Over-watered Aloe Plants

Hi Judy. Can you help identify these 3 small houseplants. I have had these for years in small non-draining pots, normal soil, indoors in Chicago. Each is relatively small, stiff leaf, ‘cactus’ like plants. they have each started to brown from the bottom and leaves have begun to rot. I must have done something wrong.

Hi Nater,


Green stiff leaved Aloe Plant
Aloe Plant


It sounds like you have overwatered your plants and they are developing root rot which is very serious. Your plants are Aloe Plants and from the pictures they look like Aloe humilis, Aloe Black Beauty, and Aloe Aristata. It is really necessary that there be drip holes in the bottom of your containers so the excess water can drain out and the roots of the plants do NOT stay wet for a long period of time. These plants also like very bright indirect lightVery few houseplants should be placed in direct sun. High light refers only to bright indirect light since direct sun often burns the leaves of indoor houseplants. An area that is too hot and dry encourages Spider Mites and causes blooms to quickly fade. A northern exposure really doesn't provide enough light for high light plants. These plants need to be placed directly in front of an east-facing window, within 1-3 feet of a west-facing window, and within 5 ft. of a south facing window. A high light area has over 300 ft. candles of light.. My recommendation: remove them from their containers, get rid of all of the wet soil, allow them to sit out bare rooted for a few days so the roots can dry out, then plant them in cactus soil in a pot with drip holes in the bottom. Be very careful with your water.