When I brought home my little aloe plant and stopped trying to kill it by exposing its roots to the elements, I had a vision of a long relationship. I saw me and the aloe plant riding out the winter together, huddling around candles in my living room, telling each other stories on the long, cold nights. And then, come summer, I envisioned how the aloe plant would provide soothing care when I inevitably underestimate the strength of the sun.
It’s been dry and cold here, and I don’t care if we had one day where the temperatures were near 50 degrees F, that barely counts when the next day brings whiteout blizzard conditions on the highway. I mean, I’m starting to think all those strings Laura Ingalls Wilder and her family tied to themselves so they could find their way to the barn and back in the Illinois winter are starting to make an awful lot of sense. I’m not talking plot devices, people. I’m talking snow that swirls up and blinds you.
To compensate for the dry and cold, I’ve been watering the aloe plant daily. It seemed the thing to do, and it gave me and the plant a moment each morning to hang out and get to know each other better.
I will admit that it crossed my mind just before the weekend that it might behoove me to check and find out how much water an aloe plant actually needs. That, perhaps, I could look up this information up on the Interwebs, or even just get wicked lazy and ask my lovely and helpful blog readers.
But I was busy, and besides, it was just water. How bad could it be?
Very bad, it turns out. Of my aloe plant’s five tentacles (I’m sure there’s an official name for them, a name that has nothing to do with octopi, but I like the word tentacles and don’t usually get to use it in a sentence that has nothing to do with evil people and/or warlords.), three are now mushy and brown at the base of the plant.
So now I don’t know what to do. I’ve stopped watering, but I don’t know whether to trim off the dying tentacles and hope the rest of the plant lives, or if I should just let it be and see what happens.