under the counter for a month. It was a lovely soft fine texture. I found a few worms- very small, stunted and hardly moving- tossed them into the worm bin. Mixed the vermicompost up with some old potting soil and eggshells for these plants.

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