Aloe Vera Plants are extremely popular indoor succulents. Not only do they have an attractive appearance that can add character and color to any indoor space, but the juice within their leaves can also be used to treat and relieve pain caused by burns, cuts, and even bug bites.
While the Aloe Vera plant is relatively easy to grow, some indoor gardeners find that the leaves can turn brown and mushy. If you see your Aloe Vera plant suffers from discolored and droopy leaves filled with brown spots, we are here to help!
Not only will we explain the reasons for your Aloe Plant turning brown, but we will also explain how you can quickly and effectively correct the issue. By following the basic instructions listed below, you will be able to help your little succulent thrive!
What Causes the Leaves of the Aloe Vera Plant to Turn Brown?
The following are the three most common reasons why Aloe Vera leaves turn brown:
1. Browning Caused by Excess Moisture and Overwatering Issues
Overwatering is by far the most common reason why your Aloe Vera leaf is turning brown. Given that this indoor plant is succulent, it actually prefers dry soil.
If you notice that the leaves have turned brown or yellow in color, rather than their natural shade of green, there is a good chance that the plant is overwatered, or the soil is holding too much moisture.
How to Prevent This Issue
To ensure your Aloe Vera plant is not overwatered, you should wait until the soil feels dry to the touch between waterings. Ideally, 75% of the soil will be completely dry before you water your Aloe plant again.
As with most succulents, Aloe Vera plants are native to dry, arid regions, so they are very drought tolerant. If you are ever unsure if you should water your Aloe Vera plant, it is better to hold off for a couple of days than to risk overwatering it.
Aside from following an appropriate watering schedule, another way you can prevent excess moisture from turning the leaves of your aloe plant brown is to make sure that you are using an appropriate pot and a suitable soil mixture.
The soil needs to be well-draining, which is why it is really important that you choose a succulent-friendly soil mixture. These soil mixtures are designed to allow moisture to flow through them, rather than cling to the soil and pool around the roots. The pot you choose should also have a drainage hole, as this will allow excess water to flow through the bottom of the pot.
How to Repair Brown Leaves Caused by Excess Moisture
If you find the soil is waterlogged and you cannot correct it by letting it dry out for a few days, you can address the problem by repotting your Aloe Vera plant. To do this, remove the plant from the existing pot by gently turning it upside down.
Remove as much of the wet soil as you can from the plant’s root ball. Inspect the roots for signs of root rot and cut away any roots that look black and soggy. From here, replant your Aloe Vera plant in a more suitable, well-draining soil that is filled with gritty, porous substances, like sand and pumice.
2. Browning Caused by Excess Salt in the Soil
While this is not a common cause of browned Aloe Vera leaves, it is worth taking into consideration. Unfortunately, Aloe Plants are very sensitive to salt, as well as various chemicals, like chlorine and fluoride.
How to Avoid This Issue
You can avoid excess salt in the soil by making sure you choose succulent-friendly potting soil. These soils are designed to have a low salinity level, which helps make them ideal for plants like Aloe Vera.
To avoid browning that is caused by fluoride and chlorine, you can choose to water your Aloe Vera plant with bottled or filtered water. Another way to reduce the number of chemicals in the water is to fill an open-top container with tap water. Leave the container out for at least 24 hours, which will allow some of the chlorine and fluoride to evaporate from the water.
How to Address the Issue
Unfortunately, an Aloe leaf that is severely brown as a result of salt or chemicals usually has to be removed. This is because it will not return to its original color. In these situations, it is better to remove the damaged leaves so new, healthy leaves can grow back and take their place.
Use a clean and sharp knife and remove the damaged leaves near the root line. If it is done correctly, new leaves should eventually take their place.
3. Browning Caused by Improper Light Exposure
Another common cause for browned Aloe Vera leaves is overexposure to direct sunlight. While their rugged, desert-like appearance might make you think the plant would thrive in sunny conditions, too much light can actually burn the leaves.
How to Avoid This Issue
To prevent your Aloe Vera plants leaves from burning and turning brown, you should place it in a location where it receives plenty of indirect sunlight. Rather than place your plant in a windowsill, consider placing it a few feet away from the window. A well-lit room where the plant will receive plenty of natural light, rather than being directly in the sun, will help it thrive.
What to do About Scorched Leaves
Luckily, this issue is fairly easy to correct. Simply reposition your Aloe Vera plant so it is not sitting in the path of direct sunlight. Not only will this will prevent further leaf burn if you are lucky, but the leaves will also actually repair themselves and return to their former green color.
Other Potential Causes of Browned Leaves
If you have worked through the three causes listed above and your plant’s leaves are still brown, it is possible that the environment is too cold. Aloe Vera plants prefer warmer temperatures, and they will start to brown if the temperature dips below 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you have tried everything and your Aloe Vera plant’s leaves are still brown and yellow, it is possible that the plant is just getting old. Yellowing naturally occurs as the plant ages and reaches the end of its life cycle. It can also occur when the plant is shedding old leaves so new ones can take their place.